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Hattiers Takes on The Great Glen Trail for Mind

Hattiers founder Philip and two of his closest friends Martin and Rik are off on an adventure to raise awareness for men's mental health and funds for Mind by taking on The Great Glen Way Canoe Trail from the 6th - 10th May, before Mental Health Awareness Week begins on Monday 15th May.

The purpose of the trip is to highlight mental health challenges experienced by many men of our age and the pressures that we face, coupled with the fact that multi-generations have become used to suppressing their feelings and just 'getting on with it'. For years the phrase 'man up' has been used flippantly and often under the guise of 'banter' but this has been damaging and sometimes devastating for some men who have felt that they had nobody to talk to or share their worries with apart from their spouse and often opting to soldier on alone until it's too late.

This trail has been chosen to highlight the benefits of getting outdoors, out of the daily grind and unplugging from technology - facing challenges that are out of the norm, working as a team to overcome them and getting away from it all for a few precious moments. After all the jokes and comradery that the challenge brings by day, it is the evenings spent around the campfire that can spark meaningful conversations and the sharing of pressures faced.

Hattiers has joined forces with brand partner Red Paddle Co., who have supplied a range of fantastic kit for the adventure.


When you buy Hattiers Rum from 6th - 14th May with code BEKINDTOYOURMIND we will give you 10% off and donate a further 10% directly to Mind. If you would like to give more then please follow the link below.


The Trail:


The Great Glen Way Canoe Trail is one of Scotland’s classic and most challenging/rewarding canoe journeys. A geographical fault line forms the Great Glen Way splitting Scotland in two, it is steeped in history and folklore tales.

The journey starts in Fort William on the Caledonian Canal before entering the open water of 3 Scottish Lochs; Lochy, Oich and Ness.

The Great Glen Way Canoe trail is a 5 days travel from East to West of Scotland unsupported, following the 60 miles of the Caledonian Canal. By their very nature, journeys on the water can be affected by weather and other environmental factors but we will do everything we can to complete the trail come rain or shine.

Day1: (10km)

Fort William – Gairlochy


Our journey begins at the top of Neptune’s Staircase, a series of canal locks rising up from the sea at Fort William, under the shadow of Scotland’s highest mountain Ben Nevis. This short section will give us some time to focus on efficient paddling techniques as well as discussion on safety points for the journey ahead. We paddle 10 miles along the canal to our first camp at Gairlochy.

Day2: (25km)

Gairlochy – Loch Oich


We leave the peaceful waters of the Caledonian canal and join Loch Lochy. For some, this is the most spectacular section of the journey as the mountains of Meall Na Teanga and Sron a Choire Gairbh rise straight up from the shores. This beautiful paddle North will get us into the spirit of the journey. At Laggan Locks we rejoin the canal system for a short section before entering Loch Oich and our 2nd camp site.

Day3: (24km)

Loch Oich – Fort Augustus


We will visit the monument of the Well Of The Seven Heads with its dark murderous past. Paddling up Loch Oich with the mountains soaring in every direction, we wind our way up through the little islands, passing the ruins of Invergarry castle once occupied by the chiefs of the Clan MacDonnell. On reaching the next section of the Caledonian Canal, water levels allowing, we may have the choice to paddle the River Oich (grade 2) which takes us all the way to Loch Ness and Fort Augustus with its Abbey and canal locks.

Day4: (22km)

Fort Augustus – River Ness


As we continue our journey northwards, and given favourable conditions, we hope to be able to sail our canoes the remainder of Loch Ness. As we look back to the South, we can marvel at the distance covered. Soon we reach the peaceful Loch Dochfour with the remains of Aldourie Castle on our left. Further on we reach the junction of the Caledonian canal and the River Ness. We will set up our last camp at the entrance to the canal.

Day5: (10km)

River Ness – Inverness


Our final day and a decision must be made! We have the choice of finishing along the canal or, for the more adventurous, the final few miles have some fun rapids where we can give you some tips on white water technique. The journey ends with a beautiful run through the Ness Island rapids – Grade 1/2. Once through here, we float into Inverness with the Castle above.

Time to celebrate with a round of drinks and a tot (or two) of rum!


When you buy Hattiers Rum from 6th - 14th May with code BEKINDTOYOURMIND we will give you 10% off and donate a further 10% directly to Mind. If you would like to give more then please follow the link below.


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