The West Highland Way

The West Highland Way is a famous and classic long distance (152 km) trekking trail. The trail leaves from Glasgow, it runs north for just under 100 miles (95 miles) to Fort William, a town located at the foot of mountain Ben Nevis. This mountain is the highest mountain in Scotland. It is 1344 metres (4,406 ft) above sea level. Most travelers take 7 days trekking to complete this trekking route. About 85.000 people use the path every year. The route is traditionally walked in seven to eight days, although fitter and more experienced walkers do it in five or six days.
 
The trail of the West Highland Way runs alongside Loch Lomond, follows Strathfillan north to Rannoch Moor, and crosses some high mountain passes near Glencoe before arriving in Fort William. According to trekkers who have done this trekking; the scenery seems to get better each day. The foot path uses many ancient roads, military roads and old coaching roads and is traditionally walked from south to north. As well as increasing the sense of adventure, taking the trekking route in this direction keeps the sun from one's eyes.
This hiking route is best suited to hikers who enjoy the challenge of point to point trekking routes. You should be reasonably fit, because there are some big climbs along the way. There are also some long days and you should keep in mind that you will deal with some rough terrain underfoot. If you don't want to carry your luggage, you can arrange a travel agency to transfer it each day. If you think that the West Highland Way trail might be too heavy and too much, then the Great Glen Way or Speyside Way are excellent alternatives.
 
Suggested itinerary:
 
Day 1: Milngavie to Drymen - 19 km (7 miles).
The trek officially starts in Milngavie town centre, where a granite obelisk is located. The trail passes Mugdock Castle and Mugdock Country Park before emerging into open countryside and finally reaching the village of Drymen.
 
Day 2: Drymen to Balmaha - 11 km (7 miles) 
After leaving Drymen the path enters Garadhban Forest before reaching the first major summit of the route, Conic Hill. You will end in the village of Balmaha, on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond.
 
Day 3: Balmaha to Rowardennan - 12 km (7 miles) 
The route heads northpassing through Rowardennan Forest before reaching Rowardennan.
 
Day 4: Rowardennnan to Crianlarich - 33 km (21 miles) 
The route heads north again passing a cavern known as Rob Roy's cave. The end of the day you reach Crianlarich.
 
Day 5: Crianlarich to Tyndrum The trail runs north west along Strathfillan to Tyndrum.
 
Day 6: Tyndrum to Glencoe 
North of Tyndrum the trail enters Glen Orchy before crossing the desolate yet beautiful Rannoch Moor and descending into Glen Coe. A glen is a valley, typically one that is long, deep, and often glacially U-shaped.
 
Day 7: Glencoe to Kinlochleven
From Glencoe, the route climbs the Devil's Staircase before a great descent into Kinlochleven at sea level.
 
Day 8: Kinlochleven to Fort William.
The final part skirts the Mamore Mountains on an old military road and descends into Glen Nevis. From there, it proceeds into Fort William. The last stage passes the foot of Ben Nevis, and many walkers crown their achievement by climbing the highest mountain in Britain.
 
Best time to do this trek.
It is good to know that midges (biting flies) and mosquitos begin swarming in May and last well into August, some years even September. Also, Scottish weather can be particularly rugged and must be respected with proper forecasting and gear.
 
Highlights of this classic The West Highland Way
* Hike through the romantic and beautiful landscapes of Loch Lomond, Glencoe and Rannoch Moor
* Experience changing scenery as you hike from the lowlands of Scotland into the heart of the West Highlands

trekking features

  • Camping and/or teahouse/lodge trek
  • Length < 7 days
  • Length >7 days and < 14 days
  • Maximum Altitude <2000m
  • Difficulty - Medium

The West Highland Way details


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