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West Highland Way

Milngavie - Fort William

The Walk

WHW is widely regarded as one of the best long distance footpaths on the planet. The trail passes through the south-western part of the Scottish Highlands. The West Highland Way is well maintained by countryside rangers from five counties and benefits from good signposting making it an ideal route for independent walkers to follow. The end of each day holds the promise of hearty food, good company and the odd dram of whisky.

The official starting point of the 96 mile (155km) route is the "Obelisk" in Milngavie.

The first stage passes through picturesque rolling farmland, woods and villages - and a celebrated Highland whisky distillery - before arriving at the impressive scenery of Loch Lomond. 

Some people choose to stay an extra night at Rowardennn in order to climb Ben Lomond (3,100 ft / 980m), which rewards you with fantastic views west to the Arrochar Alps and north into the Highlands.

The following section of the Loch Lomond path is technically the most challenging, (you'll be glad not to be carrying a large pack), but also incredibly scenic and historic. 

Make a mini-detour to find Rob Roy McGregor's Cave.

After Loch Lomond, the Way follows a valley route on an historic military road, a long steady climb, passing below rugged mountain peaks around Crianlarich and Tyndrum.

Further north, the landscape changes again and open heather moorland brings you up to the spectacular wilderness of Rannoch Moor.

This is a heartland of Scottish consciousness and brings you close to the majestic scenery of Glencoe, famed for its bloody massacre of the MacDonald Clan. Nowaday, this is a popular centre for many outdoor pursuits.

The final stage from Kingshouse, winds up and over the Devil's Staircase down into Kinlochleven before a final push through the dramatic Lairigmor to finish in the centre of Fort William, nestled at foot of mighty Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain at 4408 ft.

At A Glance

  • Date
    Mar-Oct
  • Cost
    From £390 pp B&B, based on 2 sharing twin/double accommodation
  • Grade
    Moderate
  • Accommodation
    B&B, Guest House, Hotel
  • Directions
    Glasgow or Edinburgh Airports. Train and bus connections to Milngavie and Fort William
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