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West Highland Way

West Highland Way

This much-admired 96-mile trail passes through the scenic south-west Scottish Highlands. It’s well signed for independent walkers; each day holding the promise of inspiring views, hearty food, good company & a dram of whisky.

Overview

The official starting point of the 96 miles (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. You can stay an extra night at Rowardennan in order to climb the mountain of Ben Lomond (3,100 ft / 980m), which rewards you with fantastic views over Loch Lomond, looking west to the Arrochar Alps and north into the Highlands.

The later 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. Remember to make the mini-detour to find Rob Roy McGregor's Cave. After Loch Lomond, the Way follows a valley route on a historic military road, a long steady climb, below rugged mountain peaks around Crianlarich and Tyndrum.

Further north, the landscape changes dominated by open heather moorland bringing you to the spectacular wilderness of Rannoch Moor. This 50 square miles of haunting beauty is subject to every kind of weather and brings you close to the majestic scenery of Glencoe, famed for its bloody massacre of the MacDonald Clan. 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.

Itinerary

7, 8, 9 & 10 Night Itineraries

Whatever your fitness or time permits, we have plenty of itineraries to suits everyone, you just have to choose which is the best fit for you.
The key questions to ask yourself are how much time have I got?
How far do I feel confident about walking each day?

6 Day Walk / 7 Nights

  • Arrive Milngavie
  • Drymen - 12 miles
  • Rowardennan - 13 miles
  • Inverarnan - 14.5 miles
  • Inveroran 22.5 miles
  • Kinlochleven - 18.5 miles
  • Fort William - 15.5 miles

6 Day Walk / 7 Nights (with Inversnaid stop-over)

  • Arrive Milngavie
  • Balmaha - 18 miles
  • Inversnaid - 15 miles
  • Crianlarich - 13 miles
  • Bridge of Orchy 13.5 miles
  • Kinlochleven - 21 miles
  • Fort William - 15.5 miles

7 Day Walk / 8 Nights

  • Arrive Milngavie
  • Drymen - 12 miles
  • Rowardennan 13 miles
  • Inverarnan - 14.5 miles
  • Tyndrum - 12.5 miles
  • Kingshouse -20 miles
  • Kinlochleven 8.5 miles
  • Fort William 15.5 miles

7 Day Walk / 8 Nights (with Inversnaid)

  • Arrive Milngavie
  • Balmaha - 18 miles
  • Inversnaid - 15 miles
  • Crianlarich - 13 miles
  • Bridge of Orchy 13.5 miles
  • Kingshouse - 12.5 miles
  • Kinlochleven 8.5 miles
  • Fort William 15.5 miles

8 Day Walk / 9 Nights

  • Arrive Milngavie
  • Drymen -12 miles
  • Rowardennan - 13 miles
  • Inverarnan - 14.5 miles
  • Tyndrum - 12.5 miles
  • Inveroran - 10 miles
  • Kinghouse - 10 miles
  • Kinlochleven - 8.5 miles
  • Fort William 15.5 miles

8 Day Walk / 9 Nights (with Inversnaid)

  • Arrive Milngavie
  • Drymen -12 miles
  • Rowardennan - 13 miles
  • Inverarnan - 8 miles
  • Crianlarich - 13 miles
  • Bridge of Orchy - 13.5 miles
  • Kinghouse - 12.5 miles
  • Kinlochleven - 8 miles
  • Fort William - 15.5 miles

9 Day Walk / 10 nights

  • Arrive Milngavie
  • Drymen - 12 miles
  • Balmaha - 6 miles
  • Rowardennan - 7.5 miles
  • Inversnaid - 7.5. miles
  • Inverarnan - 7 miles
  • Tyndrum - 12 miles
  • Inveroran - 11 miles
  • Kingshouse - 10 miles
  • Kinlochleven - 8 miles
  • Fort William - 15.5 miles

Please note: Overnighting at Inversnaid requires a minimum 2 person booking, due to the additional mileage incurred by bag transfers.

All itineraries can be tailored to suit the particular needs of each client.

Please ask about options.

Highlights

Loch Lomond

Your first glimpse of the famous Scottish 'lake" is from of Conic Hill - a fairly leisurely 45-minute hike to the top rewards you with superb views across Loch Lomond. You could factor in an extra day and climb Ben Lomond from Rowardennan. Probably the second most popular of Scotland's 326 Munros after Ben Nevis which awaits you at the far end of the West Highland Way. The ascent of Ben Lomond's is relatively comfortable thanks to its well-trodden path and undemanding terrain. The more daring mountaineers tackle the Ptarmigan ridge on the west side. Views from the top offer fabulous vistas of the Loch, its many islands and if you're lucky all the way to the Inner Hebrides of Jura and Islay.

Inversnaid has an RSPB Reserve if you fancy a spot of bird watching in summer for black grouse, redstart, twite, willow warbler and pied flycatcher. That's another pleasant detour if you're looking to take your time travelling along the Way. On the lochside at Inversnaid, you'll be pointed to a cave where the miscreant and cattle thief Rob Roy McGregor hid out (1671-1734). It's rumoured King Robert the Bruce did the same centuries earlier.

Rannoch Moor

A wild and remote place of some 150 square miles. Rannoch Moor has a bleak but mesmerising beauty. Here is where the West Highland Way crosses the fringes of one of the last great wildernesses of Europe. On a good day the walk is relatively straightforward - but be warned, if the weather is foul rather than fair, make sure you're well equipped to tough it out over the exposed ground which offers no shelter.

Ba' Bridge and the ruins of Ba' Cottage, halfway across, offer a resting point to take in the views. It can be bleak and beautiful at the same time depending on the conditions. The old military road brings you to Black Rock cottage and the iconic Buachaille Etive Mor, one of Scotland's most photographed mountains.

For Outlander fans, Kinloch Rannoch was the location of Craigh na Dun, where Claire first visits the stone circle. Thrown back in time to 1743 she encounters wicked British officer Captain 'Black Jack' Randall, and is rescued by a passing highlander, Murtagh.

There is a visitor centre at Rannoch Moor with displays on its evolution, early historical, flora and fauna and the West Highland Railway line that crosses the moor.

Food & Drink

It's all haggis, porridge and shortbread, right?

Every hiker knows that local food takes centre stage on any walking holiday. And in Scotland, you can be satisfyingly fed and watered with our finest meats, fish, cheeses, vegetables, craft beers and malt whiskies.

Traditionally, Scottish food was wholesome, tasty, filling and simply prepared without fuss, with the purpose of keeping folks warm and providing the energy required for a hard days labour. It was all about stews, broths and porridge.

Our lochs (lakes), rivers, streams and the sea provide wonderful fish and seafood. Our fertile soil produces farmed livestock and game and also allows cultivation of grains, vegetables and soft fruit.

The Scottish Larder

  • Meat - Beef (Aberdeen Angus), lamb and mutton, venison are the staples.
  • Game - Pheasant, grouse, partridge, pigeon, rabbit.
  • Fish and - Salmon, Haddock, Trout, Mackerel Herring
  • Seafood - lobster, oysters, crab, langoustine, prawns, scallops, mussels, razor clams
  • Crops/Grain - Oats and barley in stews and soups.
  • Vegetables - Root vegetables in the main; potatoes, turnips and carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, peas and leeks.
  • Dairy - our southern pastures support dairy herds producing cheeses, butter, cream, yoghurt and milk which all find their way into our hearty dishes
  • Fruit - brambles/ blackberries, raspberries and strawberries, apples and rhubarb

Fine Dining

Scotland is not short of sublime gastronomical experiences. We have an array of Michelin starred chefs and fabulous restaurants serving not just Scottish, but also International & fusion cuisine.

In terms of the West Highland Way, you'll mainly find good pubs serving traditional hearty meals. Just what the hungry hiker, cyclist and mountaineer require at the end of an active day in the hills and glens.

In Fort William, seafood lovers will enjoy the Crannog. Not strictly fine dining but the place to indulge yourself with the freshest produce in a charming pier-side setting. They also have adapted a fishing boat for cruises on Loch Linnhe - so don't be in too much of a hurry to finish your trip. https://www.crannog.net/restaurant

Accommodation

We recommend a night in Glasgow or Milngavie prior to beginning the West Highland Way, to allow for ease of bag collection by 9am and fresh start to your first day on the trail.

Here is a taster of the three of the many great hotels, B&Bs and guest houses with whom we regularly work.

Tigh-Na-Cheo, Kinlochleven.
This super 4 star Guest House is situated at the head of the loch, very well-appointed rooms, drying facilities and comfy residents' lounge.

The Oak Tree Inn, Balmaha
Welcoming family-run Lochside Inn. Great hospitality and food in a great location, with Restaurant, Bar, Private Rooms and Bunks - all rooms on a B&B basis with en suite facilities.

Oak Tree Inn, BalmahaOak Tree Inn, Balmaha

Inveroran Hotel
This historical 19th century Inn is very comfortable and welcoming. There are drying facilities, as well as a bar, restaurant and you can even pre-book a massage.

Our baggage transfer service will transport your luggage each day by vehicle, so all you will need to carry is your day pack. This really does make a significant difference to your enjoyment of the West Highland Way.

Getting There & Back

We work out the logistics so you can relax and enjoy yourself. All you have to do is consider carefully how far you want/are able to walk each day.

It's easy to get here from Scotland's airports using bus, rail or taxi services. The route begins in the small town of Milngavie which has a railway station, making it easily accessible by the train from Glasgow & Edinburgh.

Once you've finished in Fort William, you can catch a train or bus back south, or continue your adventures by walking the Great Glen Way all the way to Inverness.

Just ask us to book your local travel tickets.

Customer Reviews

Listed below are some reviews from other customers who have already undertaken this tour with Scotland’s Walks.

  • Review by Ian, South Africa,
    Had a great walk in July - thanks to all concerned - will stay in my mind for years to come.
  • Review by Daniel, USA,
    I visited the West Highland Way this past April and loved my time on the trail. Thank you for all your work and I hope to be back before long to finish the second half of the Way.
  • Review by Karena, UK
    Thank you very much for your send-off from Milngavie, which got me off to a happy start. I actually wrote a day-by-day travelogue of my trip...on the other hand I feel like I cheated as I walked in gloriously beautiful weather and I know that is not the norm! I could not possibly have enjoyed the trip more; it was one of the very best experiences of my life. Thanks for sharing your wonderful part of the country with the world!

  • Review by Andrew, UK,
    Firstly thank you for your help as we embarked upon the west highland way for the third time this year! We thoroughly enjoyed it as usual, even though it rained non-stop.
  • Review by Chantal et Robert , France,
    Ce fut une merveilleuse randonnée, cordialement.
  • Review by Maxine & Gareth, UK,
    We had a fantastic time when we walked the WHW in July. It was the best holiday we have ever had so far! Gareth took a photo when we were walking along Loch Lomond and we loved it so much it is now on our living room wall reminding us of a really wonderful holiday.

    - Maxine & Gareth
  • Review by Monika, Germany
    It was so nice to hear from you. So, I remembered again the days at the West Highland Way in June with three of my best friends. We enjoyed it so much and will be back sometime.
  • Review by Karen, England,
    Thank you very much for your send-off from Milngavie, which got me off to a happy start. I actually wrote a day-by-day travelogue of my trip. You are welcome to share it. On the one had it gives a pretty detailed accounting...on the other hand, I feel like I cheated as I walked in gloriously beautiful weather and I know that is not the norm! I could not possibly have enjoyed the trip more; it was one of the very best experiences of my life. Thanks for sharing your wonderful part of the country with the world!
  • Review by Linda, UK,
    My daughter, husband and I hiked the West Highland Way for the second time in April. Wonderful! We simply had to return to see if it was as beautiful as we remembered. It was even better the second time and as before, the people we met at inns, hostels, b&b’s, pubs, and everywhere in between were so very friendly and helpful. I even celebrated my birthday with a surprise West Highland Way Hey Hey Pudding at the Real Food Cafe in Tyndrum. I hope to return soon...
  • Review by Joanna, UK,
    I started off alone, just myself and my one-person tent, but met many wonderful people along the way... it was a journey I will cherish forever.
  • Review by Katherine, UK
  • Review by Henry, Canada,
    Hiking ancient paths Where many have passed before Their spirits haunt me. Haiku poem by Henry Mansikka
  • Review by Ryan, USA

    WHW is one of the most beautiful treks I’ve ever experienced! Peace.
  • Review by Liz, UK
    The whole experience was out of this world and although I have travelled many places abroad, not one place or journey will ever leave memories such as those I have of the WHW!!! From day one the journey was magical...we chose to do the journey over 8 days and that was superb as we had time to walk, enjoy, chill and take in every day and every memory, whilst sharing time with many wonderful walkers that we met along the way. A truly unique experience, thank you.
  • Review by Anne, West Highland Way,
    Firstly thank you for your help as we embarked upon the West Highland Way for the third time this year! We thoroughly enjoyed it as usual, even though it rained non-stop.
  • Review by Tom and Jean, Canada
    Thoroughly enjoyed this walk – weather not too bad – one really rainy day. Met people from Australia, Sweden, England – really interesting. We found some places not very well signposted, but on the whole delighted we could fulfil a long time goal as we are originally from Scotland. Your office in Milngavie was very helpful and we wish you continued success.
  • Review by Robert, Netherlands

    We liked walking this Way very, very much! The views were stunning and the weather was nice also. We met many people on our way, walking the same route. Which was also a great thing.

    - Robert and Yvonne
  • Review by Charles, France,
    That was a really good experience, really hard - but awesome! Thank you for your cordial welcome!
  • Review by Berit, Germany,
    We will remember especially a country with all these different landscapes where we found warm welcomes everywhere.
  • Review by Roland, Germany
    I walked the WHW in June with my wife, my daughter and a friend of mine. The only thing I can say is 10, wonderful, great and unforgettable days. Thanks to all to make this possible through their work. Many greetings to Scotland and God bless you.

Map

About Us

The WHW is right on our doorstep and we meet walkers everyday in our town centre. So, we really do know everything your need for a well supported trip on this iconic Scottish Highland route.

Contact Us

Scotland’s Walks
13 Main Street
Suite 9
Milngavie
Glasgow
G62 6BJ
Scotland
United Kingdom

+44 (0)141 956 1569
info@scotlandswalks.com

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