walkhighlands

Scotland's Great Trails

The West Highland Way

The West Highland Way was Scotland's first long distance route and remains by far the most popular. Stretching for 151km from Milngavie on the edge of Glasgow to Fort William at the foot of Ben Nevis, the route offers a fabulous introduction to the Scottish Highlands. Those wanting to add an extra days walking could even begin in the heart of Glasgow, reaching Milngavie by following the Kelvin Walkway.

It offers tremendous variety, beginning in the pastoral landscapes beneath the Campsies, past the serene beauty of Loch Lomond, and on into increasingly rugged and majestic Highlands. It then crosses the vast, awe-inspiring expanse of Rannoch Moor, with a glimpse down Glencoe, before crossing the hills to lovely Loch Leven. The route finally reaches Fort William via beautiful Glen Nevis. The very keenest could continue from the town by walking the Great Glen Way, or the unofficial East Highland Way.

THE CHALLENGE

Well-waymarked throughout and avoiding the high tops, the route is within the capabilities of most walkers. It still has enough challenge and ascents to inspire the imagination; one of the toughest parts unexpectedly is the walk up the east side of Loch Lomond, whilst other sections are very exposed.

Stage descriptions Length Time
Stage 1: Milngavie to Drymen 19km 5 - 6 hours
Stage 2: Drymen to Rowardennan 23km 6 - 7 hours
Stage 3: Rowardennan to Inverarnan 22km 6 - 7 hours
Stage 4: Inverarnan to Tyndrum 19km 5 - 6 hours
Stage 5: Tyndrum to Inveroran 14km 4 - 5 hours
Stage 6: Inveroran to Kings House 15.5km 4 - 5 hours
Stage 7: Kings House to Kinlochleven 14km 4 - 5 hours
Stage 8: Kinlochleven to Fort William 24.5km 6 - 7 hours

ACCOMMODATION AND SERVICES ALONG THE WAY

Being so popular, the West Highland Way offers an excellent range of accommodation for walkers throughout its length.

Milngavie does offer a hostel and plenty of other facilities if needed.

Drymen offers a choice of both bed and breakfast and hotels, plus a campsite at Easter Drumquhassle Farm. Further on is a wild-camping area in Garadhban Forest.

Balmaha is an alternative break of stage and also offers hotel, guest house and bunkhouse accommodation. Please note that there is a wild camping ban on this section of the walk, taking in all of the east side of Loch Lomond until beyond Rowardennan, apart from a small informal site which has been provided at Sallochy.

There is a bed and breakfast at Sallochy on the route, the owners of which will pick up and drop off walkers who wish to break the journey at Rowardennan.

Rowardennan is quite an isolated location and offers only a hotel and SYHA hostel. The wild camping ban extends until shortly beyond Rowardennan.

Inversnaid is an alternative break of stage, with the only facility being the hotel there. Again, there is an area set aside for wild campers.

Inverarnan is again a tiny place, but it does offer a campsite with wigwams as well as an inn.

Crianlarich is off route but can be visited by a detour as an alternative stage break. It has a hotel, B&B and a SYHA hostel.

Tyndrum is the next village. This offers hotel, B&B and a chance to buy supplies, as well as a hostel and campsite.

Bridge of Orchy is a tiny hamlet. Again there is a hotel here as well as a hostel, and a wild camping area on the opposite side of the bridge.

Inveroran is simply a old coaching inn that still offers accommodation. Likewise the Kingshouse is another old inn, in a spectacular location. There is a wild camping area set aside near both these places.

Kinlochleven is a small town and has an excellent range of accommodation including hotels - of which the Macdonald also has camping cabins, bed and breakfast, hostels and campsite.

Finally, Fort William is a town with all facilities - a wide choice of hotels, bed and breakfast and guest houses and hostels The nearest campsite is in Glen Nevis (near the end of the Way).

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Milngavie and Fort William and both accessible by both rail and bus from Glasgow.

Citylink run a bus service between Glasgow and Fort William (and on to Inverness / Skye) that can be used to reachthe stages along the way, including Inverarnan, Crianlarich, Tyndrum, Bridge of Orchy and Kingshouse.

Kinlochleven and Drymen are served by local buses. There is no bus service currently to Rowardennan.

Timetables for all the routes can be found on Traveline Scotland.

The following users have walked the West Highland Way:

Paul Webster  helenw  Les Sutherland  beth grant  willie  Spider  DunkyMcKay  whitey333  daveyb  Dougiew  Greyhair  JimGibson  gordor1  mountains4me  Graeme D  Peter Long  Walkscot  Robinho08  kenzie  druidsam  christine george  StuPark  Warren  walk aboot  sandy  jondale  walker1  cgal7  kev_russ  alaneglinton  pmstu  soapy27  munro1980  Onemorestep  petem56  ewarbrick  robpool  jimijbob  alanm  Clamberer  rasteele  cloudbusting  wildrover  rucsacs  munrowalker  Welshy  derwent2  Duncan Buchanan  dougs65  GlobalGraham  fw002  Lackadaisy  big_g  Predator4466  Orienteer  murphy999  heckmackay  frankomd  CurlyWurly  incompleat  hannyjohn  nugget106  borderli  tayman  Johnoneill1916  JAYMAC  willmurray  brodie  w33mur  James_McG  mattmunro  Jon Cossar  The Morgans  Rob Collins  weemistermac  skillinabottle  bigfoot  mmaciocia  albagubrath  TonyEW  charlie249  allansmitchell  Bobafete  Paderlan  AndyG  Big Al  gillybaby81  mountainstar  tomcowley  prophetofdom  LizBrown  snodland  Doigie84  colindsharp  tomyboy73  chris_howat  Scrofula  dougy4  mortal  markohakli  celt12345  kenmcgarva  Macgerbil  stevenhorner  BertvdBeu  frickletonh  PhilTurner  kiltedbiggles  pacol  Guilbert  abdul  pedro  Stuart C  andyp  steven65  Skinner  offroad junky  stewartinnes3  adamarchie  hags n crags  colmccormack  murwilson  blabheinn  coopar  pigeon  kaiserstein  Daedel  kerrson  Ben Hill  Slogger  GillC  Steviemac79  IamAJMiller  Derek T  loates  thand  geoffo65  boabmil  jaba69  DAVID PICKLES  Morag M  katiebryso  ndcknsn  ericjohn7  JackTaylor  katastrofa  icemandan  londonwalker  ceebeeby  clivew  Teddie1303  Dave.Beaton  mountain thyme  Guwbert  gdmhogg  calumwood  tookiebunten  donaldanderson  franfigures  GYarnell  fagans  andrewmmccallum  xpfloyd  Lowlight  grimley  davidwcroft  marydoll  buggerlugs  Dunfie  Styles  peterandjenny  davechristie1972  lauramac  dillontam  mamacgregor 1444  billinverkip  FiferStu  eddie258  Mike Reynolds  nealej81  Iainhamill  yellowbelly  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User reports from the West Highland Way

Title Author Likes
West Highland Way for the Easter Hols Dunfie 17
west highland way June 2011 nzt2011 9
west highland way backpacking brodiedillon303 8
7 days, 5 girls, 2 charities and The West Highland Way! Cissyface 8
WHW 2011/2012 welshy165 8
Blisters 1, toe nails 9, teeth one fewer than before! Chrisabelle 6
WHW a beautiful scorcher and The Ben to finish Zafar 5
Walking the walk! A day by day account and advice! Teddie1303 4
Winter West Highland Way 3 Days AlexFrood 4
Six Sunny Days in June trainspotter 4
Swimming The "Wet" Highland Way Border Reiver 3
West Highland Way July 2012 stuart mclovin 3
The West Highland Way Early Riser 3
West Highland Way 2010 jyp18a 3
WHW with my 11 Year Old son Walkscot 3
WHW 3 DAYS BOOM + Glasgow central to Milngavie Wok de dog 2
West Highland Way - A Video MartinZeroD 2
West Highland Way - Avery wet May 2012 Geoffwilz 2
Springing the WHW whiteburn 2
West Highland Way MichaelJennings 1
West Highland Way in 5 days AWeeBitDifferent 1
West highland way Leemackay1 1
Milngavie to Inverness via the Ben MattyAnderson 1
west highland way bazer100 1
West Highland Way RuthieT 1
WHW 28 April to 3 May 2011 AndyMarr63 1
Walked the WHW on April 30th - 6th May 2011 skidmerc 1
west highland way Handsaeme 0
West Highland Way August 2014 in 6 days JoelMocha 0
WHW for mums vonbon 0
West Highland Way Nick Slater 0
Lost Camera and a Great Walk Chris Webb 0
The West Highland Way in 5 days gm0141 0
West Highland Way in 7 days andrewl7642 0
WHW part 2 - The glens where your great rivers run nigheandonn 0
WHW part 3 - Come to the mountains and climb nigheandonn 0
2013 Summer- West Highland Way + 4 Munros en route gmcsutube 0
The wind and the helpful bus driver critchlowsg 0
Trek Scotland JamesA1972 0
Winter in 1990 markn001 0
West Highland Way via some Hills! westendbar 0
West Highland Way - Our Story robertd19m 0
Hard in the heat dizzydebs 0
Backpacking Scottie 0
West Highland Way 'Singing in the Rain' L-Hiking 0
West Highland way Paul85 0
West Highland Way Billymaca 0
Walked 14th - 20th May 2011 Fiona_74 0
West Highland Way 30th April to 4th May The Morgans 0
WHW Tue 3 / 5 .... Sat 7 / 5 steven65 0
West Highland Way Benedict 0
1/2 The West Highland Way Walkscot 0

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Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information is provided free of charge; it is each walker's responsibility to check it and navigate using a map and compass.