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Read other users walk reports for the long distance trails - and add your own.

NB. This board is for reports on multi-day long distance routes - reports on simply long walks should be added to the standard boards.

East Highland Way - be well prepared

East Highland Way - be well prepared


Postby Wedmore man » Sun May 08, 2022 1:50 pm

Route description: East Highland Way

Date walked: 02/05/2022

Time taken: 4.5 days

Distance: 134 km

3 people think this report is great.
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I'm 67 and a keen walker and I completed the EHW with my son who is quite a lot fitter than me!! I haven't completed a multi day walk for many years and have never previously wild camped or carried a heavy backpack. So, whilst reasonably fit I’m no expert and found this walk challenging but very enjoyable.

We intended to wild camp every night and my son succeeded 8) in doing so. I ended up getting B&B on the last night as I had no tent poles. I had cleverly managed to leave the poles, which doubled as walking poles, in a cafe in Kingussie. We found good camping spots at Achluachrach (NN 300 807), on the beach at Kinloch Lagan, adjacent to Dalnashallig Bothy in Glen Banchor and on a beach near the Outdoor Activity Centre in Kincraig.

I thought the walk was really good.
- It had a much more remote and wild feel to it than I had expected given its proximity to a main road. This was great.
- All sections had some really good parts. However, our favourite bit was the Lagan to Newtonmore section via Glen Banchor. This had a great remote feel to it.
- Some other reviews are critical of the large quantity of forestry trails. This is a fair comment but there are some great views along many of these sections and they don’t exist everywhere. There is a lot of variety. There is also criticism of the mess left by logging operations. Again a fair point, but this is the nature of commercial forestry. It also exposes some amazing views which would otherwise be obscured.
- Most planning options suggest a long day of around 21 miles between Tulloch and Feagour/Kinloch Lagan. This is a long slog but could actually be broken up if you are prepared to do some wild camping or organise a taxi pick up at Moy. This is also the section with the biggest concentration of forestry trails.

However it is essential to be very well prepared as

-Navigating along the route is challenging. There are still very few signs, which we liked as we enjoyed the challenge of map reading but this wouldn't be ideal for some people. Also the guide book descriptions aren’t brilliant and were out of date in several instances. You really need a good map with the route marked on it. We used OS 1:25000 with printed off sheets showing the GPX version of the walk. Even this wasn't completely adequate. We also had the OS GPX version saved offline on the OS App. This was ideal but we couldn't use it often as we were worried about the longevity of batteries. This meant that even though we are reasonably good map readers we occasionally lost the trail. The easy solution is to use the App version in association with plenty of spare power packs - but these are heavy and it compromises the challenge of navigation!! So nothing is totally ideal.
- There is sparse and unreliable availability of shops, cafes and accommodation along the route. Again this is one of the beauties of the trail as it makes it more challenging and probably less busy. During our walk we ended up wild camping almost exclusively. We had a 3 day period between Spean Bridge and Newtonmore when we were unable to buy anything (no open shops or cafes). The cafe at Wolftrax and the single shop/cafe at Lagan both happened to be closed on the day we passed through (despite Google telling us Wolftraxwas open). Also when we reached Kincraig only the Watersports Centre was open for accommodation/food and food was no longer being served when we arrived. So we’d have been in a mess without contingency plans. Finally, the bridge at Achluachrach was barricaded off as being unsafe and certainly looked like it. Although some people still seemed to be using it. So, sensibly, Achluachrach’s accommodation options aren’t accessible and it doesn’t look like the bridge is likely to be repaired any time soon.
Wedmore man
Rambler
 
Posts: 1
Joined: May 8, 2022

Re: East Highland Way - be well prepared

Postby Paulmccaffrey » Sun May 15, 2022 8:04 pm

Great to see a recent report!
Myself and my friend are starting the walk in a week and this is all very helpful. We are wild camping the first 3 days until we reach Kingussie on day 4 where we have accomodation. Looks like we should take food for every day until then based on the lack of shops etc?

Well done, great achievement!
Paulmccaffrey
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 4
Munros:34   
Joined: Aug 20, 2020
Location: Aberdeen

3 people think this report is great.
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