walkhighlands

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 Done
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

BAGGAGE TRANSFERS AND WALKING PACKAGES

Click to find organised West Highland Way walking holiday packages and baggage transfer providers.

ROUTE PHOTO GALLERY

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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 during the summer months, 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, and a permit-only area at Lochan Maoil Dhuinne.

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).

GUIDEBOOKS AND MAPS

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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.

Users' walk reports for the West Highland Way

There are 2955 Walkhighlanders who have completed the West Highland Way. To record if you have completed the route, you must register and be logged in. Our users have contributed 101 public walk reports for the route. These are ordered below with the most popular ones first.

Title AuthorDate walked Likes
The West Highland Way - Solo hike  Venneberg 16/07/2012  37
West Highland Way with my 12 year old  CraigD53 03/08/2017  35
West Highland WAYHEY!!  LailaQuiche 22/05/2019  23
West Highland Way for the Easter Hols  Dunfie 31/03/2012  19
Solo West Highland Way in October  Bluecoat 18/10/2019  18
West Highland Way June 2017 - What an adventure!  JazzBerry 02/06/2017  17
WHW (incl. Kelvin Walkway), May 2017  mcbboyd 21/05/2017  17
50th Birthday wish! West Highland Way  tibo 27/06/2015  17
West Highland Way April 2017  nick70 15/04/2017  13
A very good walk, but take your time  eggyboff 15/05/2016  13
west highland way backpacking  brodiedillon303 14/04/2012  12
Has the West Highland Way Stood the Test of Time  3peaker 19/09/2020  10
Not quite a Murder Mystery: The West Highland Way Novel  zatapathique 05/10/2003  9
WHW (or Teletubbies putting themselves in the way of beauty)  nitamiriam 01/04/2016  9
Scorching hot sun throughout WHW!  willemvdl 02/05/2017  9
7 days, 5 girls, 2 charities and The West Highland Way!  Cissyface 01/08/2012  9
west highland way June 2011  nzt2011 12/06/2011  9
A solo WHW the leisurely way (B&B & baggage transfer)  Scougs 19/06/2017  8
Springing the WHW  whiteburn 27/02/2013  8
Winter West Highland Way 3 Days  AlexFrood 23/03/2013  8
Blisters 1, toe nails 9, teeth one fewer than before!  Chrisabelle 24/09/2012  8
WHW 2011/2012  welshy165 02/05/2012  8
West Highland Way 4 Days in Nov 2015  scotland606 04/11/2015  7
Video Series: Entire WHW Day by Day  Hounds of Howgate 05/04/2018  7
West Highland, Great Glen and Affric Kintail Combo 1/3  pbeauvillard 15/05/2018  6
Walking the walk! A day by day account and advice!  Teddie1303 02/04/2011  6
The West Highland Way in three long days  durham94 28/08/2020  5
West Highland Way Part 2  Hevs_ 03/08/2019  5
West Highland Way In Two Days  stevengr68 08/06/2018  5
WHW - The Adventures of a Wo[a]ndering Academic(s)  LucieK 26/06/2019  5
Musings Along 'The Way' - Part 2  NevJB 30/03/2019  5
Weasel Walks the Way  weaselmaster 01/05/2017  5
WHW a beautiful scorcher and The Ben to finish  Zafar 20/05/2012  5
Musings Along 'The Way' - Part 1  NevJB 30/03/2019  4
West Highland Way September 2018  Kerkeslin 11/09/2018  4
The West Highland Way to Loch Ness  andrewl7642 30/05/2015  4
The Walk of the Wagtails  captainslow 05/04/2015  4
That`s the Way I like , Day 1 August 2014  tomyboy73 23/08/2014  4
West Highland Way - A Video  MartinZeroD 04/05/2013  4
Swimming The "Wet" Highland Way  Border Reiver 01/05/2009  4
Six Sunny Days in June  trainspotter 02/06/2012  4
WHW with my 11 Year Old son  Walkscot 22/04/2011  4
West Highland Way Part 1  Hevs_ 03/08/2019  3
West Highland Way - May 2017  Andy1702 18/05/2017  3
West Highland Way Video Blog/Vlog  andrewl7642 03/10/2016  3
Pit stops on the West Highland Way  hamerr 09/08/2016  3
A french on West Highland Way.. 6 days ...  Patluanda 15/05/2016  3
Pedalling the West Highland Way  Beam 02/09/2013  3
West Highland Way April 2014/September 2015  PaulGreenwood 10/09/2015  3
West Highland Way July 2012  stuart mclovin 12/04/2013  3
The West Highland Way  Early Riser 20/05/2010  3
West Highland Way 2010  jyp18a 26/09/2010  3
West Highland Way July 2019 Solo Female  smdunn 31/07/2019  2
West Highland Way Failed Attempt  jdsummerton1991 03/04/2017  2
WHW in 6 days in Summery September  DjimMunro 30/08/2015  2
Milngavie & Bankell Farm campsite – beware low flying planes  hamerr 08/03/2016  2
West Highland Way May 28 - June 2 2015  peterlec 28/05/2015  2
WHW 3 DAYS BOOM + Glasgow central to Milngavie  Wok de dog 30/08/2014  2
West Highland Way - Avery wet May 2012  Geoffwilz 01/09/2012  2
WHW part 1 - By yon bonnie banks (2013)  nigheandonn 15/06/2013  1
West highland way in 7 days 2020  Paulmccaffrey 25/07/2020  1
Shall we just do it?  calumandrew 18/07/2016  1
West Highland Way in a leisurely 9 days  LaurenAlexandraAgain 29/08/2017  1
How long did the WHW take me?  hanjam 30/08/2018  1
Cherry picking the West Highland Way  SnoopyG 25/07/2017  1
The west highland way in 7 days  Mcgookin1 25/04/2017  1
Beautiful & interesting walk but presence A82 road is a pity  ecrollen 09/03/2017  1
Going off-piste on the West Highland Way  hamerr 09/03/2016  1
West Highland Way in 7 days  andrewl7642 18/05/2013  1
Finishing the WHW three years later  StevenF 17/04/2011  1
West Highland Way  MichaelJennings 26/05/2013  1
West Highland Way in 5 days  AWeeBitDifferent 24/06/2013  1
West highland way  Leemackay1 18/06/2013  1
Milngavie to Inverness via the Ben  MattyAnderson 16/10/2012  1
west highland way  bazer100 11/06/2010  1
West Highland Way  RuthieT 16/02/2009  1
WHW 28 April to 3 May 2011  AndyMarr63 28/04/2011  1
Walked the WHW on April 30th - 6th May 2011  skidmerc 06/05/2011  1
WHW - 6 days camping  dmirzai 07/05/2021  0
WHW Wild Camping Spots  fhaggis 29/03/2017  0
West Highland Way Winter Hiking record 2 Days  completist6503 18/11/2019  0
WHW part 3 - Come to the mountains and climb (2013)  nigheandonn 20/06/2013  0
WHW part 2 - The glens where your great rivers run (2013)  nigheandonn 18/06/2013  0
WHW March 2018  Guinessman 23/03/2018  0
West Highland Way  Handsaeme 20/10/2014  0
WHW for mums  vonbon 12/05/2013  0
Lost Camera and a Great Walk  Chris Webb 14/07/2013  0
2013 Summer- West Highland Way + 4 Munros en route  gmcsutube 15/07/2013  0
The wind and the helpful bus driver  critchlowsg 25/09/2012  0
Winter in 1990  markn001 29/03/1991  0
West Highland Way - Our Story  robertd19m 26/04/2010  0
Hard in the heat  dizzydebs 19/05/2012  0
Backpacking  Scottie 23/02/2012  0
West Highland Way 'Singing in the Rain'  L-Hiking 03/09/2011  0
West Highland way  Paul85 06/07/2010  0
West Highland Way  Billymaca 25/04/2009  0
Walked 14th - 20th May 2011  Fiona_74 14/05/2011  0
West Highland Way 30th April to 4th May  The Morgans 30/04/2011  0
WHW Tue 3 / 5 .... Sat 7 / 5  steven65 03/05/2011  0
West Highland Way  Benedict 03/09/2010  0
1/2 The West Highland Way  Walkscot 26/03/2010  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.