The West Highland Way.

Founded in 1980 the West Highland Way has become Scotland’s, if not the British Isles most popular long distance foot path. Why not take a stroll with us, north from Milngavie on the outskirts of Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow, across the highland boundary fault to follow the shore of Scotland's largest loch, bonny Loch Lomond, the way crosses the countries largest moor, lonely beautiful, foreboding Rannoch, ending at Fort William in the shadow of Ben Nevis. Ninety six miles of stunning scenery, loch, mountain and ancient woodland, tumbling burns and raging rivers. The way makes good use of historic tracks, old railway lines, ancient drove roads and military roads built by Wade and Caulfield. You're not likely to get lost the way's very well sign-posted, with plenty of pubs to top up the fluids en route.

We read the books, watched the veracious DVD's, we thought we were ready, we were wrong, on more than one occasion quitting was a distinct possibility, stumbling into the hotel reception or camp site thoroughly fatigued at the end of an eight hour day didn’t seem much like fun, sore feet and aching limbs, you get the gist. Then the sun would shine painting Scotland's wonderful landscape with the golden light of a new day, the boots were quickly laced up and we were off, the pain of the previous day already a distant memory. We prepared for the climbs, overnight accommodation arranged so they were tackled early while energy levels were high, it was the unmentioned that caught us out. The steep ascents and descents on the walk into Rowardennan on the banks of Loch Lomand were sole destroying, the second day on the loch shore, after Inversnaid, a real technical few miles of footpath, then the pine forest above Crianlarich, a self imposed lack of food left us drained of energy, a mistake we wouldn't make again.

After all the complaining your going to ask if I'd do it again, well the plusses outweigh the minuses ten fold, the knees, feet and legs are sore as I write this but I'm already scanning the pages of the web. The West Highland Way?, maybe in a few years time with a little more experience of long distance walking under my boot soles, I'd most certainly take longer maybe eight or even nine days, I can't speak for Sue, she's not a regular walker but had, and gave me the will power to carry on. So lace up your boots, throw your bag on your back, come for a seven day walk through some of the most beautiful scenery in the British Isles.

Day 1......Milngavie to Drymen......11.0 miles of easy walking utilizing good paths, an old metalled road and disused railway line, ending with a stretch of tarmac walking.

Day 2......Drymen to Rowardennan......15.3 miles of field paths, forest tracks and loch shore rambling, wonderful views from Conic Hill the days highlight.

Day 3......Rowardennan to Ardleish......12.6 miles along loch side tracks and paths, rather technical after Inversnaid, ending with a boat trip to Ardlui.

Day 4......Ardleish to Tyndrum......14.1 miles of stunning walking through Glen Falloch and Strath Fillan, good paths, military roads and forest tracks.

Day 5......Tyndrum to Kings House.....20.0 miles on military roads and Telford's parliamentary highway over a moody Rannoch Moor, hard on the feet!

Day 6.....Kings House to Kinlochleven .....8.9 miles of mouth-watering scenery, a military road under foot, the best day by far.

Day 7......Kinlochleven to Fort William......15.1 miles through the Lairig, another stunner, a military road under foot, ending with a demoralizing walk through Fort William to the new finish.


Bramblewood, Drymen...... excellent, just a little way off route but well worth the extra mile.

Rowardenan Hotel...... super place catering for walkers, comfy room and good food served in the bar till late.

Ardlui Walkers Bothys...... a bit basic not my cup of tea, helped keep the cost down.

Pine Trees Leisure Park, Tyndrum...... up market camping pod, loved it.

Kings House Hotel...... typical walkers/climbers hotel full of like minded people, in a wonderful location above Glencoe, make a note, "must return".

Blackwater Hostel & Campsite, Kinlochleven...... we liked the camping pod but if you prefer privacy in the showers bathe in the river.

Distillery Guest House, Fort William...... the lap of luxury at a reasonable price, another must return.


Travel-Lite...... faithfully carried our luggage from hotel to guest house and on to camp sites, a good move let the van take the strain allowing us to enjoy the walk.