TRANSCOTLAND Self-guided Walking Holidays

West Highland Way 2014

hiking the West Highland WayThe West Highland Way is the original and most popular long distance path in Scotland. The 95 mile (154 km) trail starts just north of Glasgow, and takes you through some of the most dramatic landscapes in the western Highlands. A variety of forestry trails and historic drove roads take you north, passing by Loch Lomond, Ben Dorain, Rannoch Moor and Glencoe. The West Highland Way ends in Fort William, in the shadow of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Scotland. This is a strenuous trek and should only be attempted by walkers with a good level of fitness and stamina. We are now offering 4 versions, which are summarised below.

Route Start Finish No. of
Nights
Description Longest
day
Price p.p.
WHW A Milngavie Fort William 9 Whole route 14 miles 22km 575
WHW B Milngavie Fort William 8 Whole route, one long day 18 miles 30km 525
WHW C Milngavie Fort William 7 Whole route but 2 long days 21 miles 22km 465
WHW D Drymen Fort William 7 Without 1st day of A, one long day 18 miles 30km 495

Version A. (9 nights). This version follows the complete route of the West Highland Way, starting in Milngavie, 7 miles north of Glasgow.

Day 1. therefore means a night in Milngavie, on the outskirts of Glasgow. The city centre is only a 20 minute train journey away for those who wish to explore the many attractions of Glasgow.

Strathblane, on the first dayDay 2. The first day's walk is through Strathblane, the lowland valley between the Kilpatrick Hills and the Campsie Fells. Here you have an opportunity to visit a malt whisky distillery, and as you approach Drymen, the Highland hills to the north come into view. (12 miles, 20km).

a quiet bay on the shore of Loch LomondDay 3. Soon after Drymen, you begin the climb towards Conic Hill which gives panoramic views over Loch Lomond and the surrounding hills. After descending to Balmaha, the path follows the east bank of Loch Lomond and continues towards Rowardennan. (14 miles, 22km).

an interesting innDay 4. The West Highland Way continues along the 'bonnie banks' of Loch Lomond. A mile after the falls of Inversnaid, you pass the cave, a hiding place used by Rob Roy. The walk ends at the small village of Inverarnan (14 miles, 22km).

Glenfalloch pinesDay 5. Today the path makes its way up Glen Falloch, between the craggy mountain tops around Crianlarich before descending into Strath Fillan and the village of Tyndrum. (13 miles, 21km).

Ben Dorain from near TyndrumDay 6. A shorter walk (9 miles, 15km) today allows time for some relaxation - unless you are tempted by some of the surrounding mountains. Overnight in Inveroran, which is 3 miles north of Bridge of Orchy.

the Blackmount hillsDay 7. Start the day by walking through part of Scotland's ancient Caledonian Forest. Then following a good track you skirt the western edge of Rannoch Moor, a wilderness area, before reaching one of the oldest inns in Scotland at King's House. (9 miles, 15km).

Buachaille Etive Mor, GlencoeDay 8. Today's walk climbs over the Devil's Staircase, the highest point of the Way at 550m. This is not as daunting as it sounds, as you start the walk at 250m, and the path follows General Wade's Military road which zig-zags up the steepest section. From the summit the path gradually descends to sea level at Kinlochleven. (9 miles, 15km).

Ben Nevis beyond Fort WilliamDay 9. The last stretch of the West Highland Way takes you over the Lairigmor. Soon you cross into Glen Nevis which you follow down to Fort William the 'capital' of the Western Highlands, for your last night of the walk. (14 miles, 23km). Many people choose to have an extra night in Fort William so they can climb Ben Nevis after walking the West Highland Way.


map showing route of West Highland Way Version B. (8 nights).
This version also follows the complete route of the West Highland Way, however there is one long day of 18 miles (there is no overnight stay between Tyndrum and Kingshouse).

Version C. (7 nights).
This itinerary is only recommended for experienced long distance walkers who are happy to have long distances on consecutive days - overnight stops in Drymen (12 miles), Rowardennan (13 miles), Crianlarich (21 miles), Inveroran (15 miles), Kinlochleven (15 miles) and Fort William (14 miles). So there are two long days.

Version D. (7 nights).
This is the same as Version B, (one long day) except you miss out the first day and start at Drymen - there is a fairly regular bus service from Glasgow.


NOTES:
Please book early to avoid disappointment, the West Highland Way gets very busy and accommodation is limited in some villages - the sooner you book the better, especially if you wish to hike the route in Easter, weekends in May and early June, or during the high season in July-August, and early September.

Prices are based on 2 people sharing a double or twin room in carefully selected B&B's / guest houses along the route. We book ensuite (rooms with a private bathroom / shower) rooms where possible, which is usually on most of the nights if booked well in advance. On the 9 night itinerary, typically 6 or 7 of the nights are in B&B/Guest Houses, and 2 or 3 in hotels. If you prefer to stay in hotels on all or more of the nights, please contact us for prices.

Route guidance: The price includes a copy of the best large scale map of the whole route, and a good guidebook, which gives detailed descriptions of each section of the walk and the historical context. We also provide other useful information about walking in Scotland and travel options after your walk.

Extra days can be arranged in most places, but please request these at the time of the initial booking. Many people have an extra day in Fort William so they have the chance to climb Ben Nevis (Britain's highest mountain - 1342 metres starting at sea level), but it is also a good idea to have an extra day half-way along the route, for example in Tyndrum, either to rest tired feet, or to take a day trip on the train to Oban on the west coast.

Shorter itineraries: If you are very fit we can arrange the whole walk in 6 days (7 nights with accommodation in Milngavie the night before you start and on arrival in Fort William). Contact us for more information.

Baggage transfer: We arrange for your luggage to be collected from and taken to each B&B /guest house / hotel you stay in. This can be arranged from April to September inclusive. Due to space constraints, note that only one piece of luggage per person can be transferred - we can advise if you need to store luggage you won't need till after your walking holiday.

Travel information:

Start: Bus & train services from Glasgow to Milngavie (pronounced 'Mullguy') & Drymen (pronounced 'Drim-in'). Transfers from Glasgow Airport can also be arranged: 50 to Milngavie; and 70 to Drymen for up to 4 people. Contact us for prices for larger groups.

Finish: From Fort William, the scenic West Highland Line can either take you south to Glasgow or north to Mallaig for the North West & Islands, (single fare back to Glasgow costs about 28). Also bus service to Inverness, Skye or back to Glasgow / Edinburgh (single back to Glasgow costs about 20).

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