The West Highland Way is the original and most popular long distance walk 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 hike 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.
|WHW A||Milngavie||Fort William||9||Whole route||14 miles 22km||£695|
|WHW B||Milngavie||Fort William||8||Whole route, one long day||18 miles 30km||£635|
|WHW C||Milngavie||Fort William||7||Whole route but 2 long days||21 miles 35km||£585|
|WHW D||Drymen||Fort William||7||Without 1st day of A, one long day||18 miles 30km||£595|
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.
Day 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).
Day 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).
Day 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).
Day 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).
Day 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.
Day 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 KingsHouse (9 miles, 15km).
Day 8. From Kingshouse, The West Highland Way continues north along General Wade's Military Road over the Devil's Staircase. From the summit the path gradually descends to sea level at Kinlochleven. (9 miles, 15km). The highest point of this walk is 550 metres above sea-level, but as you start at about 250m above sea-level, and the track zig-zags over the hill the ascent is not as bad as the name suggests.
Day 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.
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 - after your first night in Milngavie, you have overnight stops in Drymen (12 miles), Rowardennan (13 miles), Crianlarich (21 miles), Inveroran (15 miles), Kinlochleven (18 miles) and Fort William (15 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.
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, May and early June, (best to book the previous year) or during the high season in July-August, and early and mid September. Avoiding weekend starts is a good idea if possible. There are dates in April, May and June which are already booked up for 2019 so book as soon as possible.
Prices and Accommodation. Prices are based on 2 people sharing a double or twin room in carefully selected B&B's / guest houses along the route (and hotels on 2 or 3 of the nights). 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. Note that Kingshouse Hotel will re-open early in 2019 after being closed in 2017 and 2018 for major refurbishment and expansion. The new bunkhouse in Kingshouse (which was opened in 2016) will also re-open in 2019, after closure in 2018. If the hotel is full it may still be possible to book you alternative accommodation in Glencoe Village which is 12 miles to the west, and if so we will pre-book and pre-pay the necessary taxi transfers.
Availabilty The West Highland Way can be difficult due to limited accommodation in a number of the overnight stops, so if you are planning on this hike please book well in advance to avoid disappointment (and ideally at least 6 months in advance if you want to come in May or early June). It is also best to avoid weekend starts if possible. Unfortunately it is now too late to book for all dates in late April, May, June and many dates in July, August and early September 2019.
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).
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). If you only have 5 or 6 days we can also arrange bespoke itineraries where you start in Ardlui (which gives a ferry crossing of Loch Lomond before you start the hike) or Crianlarich or Tyndrum. 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 early April to early October. 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.
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 £35). Also bus service to Inverness, Skye or back to Glasgow / Edinburgh (single back to Glasgow costs about £25).