The West Highland Way starts at Milngavie (just outside Glasgow) and finishes 96 miles north at Fort William. We walked the West Highland Way in May 2015 in glorious sunshine. For once, we decided to use a luggage transfer service, which turned out to be a good move.
Here are our walking notes, which might be useful if you’re thinking of walking the route (hint – do it!). Read this post for photos of the walk.
Day 1 Milngavie to Dryman 12 miles
Easy walking for the start of the walk away from the suburbs and into the lowland hills. Last bit of walk was along roads. Overnight at The Buchanan Arms Hotel – good hotel with swimming pool to relax those aching muscles.
Day 2 Dryman to Rowardennan 14 miles
Superb view over Loch Lomond from Conic Hill, small coffee shop and Visitor Centre at Balmaha. Overnight at Rowardennan Hotel – little choice with accommodation.
Day 3 Rowardennan to Invernan 14 miles
Good views of Loch Lomond as we followed the forestry path. North of Inversnaid the path was more rocky involving a little scrabbling but a glorious walk – one of my favourite sections. Overnight at Beinglas Farm – choice of accommodation styles with bar and evening meals on site.
Day 4 Invernan to Bridge of Orchy 19 miles
Walking through glens, some forest and along an old military road. Tyndrum a good stop for buying food supplies but little else. Route to Bridge of Orchy fast, easy walking but runs close to road and railway. Overnight at Ewich House which involved taxi ride. Excellent B&B.
Day 5 Bridge of Orchy to Kingshouse 12 miles
Across Rannoch Moor. Short day’s walk so we detoured to Glencoe Ski Centre and took the chairlift for a great view. Overnight at Kingshouse Hotel – bit of a time warp but OK.
Day 6 Kingshouse to Kinlochleven 9 miles
A sharp ascent up the Devil’s Staircase wasn’t as arduous as I’d feared. A long descent into Kinlochleven. Arrived in Kinlochleven at lunch time on a Wednesday, which was a bit of a mistake as there was nothing much to do in the town. Overnight at Alt-na-Leven Guest House, which was excellent.
Day 7 Kinglochleven to Fort William 16 miles
The path leaves Kinglochleven through woodland and then through the beautiful, wide glen and then through forestry plantations. Worth a climb to Dun Deardail, an Iron Age fort. The walk into Fort William is a bit of a drudge as it’s alongside a busy main road, but the marker for the end of the walk is next to Wetherspoons, so at least you can buy a drink to celebrate.