Walking Scotland's West Highland Way on a Self Guided Tour

Bridge of Orchy, West Highland Way Scotland
Bridge of Orchy, West Highland Way Scotland

Walking Scotland's West Highland Way

UTracks Traveller Ken Hiked the West Highland Way in Scotland on a Self Guided Tour

 
If you're considering walking the West Highland Way in Scotland you should read UTracks Traveller Ken Harris' firsthand insights. Ken hiked the famous West Highland Way in July 2019 and had an incredible time learning of the region's history and marvelling at the beautiful Scottish landscapes.
 
Discover Ken's experiences of the West Highland Way and plan your own walking tour in Scotland with UTracks.
 
Above Inveroran, West Highland Way
 
 

How would you describe walking the West Highland Way in Scotland?


For the most part, it is quite a gentle walk, although the section between Rowandennen to Ardual along Loch Lomond can be challenging with a lot of rock hopping in some areas. If you have done other “trails” it is quite OK, but if you are new to walking it can be slightly challenging. 
 
Most of the trail is well marked and quite popular. There always seems to be people to follow along the West Highland Way most days. The maps and book provided by UTracks are invaluable to get to know the way, and I don't think you'll get lost.
 
Ascending Conic Hill, Scotland
 

How did you prepare for the trip?


Besides walking the GHT the year before (the Great Himalayan Trail, a 150 day trek of the full length of Nepal - yes, Ken knows what he's talking about when it comes to walking!), preparation was walking 5 days a week (8 to 10 km) to get into the routine of multi-day walking.
 
Cottage at Blackrock Cottage, Scotland
 

What was the landscape you walked through on the West Highland Way like?


The walk is from Glasgow (if you want to start at its very start) to Fort William, and it follows Loch Lomond passing through the Glens. It is very scenic and “hilly” as well. 
 
When you get up on the moors, you fall in love with the place. 
 
The section between Bridge of Orchy and Kingshouse was my favourite landscape – just spectacular scenery across the glens and lochs.
 
Forest track near Rowardennan, Scotland
 

What was the overall West Highland Way trip highlight?


The section between Bridge of Orchy to Kingshouse, but also the great food along the way. Scottish food is not the food of 25 years ago – it is fantastic and many a night I sat down with the chef in a hotel or restaurant to work out my dietary needs and I was always pleasantly surprised.
 
The trail at Blackfoot, West Highland Way Scotland
 

What was your favourite food on the West Highland Way?


Scottish smoked salmon – the real deal and with scrambled eggs in the morning, the perfect start for the day.
 
Feral Goat at Inversnaid, Scotland
 

Did you have a favourite accommodation on the West Highland Way?


The B&B at Tyndrun and the Hotel at Kinlochieven were snug places, but my B&B in Fort William was the best by a country mile. Friendly service with a great breakfast and room.
 
Clachan Inn, Drymen
 

What surprised you the most on the West Highland Way?


The change to food in Scotland. Forget all your preconceptions about Scottish cuisine - it needs to be tried in the modern era!
 
Haggis and brie |  <i>John Millen</i>
 

What aspect of the West Highland Way tour did you find the most challenging?


I found no great challenge to the walk – take it steady and enjoy it. 
 
Ardlui, West Highland Way Scotland walking
 

Any advice for other travellers thinking about walking the West Highland Way?


Start in Glasgow (drop your gear and catch the train back to Glasgow and walk out). It sounds more impressive to say you walked from Glasgow to Fort William. 

Spend an extra day or two in Fort William and do Ben Nevis (the highest mountain in the UK). Don’t worry about it – about 1000 people a day climb it in the summertime. So if you finish the walk, you are more than capable of summiting Ben Nevis.
 
Ben Nevis  from Loch Linnie,
 
Do you want to walk the West Highland Way? Take a look at UTracks' 8 day self guided walking tour - click here. Or explore at a more relaxed pace with the 10 day West Highland Way Rambler walking tour - click here.
 
There's more walking and hiking tours in Scotland, browse all tours here.
 
Have you been to Scotland? What do you think about Ken's thoughts on Scottish cuisine? Answer in the comment section below!
 
 
Scotland, West Highland Way, United Kingdom, Hiking, Walking

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