Duration
10 days
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 4 nights in B&Bs
  • 5 nights in hotels
Meals
  • 9 Breakfasts

Price

$1560USD

 
 

Overview

Trip Code: WH1

West Highland Way Trip highlights


  • A Walk to the Foot of Ben Nevis
  • Follow the shores of Loch Lomond, Britain’s largest lake
  • Rannoch Moor and Scotland’s oldest licensed inn
  • Walking through Glencoe and Glen Nevis
  • Perfect entry-level long distance hike

This tour follows the 96-mile West Highland Way national long-distance trail through the south-western part of the Scottish Highlands. It is claimed by some to be the most popular long distance trail in the British Isles and is known as Scotland's best loved long distance route. It is the perfect entry-level long distance hike.

This itinerary begins at the official start of the West Highland Way at the obelisk in Milngavie just outside Glasgow. Your walk will include Loch Lomond, valley routes through the mountains round Crianlarich and open heather moorland across the Rannoch Moor wilderness area. You will pass close to sombre Glencoe, famed for its massacre of the MacDonald Clan, and finishes at Fort William near the foot of Ben Nevis. This is Britain's highest peak, which can be readily ascended if you're an experienced walker and aks our team to arrange an extra night in Fort William.

On this itinerary, the long stretch between Ardlui and Inveroran is split over two days. You can also opt for our 8-day itinerary that covers the walk in just one day with the option to shorten the route with an included taxi transfer.

The West Highland Way is a well-established and popular hiking route in Scotland, containing some landscapes of great beauty. The altitude range is from sea level to 1850 ft (4408 ft if Ben Nevis is climbed).

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

Travel to Milngavie, the official start of the West Highland Way. It's a short train journey from Glasgow, approx 20 mins. Accommodation: We use the chain hotel The Premier Inn.

Meals:  Nil

The official start of the West Highland Way walk is at the obelisk in Milngavie. You follow some good paths through beautiful scenery. Glengoyne Distillery, along the route, is worth a visit. Accommodation: Kip in the Kirk (a converted 1819 church hall) is our overnight stop, where the host will make you more than welcome and has become a favourite with our hikers.

Meals:  B

Experience the gentle scenery on the bonny banks of Loch Lomond on today's hike. Passing highland cattle in the fields, the route winds up through forest and across the moors up to Conic Hill. From the summit, enjoy great views over the loch and across the islands there. This marks the boundary of the Highland fault and officially the start of the Highlands proper. The way drops down to Balmaha by the water and then winds its way towards Rowardennan along the lochshore with tree-framed views. Rowardennan marks the road head and a convenient place to stay at our pleasant hotel. An extra day here would be advised if you wanted to make an ascent of Ben Lomond. Accommodation: We stay overnight at Rowardennan Hotel with bar. The inn is practically on the shore of Loch Lomond and beautiful scenery surrounds it including the mass of Ben Lomond. All rooms have ensuite facilities. The restaurant provides carefully selected, seasonal dishes ensuring that you receive a true taste of Scotland.

Meals:  B

Today you walk in the shadow of Ben Lomond for much of the time, following the Loch edge path. There are no big ascents to make, but a few short steep ups and downs. You can pass by Rob Roy’s prison and cave, where he is said to have held up in times of difficulty and held prisoners at his pleasure. You could perhaps have a drink at the hotel at Inversnaid before walking on to Ardleish. Here you can raise a buoy on a pole to attract the attention of the ferryman who will collect you and transfer you to our hotel on the western side of the loch (approx £5 per person, not included). If you fancy the longer option, or if the weather is too rough, you need to continue walking to Beinglas farm or the Inverarnan Drover’s inn to call for a taxi to transfer you to the hotel in Ardlui (not included). Accommodation: Tonight we stay at The Ardlui Hotel with comfortable rooms on the western side of Loch Lomond. Rooms have TV and tea tray etc. and there are two restaurants, a lounge and public bars.

Meals:  B

An optional transfer (included) to take you to Crianlarich saving about 8 miles, otherwise return across Loch Lomond by ferry. From here, recommence your walk passing through Glen Falloch and its waterfalls with views towards Benn Mor. A short steep ascent takes you over the shoulder of a hill into the pretty valley of Glen Fillan. Crossing the River Fillan, you can visit the remains of a priory known to Robert The Bruce. He was defeated locally in a skirmish with the English in the broken glacial terrain around Dalrigh, which we next pass on the way to Tyndrum. This is a busy little village which developed from the 1740s from lead mining and now has exploitable Gold and silver reserves nearby. There is the famous 'Green Wellie' shop here for all things Scottish. Accommodation: Tonight we will use a number of guesthouses in the small but bustling village of Tyndrum.

Meals:  B

A fairly short but picturesque day walking the West Highland Way. The route continues up past the domed hulks of Ben Odhar, Ben Lui and Ben Dorain to the Bridge of Orchy. Pass the farm of Auch, often with cotton grass streaming in the wind. You may be staying at Bridge of Orchy, otherwise it is time for a quick dram before continuing on to Loch Tulla (Inveroran). This is a beautifully situated lake surrounded by Scots pines - a remnant of the ancient Caledonian forest which covered much of Scotland. In good weather, you can walk steeply over Mam Carraigh for beautiful views. Otherwise take the quiet lochside road. You will be opposite the Black Mount estate of the Flemming family, famous for Ian and Peter. In fact, the James Bond story 'Skyfall' is probably based on this humble pile. Plenty of deer and birdlife are normally evident. There is limited accommodation here, which is the reason for staying in either village. Accommodation: Stay at either the Inveroran Hotel which is 16.5 miles from Crianlarich, or at the upgraded accommodation - The Bridge of Orchy Hotel, approx 14 miles from Crianlarich. Both hotels are set in beautiful surroundings.

Meals:  B

Continue to loch Tulla if necessary. You then head up on the old military road across the wilds and the heather clad wastes of Rannoch Moor. Hike past Ba Bridge, claimed to be the remotest part of the West Highland Way. The scenery becomes ever more expansive with views into great corries once filled with glaciers. Often you can see deer and there is great interplay between land, lake, mountain and sky. The military road winds down to the old drovers' inn near the Gateway to Glencoe. This is in the shadow of perhaps the most impressive looking mountain of the tour: Buachaille Etive Mor (the Shepherd of Etive Mor). Accommodation: We normally overnight at the Kingshouse Hotel (private rooms, not the bunkhouse). Important note: Kingshouse Hotel (day 7) only accepts 2 night stays if your booking falls on a Friday/Saturday. The alternative is to stay at the Glencoe Mountain resort on a room-only accommodation in the form of Microlodges (1x double bed and 2x single beds). There are shower and toilet blocks and a café open from 9am to 8.30pm (hot food until 7.30pm). You need to provide your own sleeping bag, liner, towel - or hire from the accommodation.

Meals:  B

From the Kingshouse Hotel the way passes beside Buchaille Etive Mor and then proceeds up the Devil's staircase to 1850 ft. It as bad as it seems and a well graded section of the West Highland Way. You can try to imagine the army bringing artillery pieces up here. This offers spectacular views back from whence you came. Then it is a long descent to sea level at the head of Loch Leven with views of the Blackwater damn, Loch Leven and The Pap of Glencoe. Kinlochleven was a place for hydroelectric power smelting bauxite for aluminium. Today, one of the old smelters is turned into a climbing centre offering ice climbing. More sedentary activity can be had by walking to the Grey Mares Tail waterfall on the edge of town. Accommodation: In Kinlochleven, The Highland Getaway has become popular with our walkers and a warm welcome awaits.

Meals:  B

A steep climb up under the steep slopes of the Mamore hills at the beginning of the day follows old Victorian hunting tracks. Then you are back on the old military road and over the Lairigmor Pass. Hike through dense coniferous forest to Glen Nevis past the foot of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest peak (4408ft). The West Highland Way continues into Fort William on the side of Loch Linnhe, where it ends right in the centre and close to handy pubs for a deserved celebration. Fort William is a Mecca for climbers, mountain bikers and train enthusiasts. The town was built as a garrison against the Jacobite threat. A few remains of the fort are to be seen by the lochside. Accommodation: We use many different B&Bs and guesthouses in Fort William as it is a busy town.

Meals:  B

Your West Highland Way holiday ends after breakfast, but why not ask our team to arrange an extra night to climb Ben Nevis and take the evening sleeper train out of Fort William?

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 9 breakfasts
  • 4 nights B&B and 5 nights hotel accommodation on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities where available.
  • Important note: Kingshouse Hotel (day 7) only accepts 2 night stays if your booking falls on a Saturday. The alternative is to stay at the Glencoe Mountain resort on a room-only accommodation in the form of Microlodges (1 x double bed and 2 x single beds). There are shower and toilet blocks and a café open from 9am to 8.30pm (hot food until 7.30pm). The resort can offer rental of a sleeping bag plus liner for £5pp, however there is no pre-booking service and they are hired on arrival.
  • One piece of luggage per person transferred from Inn to Inn, not exceeding 20kg
  • Transfer from Ardlui/Inveroran to Crianlarich (if required) at start of Day 5
  • Information pack including route notes & maps
  • Emergency hotline
  • GPX files

  • Lunch, Dinner and drinks
  • Entrance fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Travel to the start and from the end point of the trip
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Unscheduled transfers required during the trip

Grading

moderate  

The walk is graded as moderate. The terrain is hilly with some steep slopes, boggy areas and narrow trails in places with tree roots. There are also gravel type roads and there is some tarmac walking.


Departure dates

Daily from 23 Mar to 12 Oct

Notes

DN1
8 day version available
DN2
Not available in early August due to the UCI World Cycling Championships.

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$1560USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementUSD$740
*Prices listed are per person

West Highland Way Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

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With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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