The West Highland Way is a classic long-distance trek, and with Wilderness Scotland, you'll cover the 95 miles (152km) from Milngavie to Fort William in the Highlands over 7 days of walking in the company of expert outdoor guides.
The magic of walking in Scotland can be distilled into this walk. The route travels along the ‘bonnie banks’ of Loch Lomond, across the atmospheric Rannoch Moor, past dramatic Glencoe and over the high pass of the Devil’s Staircase before finishing in Fort William, at the foot of Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Each evening you’ll arrive at our hand-picked accommodation where your luggage will be waiting for you, allowing you to travel light.
With the knowledge and experience of an expert guide, learn about the area's history and legends, as well as the flora and fauna along the route. The maximum group size for this hike is 16. If there are more than 10 then there will be two guides.
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 – The Journey Begins: West Highland Way Start
Today you’ll meet your guide at Glasgow Queen Street Station at 8:30am. We’ll take a short train journey to Milngavie, where we’ll drop off our bags, and then we start our West Highland Way tour! Although starting close to Glasgow, you are quickly walking through open countryside. This part of the journey follows what was an important route in pre-industrial times and your guide will help you spot some standing stones from the late Stone Age. We’ll arrive at the accommodation tonight in time to settle in before enjoying a welcome dinner – and possibly a dram of the local Glengoyne whisky too. (L, D)
Walk details: 19 km/ 12 miles | approx. 6 hours | 210m/690ft ascentDay 2 – Walking to Loch Lomond
The trail leaves Drymen and passes through Garadhban Forest. Leaving the forest, we’ll take a detour to climb Conic Hill. Though just 361m high, it offers fantastic views over Loch Lomond. Reaching the eastern banks of Loch Lomond at Balmaha, we follow the shore through the forest until you reach the tranquil setting of Rowardennan, which is nestled at the foot of Ben Lomond. (B, L, D)
Walk details: 21km/ 13 miles | approx. 6 hours | 430m/1,410ft ascentDay 3 – The Wild Shoreline of Loch Lomond
Starting out with views of Ben Lomond – which translates as Beacon Hill – this is a challenging stage but the combination of differing terrain, scenery and views make it very rewarding. Rougher terrain means that the going is slower but it’s wonderful to be in such wild country. The trail improves towards the end of the day as we near our next destination, the tiny settlement of Invernarnan. (B, L, D)
Walk details: 23km/ 14 miles | approx. 7 hours | 475m/1,560ft ascentDay 4 – Into Strathfillan
We’re in the Highlands now, and our day begins with a walk through Glen Falloch before we turn northwards into Strath Fillan. The landscape gets wilder and your guide will point out some of the hardier plants that grow in this area and talk about how they were used by the clansmen and women in the past. As we approach Tyndrum, we are rewarded with wonderful views of Ben Lui rising up in the west as we reach our accommodation. Tonight is a free night, so you can choose where you would like to have dinner. (B, L)
Walk details: 22km/ 13 miles | approx. 7 hours | 475m/1,560ft ascentDay 5 – North to Glencoe
This fantastic day begins with a climb out of Tyndrum, with the trail running next to the West Highland Railway line. At the top of a pass, the sweeping flanks of Ben Dorain dominate the view. A short detour will take us to a carved stone seat said to contain the sword of Robert the Bruce. Continuing north, we reach the tiny settlement of Bridge of Orchy and then Inveroran, which makes a good lunch stop. The shapely peaks of the Black Mount now lie to the west while the wilds of Rannoch Moor stretches into the distance in front of you. Following the trail across this wild moor, we eventually reach Glencoe and our accommodation. Reward yourself with a drink from the bar, while enjoying the amazing views of Buachaille Etive Mor. (B, L, D)
Walk details: 30km/ 19 miles | approx. 9 hours | 644m/2,110ft ascentDay 6 – The Devil's Staircase
This is a shorter day but with the biggest ascent of the route. Leaving the Kingshouse, we walk into Glencoe then climb the trail known as the ‘Devil’s Staircase’. It is steep with some switchbacks but very steady-going with a constant gradient all the way. At the top of the pass at 547m, we are rewarded with wonderful views of Glencoe and Loch Leven. Your guide will able to point out the individual peaks in this sea of mountains you are looking at and perhaps tell the tale of The Massacre of Glencoe. Descending into the next valley, we follow a good trail to our next stop, the small village of Kinlochleven. (B, L, D)
Walk details: 14km/ 9 miles | approx. 5-6 hours | 430m/1,410ft ascentDay 7 – Trail's End
The day starts with a steep climb to wake us up after breakfast! We cross a pass at 274m, taking in views across to Ben Nevis – the highest mountain in Scotland. After crossing the pass, the hard work of the day is done and we walk past old sheilings (summer dwellings for shepherds) with views over Lochan Lunn Da-Bhr. Your guide may share the story of the mythical bull that makes this area home and terrorises the crofter’s cattle! The trail then descends into beautiful Glen Nevis and then into Fort William itself where we finally reach the finish of the West Highland Way hiking tour – we’ve done it! After checking into our accommodation and freshening up, we’ll celebrate with drinks and dinner. (B, L, D)
Walk details: 22km/ 13 miles | approx. 7 hours | 475m/1,560ft ascentDay 8 – Fort William and depart
This morning you are free to depart the guest house whenever you like – most people will take the scenic West Highland Railway back to Glasgow, which has several departures daily. On the way back to Glasgow you can look out for some familiar sights and reflect on a truly fantastic adventure. (B)
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Wilderness Scotland is an award-winning adventure travel and ecotourism company. We specialise in offering an inspiring range of guided, self-guided and customised adventure holidays in the most remote and beautiful regions of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
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