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Home » Scotland - West Highland Way
Welcome to Hooked on Walking holidays and our walking holidays on the West Highland Way in Scotland. This particular hiking vacation on the West Highland Way in Scotland is available as a self guided walking tour. As one of the largest holiday companies offering hiking tours along the trail we can negotiate the best deals with hotels and can pass on these discounts to you.
The West Highland Way was Scotland’s first official long distance route. Originally conceived in the 1960s, it was completed in October 1980. The way links Milngavie to Fort William, a distance of 152km (95 miles), from the outskirts of Scotland’s largest city to the foot of its highest mountain, following the shores of its largest freshwater loch, Loch Lomond. Much of the Way follows ancient and historic routes of communication, and makes use of Drove Roads, Military Roads and Disused Railway Tracks The trail passes from the lowlands, across the Highland Boundary Fault and on into the Scottish Highlands, basically from city to wilderness.
The West Highland Way passes through a wide range of different terrain, ranging from lowland moors, through dense woodland and rolling hills, to high mountainous regions. This variety of environments provides habitats for a diverse range of wildlife species, both flora and fauna. Some species are more common than others and some are rarely seen. If you are lucky enough to spot one of the rarer varieties, consider yourself privileged. We have available an 8 night tour or if you do not have 8 nights available to complete the whole route why not select our 4 night south route (Milngavie to Crianlarich/Tyndrum ) or our 5 night north route (Crianlarich/Tyndrum to Fort William).
Arrive in Milngavie train station early morning and start your hike. A relatively simple start to the Way on footpaths, tracks, lanes and an old railway with no major climbs. The route runs through the ancient earldom of Lennox between the Campsie fells and Blane water through beautiful rural scenery to Drymen, a small market town. On the way you will pass Glengoyne Distillery.
Today you will follow good paths or tracks most of the way. As you leave Drymen the first major climb is over Conic Hill near Balmaha which separates the highlands and lowlands of Scotland. At the top you will have wonderful views of Loch Lomond – Britain’s largest fresh water lake at 27sq. miles. The loch side route to Rowardennan is twisty and undulating but with stunning views across Loch Lomond.
This is by far the roughest section of the Way, particularly north of Inversnaid where the path makes a tortuous route along the side of Loch Lomond with many ups and downs. A full, hard days walk but the scenery is superb. First you will walk on forestry trails towards Arrochar Alps but then the path narrows. At Inversnaid you will pass over a fantastic bridge and waterfall. After Inversnaid when the going gets tough you will pass through the RSPB centre and Rob Roy’s Cave.
The path and tracks are mainly well-surfaced, much of the way consists of an old military road. Moderate ascents and descents but it is a nice relaxing walk after the previous days walk. The way actually bypasses Crianlarich so you will have a short detour.
Good paths and tracks with some moderate ascent and descent, but nothing unduly difficult and nowhere far from services. A straightforward day of glen and low pass walking amid outstanding mountain scenery.
The surfaces are mainly good underfoot but you are highly exposed; in bad weather Rannoch Moor has to be taken seriously. The scenery is spectacular. The climb is moderate before Inveroran, then there’s a higher level path before descending into the eastern end of Glen Coe. You will skirt around Loch Tulla on the way and join a military road across the moor. This can be very contrasting , in bad weather it can be tough going but in good weather extremely scenic and inspiring. Taxi transfer late afternoon to Kinlochleven for overnight.
A 9am taxi transfer back to Kingshouse. The surfaces are mainly good but you are very highly exposed at its highest point, 500m, before a long descent down to Kinlochleven, although short its still a hard stage in bad weather. You will follow an old military road to Altnafeadh, which gives great views of the famous ‘weeping glen’ and site of the Glencoe Massacre in 1692. Then you zigzag up the Devil’s Staircase to the highpoint of the Way at 548m, which gives stunning views towards Ben Nevis, given clear weather. From here you wind our way down into the pretty little town of Kinlochleven.
Very good paths at this last stage, there is a steep climb out of Kinlochleven, then there are no more serious gradients, the path through Nevis Forest is a bit rough then on to some tarmac descending down into Fort William. Ben Nevis is Britain’s highest peak and you will see the footpath to the summit as you branch left down to Fort William.
You departure after breakfast.
Difficulty: A level 3 tour with walks up to 7 hours and climbs up to 540m.
Accommodation: 3/4 star hotels & guest houses. Please note we first try and book 4 star accommodation, if these are full we then book high 3 star. Our standard accommodation is Bramblewood, Rowardennan Hotel, Lodge rooms at the Drovers Inn, Glenardran Guest House, Bridge of Orchy Hotel or Inveronan Hotel, Tailrace Inn and Guisachan House. Sometimes due to availability transfers may be provided particularly the first two nights.
Please note not like other operators we do not just provide a map and a guide book from a bookshop, we have walked this trail and provide detailed photographic instructions which are easy to follow.
What is Included
Single Person 8 night
Per Person based on sharing Twin/Double room
Extra Night in Glasgow, per person
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By plane to Glasgow International airport or Prestwick airport. For Prestwick a train to Glasgow takes around 1 hour from International airport to the city centre 15 minutes by bus or Taxi.
To reach Milngavie an outlying of suburbs of Glasgow and there are several ways of making the short journey.
Trains run from Queen Street Station (Central Station on Sundays) every half hour and take approximately 20 minutes.
The Number 109 bus runs regularly from Renfrew Street, but takes slightly longer.
A taxi from Glasgow is often the most convenient option and shouldn’t cost more than £15 for the twenty minute journey.
Car parking is available at the station in Milngavie or alternatively the Premier Inn offer parking if you stay with them.
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Cycling Holidays in Scotland
Monday to Friday- 9am to 5pm
Saturday - Closed
Sunday - Closed
(Above times are UK Times - GMT)