Introduction to the West Highland Way
The West Highland Way is the most famous and perhaps best loved long distance walking route in Scotland. It is 96 miles/154km in length and begins in Milngavie (on the edge of Glasgow) and ends in Fort William. It's an incredibly diverse trail which explores some of the best scenery Scotland has to offer. From mountains and lochs, to moorland and farmland, the West Highland Way trek really does have it all.
Highlights of the West Highland Way
- Walking along the side of Loch Lomond, the biggest loch in Scotland.
- Crossing the impressive Rannoch Moor to gain views of the Glen Coe mountains
- Walking to the summit of Conic Hill, for those that choose to.
- Finishing in the shadow of Scotland’s largest mountain, Ben Nevis.
What's Included with this Holiday
- Accommodation for 8 nights
- 7 Days walking
- A Qualified Mountain Leader
- A Full Information Pack
- Luggage transfer
- Maximum group size of 12
- Free transport back to Milngavie
- Support Vehicle available (so you can skip a section)
- Free pick up and drop off to Milngavie train station
- 15% discount at Cotswolds Outdoor, Snow and Rock, and Summiteer
What to Expect from the West Highland Way
Don’t forget to read through our itinerary for a day-by-day plan of the West Highland Way route. However, we also like to give everyone a real insight to what this trek can offer them. You may have noticed that The West Highland Way often features in lists of the best treks in the world, this is for many reasons. The wild landscapes and scenery on the West Highland Way is very diverse. You start on the high street of the town of Milngavie, walk for days along Loch Lomond and view countless mountains along the trail. But this mixture of highland and lowland scenery is only one factor in The West Highland Way’s popularity.
Scotland is a country of great history and culture, which you will experience throughout the route. You will walk past the field of the Battle of Dalrigh, where King Robert I of Scotland (Robert the Bruce) fought against the Clan MacDougall of Argyll. Get views of Blackwater Reservoir, the longest dam in the highlands. Construction of which began in 1904 and resulted in the loss of life of a number of the workers building it. You can also experience great highland hospitality, try the local whiskeys and eat excellent local produce. Experience all this and more while trekking on a mixture of paths. Many are excellent quality tracks, originally old military roads. Others are meandering lochside trails, where a bit more concentration is needed.
This is just a small selection of the reasons why people from Scotland, the rest of the UK, and all over the world choose to trek The West Highland Way. We have also written a pocket guide, to give you an even greater insight to this special route, which can be read by clicking here.
Is the West Highland Way Right For Me?
We have had a great variety of people successfully enjoy The West Highland Way. Our customers have a mix of age ranges and abilities, which is what makes this trail so special. From long distance first timers to very experienced walkers both young and old, this trail has something for everyone. While you don’t need experience you will need a positive mental attitude to help you get to the finish.
West Highland Way Gallery
- View of Loch Lomond from conic hill on the West Highland Way footpath
- View along Glen Coe from The West Highland Way Path with a dusting of snow on the mountains
- Walking towards The Bridge of Orchy on West Highland Way
- Two hikers walking along rannoch moor on a beautiful day
- Hiking along the Parliamentary Road with snow topped mountains on The West Highland Way
- Small, fast flowing burn with foliage on each side
- Acorn and Oak Tree Bench on The West Highland Way
- Bogbean on a small lochan in Rannoch Moor on The West Highland Way
- Small waterfall hidden in the forest with a carpet of bluebells by Loch Lomond on The West Highland Way
- Walking along The Old Miltary Road in Glen Coe on The West Highland Way, with Buachaille Etive Mòr in the background
- Highland Cow hiding by the river on The West Highland Way
- Walking through the forest and a carpet of bluebells on The West Highland Way
- Walking down towards Kinlochleven after the Devil's Staircase
- Small burn in the trees near Loch Lomond flowing on The West Highland Way
- Wild Goat on the West Highland Way by Loch Lomond
- View from top on Devil's Staircase on The West Highland Way
- Hikers walking on Rannoch Moor with snow capped mountains.
- The Arrochar Alps with snow covered summits, taken from Inversnaid.
- Highland Cows on The West Highland Way Path.
- View of Ben Nevis from The West Highland Way
- Path Along Larigmor
- View over Ba River from Ba Bridge in Rannoch Moor
- A single wild goat (kid) in the trees by Loch Lomond.
West Highland Way Guided Walking Itinerary
Each day you will be guided along the West Highland Way trail to your next accommodation. There is no need for you to worry about being lost, we will be with you from the moment you set off in the morning to the moment you get to your accommodation in the evening. You will only be expected to carry your day bag (what you will need to keep you warm, dry, fed and watered for the day). Your main luggage will be transported to your next accommodation for you. Everything will be arranged for you so all you need to worry about is the walking itself!
Day 1: Arrive in Milngavie
This is your chance to get to the start of the holiday by making your way to Milngavie. We will have accommodation arranged for you, so you just need to turn up and tell them your name. If you plan to get the train to Milngavie and would like a lift to your accommodation this can usually be arranged, just let us know. In the evening you will usually get a chance to meet the rest of your group as well as your guides at a local pub for a drink or two.
Accommodation in or near Milngavie
Day 2: Walking to Drymen - 12 miles
Today we will be walking to Drymen, it is 12 miles of walking, 420m of ascent therefore it will take us around 6 hours to get there. We will start by walking our way out of the urban area of Milngavie and leaving hectic civilization behind us for the coming journey. We will make our way through the tranquil Mugdock Woods before walking along the west side of Craigallan Loch, a popular spot for local fishermen. For much of the rest of the day we will gain views over the spectacular Campsie Fells before eventually reaching our destination for the evening.
Accommodation in or near Drymen
Day 3: Walking to Rowardennan - 14 miles
Today we will be walking to Rowardennan, which will take us 7 - 9 hours and is 14 miles long with 660m of height gain. Today the highlights include a possible walk up Conic Hill, from the top the islands on Loch Lomond can be seen in a straight line following a fault line. From here we will be walking through the village of Balmaha and will be spending much of the rest of the day following Loch Lomond until we reach Rowardennan. Once there one of your guides will pick you up and will take you on a short drive back to Drymen for a second night.
Accommodation in or near Drymen
Day 4: Walking to Inverarnan - 14 miles
Today will take about 7 – 9 hours to get to Inverarnan and you will have 931m of height gain throughout the day. This is a surprising tough section of The West Highland Way, which begins at the foot of the famous Ben Lomond. You will then be following an undulating forestry track. This gives views to both Loch Lomond and the nearby mountains of the Arrochar Alps, including the distinctive summit of The Cobbler. You will also pass Rob Roy’s cave, where the famous outlaw allegedly held his captives!
Accommodation in Crianlarich or Inverarnan
Day 5: Walking to Tyndrum - 12 miles
Today you will be walking to Tyndrum, it is 12 miles away with 490m of ascent throughout the day. This section should take 6 – 8 hours to complete and is on good paths and sections of the Old Military Road. Highlights of today include walking through a path in ancient woodlands and getting a glimpse of the incredible Fall of Falloch. We will follow beautiful rivers and discovering the history of the area. Passing a site of historic battles, where there is a bench commemorating the battle of Dal Righ. It is a day of great variety with some easier walking and you will feel thoroughly inspired by the time we reach Tyndrum.
Accommodation in Crianlarich or Inverarnan
Day 6: Walking to Kingshouse - 20 miles
This is the longest day of The West Highland Way. You will be walking to the famous Kingshouse which is 20 miles of walking and 690m of ascent which will take around 9-12 hours to complete. However, it can easily be the best day of the entire trip. The walking is on very good paths, and you will get views over Loch Tulla and the Black Mountains in the first half of the day. The second half of the day tackles the most famous part of the trail, Rannoch Moor. Rannoch Moor can be one of two things; the most beautiful place you can ever imagine to walk in if you get good weather, or the most wild, exposed and intimidating place if the weather is bad. Either way it is a part of The West Highland Way you will never forget. Rannoch Moor is 50 square miles of peat bog and lochans surrounded by magnificent mountains. We will be walking along the parliamentary road which is excellent underfoot and will allow us to make the most of this incredible area. As this section closes to an end we will be greeted by views of the iconic Buachaille Etive Mor as we head into Glen Coe.
Accommodation in or near Kinlochleven
Day 7: Walking to Kinlochleven - 8 miles
Today you will be walking to Kinlochleven, it is 8 miles away, 430m of ascent and it will take around 4 - 5 hours to walk. Today's highlights include the famous ascent of the ominously named "Devil’s Staircase". This takes you to the highest point of The West Highland Way giving views over the Glen Coe Mountains and the Blackwater Reservoir, the longest reservoir in the highlands.
Accommodation in or near Kinlochleven
Day 8: Walking to Fort William - 16 miles
Today you will be walking to Fort William, where you will find the end marker for the route. You will be walking for 7 – 8 hours and cover a distance of 16 miles with 735m of ascent. You will see the famous Ben Nevis, the biggest mountain in Scotland and get fantastic views of Glen Nevis too.
Accommodation in or near Fort William
Day 9: Depature/Drive back to Milngavie
Today we will pick you up from your accommodation in Fort William and drive you back to Milngavie. From here it is time to say goodbye and make your way home.
West Highland Way Route Map
West Highland Way Accommodation Options
We offer our West Highland Way holiday with 3 different accommodation options to suit your needs and budget.
Bed & Breakfast
The Bed and Breakfast option provides you with good standard Bed and Breakfast accommodation, with breakfast included within the price of the holiday. The B&Bs we use are located within small towns or villages and so you will have access to local shops as well as a choice of pubs to make sure you have plenty of opportunity to have an evening meal. In areas where there are no B&Bs or there are no facilities such as shops or pubs we will instead drive you out to another nearby village where a better overall experience can be achieved.
We provide a camping option for those who wish to get closer to nature. Your first night (your arrival night, in Milngavie), and your last night (the night before your departure, in Fort William) will be in B&B accommodation. But for the rest of the trek you will be camping out in local campsites, giving you the chance to really escape from the modern world. You will need to provide your own tent and camping equipment, which gives you the ability to use a tent that is familiar to you. However, don’t forget that all of this equipment will be moved for you, you will not need to carry any of it. Many people also bring their own stove so they can cook in the evening, but this is entirely optional as all the campsites will be within walking distance to a pub. Although the campsites are remote small campsite they will all have toilet and shower facilities, and some also have drying rooms and washing machines as well.
Hotels and Luxury Bed and Breakfast
If you are looking for some of the highest standard accommodation available along the trail this is the option for you. Most of your accommodation will be in hotels, using 4 star B&Bs only when they are a higher standard than the local hotels. In areas where you finish walking and there is no high quality hotels or 4 star B&Bs (e.g. Kingshouse), you will be driven to a nearby village to make sure you get a consistent standard.
Where You Will Be Staying On The West Highland Way
For all our accommodation options you will usually be staying for 1 night in Milngavie, 2 nights in Drymen, 2 nights in Crianlarich (Tyndrum for the camping option), 2 nights in Kinlochleven and then your final night in Fort William. This gives you the advantage of not having to repack every day while still getting to experience lots of the different villages on the trail. While we cannot guarantee this is where you will be staying each night this is certainly the experience most of our customers receive.
Facilities in Each Overnight Stop
Milngavie – a large town with a supermarket (which has a cash machine) and a number of pubs. It also has a tourist information shop that sells a very small selection of outdoor equipment, useful if you forget something!
Drymen – a small village but has a good selection of places to eat from traditional pubs to hotels including the Clachan Inn, the Drymen Inn and the Winnock Hotel. It also has a small shop where you can get lunch and snacks and also a cash machine.
Crianlarich – a very small village but has a choice of two pubs (Ben More or the Rod and Reel) and also has The Crianlarich Store for snacks and lunches with an ATM for cash.
Kinlochleven – slightly bigger than Drymen or Crianlarich. Kinlochleven has 3 good places to eat; The Tailrace Inn, The Macdonald Hotel or the Highland Getaway. It also has a well-stocked shop for snacks and lunches as well as a larger outdoor clothing store and ice climbing centre called the Ice Factor.
Fort William – a large town, with everything you would expect. It has a great variety of pubs, restaurants and takeaways, as well as a supermarket and a selection of smaller shops. It also has a very large number of outdoor clothing and equipment shops as well as a chemist, gift shops, cafés and banks.
Dates & Prices
The dates of our scheduled treks can be seen below. We also off the option of private bookings for groups. Please get in touch if you'd like to book privately.
|Date of Trek||Availability|
|Saturday 13th April 2019 to Sunday 21st April 2019||FULL - Waiting List Only|
|Saturday 4th May 2019 to Sunday 12th May 2019||FULL - Waiting List Only|
|Saturday 8th June 2019 to Sunday 16th June 2019||Guaranteed - 1 Space Remaining (Female Share B&B Only)|
|Saturday 17th August 2019 to Sunday 25th August 2019||Guaranteed - 7 Spaces Remaining|
|Saturday 21st September 2019 to Sunday 29th September 2019||FULL - Waiting List Only|
No Suitable Date?
If there are no dates on this calendar to suit you please let us know, sometimes we can add extra dates if there is enough demand for an extra trip to be added.
If a trek is full but you would like to be added to the waiting list, please do let us know. The waiting list is there so that if anyone drops out of the trek we will contact you and let you know, so you can take their place on the trek instead.
We are hoping to publish our calendar for 2019 in the spring of 2018. If you are keen to book early and secure a trek on a date to suit you please do feel free to get in contact with us.
Price for Bed & Breakfast:
The price of this trip is £899 per person (based on two sharing).
To book this trip we will require a £200 deposit per person with the rest to be paid a month before your trip.
If you are booking as a solo traveller and happy to share a twin room with another solo traveller of the same sex the price is £899.
If you are a solo traveller and would like a single room to yourself there is a £20 per night single supplement (£160 in total).
Price for Camping:
The price of this trip is £699 per person.
To book this trip we will require a £150 deposit per person with the rest to be paid a month before your trip.
If you are a solo traveller and would like a single room to yourself (on the first and last night) there is a £40 single supplement.
Price for Hotels and Luxury Bed and Breakfast:
The price of this trip is £1099 per person (based on two sharing).
To book this trip we will require a £250 deposit per person with the rest to be paid a month before your trip.
If you are booking as a solo traveller and happy to share a twin room with another solo traveller of the same sex the price is £1099.
If you are a solo traveller and would like a single room to yourself there is a £25 per night single supplement (£200 in total).
How to Book
Booking is simple, you can either phone us, email us or use our online shopping cart below.
Book West Highland Way Online
What Happens Once you Have Booked
Once we have received your booking (either through the online shopping cart, email or phone). We will then confirm with you that your accommodation option and room type, single, twin or double, is available. We will then send you a full booking form and information about paying your deposit for your trek. All deposits can be paid by cheque, bank transfer or debit/credit card. Once we have received back both your booking form and deposit we will let you know and your place on the trip will be secure.