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West Highland Way

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Winding its way nearly 100 miles from Glasgow to Fort William, the West Highland Way is Scotland’s most famous long distance trail.

From £125pp to £1125pp
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Available dates:
  • Duration

    8 Nights
  • Accommodation

    Hostel
  • Food

    Some provided. Details below
  • Difficulty Level

    4 Four

Starting in the lowlands the West Highland Way quickly enters the mountains, passing along the shore of Loch Lomond, Britain’s largest freshwater lake, before entering the West Highlands. During the week-long walk we will pass through a range of different landscapes and encounter an exciting range of Scotland’s wildlife.

A guided week walking the West Highland Way

The highlights include:

  • Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, one of Scotland’s two National Parks, home to the Arrochar Alps and the most southerly Munro, Ben Lomond.
  • Rannoch Moor, a vast area of small lochs and bog that until 5000 years ago was the site of a huge forest. The peat-preserved remains of prehistoric trees are still visible beside the many pools.
  • Glen Coe, one of the most dramatic valleys in Scotland and site of the infamous Glen Coe massacre. Bordered by huge walls of rock, we will look down on it from the top of the Devil’s Staircase.

A guided week walking the West Highland Way

On reaching Fort William we will be offering an extra night extension and the chance to summit Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain, which towers over Glen Nevis and Fort William. We’ll have excellent views of the mountain during the final few hours of the Way, and the chance to summit the next day is one not to be missed.

For those of you who have never seen the stunningly beautiful landscape of Western Scotland, this trail is the perfect introduction. The route does not climb any of the mountains and sticks to the valleys and forests all the way, though there are obviously lots of milder ups and downs to contend with, as well as some difficult rocky ground around Loch Lomond. Even if you are a veteran of mountain walking in this part of the world, the West Highland Way is an exciting way to see the landscape.

A guided week walking the West Highland Way

Walking it over 7 days means that the length we walk each day will vary between 8 and 22 miles. Although this seems like a wide range, it’s planned like this for a reason. The longer days are generally flatter, while the shorter days contain significant climbs. The 8 mile day, for example, contains the infamous (but perfectly do-able) Devil’s Staircase, which takes you from Kingshouse to Kinlochleven.

A guided week walking the West Highland Way

The walk will be led by a Mountain Leader, and we will arrange your bag transfers, meaning you only need a day bag for walking. As it is a full week of walking, the fitter you are, the more fun you will have. However, this is not a race and we aim to enjoy the scenery.

We also include a support vehicle meaning if you wish to skip a day you can.

Read about how Sue trained for her West Highland Way Adventure in our guest blog.

Glencoe - Scotland

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Itinerary:

  • Friday: Meet in Glasgow

    Tonight we meet up in our hotel in Glasgow, check in is from 3pm and your host will be there to meet you from 6pm. Around 7:30pm we will head out for a welcome meal. If your planning to arrive later that is not a problem and you can either join us in the restaurant or meet up in the hotel bar later.

     

  • Saturday: Milngavie - Balmaha

    Distance Walked: 18 Miles

    After breakfast we jump in the minibus for the short hop to the Milngavie Train station and the formal start of your West Highland way journey!

    Today sees us leave the town of Milngave behind and head north through Mugdock Country Park, and then past fields following the remains of an old train line. After passing the Glengoyne Whisky distillery, with views of the Campsie Fells, we reach the town of Drymen. The final stage of the day sees us head up into a large forest, all the way to the summit of Conic Hill, which lies on the Highland Boundary Fault. From here we descend to the banks of Loch Lomond, where we finish the day at Balmaha.

    A guided week walking the West Highland Way

  • Sunday - Balmaha - Inversnaid

    Distance Walked 22 Miles:

    During the whole of this day we’ll be walking on or near the shore of Loch Lomond, following the eastern side of the lake north all the way to Inversnaid. On this quieter side of the Loch there is no road, and we’ll be alone on forestry tracks and then lochside paths, through native oak woodlands, with a great chance of seeing wildlife including red squirrels. This day is all low-level walking, but there are some tricky rocky steps, and a few ups and downs.

  • Monday: Inversnaid - Crianlarich

    Distance Walked 13 Miles

    After a few more miles along the shore of Loch Lomond to its most northerly point, we head out into the wide Glen Falloch. The second half of the day is relatively easy walking along tracks, with our first close-up views of the impressive mountains of this part of Scotland.

    Crianlarich SYHA will be our home for the next 3 days, on the last two days we will drive you to the start point of the days walk. Feedback from past participants is that they have really enjoyed having the same base for a few nights. This gives you the chance to do any clothes washing, ensure items are dry and of course it means the mornings are a little bit more relaxed as your not having to pack up. Our support vehicle will collect you each evening and is able to drive you out to some great local restaurants.

  • Tuesday: Crianlarich - Bridge of Orchy

    Distance Walked 13 Miles

    Our introduction to the Scottish mountains continues today with a spectacular low-level walk up Strath Fillan, and then north to follow the river all the way to the Bridge of Orchy. We’ll pass underneath the peaks of Beinn Odhar and Beinn Dorain, and have views west to the shapely alpine summit of Ben Lui. The walking alternates between sheltered woodland, and the wide open spaces of the valleys, and there are even a few possible café stops!

  • Wednesday: Bridge of Orchy - Kingshouse

    Distance Walked 13 Miles

    The wildest and most remote day of the journey, we swap the woodlands of Loch Lomond and the hillsides of Strath Fillan for endless open spaces. After a brief hill to get us to Inverornan, we head up over the Black Mount and alongside the great expanse of Rannoch Moor. The contrast could not be more different on either side – to our left are mountains and rocky crags, and to the right vast bog, dotted with pools, the horizon stretching into the far haze. We finish at the lonely Kingshouse Hotel, on its own on the edge of the moor.

    Glencoe - Scotland

  • Thursday: Kingshouse - Kinlochleven

    Distance Walked 8 Miles

    Though the shortest day in terms of distance, today sees us climb the Devil’s Staircase after a short walk next to the dramatic mountain of Buachaille Etive Mor. The path then climbs over 400 metres to reach a high pass, before beginning the descent down into Kinlochleven. The effort is rewarded on a clear day by views of the Mamores mountain range, and the first view of Ben Nevis.

  • Friday: Kinlochleven - Fort William

    Distance Walked 15 Miles

    The final day of the journey, we begin with a steep climb through woodland with views down to the sea-loch of Loch Leven. The trail then heads through the upland valley of Lairig Mor, taking us round the side of the Mamore mountains before entering Nevis Forest. Winding down through the forest, we enter Glen Nevis with Ben Nevis dominating the view ahead, before turning up the glen to enter Fort William.

  • Saturday: End day or Ben Nevis Extension

    Today its time to say farewell, after a leisurely breakfast we head back to Glasgow and the end of your amazing Scottish Adventure. Return transport to Glasgow Train Station or Airport is included:

    Ben Nevis Extension:

    Take on Ben Nevis with a guided day walk to the summit and an extra hotel night in Fort William. You’ll meet your guide in the morning before tackling “The Ben”. Leaving you one last night to enjoy the delights of the Scottish Highlands.

    A guided walking package to the summit of ben nevis scotland

     

Free gift pack worth £75

Book your Guided West Highland Way trip by the 1st of February 2017 and receive a free gift pack worth £75

  • Boot Dryers (Meaning each day your guaranteed dry feet)
  • Large Outdoors Sports top
  • Large Outdoors Buff
  • Large Outdoors Mug

 

  • What's Included:

    Accommodation:

    • Glasgow hotel
    • 6 Nights hostel accommodation whilst on the walk
    • Last night hotel in Fort William
    • All venues supply bedding and towels
    • Breakfast and a packed lunch for each day

    Staff:

    • A qualified mountain leader to walk with you each day
    • A Large Outdoors host and support driver

    Transport:

    • Support Vehicle
    • Baggage Transfer
    • Return travel from Fort William to Glasgow on the Saturday, please note if you are doing the Ben Nevis extension then you will need to make your own way back to Glasgow on Sunday morning. The easiest way is via the Citylink bus.
  • What's Not Included:
    • Ben Nevis Extension
    • Evening Meals
    • Alcoholic drinks
    • Any additional activities
    • Personal insurance
    • Personal walking equipment

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Who will be looking after you...

Gareth Williams
Gareth Williams
Founder
hilary nixon staff
Hilary Nixon
Mountain Leader
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Meeting in Glasgow on the Friday night.
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What our members have to say...

  • I have attended Large Outdoors weekends for the last two years , achieving many challenges in the British countryside. Every weekend has been very well organised, in beautiful locations, wonderful walks, nutritious food with lovely people.
    I have learned new skills and gained confidence in the outdoors from the mountain leaders. I thoroughly enjoy every weekend and always look forward to the next.
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    Elizabeth Brooks
    Member Since 2014
  • I love the concept of the Large Outdoors weekends and I like to have at least one or two booked for the future, to have something to look forward to. A weekend trip finds me visiting some fabulous parts of the country: Northumberland, Dorset, Brecon Beacons, Lake District, North York Moors... hills, mountains, moors and coast - all well covered by the amazing choice of locations to pick from, with decent (or lovely!) accommodation, great food and qualified walk leaders. They're also very good value.
    Sue Langford Testimonial
    Sue Langford
    Member since 2008
  • Since my first Large Outdoors weekend I have rediscovered my love for the countryside, met so many great people and had a whole lot of fun. I've sailed around the Inner Hebrides on a luxurious yacht, climbed the 3 national peaks Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Scafel Pike, danced my socks off at the Halloween and New Year celebrations and fallen in love with the beautiful Isle of Skye. Every trip has been amazing fun and I have met so many lovely people and made friends for life. Cheers Large Outdoors!
    Testimonials from Karen Roberts
    Karen Roberts
    Member Since 2012
  • I thoroughly enjoyed the experience from beginning to end. The host Kendra was very welcoming upon arrival at the youth hostel, all walkers and climbers were friendly and we got on great as a group. The home cooked food was amazing and the idea of 'kitchen angels' worked really well. The rock climbing instructor and his son were brilliant and helped us all, providing constant guidance and encouragement.
    Penny
    Penny Grainger
    Member Since 2016
  • I have been joining Large Outdoors on their outdoor adventures for many years now. I wasn’t always an active person and as a self-confessed city dweller I never thought I would appreciate so much of what is on offer when you leave the suburbs behind you. Large Outdoors has not only made me appreciate what natural beauty is on our door step, it has also given me the confidence to challenge myself and see things differently.
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    Shad Everett
    Member since 2009
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