Winding its way nearly 100 miles from Glasgow to Fort William, the West Highland Way is Scotland’s most famous long distance trail.
FoodSome provided. Details below
Difficulty Level3 Three
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.
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.
- Plus baggage transfer, expert walk guide, support vehicle, accommodation and much more.
- Friday 18th September – Sunday 27th September 2020
Early Bird Offer – Book by 31st August 2019
- Pay just £895 per person, saving £200 on the standard price of £1095
- Pay just a £200 deposit
- Receive a free training pack with an exclusive Large Outdoors t-shirt, buff, mug and the Cicerone West Highland Way guide book.
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. 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.
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 climbs. The 8 mile day, for example, contains the infamous (but perfectly do-able) Devil’s Staircase, which takes you from Kingshouse to Kinlochleven.
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
What our members have to say...
“I didn’t really know what to expect on my first ever walking holiday and wasn’t very prepared if truth be known – lesson to all read the essential kit list especially waterproofs! It was great fun and what a lovely group of supportive and encouraging people, especially Gareth who did a great job looking after us all. I must admit at times I found it a bit challenging but what a great sense of achievement when we reached the top of the mountains (hills) I will definitely do this again.ElizabethMember Since 2016
My first Large Outdoors and (Ulster & the Giant's Causeway Walking Weekend) Irish experience was absolutely fantastic. Everything was organised perfectly and Gareth is a joy to be around. I loved every minute and will definitely book myself onto another trip. #toldallmyfriendstheyhavetocomeVanessaMember Since 2018
Well, for a non-walker it was certainly challenging but my word was it exhilarating! The feeling of achievement after every day, was just fabulous. The group we went with were all strangers on day one, but firm friends by the end of the week. The comradery on some of the tougher walks, helped me to the top…..and wow what views. Anyone thinking of doing it - don’t worry….just go for it!ClaireMember Since 2016