Walking The West Highland Way

Introduction

The West Highland Way runs from Milngavie, on the outskirts of Glasgow, to Fort William at the foot of Ben Nevis. It passes from the lowlands across the Highland Boundary fault and into the Scottish Highlands.

Much of the Way makes use of old historic routes, such as:-

  • Drovers Roads - used by highlanders to herd their sheep and cattle to market in the lowlands.
  • Old Coaching Routes - including disused railway lines from more recent times.
  • Military Roads- built by the English to help maintain military rule over the clans.

Walking the Way gives the walker an ideal opportunity to view Scotland's magnificent scenery and wildlife. You may be lucky enough to catch sight of eagles , Red Deer and Feral Goats on your travels.

 

Route & Information

The West Highland Way is 95 miles long. It starts at Milngavie, just outside Glasgow and passes through varied terrain on route.

  • From Milngavie you pass through Drymen, Balmaha and then along the side of Loch Lomond to Rowardennan and Inversnaid.After leaving Loch Lomonside you head through Inverarnan before arriving in Crianlarich.
  • From here you head north to Tyndrum, Bridge of Orchy and then over the exposed Rannoch Moor to Kingshouse and finally on to Fort William.

Although the Way is well signposted you should be able to read a map and compass to assist navigation if required.

Dogs are not allowed on certain sections of the Way, even on a lead. These are the sections at:

  • Conic Hill
  • Inversnaid to Crianlarich
  • Tyndrum to Bridge of Orchy.


G
uides and Maps

The best guide for the Way is the Official HMSO guide "The West Highland Way" available from most good bookshops.

Other information

  • Both Milngavie and Fort William have railway stations which are ideal for travelling to and from the Way to home.
  • Camping is not allowed except in recognised sites.
  • Conic Hill route is closed for lambing during last 2 weeks in april and first 2 weeks in May. Signposted diversions will be in operation.
  • The Way is not a right of way along its whole route and relies on the agreement of landowners for access. Please be considerate and avoid disturbance , especially during the lambing season.
  • Please do not try and cycle the Way as in parts it is very narrow and rough terrain.
  • Midges can be a problem at certain times of the year and you are advised to carry a midge repellant with you just in case.

Safety

The West Highland Way is a long hillwalking expedition and walkers should be equipped accordingly. Stout boots, waterproof and windproof clothing are essential. The weather can change rapidly so be prepared for the worst.

 

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