Walk to the foot of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest peak.
Enjoy ever-changing scenery as you walk from lowlands to highlands.
Follow the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, Britain’s largest lake.
Discover the otherworldly beauty of Rannoch Moor and Scotland’s most remote inn.
Walk through the stunning glens of Glencoe and Glen Nevis.
Self-guided hike on the West Highland Way
The West Highland Way is Scotland’s most popular hiking route. This tour follows most of the 150 km national trail through the southwestern part of the Scottish Highlands. Starting at the village of Drymen just outside Glasgow, it follows the tranquil lakeside of Loch Lomond and peaceful valley routes through the mountains around Crianlarich, before crossing the open heather-covered peat bogs of Rannoch Moor. Descending from the moor, Scotland’s most iconic mountain comes into view; Buachaille Etive Mor.
The route passes close to sombre Glencoe (famed for the 1692 massacre of the MacDonald Clan) and finishes at Fort William near the foot of Ben Nevis (Britain’s highest peak, which can be readily ascended by experienced clients if they choose to spend an extra day).
The West Highland Way is a well-established and popular route, containing landscapes of great beauty and imposing majesty. The altitude range is from sea level to 565 m (1,345 m if Ben Nevis is climbed).
Terrain: The walks are mostly unsurfaced tracks; footpaths and mountain trails.
|8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS||From €899 per person sharing*
*A single supplement charge will apply for solo walkers.
||We use a variety of accommodation along the route ranging from bed and breakfasts to lodges, pubs and small hotels. They are run by walker friendly hosts offering en-suite or private facility rooms with a tasty breakfast to get you ready for the walk ahead. Further facilities such as washing and drying facilities as well as packed lunches are available in some accommodations.|
|MEALS||The overnight accommodations are on a bed & breakfast basis. You will have a selection of cold and hot options to choose from each morning.
Packed lunches can be booked and paid for on arrival at your accommodation. They offer a good selection of sandwiches, snacks and drinks for you to take with you for that day’s walk. On a few sections you will also pass a café and/or shop but on many days you will not pass anything between the start and finish.
For evening meals you will have a variety of pubs and restaurants to choose from, or your accommodation will provide a tasty meal.
|AVAILABILITY||You can start any day, subject to availability, between April and October.*
*Please note that this route is very popular and some accommodations sell out very fast. We recommend booking well in advance for this trip. Please also let us know if you have flexibility with your start date at the time of booking.
Day 1: Arrival in Drymen
Make your own way to Drymen, a small town north of Glasgow that is a gateway to the Highlands. If you arrive early there is a teashop with homemade cakes across the green, as well as the small Clacan Inn where Rob Roy used to come down for a swift pint whilst collecting “Blackmail.”
Overnight: Accommodation in a welcoming guesthouse which has become a firm favourite with walkers.
Day 2: Drymen to Rowardennan
Distance: 22 km | Walking time: 5 hrs approx.
Your first walking day is characterised by gentle scenery on the bonny banks of Loch Lomond. Passing highland cattle in the fields, the route winds up through forest and across the moors to Conic Hill. From the summit you will enjoy great views over the loch and its islands. This marks the boundary of the Highland fault and the official start of the Highlands proper. The West Highland Way drops down to Balmaha by the water, then winds its way towards Rowardennan. You will walk along the Loch shore with lovely tree-framed views.
An extra day in Rowardennan would be advised if you wanted to make an ascent of Ben Lomond.
Overnight: Accommodation at the Rowardennan Hotel. The Inn is practically on the shore of Loch Lomond with beautiful scenery, including the impressive mass of Ben Lomond. All rooms have en suite facilities. The restaurant provides carefully selected dishes ensuring that you receive a true taste of Scotland.
Day 3: Rowardennan to Ardlui
Distance: 22 km | Walking time: 5 hrs approx.
Today you walk in the shadow of Ben Lomond for much of the time, following the Loch edge path. There are no big ascents to make, but a few short steep ups and downs. You can pass by Rob Roy’s cave, where he is said to have stopped in times of difficulty and held prisoners at his pleasure. You could perhaps have a drink at the hotel at Inversnaid, before walking onto Ardleish. Here you can raise a buoy on a pole to attract the attention of the ferryman who will collect you and transfer you to the hotel on the western side of the Loch (approx. £3, to be paid directly to the ferryman).
If you fancy a slightly longer walk (or if the weather is too rough for the boat) you can continue for another 2 km to Beinglas Farm or the Inverarnan Drover’s Inn to call for a taxi to transfer you to the hotel (not included).
Overnight: Stay at a 3-star hotel with comfortable rooms in Ardlui on the western side of the Loch. There are two restaurants, a lounge and public bars.
Day 4: Ardlui to Inveroran
Distance: 24 km (or 34 km) | Walking time: 5 – 7 hrs approx.
Two choices today: It is a long way from here to Loch Tulla, if you are a strong walker then it is fine, but otherwise we advise you to use the taxi (included) to take you to Crianlarich or further, to reduce the day to a more manageable length. Crianlarich lies under another big peak; Ben Mor.
The largely valley route goes via the ancient priory of St. Fillan associated with both Robert The Bruce and Rob Roy, through the moraines of Dalrigh, where the Bruce was defeated in 1306, then via the old mining settlement of Tyndrum where a seam of gold has been recently found.
The route continues up past the peaks of Ben Lui and Ben Dorain to the Bridge of Orchy for a quick dram before continuing on to Loch Tulla (Inveroran), a beautifully situated lake surrounded by Scots pines a remnant of the ancient Caledonian forest.
Overnight: Stay at the Inveroran Hotel which is 24 km from Crainlarich, or at the upgraded accommodation – The Bridge of Orchy Hotel, approx 21 km from Crianlarich. Both hotels are set in beautiful surroundings.
Day 5: Inveroran to Kingshouse
Distance: 16 km | Walking time: 4 hrs approx.
Head up on the old military road across the wild and heather-clad Rannoch Moor, past Ba Bridge, claimed to be the remotest part of the route. The views become ever more expansive, with a wonderful interplay between land, lake, mountain and sky. There are views into great corries once filled with glaciers. Keep your eyes peeled for deer.
The military road winds down to the old drovers Inn near the Gateway to Glencoe. This is in the shadow of Scotland’s most photographed mountain: Buachaille Etive Mor (The Shepherd of Etive Mor”).
Overnight: The Kingshouse Hotel, one of Scotland’s oldest.*
*Except Fridays & Saturdays. The Kingshouse Hotel only accepts 2-night stays if your booking falls on a Friday or Saturday. The alternative is to stay at the Glencoe Mountain resort on a room-only accommodation in the form of Microlodges (1 x double bed and 2 x single beds). There are shower and toilet blocks and a café open from 9am to 8.30pm (hot food until 7.30pm). You need to provide your own sleeping bag, liner, towel.
Day 6: Kingshouse to Kinlochleven
Distance: 14.5 km | Walking time: 3½ hrs approx.
From the Kingshouse Hotel, the West Highland Way passes Buachaille Etive Mor and then proceeds to zigzag up the Devil’s staircase to 550 m: not as bad as it seems, a well graded section of the Way. This offers spectacular views back from whence you came, as well as onwards towards Ben Nevis. Then it is a long descent to sea level at the head of Loch Leven with views of the Blackwater Dam, Loch Leven and The Pap of Glencoe.
Overnight: In Kinlochleven stay in a lovely guesthouse where a warm welcome is guaranteed.
Day 7: Kinlochleven to Fort William
Distance: 22.5 km | Walking time: 5 hrs approx.
The day begins with a steep climb along old Victorian hunting tracks on the slopes of the Mamore hills. You then re-join the old military road and cross the Lairigmor Pass, continuing through dense coniferous forest to Glen Nevis past the foot of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest peak (1,345 m).
Overnight: We use many different bed & breakfast/guesthouses in Fort William as it is a popular town.
Day 8: Depart Fort William after breakfast
The tour ends after breakfast. If you wish to stay an extra night to climb Ben Nevis just let us know at the time of booking and we would be happy to arrange this.