West Highland Way | Scotland, 2005

Distance:  153 km (95 miles)y

Avg. Time:  6 – 7 days

Start / Finish:

  • Regular bus and train services to both trailheads. See the official West Highland Way (WHW) website for details.

Season :

  • Possible all year.
  • May to October is your best bet weather-wise.

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  • July and August are the most popular months. They also coincide with the height of midge season. Take refuge in a pub whenever possible.

Maps / Info :

  • Due to its status as one of the UK’s most popular long distance walks, there is no shortage of information in regards to the WHW. A great source for anything and everything pertaining to the walk is the official WHW website.

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  • I used the WHW map published by Footprint. It was fine for navigation purposes, and also contained useful general information regarding transport, points of interest and accommodation options.

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Route / Conditions:

  • Well signed and easy to follow from start to finish.
  • Highland weather is notoriously unpredictable; good waterproofs are a must. A sense of humour and a wooden leg (i.e. for pub stops, rather than hiking) also comes in handy.

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  • Scenery wise, my favourite sections were the stretch along Loch Lomond and the walk across Rannoch Moor from Inveronan Hotel to Kingshouse Hotel.
  • Speaking of which, the Kingshouse, along with the Drover’s Inn and the Bridge of Orchy hotel, rate as my favourite watering holes along the WHW.

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Sleeping:

  • Camping, B&B’s, pubs and hostels. If hiking in the popular summer season, you need to book ahead if planning on staying indoors.

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Overview:

  • Although at times wonderfully scenic, for me the WHW was more about the people I met along the way and the memorable nights spent socializing in the atmospheric pubs. In many ways, the WHW encapsulates what hiking in the UK is all about.
  • A special shout out to Alan, Frank (pictured with yours truly above) and ‘Miss Scotland 1975’ for a top night at the Drover’s.

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