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.
- Possible all year.
- May to October is your best bet weather-wise.
- 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.
- 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.
- Lonely Planet Walking in Scotland has trekking notes and a basic map of the walk.
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.
- 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.
- Camping, B&B’s, pubs and hostels. If hiking in the popular summer season, you need to book ahead if planning on staying indoors.
- 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.