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A Guide to the West Highland Way Hike in Scotland

The West Highland Way hike in Scotland is a classic adventure travel destination. It is Scotland’s first official and still famous long distance walk. It stretches 153 kms (95 miles) from Glasgow in the south to Fort William, in the shadow of Ben Bevis, in the north.

A wide range of terrain types will be encountered including lowland moors, woodlands, rolling hills and the high mountainous regions that make up Scotland’s Highlands. The walk can range from the straightforward to exposed, where being prepared needs to be taken very seriously.

The walk is a 5 to 8 day affair depending on your fitness level and schedule. The best months to consider walking are May, June, September and early October.

The summer is fine but can present accommodation issues and bugs; specifically midges which can drive you mad. May is the busiest month especially around Bank Holidays. The West Highland Way hike in winter is not recommended because of the short days and the possibility of ice and snow at higher elevations; especially at the top of Devil’s Staircase.

The path across Rannoch Moor can also be obscured by snow and blowing snow so excellent navigation skills are required. The route is waymarked but scantily in places.

A great option on this walk is to get a luggage service to transport your bags for a fee so you only need to carry your daypack. The luggage service will move your bags to your next B&B, hotel or campground.

Highlights of the West Highland Way Hike

  • Views from Conic Hill, especially of the islands lying along the West Highland Fault
  • Glengoyne Distillery Tour
  • Loch Lomond and Ben Lomond views
  • Superb views of Loch Tulla and the wooded islands (crannogs) near Inveroran
  • Desolate walking across Rannoch Moor
  • Setting of the King’s House Hotel
  • Devil’s Staircase and the 360 degree views from the top
  • Sheep herding in action
  • Ben Nevis (the highest mountain in Great Britain) in all its glory
  • Trail camaraderie especially since you run into the same people day after day for a week
  • Cows that look like Oreo cookies
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