Experience the Scottish Highlands
The most popular hiking destination in the United Kingdom is the West Highland Way. It is the first official long-distance footpath in the British country of Scotland. The West Highland Way hiking trail is about 152 kilometers long and spans from the north of Glasgow up to the Scottish Highlands. The journey along the long West Highland Way usually takes about seven to eight days, but experts can manage the long footpath in just five days. The official hiking route encompasses the outskirts of the city, the foot of a mountain, and the shores of a freshwater loch.
The West Highland Way Official Hiking Route
The route of the West Highland Way hiking trail is divided into eight stages that starts from the village of Milngavie to the north of Glasgow all the way to the town of Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. The first stage in the West Highland Way hiking trip is the journey from the Milngavie town center up to the village of Drymen. The attractions that hikers will see during the first stage of the West Highland Way hiking vacation include Mugdock Country Park and Mugdock Castle. Hikers will also pass by an open countryside before reaching Drymen village.
Stage two starts in the village of Drymen. Hikers leave Drymen to enter the Gardhban Forest. The 358-meter high Conic Hill on the Highland Boundary Fault is the first major summit of the route. The second stage of the hiking trail ends on the village of Balmaha located on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond. Loch Lomond is a popular venue for boating and water sports in the UK.
The third stage of the West Highland Way route features a northbound path near the eastern shore of Loch Lomond that passes through Rowardennan Forest before reaching Rowardennan village. The journey from Rowardennan to Crianlarich, which is the fourth stage of the hike, also follows a northbound direction. During this stage, hikers follow the eastern shores of the loch via Rowardennan all the way to Inversnaid and Inverarnan. They will pass by the legendary Rob Roy’s Cave before reaching the Crianlarich village.
The journey from Crianlarich to Tyndrum is the fifth stage in the West Highland Way hiking route. From Crianlarich, hikers follow a northwest-bound trail along Strathfillan to Tyndrum. The trip from the north of Tyndrum before descending into Glencoe is the sixth stage of the West Highland Way hiking trail. The highlight of this stage is the breathtaking scenery in Rannoch Moor. From Glencoe, hikers will climb the Devil’s Staircase rocky ridge before they descent to the village of Kinlochleven to complete the seventh stage of the hike. The eighth and final stage of the West Highland Way hiking trip starts with the journey from the village of Kinlochleven up to the Mamore Mountains. Hikers descend to the Glend Nevis before reaching Fort William. Many hikers celebrate the achievement of finishing the entire West Highland Way hiking trail by climbing Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain.
Where to Find West Highland Way Accommodations
Tourists and locals alike can rest and relax in any of the several hotels, bed and breakfasts, and inns along the West Highland Way hiking trail. Popular accommodation options include Beech Tree Inn in Glengoyne and Kings House Hotel in Glencoe. The villages and towns of Balmaha, Inverarnan, Tyndrum, and Kinlockleven also offer other accommodation options for hikers.
Accommodation example: Kings House Hotel, Glencoe, Argyll PH49 4HY
How to Get to the West Highland Way Hiking Trail
The start of the official West Highland Way hiking route is located in the town center of Milngavie. Hikers usually arrive at the nearby Milngavie railway station. Some companies offer car rental services to help hikers reach the start of the West Highland Way hiking trail.