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Self Guided – West Highland Way

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Price from: £575

Duration: 7 night(s)

No. of Travellers:   Date:

Location: West Highlands including Knoydart

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: 6

31 review(s)
  • Trek the 100 miles of the West Highland Way, taking on the challenge of Scotland’s most famous long distance trail
  • Experience changing scenery as you hike from the lowlands of Scotland into the heart of the West Highlands
  • We will arrange all accommodation, luggage transfer and provide you with OS maps and comprehensive route notes.

Blue Graded Self Guided Holidays 4-6

Our Blue graded walking holidays involve climbing some of Scotland’s best mountains and ridges. The walks are conducted at a good pace and you may be out hiking for 8 or 9 hours a day. The terrain underfoot can be anything from stalker’s paths to rough or boggy ground, boulder fields and mountain tops.

The daily walks will occasionally involve a mountain ascent of over 3000ft / 900m high. To help you decide if you are fit enough for this trip, ask yourself:

Can you comfortably hike for 10+ miles (16+km), climbing mountains and covering a variety of challenging underfoot conditions? How often do you do this?

Our self-guided walking and hiking holidays feature a wide range of accommodation – very much depending on the remoteness of the region. This includes small hotels, guest houses and traditional B+Bs.

Our accommodation partners are carefully chosen according to a number of factors – charming locations, very good facilities and a reputation for providing Highland hospitality.

Our accommodation partners range from small guesthouses and bed and breakfasts to Inns and country hotels. Many are small, owner-managed establishments where you can be assured of a highly personal service.

Wherever they are available, we will reserve en suite rooms for you. However, these may not be available in the high season, especially if you are booking your holiday at the last minute, so we cannot guarantee that all of your accommodation will be en-suite. We will, however, advise you wherever possible if this is the case.

Our accommodation partners pride themselves in locally sourced produce wherever possible and the food during your holiday in Scotland will be one of the highlights.

Clients who request a single room will incur a single room supplement of £100.

by Lutz Koepnick 07/08/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Everything worked out perfectly which means a great deal for this kind of trip. Its complicated logistics as much as the fact that exhausted bodies do not like to meet situations that aren't as anticipated. We were extremely impressed by how all this was set up and executed!
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Everything worked out perfectly which means a great deal for this kind of trip. Its complicated logistics as much as the fact that exhausted bodies do not like to meet situations that aren't as anticipated. We were extremely impressed by how all this was set up and executed!
Your Guide
The written format was actually quite perfect. No need to make it electronic
The Bottom Line
The organization was flawless and absolutely reliable. The overall experience simply fantastic.

by JC Henry 28/07/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Good Idea
The Bottom Line
Only issue had was our luggage in Ft William was not delivered until 5:30pm.
It rained most of the day and we had to wait in our wet clothes for a couple of hours

by Margaret Hobbs 21/07/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

0Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
The only low point was being let down by the transfer taxi at Glencoe. Thanks for your help in getting another taxi arranged.
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
The Bottom Line

by Lis Poulsen 16/07/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Any further questions regarding to our trip was very quick and friendly answered
Trip Comments
The most spectacular part of the trip was from Crianlarich to Fort William.
The most disappointed and uncomfortable part was along the river Loch Lomond where it didn´t had anything with walking to do but instead climbing,
Accommodation and Food
Any further questions regarding to our trip was very quick and friendly answered
Your Guide
Very easy to see where you had to walk
The Bottom Line
I would highly recommend this trip because of its beautifulness and as a good way to accelerate energy and fitness

by Lauren Tewksbury 09/07/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Please keep the written notes option. I don't like carrying devices on my "wilderness" experiences. (My husband disagrees, and we had both a laptop and an ipad with us, which we lugged the whole way in our daypacks.)
I liked the Rucksack Readers guide, didn't use the topo map. I never use them, but I suppose you're supposed to have them, right? I also (obviously) used the accomodations printout.
GPS doesn't seem necessary - the trail was always easy to follow.
The Bottom Line
I have already recommended Wilderness Scotland to friends.

As far as our trip goes, we did it in 8 days. This was a mistake for us. We should have done it in 6 days. We're from Southern California, and are used to hikes that go up up very steeply (Ben Nevis steepness). The idea of doing 95 miles here in less than 8 days is crazy because of the elevation change, but nothing on the way was difficult for us, and a few of the days ended too soon.

Summary: A lot of the trip planning was based on miles per day, when it should have been miles per day + elevation change per day.

We could have tried to do smaller hikes in addition to the big hike. It was somewhat frustrating to be walking through all of these valleys, looking at these cool peaks, and not knowing how to get up them. Some more side trip options with the guide would have been great. (For example, it might have been fun to bag one of the peaks around Glen Coe.)

by Alexandra Kahn 24/06/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Apparently I failed to re-check the dates and we ended up booking an extra day in Fort William on June 13 when we needed to leave for a flight from Edinborgh on June 14. This led to an increased cost for our trip which was unfortunate.
Trip Comments
I did not realize that there were so many hard surfaces (Tarmac), which are very hard on the feet and joints, and there quote a lot of this especially at the end of long distances days. Also, the second half of the last day from Kinoxhleven to fort William -- through clear cut forest and then on hard surfaces all the way through city centre was tedious. I would have liked to have Wilderness Scotland suggest the option of ending the hike in Kinoxhleven, which was lovely.
Accommodation and Food
Apparently I failed to re-check the dates and we ended up booking an extra day in Fort William on June 13 when we needed to leave for a flight from Edinborgh on June 14. This led to an increased cost for our trip which was unfortunate.
Your Guide
We did not use GPS not would we need to on this trip.
The Bottom Line
We believe the cost was high (1000 GPS per person) based on our understanding of the cost for our lodging.

by Julie Wartell 19/06/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
In general, very good but I would have liked to have our hotels when the arrangements were initially made versus waiting until a few weeks before. I was not given a good reason (or any reason for that matter) on why they would not be provided.
Trip Comments
The arrangements and hike itself were great, our only complaint was that our luggage was not at the hotel in Fort William when we arrived just after 4pm... we should not have had to wait to get out of our wet, dirty clothes.
Accommodation and Food
In general, very good but I would have liked to have our hotels when the arrangements were initially made versus waiting until a few weeks before. I was not given a good reason (or any reason for that matter) on why they would not be provided.
Your Guide
Having both would be nice. The only one that did not seem accurate was the day to Anchorage Cottage. We were exhausted but then told we had to walk an additional 3.5 miles to get any food or beer. This would have been nice to be noted.
The Bottom Line
My only other issue was that my friend attempted to join us and tried to make arrangements through Wilderness Scotland but not only was the person not super responsive (my friend had to keep calling when she heard nothing), but then my friend was told that it was not possible to arrange. Fortunately, she found another company to do the arrangements.

by Ken Rogel 18/06/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
We didn't get hotel listing until vary late in the process
Trip Comments
several of the accommodations had two single beds rather than one larger bed
Accommodation and Food
We didn't get hotel listing until vary late in the process
Your Guide
GPS is not a bad thing but it assumes that hikers own a GPS devise
The Bottom Line

by Mary Dietrich 10/06/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Our emails were responded to in a timely manner and our questions were answered promptly and clearly.
Trip Comments
My low point was definitely the last five of nineteen miles before arriving at Kings House. I loved the scenery throughout the trip and found myself continuously looking behind me because of the 360 degree panarama.
Accommodation and Food
Our emails were responded to in a timely manner and our questions were answered promptly and clearly.
Your Guide
The Bottom Line
I found the trip to be awesome. It was fun talking with the other hikers along the way and we always knew that we would end the day with a soothing hot shower and our luggage waiting for us.
While the hike itself consisted of long days the scenery along the way was very inspiring.

by Vicki Wooster 27/05/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
In terms of helping us figure out the route, the notes were quite good. However, we both felt that they were not always very precise about the challenges each day. For example, day #2 had many unanticipated hills. And, the footing on the path was rocky and difficult on many days.
The Bottom Line
We loved the trip!! We would definitely recommend it. Our most "inspirational" moment was our 19-mile day -- starting out walking around the green mountains and farms, then having an amazing and eerie walk across the Ranoch Moor, and finally coming over the ridge to see Glen Coe as we headed into Kingshouse. The scenery in that one day was extraordinary and mysterious.

Trip Details

The West Highland Way is a classic long distance walk, covering 152 kilometres (95 miles) from Milngavie on the outskirts of Glasgow, to Fort William in the Highlands.

The route travels along the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, across the atmospheric Rannoch Moor, past dramatic Glencoe and onwards to finish at the foot of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain.

The West Highland Way is one of the classic treks of the world and is undertaken by many people of all ages from across the world, making it a fun and social trek. On this self-guided walk we arrange your accommodation each evening and baggage transfer, as well as providing you with detailed route notes and maps so that you get the most out of this wonderful trek.

Additional Nights Accommodation: Some people prefer to split Day 5, which covers 30km, into two shorter days. Do let us know at the time of booking if you would like to do this. Taking this option would add £60 per person to the trip price.

Upgraded Accommodation: We can also offer you an upgraded accommodation package along the route. The additional cost for this brings the total to £650 per person.

Upgraded Accommodation with night at Inverlochy Castle: We can also offer you an upgraded accommodation package which includes a night at the luxurious Inverlochy Castle Hotel. The additional cost for this brings the total to £875 per person.

Luggage Transfer: One bag per person is included in the trip price, and this bag should be of a reasonable size and weight (maximum weight permitted is 20kg). If you are planning on bringing more than one bag person, please note that the luggage transfer company is entitled to levy an additional charge of £20.00 per bag if necessary, and this will be payable directly to the transfer company. No laptops, tablets, similar items or fragile or breakable objects are to be left in your transported luggage.

If you plan on staying longer in the area – either before or after the walk, please let us know at the time of booking and we will be delighted to book accommodation for you. Additional nights in Milngavie and Fort William can be booked at a cost of between £40.00 – £50.00 per person per night for B&B.

If you are seeking a slightly easier route, you may wish to consider the Great Glen Way, which runs from Fort William to Inverness over 73 miles, or even the Speyside Way, which treks through the heart of Scotland’s malt whisky country. For more relaxed self-guided walking, please see our Highland Escapes.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Milngavie (Glasgow) – Drymen

Starting in Milngavie on the northern side of Glasgow, you hike northwards along the West Highland Way, passing Craigallian and Carbeth Lochs before you reach the first night’s accommodation at the village of Drymen

Distance 19km

Day 2 – Drymen to Rowardennan

The trail follows the eastern bank of Loch Lomond, one of Scotland’s most beautiful and famous lochs, to reach the tranquil setting of Rowardennan, which is located on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.

Distance 22km

Day 3 – Rowardennan to Inverarnan

This remote section of the trail takes you along the north-eastern section of Loch Lomond, hiking over some rough ground before the trail becomes better as you reach the Inverarnan.

Distance 23km

Day 4 – Inverarnan to Tyndrum

Hiking into the Highlands now, the mountains seem to stretch all the way to the sky as the views open up to reveal some of the stunning vistas found in Strath Fillan.

Distance 22km

Day 5 – Tyndrum to Glencoe

On this fantastic day of hiking, the West Highland Way passes through some of the finest scenery of the Highlands (as well as past some famous old pubs and inns!). It climbs up past Loch Tulla then across the wilderness of Rannoch Moor to Glencoe. This is a long day of hiking but the underfoot terrain is pretty good and there is not a lot of height gain so it is achieveable for most reasonably fit hikers. The Kingshouse pub at the end of the day’s route is always a great incentive to keep going!

Distance 30km

Please note that some people prefer to split Day 5 into two shorter days. There is an additional cost for this of between £45 – £55 for the extra night’s accommodation. Please let us know at the time of booking if you would like to do this and we will book the best available option.

Day 6 – Glencoe to Kinlochleven

One of the most challenging days of the West Highland Way, today’s route sees the trail climb high over the Devil’s Staircase, a high mountain pass, and then descend to the small village of Kinlochleven.

Distance 14km

Day 7 – Kinlochleven to Fort William

The final day sees the trail climb over a lower pass and then, with views of Ben Nevis – the highest mountain in Scotland – it descends to the end point in Fort William.

Distance 22km

Day 8 – Fort William and depart

After a leisurely breakfast, put on some comfortable footwear and explore the town of Fort William before making your way home, perhaps taking the scenic West Highland Railway back to Glasgow.

For a detailed itinerary and trips information please see our PDF Trip Dossier

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Trip reviews

The organization was flawless and absolutely reliable. The overall experience simply fantastic.

Lutz Koepnick
07/08/2014

5

Only issue had was our luggage in Ft William was not delivered until 5:30pm.
It rained most of the day and we had to wait in our wet clothes for a couple of hours

JC Henry
28/07/2014

5

Rated 4.5 out of 5 based on 31 review(s) of Self Guided – West Highland Way

Read All Trip Reviews