- Trek the 95 miles of the West Highland Way, taking on the challenge of Scotland’s most famous long distance trail.
- You pick the dates that suit you – we make all the arrangements required.
- We will arrange all accommodation, luggage transfer and provide you with maps and comprehensive route notes.
- 8 nights’ accommodation on a Bed and Breakfast basis in Guest Houses, Bed and Breakfasts, Small Hotels and Inns along the route, based on two people sharing a twin or double room
- Luggage transfer for 1 bag per person for the duration of the trip, meaning you will only have to carry a day rucksack
- Route notes which include a map and full directions to your accommodation
- The services of the Wilderness Scotland Team prior to & during your trip
Blue Graded Self Guided Holidays 4-6
Self guided Blue graded walking holidays are suitable for fit and experienced hikers. Walking at a good pace you can expect to be out for 6-8 hours a day. You will be following a trail but should understand how to follow a hiking map with at least basic navigation skills. Daily distances will vary – typically up to 20km but may be longer occasionally, or often on the more challenging trips in the grade. Daily hike details are available in the itinerary.
Trail conditions will vary from well laid and maintained sections of gravel track to rough and rocky sections including muddy and wet areas. Short sections may be on tarmac.
ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS
At each stage of your trek we will arrange accommodation for you to stay that night. The accommodations range from small guesthouses, Highland inns, small hotels and bed and breakfast establishments which will be of a 3 or 4 star standard. Our accommodation partners are carefully chosen according to a number of factors – charming locations, very good facilities and a reputation for providing Highland hospitality. We do not use accommodations we have not personally visited.
If you choose the upgraded accommodation option we will reserve the best available accommodation option in each location for you. However, in some areas, accommodation is very limited so the choice is restricted. Where this is the case we will book the best quality room available for you. If you wish to choose upgraded accommodation please call us to book – this is not available online.
Accommodation will be reserved on a Bed & Breakfast basis – lunches and evening meals are not included. Local shops sell sandwiches and snacks for the day ahead. Many guest houses will also be able to provide a packed lunch for you if you ask them the night before. In the evenings, meals can be taken in local restaurants, hotels or bars.
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 West Highland Way 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.
Tour Itinerary – Self Guided West Highland Way
Day 1 – Arrive in Milngavie
On the first day of the trip you make your own way to Milngavie, on the northern fringes of Glasgow. This is the start point of the trail where you’ll spend the night at your first guesthouse, ready to start hiking tomorrow.
Day 2 – Milngavie to Drymen
Starting from Milngavie you hike north along the West Highland Way, passing Craigallian and Carbeth Lochs. You skirt the western flanks of the Campsie Fells – where many a Glasgow mountaineer enjoyed their first outing – before you reach the first night’s accommodation in the village of Drymen at the south-eastern corner of Loch Lomond. Your bags will have been collected from your accommodation while you hike and will be waiting for you in your room when you arrive.
Distance: 19km/12miles Ascent: 210m/690ft
Day 3 – Drymen to Rowardennan
The trail leaves Drymen and passes through Garadhban Forest. Leaving the forest you can choose to climb Conic Hill, 361m in height with great views over Loch Lomond – or a low level alternative path that skirts below the hill. Reaching the eastern banks of Loch Lomond at Balmaha, you follow the shore through forestry until you reach the tranquil setting of Rowardennan, which is nestled at the foot of Ben Lomond.
Distance: 21km/13miles Ascent: 430m/1,410ft
Day 4 – Rowardennan to Inverarnan
This day is considered by many hikers to be the toughest day on the trail. It follows the remote north-eastern shoreline of Loch Lomond, on a rough undulating trail. The path improves as you near your next destination, the tiny settlement of Invernarnan.
Distance: 23km/14miles Ascent: 475m/1,560ft
Day 5 – Inverarnan to Tyndrum
Well into the Highlands now, you are surrounded by rugged mountain peaks. You make your way along Glen Falloch before turning northwards into Strath Fillan. As you approach Tyndrum you are rewarded with wonderful views of Ben Lui rising up in the west.
Distance: 19km/12miles Ascent: 490m/1,608ft
Day 6 – Tyndrum to Glencoe*
This fantastic day begins with a climb out of Tyndrum, with the trail running next to the West Highland Railway line. At the top of the pass the sweeping flanks of Ben Dorain dominate the view. Continuing north you reach Bridge of Orchy and then Inveroran, which makes a good lunch stop. The shapely peaks of the Black Mount now lie to the west while Rannoch Moor stretches into the distance in front of you. Follow the trail across the wild moor, eventually reaching Glencoe and your accommodation at the Kingshouse. A memorable day of trekking!
Distance: 30km/18.5miles Ascent: 644m/2,110ft
*Day 6 can be split into 2 shorter days with an extra night’s accommodation – see pricing section.
Day 7 – Glencoe to Kinlochleven
This is a shorter day but with the biggest ascent of the route. You hike into Glencoe then climb the trail known as the ‘Devil’s Staircase’. It is steep with some switchbacks the ascent is steady and constant. At the top of the pass at 547m, you get great views of Glencoe and down Loch Leven. Descend on a good trail to the small village of Kinlochleven.
Distance: 14km/8.5miles Ascent: 430m/1,410ft
Day 8 – Kinlochleven to Fort William
The final day sees the trail climb over a final pass – 274m this time. With views across to Ben Nevis – the highest mountain in Scotland – the trail descends into Glen Nevis and down to the end of the route in Fort William. You’ve made it! Reward yourself with a good dinner tonight!
Distance = 24km/15miles Ascent: 475m/1,560ft
Day 9 – Fort William and Depart
After a leisurely breakfast, you can put on some comfortable footwear and explore the town of Fort William before starting your journey home. If you travel back to Glasgow on the train along the West Highland Line you’ll have the chance to look out for familiar sights and reflect on a memorable hike through Scotland’s Highlands.
PLEASE NOTE: Total daily distances are given for each stage but will vary slightly as you also need to walk to your accommodation each day which will usually add a short distance.
Extra Nights and Accommodation Upgrades
You also have the option to choose the following upgrades and extra nights:
- Upgraded accommodation package – we will reserve the best rooms available along the route – £965 per person
- Split Day 6 and walk the route over 9 days. The additional charge is £65 per person, £90 per person if using upgraded accommodation
- Upgraded package plus luxury nights at 5 star Inverlochy Castle and Glencoe House – £1335 per person
Every client receives a feedback survey when they return from their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us.
Once completed the review is published on our website just as soon as our database updates. The little touches and details are important to us and where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience.
That's why we read each of our client's reviews and although we don't respond to all of them, if it's glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.
by Carolyn Lyman 22/10/2018
Complete info packet of what to expect and where we overnighted was so through
The views were breathtaking and it was so good to have accommodations that helped dry our boots and such! Everyone was sooooooo over the top helpful!
Accommodation and Food
All perfect! Only one minor thot and it's that we loved having to be driven to Glencoe because Kingshouse was closed.an that valley should NOT be missed and we recommend you offer it as an option to your guests to be driven to Glencoe overnite even should Kingshouse have room! We feel so lucky to have seen that lovely valley and stay at Glencoe and look at the massacre bmonument...
No guide but your route notes were amazing! And super good map
The Bottom Line
Top notch outfit to go with! If folks want a smooth trip then they need to choose Wilderness Scotland
by William Bekemeier 22/10/2018
Everyone that I dealt with at Wilderness Scotland was very friendly, polite and accommodating. We had some special arrangements, and they helped work everything out with us. Since I live in Hawaii, it was difficult to find the right time to call, and that was a challenge. But the trip was great and the effort was worth it.
The night we spent in Drymen was interesting. After having a wonderful meal in the local pub/restaurant, we went out to the village square and were treated to a bagpipe concert played by local gentry. All of the accommodations along the Way were very nice and comfortable. Also, one night after an especially long and tiring day of hiking, we mustered up the energy to go for a pint at the Drover's Inn. What a great old place. The folks were very friendly and the music was outstanding! The band consisted of a guitar player, mandolin player, keyboard player and a bagpiper. They were rockin'!! I never heard anyone play a bagpipe like that.
Accommodation and Food
Accommodations were very nice. We opted for the moderately upscale accommodations and were not disappointed. Our hosts were exceptionally friendly. I guess that is the Scottish way...
Route notes were good. It was nice that they described points of interest along the way.
The Bottom Line
We had a great trip. We did a bit of traveling in Scotland on our own before and after the hiking which was great also. But we really enjoyed seeing the West Highlands up close. Loch Lomond was so beautiful!! It is no wonder that songs have been written about it!
by Carolyn Roberts 22/10/2018
I worked with David mostly and he was very friendly and super responsive. He took all the guesswork out of the planning and answered all my questions thoroughly. It was a very easy, enjoyable process!
Everything about our trip, from planning to actually enjoying the West Highland Way, went absolutely flawlessly. One of my favorite days of the trip was during Day 2, when hiking up next to Conic Hill we rounded a corner and came face-to-face with the beautiful Highland Cow! This trip provided us with so many memories and experiences that we would have never had otherwise. I'm so grateful for this opportunity and will treasure the memories forever. And we're already planning our next trip to Scotland! I don't think it's possible to get enough of such a gorgeous country.
Accommodation and Food
Overall, the accommodations were very good. I especially enjoyed our B&B in Crianlarich and in Glencoe. The only stay I didn't enjoy fully was the final B&B in Fort William, due entirely to the mattress situation. Our bed had a mattress that was so well worn it was literally sloping on the sides, so I was struggling to not fall off the bed all night!
We did a self-guided tour and had zero problems following the trail or finding our B&Bs. Everything was excellent.
The Bottom Line
Wilderness Scotland blew my expectations away. With 9 nights accommodation, luggage transfers, and taxi arrangements, I prepared for something to go wrong along the way. However, everything was flawless! The expert planning, help, and tips provided by the company allowed me to fully enjoy my experience hiking the West Highland Way. I have memories that will last me a lifetime and returned home feeling stronger and more capable than when I left. I would absolutely recommend Wilderness Scotland to anyone planning adventure trips in the country - in fact, I already have! Thank you so much for your help in providing me this incredible opportunity. I can't wait to visit Scotland again.
by Judi Florence 08/10/2018
Chantal provided excellent pre-trip service. She responded promptly to questions and was available for phone call conversations. I had to arrange for transport of a piece of medical equipment and Chantal made sure this was handled separately from our regular luggage to ensure its safety. When I informed her that we were leaving home 3 weeks before the start of the hike, she ensured that we received our travel package well in advance of departure. Thank you Chantal.
Unfortunately, we did have some rather difficult weather conditions during the hike. The first day we were at the mercy of a storm called Ali which made for very high winds with lots of broken branches and trees. The last 2 days of the hike were also extremely rainy and windy which made for some challenging hiking conditions. I also injured a toe on the second day of the hike which added to the challenge on future days. Of course, none of this is in the control of Wilderness Scotland, and we had a very good experience in spite of the difficulties. Some of it has yet to be revealed. We enjoyed the challenge, both mental and physical, the spectacular scenery, and the people we met along the way.
Accommodation and Food
Overall, our accommodation ranged from good to excellent. Our favourite was in Kinlochleven where we arrived sodden and tired. Our host greeted us with a bin for all our wet clothes and by the next morning everything was dry and sitting outside the door to our room. The room was spacious with lots of special touches including robes (wow!) and our host even drove us to the top of a big ascent out of Kinlochleven because of my compromised foot. It was a wonderful place to stay. Another favourite was Rose Cottage in Inverarnan. Our hosts went out of their way to cater to my husband's gluten-free requirement and provided us with a great packed lunch. They also dried and cleaned our boots and dirty gear. Our least favourite was in Tyndrum where the bathroom was just big enough to be able to close the door and the breakfast was less generous than at all the other places. We were also asked to move along quickly after we had eaten as our table was needed for incoming guests. This didn't happen anywhere else. However, even with all of this, it wasn't bad.
Our trip was self-guided and we referred to the West Highland Way booklet provided quite often as there were times when the signposts were few and far between. For some reason, we had trouble finding our first accommodation in Milngavie (just us I think!) and we overshot Drymen on our first day out and had to backtrack. Reviewing the notes now, I'm not sure how we did this, but we weren't the only ones. We learned a valuable lesson that day- never assume that the hikers in front of you are stopping at the same place as you. We paid a little closer attention to the notes on the following days.
The Bottom Line
It was an experience of a lifetime. My husband had never done anything like this before and was lamenting before the trip about how he had let himself be talked into such a thing. He enjoyed it immensely, in spite of the weather conditions and being worried about my injury. We learned things about ourselves and saw a country from a very intimate perspective. We consider ourselves very lucky to have been able to walk the WHW together and would recommend Wilderness Scotland without hesitation.