- 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.
Please note that 2018 availability is now extremely limited. Please contact us to discuss potential dates.
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 – £895 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 – £1255 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 Kelly Smith Trimble 11/06/2018
David was super helpful and worked hard to make the dates we wanted work.
We loved the trip and Wilderness Scotland prepared us well. Our only negative was one night at Clifton Cottage in Tyndrum. We also could've trained a little more so our feet weren't wrecked by day 4, but that was our fault :/
Accommodation and Food
Most of our stays were great and some were excellent, including Tigh na Cheo in Kinlochleven and Myrtle Bank in Fort William. We had one bad night, at Clifton Cottage in Tyndrum. It started off okay with Tam, even though he did make one disparaging remark about Americans, but then Carmen practically yelled at us for having windows open with the screens on (which Tam had told us to do) and then berated us the next morning for not eating all our toast. It was awkward. We got out of there as soon as we could.
TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONCE:
Thanks so much for your feedback and I'm very sorry you didn't experience the warm Highland hospitality that you should have at this accommodation, we'll follow up with this.
Route notes were great.
The Bottom Line
We loved exploring Scotland via the West Highland Way and Wilderness Scotland made that easy by booking all our lodging and providing detailed day-by-day info. The walk wasn't easy, but it was a fun challenge I'll never forget. We were blessed with beautiful weather that made our preparations for rain and cold (thankfully) futile.
by Nancy Dearstyne 09/06/2018
There was a bit of confusion dealing with the website and a couple of errant emails
The scenery was fantastic and truly wilderness. The bed and breakfasts were all very good.
Accommodation and Food
Very good. Hosts were very nice, especially St Anthony's and Tigh na Fraoch.
The route notes were generally good although some times a bit vague as to distance. The bullets sometimes implied that a landmark was coming up when in fact it was several miles away. This caused a bit of confusion. On the last day prior to the descent into Fort William there was also an unmarked junction that was a bit difficult to sort. It was quite a remote spot and we were fortunate to have a biker come through and confirm our path.
The Bottom Line
by Kayleigh A Dearstyne-Hulin 09/06/2018
Self-Guided: West Highland Way
by David Lovegreen 26/05/2018
Very helpful staff