Day 1: Arrive Starting Point: Bridge of Orchy
Bridge of Orchy consists of a Hotel, Bunkhouse and Rail Station and little else. It is a great introduction to the idea that you will be able to get away from it all and forget the day to day of modern life. It is easily reached by bus or train from Glasgow. (around 2 hours)
Day 2: Bridge of Orchy to Kingshouse—12 Miles
Our favourite section of the West Highland Way. A couple of miles after leaving Bridge of Orchy you are gifted with a stunning view over Inveroran.
From there you skirt Loch Tulla and then join the military road across Rannoch Moor, a wonderful, lonely and exposed place that was once covered by a giant icecap and is today covered in bog.
There is no shelter and in bad weather it can be exposed. In good weather it is simply inspiring. Kingshouse provides great views of Buachaille Etive Mor, Scotland’s most photographed mountain.
Day 3: Kingshouse to Kinlochleven—9 Miles
From Kingshouse you follow an old military road to Altnafeadh, which gives great views of the famous ‘weeping glen’ and site of the Glencoe Massacre in 1692.
Then you zigzag up the Devil’s Staircase to the highpoint of the Way at 548m, which gives stunning views towards Ben Nevis, given clear weather.
From here you wind our way down into the pretty little town of Kinlochleven, the end to a very pleasant day. Kinlochleven Facilities: Hotels, pubs, Co-op supermarket, cash machine, post office, internet, Ice Factor Climbing Centre.
Day 4: Kinlochleven to Fort William—16 Miles
The initial sharp climb out of Kinlochleven is worth it for the fantastic views it brings and once over the top you follow a wonderfully remote valley past deserted sheilings towards Fort William.
Approximately half way through the day you enter a beautiful area of cultivated forest and follow a narrow winding track until you reach the saddle which brings you into Glen Nevis.
Ben Nevis towers ahead and you can clearly see the mountain track which snakes up the southern side of Britain’s highest mountain. At this point you bear left and follow a wide forestry road down to the Ben Nevis visitor centre and then the final miles are along the Glen Nevis road and through the centre of Fort William. This brings you to the end of your short break, and time for a few well earned beers.
Day 5: Depart Fort William
Fort William is on a main train line back to Glasgow and is also well serviced by Intercity bus. The train more or less follows the route of the West Highland Way back to Glasgow, while taking the bus will take you through the truly stunning Glen Coe.
This walk is only available from South to North due to baggage delivery restrictions.
Tailor Made Holidays
We are always more than happy to tailor our standard itineraries to suit. Just let us know what you would like and we will be happy to arrange your tailor made walking holiday.
The West Highland Escape is clearly defined on the ground and the route is waymarked for easy walking. Though map reading and use of a compass is not totally necessary, it is always advantageous.
The way is on well maintained footpaths, bridleways, across fields, but in general follows General Wades Roads which were built to open up the highlands back in the 18th Century.
One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of the accommodation. You will stay in carefully selected 3 or 4 star B&B’s, guesthouses, country pubs and small hotels. Your room will always have an ensuite or private bathroom. A delicious breakfast is always included.
If you require single rooms within your party we will always try and accommodate you subject to availability. A single supplement is payable.
A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included. Most of your accommodation will be more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or at nearby pubs or restaurants.
Daily door to door baggage transfer is included in the cost of your holiday. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 15kg per person.
Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers do not accept pets.
If you have room for a few titles in your pack, here are some good suggestions pertaining to the area.
Walking in Scotland - Lonely Planet
Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott
A History of Scotland by Neil Oliver
I never Knew That About Scotland by Christopher Winn
Official West Highland Way Site
Mountain Weather Information Site
Getting to Bridge of Orchy
There are four trains a day departing from Glasgow that stop at Bridge of Orchy. You can find details at Scotrail.co.uk
There are also 4 buses that stop at Bridge of Orchy and you can find details of them on Citylink.co.uk Both journeys take around 2 hours and pass through amazing scenery on the way. .
Getting back from Fort William
The 4 hour train journey from Fort William to Glasgow is spectacular and a great way to end your adventure. A Regular bus service also runs to and from Glasgow / Fort William (3 hours). You can find details by clicking the two links listed above.
Frequently Asked Questions
We are often asked the following questions by walkers planning the West Highland Escape and I hope that you will find the following information useful.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.
How fit do I need to be?
Basically, the higher your level of fitness the more you will enjoy the experience. The trip involves between 5 and 7 hours walking daily so you should be comfortable walking on good tracks and paths over undulating terrain for at least 6 to 7 hours. If you currently don’t enjoy that level of fitness regular walking in hilly terrain supplemented by cardio vascular exercise for at least 6 months prior to your walk is recommended. A good gym or personal trainer will be able to draw up a personalised training programme.
How far in advance do I need to book?
As far in advance as possible! We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as walking on the West Highland Way is a very busy and tends to sell out well in advance. If booking at short notice we will always try and accommodate your plans.
What personal equipment do I need?
You will need good walking shoes/boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc. You can download a full equipment list from the downloads page of our website.
When is the best time of year?
Traditionally April/May has always been the most popular time of year because the theory goes that the weather is better and the midges have not yet appeared. Although having walked the way in every summer month I believe any time between late March and October offers a wonderful experience.
What is the best way to get to/from the walk?
We recommend you travel by bus or train. Further travel information is available on the travel tab. If you are driving you can often leave your car in Bridge of Orchy or Fort William, with the consent of the accommodation owners.
Am I able to take my dog?
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets.
What happens if I can’t walk a stage?
You can use local bus services or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.
You can start your West Highland Escape walking holiday on any date between 23rd March and the 03rd of October, subject to availability. To make a provisional reservation select "Book" for the itinerary you are interested in.
Option prices will be displayed as part of the booking process.
Because every West Highland Escape walking holiday we book is unique availability changes from day to day and our booking process works as follows:
- You provisionally book the tour you are interested in for your preferred dates and pay a 20% deposit online or by phone.
- We confirm availability and book all your accommodation and options and send final confirmation as soon as everything is confirmed (max 5 working days).
- If we are unable to accommodate you on your confirmed dates/tour or an alternative of your choice your deposit is fully refunded.
||West Highland Escape
||5 Days & 4 Nights
- 4 Night hand picked B&B, guesthouse and small hotel accommodation in en-suite rooms.
- Door to door baggage transfer.
- A detailed info pack, guide book and map for the group leader.
- Emergency telephone support from our office in the event of a problem.
- Travel to the start or from the finish of the walk.
- Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks.
- Travel Insurance.
- Personal Equipment.
- Single room supplement - If you require a single room in your party there is a single room supplement payable for each single room required.
- Additional nights before, during or after your walk.