Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Self-guided walking holiday on the West Highland Way - Highlights
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Highlights

  • Walk our favourite sections of Scotland's most famous long distance trail
  • Visit the renowned Drovers Inn at Inverarnan for a well deserved pint
  • Cross the windswept landscape of the Rannoch Moor as you approach Glencoe
  • Enjoy camaraderie on the trail with fellow walkers from around the world
  • Stay in the Kingshouse Hotel overlooking Scotland's most photographed mountain - Buachaille Etive Mor

Discover the Scotland's spectacular landscape on the West Highland Way; towering mountains, tranquil lochs and rushing rivers combine to reward you with a unique and ever changing experience as you journey from Drymen to Fort William.

This highlights itinerary takes in 66 miles of walking with an included transfer that skips the section between Inverarnan and Bridge of Orchy. Depart the village of Drymen where the route leads you up the shores of Loch Lomond giving a splendid panorama south over the loch. From Inverarnan you are transferred north to Bridge of Orchy where you'll walk via Inveroran and theremote Loch Tulla to Kingshouse Hotel on the open expanse of the Rannoch Moor. This really is Scottish Highland scenery at its best! Continue onto Kinlochleven via the “Devil’s Staircase” (not as intimidating as it sounds), before finally reaching Ben Nevis and, Scotland’s outdoor capital, Fort William.

Macs Adventure has been operating self guided walking holidays on the West Highland Way since 2003. Based locally, just a few miles from the start of the West Highland Way, our team has walked the West Highland Way countless times. So we really do know every step of the way. Each year over 2500 people trust us to organise their West Highland Way adventure and 99% would recommend us to a friend! But don’t just take our word for it, you can read over 800 authentic and unbiased West Highland Way customer reviews below.

Day 1: Arrive Drymen and overnight

Arrive in Drymen ready to begin your adventure on the West Highland Way.  Drymen can be reached from Glasgow by train and bus, or more easily by taxi or car (approx. 25 minutes from the centre of Glasgow). 


Day 2: Walk to Rowardennan

From Drymen the route winds its way up just short of Conic Hill's
summit (361m).  Situated on the Highland Boundary Fault - separating the
highlands and the lowlands - this little peak provides is a natural
viewpoint overlooking Loch Lomond, Britain’s largest body of fresh
water covering 27 square miles. Descend a steep path towards
the small village of Balmaha, nestled in a protected bay on the
shores of bonnie Loch Lomond.


A scenic and challenging section of the Way - the path
alternates between the loch shore, natural forest and headlands of Loch
Lomond. There are numerous short steep climbs, and the underfoot terrain
is uneven in sections. Slow your pace to admire the local birdlife and
look forward to a hearty meal at the end of the day.


Walk: 15 miles / 23 km


Day 3: Walk to Inverarnan

Follow the well waymarked trail on forestry tracks high up above Loch Lomond, giving fantastic views over
the water and towards the peaks of the Arrochar Alps. As you close in on
Inversnaid the path narrows and becomes more undulating, walk over a
spectacular bridge and waterfall as you arrive at Inversnaid Hotel.


From Inversnaid a packed day awaits; walk through the RSPB Inversnaid Nature
Reserve and close by Rob Roy’s Cave. The Way covers rolling terrain over a
generally rough surface, but after leaving the lochside and passing Doune
Bothy the path improves en route to Inverarnan. 


Walk: 13.5 miles / 22 km


Day 4: Transfer to Bridge of Orchy, walk to Kingshouse

A morning transfer brings you to the small hamlet of Bridge
of Orchy.  Leave the roadside and hotel behind to begin your walk towards Loch Tulla and the Black Mount where
you'll pass the isolated Inveroran Hotel.


Arguably the most beautiful section of the West Highland Way this
stretch of the trail to Kingshouse on the edge of Glencoe leads you
over the remote Rannoch Moor.  Follow the military road across
Rannoch Moor, once
covered by a giant icecap but is today covered in bog. There is no
shelter and in bad weather, it can be exposed, whilst in good weather,
Rannoch Moor is simply inspiring.


The 17th century Kingshouse Hotel provides
great views of Buachaille Etive Mor, Scotland’s most photographed
mountain, and is a favouite spot of the area's Red Deer.


Walk: 12 miles / 20 km


Day 5: Walk to Kinlochleven

From Kingshouse follow a good track north through Glencoe, which
giving views of the famous "weeping glen"- site of the Glencoe
Massacre in 1692.  Pass Buachaille Etive Mor then zig-zag up the
"Devil’s Staircase" to the
highpoint of the West Highland Way at 548m. Your reward is wonderful
views of Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain, before you wind your
descent into the small town of Kinlochleven.


Walk: 9 miles / 14 km 


Day 6: Walk to Fort William

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 stone cottages towards Fort
William.
Follow a trail through the forest in Glen Nevis with views of towering
Ben Nevis ahead. The final two miles of the Way follow the Glen Nevis
road, bringing you
to the official end of the West Highland Way at the main street of Fort
William.


Walk: 15 miles / 24 km


Day 7: Onward travel

After a hearty Scottish breakfast in Fort William it's time to leave the this bustling highland hub behind.  If you'd like to extend your adventure from here don't hesitate to give our specialists a shout for inspiration. 

Accommodation

Our West Highland Way holidays include overnight accommodation in a mixture of country inns, small hotels, guest houses and B&B’s. We have worked with many of our accommodation partners for over 10 years and have great relationships with them ensuring you receive the best attention from the moment you check in.


We carefully select your accommodation to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay and all offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food.


We book en suite rooms as standard. If there are no en suite rooms available in an overnight location, we may book a room with shared facilities, but we will always inform you in advance if this was the case.


Accommodation Upgrade

If you would prefer a little extra comfort whilst walking the West Highland Way you can choose to upgrade to and stay with our hotel accommodation partners. If you choose this option you'll stay in a selection of country hotels, luxury B&Bs and country inns of character.


Accommodation Location

We will always try and accommodate you at the locations detailed in your itinerary. Occasionally, because of limited availability, there is the option to be accommodated at an alternative location. In the unlikely event that we have to accommodate you elsewhere, we will advise you of this before confirming your booking. In this case we can amend your trip dates or arrange transfers to and from an alternative overnight accommodation (supplement payable).


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This holiday is available to solo walkers, although a supplement is payable. If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate your request, although it is not generally possible to secure more than three single rooms in a party. A single room supplement is payable.


Meals

Breakfast is included each morning while lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Your accommodation will be more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival. Alternatively, your guidebook includes details of local shops and convenient lunch stops on the way. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby pubs and restaurants and your info pack has recommendations.


Additional Nights

You may wish to take some extra nights along the route, either to rest or to explore some of other walking opportunities nearby. We would recommend extra nights at Rowardennan - For climbing Ben Lomond, Crianlarich - A halfway stop with options for visiting Oban, Fort William - For climbing Ben Nevis.


Accommodation Partners

Although not exhaustive these are some of the accommodation providers we use most often.



 

 

 




Drymen Rooms - Drymen

At Drymen Rooms, Colin and Scott guarantee a warm friendly welcome and comfortable stay in their modern and clean 3 star accommodation.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Ashbank B&B - Drymen

You are ensured a warm welcome from Tommy and Mhairi at this lovely guesthouse. Ashbank was once the home of the famous Olympian Eric Liddel who's story was depicted in the Oscar winning film Chariots of Fire.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Green Shadows - Drymen



Green Shadows - Drymen

A lovely B&B overlooking Buchanan Castle Golf Course and offering a very high standard of accommodation in the village of Drymen.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Buchanan Arms - Drymen

One of the finest and most popular small hotels in the Trossachs, The Buchanan Arms Hotel possesses character and charm which sits peacefully and calmly with the qualities of its surroundings.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Rowardennan Hotel - Rowardennan

Situated on the rugged eastern banks of Loch Lomond in the magnificent Queen Elizabeth Forest the Rowardennan Hotel has breathtaking views of Ben Lomond, Loch Lomond and the mountains to the north.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Beinglas Farm - Inverarnan

Beinglas is two miles north of the head of Loch Lomond on the West Highland Way beneath the Grey Mares Tail waterfall and surrounded by an abundance of mountains, waterfalls and wildlife.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Ardlui Hotel - Inverarnan

The Ardlui Hotel is located in the heart of Scotland's first National Park - Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park - and has a friendly restaurant providing hearty highland dishes.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Alt-na-Leven Guest House - Kinlochleven



Alt-na-Leven Guest House - Kinlochleven

Alt-na-Leven is a charming family run 4-star guest house in the heart of Kinlochleven, among the dramatic peaks of Glencoe and the Mamore Forest.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Guisachan Guest House - Fort William



Guisachan Guest House - Fort William

Guisachan House sits above Fort William, close to the centre of town. Matthew and Edith will ensure that your last night on the West Highland Way is a comfortable and relaxing one.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Myrtle Bank - Fort William



Myrtle Bank - Fort William

Dora welcomes you with open arms to her beautiful guest house - Myrtle Bank. Overlooking Loch Linnie and just a short stroll from the town centre Myrtle Bank is a wonderful place to relax at the end of the West Highland Way.


 

 

 

Availability

The West Highland Way is a popular trail throughout the summer season. May in particular is the busiest time on the Way so if you'd like to travel then make sure to book well in advance.  Speak to one of expert Desination & Adventure Specialists about arranging your trip today.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This holiday is available to solo walkers, although a single supplement is payable. If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate your request, although it is not generally possible to secure more than three single rooms in a party. A single supplement is payable.


Grade & Terrain

This holiday is graded moderate and includes daily walks of between 9 - 16 miles. Perfect for regular walkers, some days will be more challenging than others and the terrain will be varied with some rough and rugged footpaths. More ascent and descent involved so a good level of fitness will be required.


Navigation

The route is well way marked and easy to follow. We supply a detailed map and guidebook so you shouldn’t have any problem finding your way.


Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be collected from your accommodation each day and moved onto your overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Getting to Drymen

By Air


Glasgow International Airport


Located 8 miles west of Glasgow is served by routes from around
Britain and the world. A regular shuttle service runs to the city
centre. Visit their website for details of operators and routes. From
Glasgow local bus services serve Drymen


Web: http://www.glasgowairport.com/


Prestwick International Airport


Located 30 miles south of Glasgow, Prestwick is served primarily by
Ryanair. A train service runs from Prestwick to Glasgow city centre.
Note that this takes approx. 50 minutes so don't cut it too fine. Again
their website has details of routes and operators. From Glasgow local
bus services serve Drymen


Web: http://www.glasgowprestwick.com/


By Rail


Glasgow is served by several operators from throughout Britain. It is
important to book as far in advance as possible to get the best fares.
For information on all routes contact National Rail Enquires. From
Glasgow local bus services serve Drymen


Web: www.nationalrail.co.uk


By Road


Glasgow is served by an excellent motorway network. Long term parking
is generally not available in the city centre but unsecure parking is
available in Milngavie and Drymen. For directions and journey planner
visit:


Web: http://www.bing.com/maps/


By Coach


Services from UK destinations are operated by National Express. From Glasgow local bus services serve Drymen


Web: www.nationalexpress.com


Services from Scottish destinations are operated by Scottish Citylink. From Glasgow local bus services serve Drymen


Web: www.citylink.co.uk


Getting back from Fort William

Return transfers from Fort William to Glasgow are NOT included in the
price of your holiday. If you are returning to Glasgow we suggest the
Citylink Bus (4-5 daily/3 hours) or First Scotrail Train (2-3 daily/4
hours)


By Rail


The journey from Fort William to Glasgow is one of Scotland's most
spectacular. Trains take about 4 hours and leave 2 to 3 times daily.


Enquires.


Web: www.nationalrail.co.uk


By Coach


Scottish Citylink operates 4 to 5 services daily to Glasgow and the
journey takes about three hours.They also operate services north to
Inverness and Skye.


Web: www.citylink.co.uk


 

Included

  • Hand-picked B&Bs, guest houses and hotels
  • 6 Breakfasts
  • Daily door-to-door baggage transfer
  • Transfer to Bridge of Orchy on Day 4
  • Detailed information pack for the group leader with a guidebook
  • Access to detailed mapping and GPS tracks on the Macs Adventure smartphone app
  • A recommended equipment list and suggestions on the best gear
  • 24/7 Emergency telephone support from our offices

Excluded

  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Transport to the start or from the finish of the walk
  • Taxi transfers not included in the itinerary
  • Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks or drinks
  • Personal equipment

Extras

  • Single room / solo traveler supplement
  • Milngavie / Glasgow accommodation (pre-tour)
  • Upgrade to hotel standard accommodation throughout
  • Extra night/s along the route
  • Extra night/s in Fort William accommodation (post-tour)

Planning a trip on the West Highland Way can be daunting, especially if this is your first long distance walking holiday. We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful.

How fit do I need to be?

At 66 Miles the Highlights of the West Highland Way itinerary comprises a fair distance and the higher your level of fitness the more you will enjoy the experience. Most of our itineraries involve between 5 and 10 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?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the West Highland Way is extremely popular especially over April/May and July/August. You will find up to date availability on our website and 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. Our info packs have a list of all equipement to bring on your walk.

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 are the midges like?

Midges are small biting insects (much like north American gnats) which are prevalent in the summer months. They are particularly bad on still, overcast days but do not bother you if you are moving, the wind is blowing, sun is shining, it’s raining, or you are inside so as long as you carry repellent for the odd occasion you may need it they shouldn’t have any impact on your experience.

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 and several sections of the way are closed to dogs as they are permissive paths through farm land.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

You can use public transport, local taxis or our baggage van may be able to move you to the next overnight stop. Full details are included in your info pack.

I would do it gain.

5

If you want a walk that has it all then this is the one for you. Breath-taking views, friendly people, great accomodation, history, and great exercise. We have done many walks but this is the best so far. Enjoy!!! Us, together, we walk on, in locked step, on loch shores, all I see is her, my heart runs wild, lost to wilderness, breath stolen again, that she has stolen, so many times. Ninety two miles, up and down, and up and up, a clipped step, to high hopes. Sprits distilled, the craic, open talk, kind hearts, nature revealing, never silent, always moving, breeze-a-whispering, brooks-a-babbling, boat ferrying, lub-dubbing, scissor cutting, bow lapping, time keeping, old refrain, new meaning, full voice, sweet singing, Celtic air, then and there, Ardlui and a Balvenie, double wood, twice blessed, a glass, a perspective, to focus, human kindness. '... on the Bonnie Bonnie banks of Loch Lomond'. Drymen to Rowardennan, to Inverarnan to Tyndrum, to Inveroran and Kingshouse, to Kinlochleven to Fort William, Moorlands beckon, sentinel mountains, move the soul, countryside cedes, but never yields, to townscape, now patchwork, cobbled streets, passers-by, cobbled lives, step after step, going somewhere. Local kids wasting time, workmen trudging hame, shoppers hither and tither, pubs spilling, damaged cargo, muttered ascents, ethanol Argo, old buckled men, leaning on canes. Clouds shroud, night falls, time for a wee dram, with the one I love, a way along, the Highland Way, to life, to love, to being, in the moment. Slàinte.

John & Judy Mullan

Australia

true

Wonderful way to spend a week

5

For people who love to walk, see new places and meet new people.

David

Medicine Hat, Canada

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Excellent!

5

Mac's route gave us achievable distances each day (we did the 7 day walk), the accommodation varied from very good to excellent, our bags were always there when we arrived and there was always somewhere to eat in the evenings with mostly very good fare. We had great weather most days which helped. The whole thing was very well organised.

Meow Mikey B

Bournemouth

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What an adventure!

5

We had a blast trekking the West Highland Way. MacAdventures made it super easy for us to retrieve and place our luggage at the end and beginning of each day. It was fabulous to have our luggage schlepped for us. The pre-trip information was perfect, just enough information to whet our appetites about the overall trip, and enough logistical information so we knew what we were doing every step of the way. Would definitely use Mac Adventures again!

Christine

Oregon

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Brilliant!

5

Brilliant! From having an idea of what I wanted to the day the trip ended everything was organised in a very efficient manner. I was kept up to date, all questions answered, baggage transfers & accommodation perfect. Can't praise Macs Adventures enough.

Peggy Pooch

Berkshire

true

Everything went like clockwork

5

I had already completed several long distance walks including the coast to coast and had carried all my own equipment and clothing. I decided to use the luggage transfer company for the West Highland Way trip. Best decision made. We had absolutely no problem with luggage transfer and it was nice to be able to change into evening clothing and visit the local pubs and restaurants. There was also the bonus of every single accommodation being top class. Again something brilliantly organised by Macs Adventures.

Captainslog

Derbyshire

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Sweat and Toil Just for Fun

5

Despite getting rained on every day the WHW is a fantastic experience! The arrangements worked perfectly leaving us to only worry about surviving until our next destination. (which we did!) Amazing to meet many people with similar goals to ours and making friends quickly through our shared suffering, no doubt! Despite the weather we were easily reminded that Scotland is a beautiful country especially when we were out of sight and hearing of the A82! We did get some sunshine and finished off by walking the Cow Hill Trail into Fort William. The previous 4 hours had been dry and sunny and of course the heavens re-opened 300 meters from the finish. The welcome we got from our families made up for all the wet and pain. Ah well! we know what to expect the next time round! Big thanks to all at Macs Adventure for the perfect arrangements. Especially thanks to Craig Dickson for his patience in booking and re-booking a couple of times due to injury. Great trip!

Brian

Thurso

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Ticked off the bucket list

5

We did this walk as a group of 6 and had the most fantastic experience of landscape, hospitality, vistas, mountains laughs and people. One of the best trips I have ever done.

Kylie

Sunny Coast

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Wonderful Experience

5

Had a great time, no issues with any luggage. Everything was waiting at each location every day. All the locations were all nice and had no issues!

Andy

Dallas, Texas

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We loved our West Highland Way Trip

5

We loved the trip. We had one snafu with our booking while on the trip but Macs Adventures handled it really well. The luggage was delivered without fail and the drivers were super helpful as well.

Jill

West Highland Way

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West Highland Way Walking Holiday

4.8 955

99.0

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