West Highland Way Highlights - 7 Days & 6 Nights
- Complete Scotland's most famous long distance trail from Milngavie to Fort William
- Enjoy camaraderie on the trail as you meet fellow walkers from around the world
- Walk from the 'bonnie banks' of Loch Lomond to the remote Rannoch Moor
- Stay at Kingshouse Hotel or in iconic Glencoe, surrounded by spectacular scenery
- Make your proud final steps into Fort William at the foot of Ben Nevis
ItineraryDay 1 Arrive Drymen
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).
Ashbank B&B is a family-run accommodation offering superior rooms in the heart of the village. Ashbank was once the home of the famous Olympian Eric Liddel whose story was depicted in the Oscar winning film Chariots of Fire.
Braeside Guest House is situated in the centre of the village, close to all local amenities. All rooms are En-suite and have WiFi, TV, Tea & Coffee facilities with fresh milk. The gardens are perfect to relax in after your walk, there is also a BBQ available to guests. Hosts Chris and Fiona have extensive local knowledge and are always on hand to offer any assistance you may require
Green Shadows is an exceptionally situated 4-star country house B&B that sits in the shadows of the ruins of Buchanan Castle just over a mile from the idyllic village of Drymen. All of their rooms feature stylishly designed en-suite or private adjoining facilities and all are equipped with flat screen colour televisions, and tea and coffee making facilities, hair dryers and ironing facilities. You'll also enjoy one of their hearty breakfasts in their very elegant dining area. The B&B also has free Wi-Fi available if you want to access the internet.
Leave Drymen and walk through a forest plantation before the ascent of Conic Hill, which sits astride the Great Divide separating the highlands and lowlands of Scotland. The climb is fairly steep but on reaching the summit you can enjoy fantastic views over Loch Lomond, Britain’s largest body of fresh water covering 27 square miles. You will descend a steep path towards Balmaha, a small village nestling in a protected bay on the shores of bonnie Loch Lomond.
From Balmaha the path alternates between the loch shore, natural forest, and headlands. There are numerous short steep climbs along this section of the route. The scenery, forest, and birdlife between Balmaha and Rowardennan are outstanding.
During peak months, all accommodation at Rowardennan fills up well in advance. If there is no availability on the date requested, you will automatically be booked into alternative accommodation in Balmaha or Drymen. To get to/from the West Highland Way, a short return transfer will be arranged and a small supplement charge to cover the transfers will be added to your booking.
Situated on the rugged eastern shores 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. The hotel is a simple walker’s style property, many rooms have stunning views across the Loch.
Situated on the rugged Eastern Shore of Loch Lomond in the magnificent Queen Elizabeth Forest, the Rowardennan Hotel has breath-taking views of Ben Lomond, Loch Lomond Loch Lomond and the mountains to the North. The lodges are situated in the gardens adjoining the Hotel and within each you have all that you require to enjoy a comfortable stay. In the evening you can enjoy a wee dram in the Clansman bar, watching the glorious views from the marvellous beer garden, and enjoy quality hot food, also served in the bar, and made using local ingredients, and designed to give you a filling meal after a long days walk. Wifi available in hotel.
Located in the quaint village of Balmaha, in the shade of a magnificent 500-year-old oak tree, this unique country Inn which was constructed from locally quarried slate. Each room has its own individual character and all of the deluxe rooms in the cottages have views towards the loch. All rooms are en-suite and are well equipped to make your stay with them comfortable and enjoyable.
Leaving Rowardennan, the West Highland Way follows forestry roads and gently climbs 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, passing over a spectacular bridge and waterfall as you arrive at Inversnaid Hotel.
Departing Inversnaid you pass through the RSPB Inversnaid Nature Reserve and then close by to Rob Roy’s Cave. The path from Inversnaid to the head of the loch is hard going with numerous ups and downs and a generally rough surface. After leaving the lochside and passing Doune Bothy the path improves but it may seem a very long two miles from Ardleish to Inverarnan where the lovely Beinglas Farm marks the end of your day. Leave the way and follow the signs for Inverarnan. The 300-year old Drovers Inn is world-famous and provides the ideal location for your end-of-day refreshment.
If you are staying across the loch at Ardlui Hotel, then look out for the sign pointing to the little ferry (Around 2 miles before the end of this section). Walk down to the loch shore and call the ferry by raising the ball (you'll be returned to this same spot the following day).
Please ensure you check your tailored accommodation sheet for details of your overnight stay.
The hotel was built as a private hunting lodge for the Colquhoun family around 1851. It was first opened as a hotel in 1886 and two years later the east wing was added, while the west wing was added by 1905. The hotel today is painted white due to the three different types of stone used to build the main building & each of the two wings.
This hotel is one of the friendliest and most intimate hotels in Loch Lomond. With 10 en-suite rooms they offer a relaxed accommodation with great views across the northern shores.
Beinglas Campsite is situated directly on the West Highland Way at the stage of Inverarnan and is within easy walking distance of the village centre. They have abar and restaurant – The Stagger Inn – which offers a cosy setting to eat, drink, socialise or recharge. Throughout summer there will be live music on site to enhance your stay and celebrate our Scottish culture.
The Drovers accommodation is a unique styled Inn that is not like anything you may have stayed in before. The original Inn dates back to the 1800s. Packed full of history it has been a welcomed, cosy stop for the weary hunters and travellers passing through the highlands for hundreds of years.
There are a selection of rooms to choose from in the original Inn, or across the road in the cottages where no two rooms are the same. Keeping the feel of the bygone days, you will find old oil paintings, antique furniture and artifacts with vibrant colours around the rooms. To ensure you feel refreshed rooms are also equipped with modern comforts such as hair dryers, heating and tea/coffee making facilities. You can enjoy live music and hearty Scottish cuisine in the main bar, giving a fully unique Scottish experience.
Today involves a short transfer from your accommodation in Inverarnan to Bridge of Orchy to begin your walk. There is a steep climb as you leave Bridge of Orchy, but you are rewarded with amazing views over Loch Tulla and the Black Mount hills. A short descent brings you to the isolated Inveroran Hotel.
This is our favourite section of the West Highland Way. Leaving Inveroran skirt Loch Tulla and join the military road across the Rannoch Moor, a wonderful, lonely, and exposed place that was once covered by a giant icecap and is today covered in a bog. There is no shelter and in bad weather, it can be exposed, whilst in good weather, Rannoch Moor is simply inspiring. The original 17th-century hotel at Kingshouse has now been replaced with a refurbished hotel, which provides unrivaled views of Buachaille Etive Mor, perhaps Scotland’s most photographed mountain.
Kingshouse: If you are staying in Kingshouse, an additional supplement may be payable depending on the time of year and the day of the week. If this is relevant to your preferred departure date, your Destination & Adventure specialist will communicate this with you upon confirming your booking.
Kingshouse Hotel sits in splendid isolation on the wild Rannoch Moor with arguably Scotland's best view of Buachaille Etive Mor.
The Kings House Hotel is centred around a 17th century Inn, believed to be one of Scotland's oldest licensed establishments. The original building was used after the Battle of Culloden in 1745, as a barracks for troops of George III, hence the name Kings House. The building has now been altered considerably over the past century and has now been redeveloped, refurbished and transformed to the highest standard. All rooms are comfortably decorated and have all the amenities you require for a comfortable night’s stay. There is also a drying room for those rainy days. The location of the Kingshouse Hotel could not be better and the view across to Buachaille Etive Mor has to be one of the most stunning vistas in all Scotland!
They are a family run, three-star, Scottish Tourist Board guest house. All of the rooms benefit from en-suite shower and toilet facilities and all have individually controlled heating, colour TV with Freesat box and DVD player, hairdryer and hospitality tray for tea and coffee. After a long day, you can relax with a drink, snack, book or DVD movie … all of which are available from their guest lounge.
They also have free WIFI and they have a drying room with heaters for those rainy days. They also offer a laundry wash and dry service for £5 per load. In order to keep this lovely guesthouse looking as splendid as ever, all muddy boots should be placed in the drying room and clean shoes worn in the house.
You will be warmly welcomed to Tom Eachainn with provide comfortable en-suite accommodation within sight of Loch Leven. All rooms have hairdryer, TV, wifi, tea and coffee facilities and toiletries.
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 West Highland Way at 548m, which gives stunning views towards Ben Nevis, given clear weather. From here wind your way down into the small town of Kinlochleven, marking the end of a pleasant day on the trail.
Alt-Na-Leven guest house is well situated in the centre of Kinlochleven.
The Highland Getaway has wonderful accommodation that is clean, comfortable and perfect for relaxing after an adventurous day on the West Highland Way. The Highland Getaway Restaurant is the perfect place to start your day with a hearty breakfast or to unwind in the evening with a tasty meal or nightcap after a day of exploring the highlands.
The guest house is located at the head of Loch Leven, just 3 minutes’ walk from Kinlochleven village centre. All the rooms are en-suite and with mountain views. The whole guesthouse including all rooms is strictly non-smoking. A wonderful accommodation and you are assured a very warm welcome.
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. Enter a beautiful area of cultivated forest and follow a narrow winding track into Glen Nevis. Towering ahead is Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, and you follow a wide forestry road down to the Visitor Centre. The final two miles are along the Glen Nevis road, bringing you to the official end of the West Highland Way at the main street of Fort William, where your adventure comes to a close.
Dora welcomes you with open arms to her lovely guest house, Myrtle Bank. Overlooking Loch Linnhe and just a short stroll from the town centre and its selection of shops, pubs and restaurants, this is the perfect place to relax after a day of exploration.
A warm welcome awaits you at Guisachan House, a family run private guest house. They are situated in an elevated position off the main road with views over Loch Linnhe and surrounding hills only 5 minutes walking distance from Fort William town centre. They have 17 bedrooms and a guest lounge and bar offering wine, beer, spirits and malt whiskey. Wireless Internet is available for the guests. There is some photography dotted around the guest house taken by Phil, one of the owners.
Located in a prime residential area overlooking Loch Linnhe, the guest house is only 5 minutes walk from the shops and restaurants in Fort William town centre. You are assured a warm welcome at this splendid property and all rooms are en-suite with central heating, flat screen televisions and tea/coffee making facilities. There is free WiFi.
After breakfast your trip on the West Highland Way has come to an end. From Fort William we recommend you take the West Highland Line rail journey (3 hr 45 mins) back to Glasgow on one of the country’s most scenic train rides. Alternatively, speak to the team about your needs to get a quote for private airport transfers to Glasgow (2hr 15 mins) or Edinburgh (2hr 45 mins) airports.
Other InformationIs it for me?
This is a stunning long distance walk, showcasing some of the best scenery that Scotland has to offer. It can be pretty tough going, with some challenging terrain, but you have the bonus of an included transfer to miss out on the less exciting section! What a great walk for boasting about to friends!
Classic Routes | If you’re the active, outdoorsy type, who’s interested in taking on the great routes of the world or looking for a challenge, then our Classic Routes are for you. We’re talking the West Highland Way, Tour Du Mont Blanc and the Passau to Vienna Danube Cycle Path, to name but a few!
Inn to Inn Walking | Walk from place-to-place changing accommodations each night. Generally staying in B&B’s, inns, and guesthouses.
As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveller this holiday would be suitable for is: 12 Years
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.
This route is suitable for most regular walkers and the higher your level of physical fitness the more you will enjoy the experience. We suggest walking regularly and hitting a few hills before your trip, keeping in mind the daily distances and changes in elevation in your daily itinerary.
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.
We will always try and accommodate you at the locations detailed in your itinerary. Occasionally, due to limited availability, there may be the possibility that you will be accommodated at an alternative location in order to confirm your booking. If you are staying the night in Inverarnan on your itinerary, you may need to spend 2 nights in either Tyndrum, Crianlarich, or Bridge of Orchy, depending on which itinerary you have chosen. We will include transfers to and from these locations from and to Inverarnan, and they will be included in the cost of your tour (the exception to this is the 6 Days & 5 Nights itinerary where we find a suitable alternative but you will need to pay a supplement). However, there maybe other locations where you may have to stay at an alternative location, which you may have to pay a supplement for, but we will always ask you about this in advance.
The Kingshouse Hotel
During busy booking times a supplement may have to be paid when staying at the Kingshouse Hotel. Unfortunately, this cannot be avoided due to this hotel increasing their costs on certain dates of the year. If you do not want to stay at the Kingshouse, there would be no supplement to stay in Glencoe or Ballaculish which is our usual alternative.
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.
Breakfast is included each morning while lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Your accommodation may be able 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 (your info pack has recommendations).
You may wish to take some extra nights along the route, either to rest or for those with plenty of energy to explore some of the other walking opportunities nearby. We recommend extra nights at:
- Rowardennan - for climbing Ben Lomond, a Munro with commanding views over Loch Lomond.
- Crianlarich - a halfway stop with options for visiting the seaside town of Oban, complete with whisky distillery, via the local train service (1hr 15 mins each way).
- Fort William - for climbing Ben Nevis (the UK's highest mountain).
The route is well-waymarked throughout and easy to follow. Navigation is straightforward as you can use the Macs Adventure Smartphone App which has maps, GPS tracks, and daily route information. Simply download the GPS tracks for offline use and follow the route on your phone with the assurance that navigation will be simple, and you can’t get lost. You will find more information on downloading the app in your Macs Adventure Account. We will also supply a detailed map and guidebook.
- Overnight in hand-picked B&B’s, small hotels & guesthouses
- Breakfast at each accommodation
- Baggage transfer (one 20kg bag per person)
- We include an overnight in Fort William at the end of your trip as standard
- Transfers to your accommodation (if included as part of your itinerary)
- Access to maps, GPX tracks and daily route information with the Macs Adventure smartphone navigation app
- All your trip documents provided digitally through your online Macs “My Account”
- 24/7 Emergency telephone support from our UK office
- Travel to Drymen / from Fort William
- Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage
- Lunches, dinners, snacks & drinks
- Travel insurance (required)
- Personal equipment
- Additional nights along the route
- Pre-tour accommodation in Glasgow / Milngavie
This trip is available from the end of March to mid-October. We suggest booking as soon as your plans are finalised as the West Highland Way is extremely popular and will sell out quickly (especially over April/May and July/August). We will always try our best to book your preferred dates, and having some flexibility in your travel dates improves our chances of confirming your booking.
Busy times in Kinlochleven are at the end of April and the beginning of May. This is because the "Pre-65 Scottish Motorcycle Trials" are held here during that time. There is also a busy time in Fort William at the end of April for a week because of the "Scottish 6 Days Trial Event". We have blocked start dates accordingly due to these events as availability is extra tight on these particular dates.
A supplement may apply when staying at the Kingshouse Hotel. Unfortunately, this can’t be avoided due to the hotel’s increasing costs on certain dates of the year. If you do not want to stay at the Kingshouse, there will be no supplement and you can stay in Glencoe or Ballachulish as an alternative.
Scotland's climate is notoriously changeable! Expect some amounts of both sunshine and rain regardless of the time of year, so always pack both waterproofs and sunscreen. July and August are usually warmest with average temperatures around 14 degrees centigrate, and highs of up to mid-twenties. Some snow may remain or even fall on the higher parts of the route in March & April, and even beyond. May has the least rainfall on average, but you would still expect some wetter days, and each year can vary greatly.
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
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
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
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:
Services from UK destinations are operated by National Express. From Glasgow local bus services serve Drymen
Services from Scottish destinations are operated by Scottish Citylink. From Glasgow local bus services serve Drymen
By Rail: Onward travel to Inverness or Mallaig (then onto Skye by ferry) is possible by Scotrail train. Alternatively, return to Glasgow on the West Highland Line railway line (approx. 4 hours) - one of the UK's most scenic rail journeys.
By Bus: Onward travel directly to Skye is possible with the Citylink bus service. From Fort William you can take direct Citylink buses directly to Glasgow (3 hours 15 mins), Edinbugh city centre (5 hours 20 mins) or to Edinburgh airport (5 hours).
Taxi Tranfers: On request we can arrange private taxi transfers from Fort William, please contact your destination specialist for details.
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.
At Macs Adventure, we work in partnership with many luggage transfer providers who set a limit on how many bags/suitcases they will transfer per person, and also the weight of the bag/suitcase. Your booking includes transfer of 1 bag per person. It is very important that you read the luggage information specific to your tour before departure. If you do not adhere to these limits, there is a great possibility that you will be charged locally both for extra bags or if they are too heavy. This limitation can be a challenge, especially as airlines generally have limits that are higher. However, our luggage providers have reasons for these limits (usually due to the Health and Safety of their employees), which we must respect.
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.
At Macs Adventure we care about the environment! We’re taking action to minimize the impact we have by converting the majority of our tour documentation for online delivery.
On this tour, all your detailed tour information will be digitally delivered. You will have access to this documentation via “My Account” on our website.
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.
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West Highland Way
The West Highland Way is the first trip Macs Adventure operated back in 2003 and remains one of our favourite trips today. For a taste of the experience, watch this short feature about a West Highland Way father and daughter adventure.
West Highland Way Video Diary
Dan, our resident wildlife expert, took to the West Highland Way and recorded his whole journey. This video shows you the full route, from the starting point in Milngavie, through all the points of interest, to the finish in Fort William. Dan points out some interesting things along the route that you shouldnt miss, but this is not a video laden with spoilers. Every journey on the West Highland Way is different, dictated by the weather, the people you meet and the chance encounters with wildlife (human and otherwise!) Get a taste of what is in store on the West Highland Way with Dan.
The West Highland Way
For an oversight of the West Highland Way, its history, its logistics and how it feels to walk, this is the video for you. Ewan discusses some of the finer points of walking the route, with the background of Loch Lomond, shows how the baggage transfer works and how easy Macs Adventure make walking the West Highland Way.
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