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West Highland Way - 8 Days & 7 Nights

8 Days & 7 Nights 4.8 Read 959 reviews
  • 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 the Kingshouse Hotel with views onto Buachaille Etive Mor
  • Make your proud final steps into Fort William at the foot of Ben Nevis
The 8 day itinerary is our most popular and recommended for most parties. Discover the spectacular landscape of Scotland’s western highlands on the West Highland Way. Towering mountains, tranquil lochs and rushing rivers combine to reward you with a unique and ever changing landscape as you journey 98 miles from Milngavie (Glasgow) to Fort William. Best described as Scotland’s finest long distance walk the West Highland Way runs 96 miles (154 km) from Milngavie, just outside Glasgow, to Fort William. Opened in 1980 as the first official long distance footpath in Scotland the West Highland Way remains the best and most popular long distance walk in Scotland. After leaving Milngavie, the West Highland Way immediately has that wonderful countryside feeling as you pass through Mugdock Country Park and Dumgoyne Distillery, on route to the small village of Drymen. The route continues to Loch Lomond via Conic Hill, which gives a splendid panorama of Loch Lomond and the Highland Boundary Fault. Next you wander through the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park to Crianlarich and then Tyndrum. Bridge of Orchy, Inveroran and Loch Tulla punctuate the trail on the way to the Kingshouse Hotel which lies on the remote Rannoch Moor. This really is Scottish Highland Scenery at its best. Your walk continues onto Kinlochleven via the “Devil’s Staircase”, before finally reaching Ben Nevis and Fort William, Scotland’s Outdoor Capital situated at the head of Loch Linnhe. 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 more than ten times. So we literally know every step of the way. Each year over 1000 people trust us to organise their West Highland Way walk and 99% would recommend us to a friend. But don’t just take our word for it, you can read over 300 authentic and unbiased West Highland Way customer reviews below. As the largest operator on the West Highland Way we can secure you the best value and quality accommodation, baggage transfer and services, regardless of whether you are walking solo or as a group of 20.
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What To Expect

Our most popular itinerary, great for fit first-timers and experienced walkers alike. Walk this iconic long-distance trail showcasing some of the best scenery that Scotland has to offer! With varied daily mileages it can be pretty tough going, with some undulating terrain, on generally excellent paths. There is always the option to walk the route on a longer 9, 10 or 11 day itinerary for a leisurely trip. A great one for boasting about to friends!

Trip Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active holiday.

Activity:

Inn to Inn Walking | A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night

This trip is suitable for:

Solo Travellers, Families, First Timers

As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveller this holiday would be suitable for is: 12 Years

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Wine, Whisky & More...
  • Wildlife
  • Historical Journeys
  • National Parks & Trails
  • Special Occasions

Inspiration:

  • Most Popular
  • Classic

Grade & Terrain

This holiday is graded moderate overall with individual itineraries varying from easy to moderate through to moderate to strenuous. Daily walking distances vary between 7 - 21 miles. Some days will be more challenging than others and the terrain will be varied with some rough and rugged footpaths. There are ascents and descents involved so a good level of fitness will be required.

Navigation

The West Highland Way is very well waymarked 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 on this tour will be made simple and you cannot get lost.

You will find more information on downloading the app in your Macs Adventure Account.

Experience & Fitness

This route is suitable for most regular walkers of average fitness. You should train by walking some daily walks of similar daily distances to your planned itinerary.

Accommodation Information

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 Location

We will always try and accommodate you at the locations detailed in your itinerary. Occasionally, due to limited availability, there may be an 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 you can change your trip dates or we can arrange taxi 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 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).

Additional Nights

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).
Included
  • 7 Nights in hand-picked B&B’s, small hotels & guesthouses
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • Baggage transfer
  • We include an overnight in Fort William at the end of your trip as standard
  • 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
Excluded
  • Travel to Milngavie / from Fort William
  • Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks & drinks
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel insurance (required)
Extras
  • Additional nights along the route
  • Pre-tour accommodation in Glasgow / Milngavie

When To Go

The trip is available from the end of March to mid-October and while it does get very busy, we are always willing to try and get you booked in.

There are a few dates throughout the year when events in the local area will prevent us from being able to book accommodation. The following are particularly difficult to secure:

Kinlochleven – Pre 65 Trails, held every year in early May

Weather and Climate

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.

Getting to the Start

By Air:

Glasgow Airport: Located 8 miles west of the city, the airport is served by numerous domestic and international airlines. A regular Citylink bus service operates between the airport and the city centre. Alternatively, you can also book taxis at a fixed rate from the airport to your accommodation in Glasgow, or to Glasgow Central train station Glasgow city centre, and there is also a service to/from Fort William.

Prestwick Airport: Located 30 miles south of Glasgow, Prestwick is primarily served by the budget airline Ryanair. A train service operates from Prestwick to Glasgow city centre, taking approx. 50 mins. 

Edinburgh Airport: Located 45 miles east of Glasgow, Edinburgh Airport is served by numerous domestic and international airlines. A regular Citylink bus service operates between the airport and Glasgow's Buchanan Street Bus Station in the city centre (approx. 60 mins). Alternatively, you could take the tram towards Edinburgh city centre and connect with the train from Edinburgh Haymarket train station to Glasgow Queen Street station. 

By Rail: Glasgow is well-served by rail from across the UK. Booking in advance secures the best fares. For information on all routes visit Scotrail or National Rail.

By Car: Glasgow is served by a motorway network. Long term parking is generally not available in the city centre, but parking (not secured) is available in Milngavie, at the start of the walk. A useful website for directions and parking is the RAC Route Planner.

By Bus: Services from UK destinations are operated by National Express. Services from Scottish destinations are operated by Scottish Citylink.

Getting to Milngavie from Glasgow

Milngavie is most easily accessed by train from Glasgow Central train station on a regular Scotrail service taking approx. 25 mins. 

Getting from the End

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.  

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.

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.

Online Documents

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.

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.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Milngavie, walk to Drymen 12 miles / 19 km Day 2 Drymen to Rowardennan 14.5 miles / 23 km Day 3 Rowardennan to Inverarnan 14.5 miles / 23 km Day 4 Inverarnan to Tyndrum 12 miles / 19 km Day 5 Tyndrum to Kingshouse 19 miles / 30.5 km Day 6 Kingshouse to Kinlochleven 9 miles / 14 km Day 7 Kinlochleven to Fort William 15 miles / 24 km Day 8 Onward travel from Fort William

The Macs Adventure Way

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You can be confident that every detail of your holiday has been expertly planned.
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  • 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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