Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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West Highland Way short break
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Highlights

  • The most dramatic section of the West Highland Way; from Bridge of Orchy to Fort William.
  • Walking across the amazing wilderness landscape of the Rannoch Moor.
  • A visit to the world famous Kingshouse Hotel for a well deserved pint or even a wee dram.
  • The challenge of the Devils Staircase and the reward of the view from the top.
  • Getting to Fort William with a real sense of achievement having passed through some of Scotland’s finest scenery.

Three days of excellent walking along the world famous West Highland Way. Best described as Scotland’s finest long distance walk, the West Highland Way takes you through some of the the country's finest scenery. With this short break we have focused on arguably the most scenic part of the walk, from Bridge of Orchy to Fort William. This short break allows you to drink in the peaceful wilderness of the Rannoch Moor and Glen Nevis leaving you refreshed and invigorated.

Starting at Bridge of Orchy, you are immediately immersed in the refreshing highland air, the peace of the area flooding through you. Starting off at Bridge of Orchy means that you are already walking in the Highlands and your first day is spent crossing the remote Rannoch Moor on your way to the Kingshouse Hotel. From here your trip takes you to Kinlochleven via the ’Devils Staircase’ surrounded by the stunning mountain scenery before your final day's walk into the vibrant town of 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, we literally know every step of the way. 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. So give us a shout today to start planning your adventure.

For more information on the West Highland Way, you can download our Free online guide, or visit our in-depth West Highland Way information page.

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—12.5 Miles, 20 Km

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 a 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. Summer 2017: Kingshouse Hotel is closing for refurbishment from October 2016 for approx. 18 months and a transfer from Kingshouse to nearby accommodation (returning to Kingshouse the next day) will be provided.


Day 3: Kingshouse to Kinlochleven—8.5 Miles, 14 Km

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—15 Miles, 24 Km

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 the 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.


Walking Direction

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.

Accommodation


Our West Highland Way holidays include overnight accommodation in a mix of 2, 3 and 4 star country inns, hotels, guesthouses and B&B’s. The accommodation we use most often is listed below.


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 would always inform you in advance if this was the case.


Accommodation Upgrade


If you would prefer a little extra luxury whilst walking the West Highland Way you can upgrade to our hotel accommodation option. For this option we use a selection of country hotels, luxury bed and breakfasts 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. You shall have the option to change your dates or we can arrange transfers to and from an alternative overnight accommodation. A transfer supplement will be added in such an instance.


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.


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 also 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 will of course have recommendations.


Accommodation Partners

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



 

 

 




Bridge of Orchy Hotel - Bridge of Orchy

The Bridge of Orchy welcome their guests with personalised service, imaginative Scottish cuisine, quietly elegant en suite bedrooms and public rooms, intimate atmosphere.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Inveroran Hotel - Inveroran

The Inveroran Hotel believe that coming to them is a very special experience for everyone. We have done our best to retain the atmosphere of the 19th century inn throughout the modern hotel.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Kingshouse Hotel - Kingshouse

Built in the 17th century, Kings House is believed to be one of Scotland's oldest licensed inns.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Edencoille - Kinlochleven



Edencoille - Kinlochleven

Edencoille is a charming small family run 4 Star guest house positioned in an elevated position overlooking Loch Leven, among the dramatic peaks of Glencoe and the Mamore Forest.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Tailrace Inn - Kinlochleven



Tailrace Inn- Kinlochleven

The Tailrace Inn is a 6 bedroom inn set in Kinlochleven which nestles at the head of Loch Leven. The West Highland Way passes directly opposite the tailrace inn in the centre of the village.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Guisachan Guest House - Fort William



Guisachan Guest House - Fort William

Guisachan House sits above Fort William overlooking Loch Linnhe and the surrounding hills. Close to the centre of town, Matthew and Edith will make sure that your last night on the West Highland Way is a comfortable and relaxing one.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Myrtle Bank - Fort William



Myrtle Bank - Fort William

Myrtle Bank is a warm and pleasant establishment which overlooks Loch Linnie and is just a short stroll from the Town. Dora will welcome you in to her wonderful property which is extremely highly rated by clients.


 

 

 

Availability

The trip is available from mid-April 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. If you could schedule your trip around these dates it would be extremely beneficial. The dates for 2019 are:


Kinlochleven – Pre 65 Trails - 2nd, 3rd & 4th May 2019.



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. 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.  Ascents and descents are involved so a good level of fitness will be required.


Navigation

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. We supply a detailed map and guidebook so you shouldn’t have any problem finding your way.


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.


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. 


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.

Included

  • 4 Nights 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.

Excluded

  • Travel to the start or from the finish of the walk.
  • Taxi transfers due to lack of availability at stage end.
  • Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage.
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Personal Equipment.

Extras

  • Single room supplement
  • Upgrade to hotel standard accommodation throughout
  • Extra night/s along the route
  • Extra night/s in Fort William accommodation (Post tour)
  • Taxi transfers due to lack of availability at stage end.

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.

incredible landscape

5

It was our first time traveling this way. We found it was a great way to discover a new country. The landscape are incredible but you need to be well equiped, we did it in September and we incounter almost four seasions in one day and a lot of rain. The path was easy to follow and not to crowded. Really enjoyed it.

Sylvie

Canada

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Scotland is Gorgeous

5

Wonderful adventure = next trip will be longer :)

EE Hiker

Hudson Highlands NY

true

The best way to long distance hike!

5

Everything was so efficient and well run. Our accomadations were fantastic. All we had to do was sleep, eat, hike and enjoy ourselves in the beautiful country!

Tiffany

Scotland

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I am definitely recommending the West Highland Escape !

5

The views are stunning, the daily walking distances are just right.

Marc

Montreal, Canada

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Great - a lovely way to see this stunning area

5

I feel relaxed and fitter

Merly

Romsey

true

A great, albeit wet May experience!

4

This was an amazing opportunity to see a beautiful and scenic part of the WHW. Although I had a hiccup in my travel to Bridge of Orchy (my own fault!) I am glad that I called the hotel ahead to let them know of the delay otherwise they would've given my room away, although I had paid for it. The weather the first day was excellent but the 2nd day was quite rainy although it cleared for the view from Devil's Staircase (stunning!) Sadly, the longest day from Kinlochleven to Fort William rained the ENTIRE hike so it was a very happy time to reach the end. It was confusing having the original end so far away from the new end of this trek. I met some great people and, for the most part, stayed in nice hotels. There was only one place that the room was unsatisfactory, with an uncomfortable bed and dirty carpet. Thankfully, there was great live music at the bar, so I only needed the room to sleep...uncomfortably. Overall, I'm very happy that I did this excursion and would recommend it to others.

Kirsten T.

Abbotsford, BC

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Fun solo tour

5

Chose this as my first completely solo trip. Great accommodations run by friendly people. The iPhone app was great for making sure I didn't get lost (and doesn't use data - yay!). Beautiful scenery with lots of variety. Baggage transfer was so easy! I will definitely look at trying another tour, either solo or with a companion

TarbotMac

Halifax NS

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Ah-mazzzzing

5

Our group of 5 had a fantastic time hiking, writing haikus about our experience, eating way too much toffee pudding and enjoying every step we took. The staff at every hotel was outstanding and aside from losing my great yellow water bottle ( have you found it yet?) we loved our trek in the Highlands. We even had sunshine!

Momma Sciammas

Barcelona/ Pleasanton

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Exhilarated, relaxed and happy hikers!

4

We were impressed with the organisation and the attention to detail provided prior to our West Highland Escape. Having previously walked the Coast 2 Coast independently, using Macs adventures and particularly Cara's expert input for this walk made everything so much easier, we were well prepared, our walk was exactly as we had planned and it made for a most enjoyable holiday as well as an outstanding adventure. We really appreciated arriving at our destination early each evening and having time to relax in comfortable accommodations, enjoying the beautiful Scottish Highlands. Sure, some days were long, the Devils Staircase and those long climbs were a challenge, of course we had to battle the midges and we did get wet! However, the magnificent scenery, camaraderie and wonderful rewards that this walk offers were well worth it and we finished feeling exhilarated, relaxed and very happy. We can't wait to find our next Mac's adventure!

Viking Hiking

Sydney Australia

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Very smooth and perfect trip, thanks to Macs Adventure!

5

We took a tailor-made West Highland Way hiking trip, with everything organized very professionally by Macs Adventure. Every stop we made and every B&B owner also confirmed that Macs Adventure is the best and most professional company to organize such a hiking trip. All luggage transfers, reservations and other services were taken care of and worked like clockwork, leaving us just to enjoy our hiking and beautiful Scotland!

Emre Örs

Istanbul, Turkey

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West Highland Escape Short Break

4.6 45

100.0

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