Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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West Highland Way self guided walking holiday
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Highlights

  • Walk 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
  • Revel in the myriad of landscapes from the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond to the remote Rannoch Moor
  • Stay at the remote Kingshouse Hotel with views onto Buachaille Etive Mor
  • Make your proud final steps into Fort William, having traversed Scotland’s finest scenery

Discover the spectacular landscape of the Scottish Highland's on the West Highland Way - Scotland's most famous long-distance trail. Towering mountains, tranquil lochs and rushing rivers combine to reward you with a unique and ever-changing landscape as you journey 96 miles from Milngavie (Glasgow) to Fort William. Pass by whisky distilleries and the charming rural villages of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, with spectacular views over and alongside the bonnie waters. Tyndrum and Inveroran 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 to 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.

As the largest operator on the West Highland Way (each year over 2500 people trust us to arrange their walk) we can secure you the best value and quality arrangements, regardless of whether you are walking solo or as a group of 20, and we’re happy to tailor-make a tour to fit your requirements. 99% of our walkers would recommend us to a friend, and you can read over 800 authentic and unbiased West Highland Way customer reviews. So give us a shout today to start planning your own West Highland Way 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.

Stage 1: Milngavie to Drymen

If you don't have a pre-tour night in Milngavie meet our luggage
carriers at the train station between 8:30-9 am so your bags can be whisked off to your first night's accommodation.


From Milgavie walk begin walking north through the
ancient earldom of Lennox between the Campsie Fells and Blane Water. Follow a series of good paths through beautiful rural scenery to
the charming village of Drymen. En route why not stop at the Glengoyne Distillery where you can take a tour and enjoy a wee dram to
send you on your way?


Walk: 12 miles / 19 km



Stage 2: Drymen to Balmaha

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. 


Walk: 7 miles / 11 km


Stage 3: Balmaha to Rowardennan

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: 7.5 miles / 12 km


Stage 4: Rowardennan to Inversnaid

Follow the well waymarked trail on gently ascending 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.


Walk: 7.5 miles / 12 km


Stage 5: Inversnaid to Inverarnan

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. 


If you are staying across the water at Ardlui,
look out for the sign pointing to the little ferry (2 miles before the
end of this section). Walk down to the loch shore and call the ferry by
raising the signal ball. Otherwise, lovely Beinglas Farm marks the end of your day - leave the Way and follow signs for Inverarnan. The 300-year old Drovers Inn is
world-famous and provides the ideal location for your overnight.


Walk: 6 miles / 10 km


Stage 6: Inverarnan to Crianlarich

Today you can look forward to some relaxing walking after
the ups and downs of the previous stretch. The West Highland Way climbs
slowly out of Inverarnan through Glen Falloch towards Crianlarich.
The towering Munros of Ben More and Stob Binnean are a fantastic backdrop to your walk as the Way bypasses Crianlarich.


If you need supplies or are staying in
Crianlarich, then follow the signs down to this Highland village.


Walk: 6 miles / 10 km


Stage 7: Crianlarich to Tyndrum

Walk through secluded woodland before making your way back to the valley floor on rolling farmland surrounded by the lofty highland scenery. On reaching Tyndrum, you'll find the iconic Green Welly Stop (with a small outdoor supply shop), the Real Food Cafe and the local pub.


Walk: 5.5 miles / 9 km


Stage 8: Tyndrum to Inveroran

Get ready for a great day's walking! The Highland scenery is stunning
and now that you are getting into your stride you will love the
fast-going on military roads. Follow the valley to Bridge
of Orchy, a small hamlet and sometimes used as an overnight stop - the hotel serves delicious meals if you fancy an early lunch. Leave Bridge of Orchy behind and walk towards Loch Tulla and the Black Mount where you'll find the isolated Inveroran Hotel. 


Walk: 9.5 miles / 15 km


Stage 9: Inveroran to Kingshouse

Arguably the most beautiful and 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: 10 miles / 16 km


Stage 10: Kingshouse 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


Stage 11: Kinlochleven 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


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 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.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Oak Tree Inn - Balmaha



Oak Tree Inn - Balmaha

Overlooked by the slopes of Conic Hill, this family-owned and managed inn provides the perfect overnight on your West Highland Way adventure nestled in picturesque countryside.


 

 

 


 

 

 




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.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Crianlarich Hotel - Crianlarich

This is an award winning, comfortable and well-appointed 3-star hotel set in the lovely village of Crianlarich. If you choose an itinerary with hotel upgrades ending in Tyndrum there will be a 5 minute taxi transfer to Crianlarich.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Glengarry House - Tyndrum

Glengarry House is a friendly and comfortable guest house situated just outside of Tyndrum. Ellen and Andy provide the warmest of welcomes to their wonderful establishment.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Bridge of Orchy Hotel - Bridge of Orchy

The Bridge of Orchy provides great personalised service, imaginative Scottish cuisine, and quietly elegant bedrooms all in an intimate Highland atmosphere set among the mountains.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Inveroran Hotel - Inveroran

The staff at the Inveroran Hotel believe that staying with them is a special experience for everyone. As befitting it's remote Highland location it has retained much of its 19th century inn charm.


 

 

 


 

 

 



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 Kinlchleven, 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

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 dates are already full for Kinlochleven and Fort William: 


2nd - 4th May 2019: Kinlochleven – Pre 65 Trails


4th - 9th May 2020: Kinlochleven – Pre 65 Trails


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 is required.


Navigation

The route is well waymarked and easy to follow. We supply a detailed map and guidebook so you should have no problem finding your way on the trail.


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, emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes - please note that your devices (watches, phones, GPS units) may give slightly differing distances to our carefully recorded distances and ascents/descents due to varying GPS signal and depending on which accommodations you overnight at.


Please be prepared by packing all the necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, and 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, lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Start of the walk - Milngavie

Read our blog to find out how to get from Glasgow to the start of the walk at Milngavie. Further details of how to get to Glasgow (the closest city to the West Highland Way) are below.


By Air


Glasgow International Airport: Located 8 miles west of the city of Glasgow, the airport is served by numerous domestic and international routes. A regular shuttle bus service runs to Glasgow city centre, and there is also a service to/from Fort William.


Prestwick International Airport: Located 30 miles south of Glasgow, Prestwick Airport is served primarily by Ryanair. A train service runs from Prestwick to Glasgow city centre and takes approx. 50 mins. 


Edinburgh International Airport: Located 45 miles east of Glasgow, Edinburgh Airport is served by numerous domestic and international routes. A regular bus service runs to Glasgow city centre and takes approx. 60 mins.


By Rail


Glasgow is well-served by rail from across the UK. Booking in advance secures the best fares. For information on all routes contact National Rail Enquiries.


By Car


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 at the start of the walk. A useful website 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.


How to get 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 (up to 8 departures daily, approx. 3 hours) or Scotrail train (one of the UK's most spectacular journeys, 2-3 departures daily, approx. 4 hours, also available for continued journey to Edinburgh).


Trains and buses also operate north to Inverness and Skye; a great website for public transport planning within Scotland is Traveline Scotland, or give us a shout to discuss extending your stay further. 


Transfers

We are able to offer transfer arrangements at attractive prices, for your convenience. Just give us a call to talk through your plans.



Included

  • Overnights in hand-picked B&B’s, small hotels and guesthouses
  • An overnight in Fort William post tour.
  • Breakfast at each accommodation.
  • Daily door-to-door baggage transfer.
  • Transfers to your accommodation if part of the itinerary.
  • Detailed information pack and guidebook.
  • GPS tracks and detailed mapping with our Macs Adventure smartphone app.
  • 24/7 telephone support from our offices.

Excluded

  • Travel insurance (required).
  • Transport to the start or from the finish of the walk.
  • Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage.
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks or drinks.
  • Personal equipment.

Extras

  • Single room supplement.
  • Glasgow / Milngavie accommodation (pre-tour).
  • Upgrade to hotel-standard accommodations every night.
  • Extra nights along the route.
  • Additional nights in Fort William (post tour).

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

How fit do I need to be?

At 96 Miles the West Highland Way is 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 9 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 cardiovascular exercise for 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 do the baggage transfers work?

If you don't overnight in Glasgow or Mingavie before beginning the West Highland Way meet our baggage transfer partners at Milngavie Rail Station at 0830-0900. They will check you in and take your bags, which will magically appear in your next overnight accommodation. Each morning, just leave your bags in the reception area and we will have them transferred to the next location. Please limit the weight of your luggage to 20 kg per bag (one piece per person).

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 very popular especially in May and July/August. However, we will always do our best to accommodate your dates.  

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 information pack has a list of all equipment you will need, along with some helpful suggestions.

When is the best time of year?

Traditionally 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 we 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) that 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. We recommend carrying insect repellent, and bite cream, for the odd occasion you may need it, this way 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 farmland.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

You can use public transport or local taxis to reach your next overnight stop. Full details are included in your info pack or you can call us for assistance in making arrangements.

Brilliant, from start to finish

5

From the initial email to the end of the tour Mac's were great. Can't fault them at all. Was reassuring to know that a professional outfit was looking after everything, from accommodation to baggage transfer. Would definitely use again and would recommend anyone looking to book a walking holiday to look no further.

Craig

Musselburgh

true

highland beauty

5

The WHW is one of the most beautiful walks ever. I've now done it twice (8 years apart). It is a bit 'busier' than previous, but remains utterly spectacular in it's beauty and scenery. Macs (as usual) set up good accommodations; guidebook/maps/gps/app were good (although way is very well waymarked; you hardly ever need to consult your guidebook or gps); baggage picked up and dropped off without a hitch. The walking, scenery, whiskey, food, and sleep were great!!

alex

canada

true

Trip of a lifetime

5

The West Highland Way trip was an adventure that my wife and I had thought about for years. We'd briefly visited Scotland 20+ years ago and always wanted to return. We knew the hike would be a challenge, but knew it'd give us the chance to really experience the beauty of the highlands. The accommodations were fantastic and the luggage service worked beautifully. All we had to do was put the miles behind us.

Bill

Baltimore, Maryland USA

true

Cannot recommend Mac's Adventure enough!!

5

This was a trip of a lifetime! Macs Adventure had everything planned for us. All we had to do was follow the trip itinerary. The accommodations were fantastic. We will book with Mac's Adventure in the future!!!

Kate G

Texas

true

Highly Recommended Company

5

Excellent in all respects. clear and detailed information, comfortable accomodation and varied, great breakfasts. Best welcomes at Clifton Cottage and Fassfern Guesthouse. Clachaig Inn really beautiful. Very good path and easy to find way. (I was concerned that i would not be able to walk the whole way since there is 50 years difference between my niece and I) I had trained and found the walk not too exhausting. Flexibility in terms of change of arrangements: At first my niece and I were going to walk the 5 days on our own.Trip was paid for. Then her parents wanted to join us half way through. Accomodation was rearranged and had to be re arranged again when her brother decided to come. Small touches: Wonderful account of significant events in Scottish history provided at Clifton Cottage. We had a lot of rain but we managed fine and really appreciated it when the sun came out.!!! Beautiful views and we met great people. So many surprises: ie history signs along the way; enjoyed the variety of Scottish gins and tonic waters!!! Surprised by the wonderful city of Glasgow( Recommended stay). Enjoyed exploring; now one of my favourite cities in the world.

Vere the veteran, & Heidi the high flyer

Western Australia

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Stunning scenery

5

Macs Adventure makes traveling easier by making arrangements and providing detailed directions. the accommodations were all wonderful and pre-travel information very helpful!

Kayzkay

Olympia, Wa

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Recommended

5

The whole trip was very well organised; the accommodation first class; tour information superb. There are two minor points for improvement. (I) The baggage pick-up from Milngavie was between 8:30 and 09:00. The B&B In Drymen did not open until 4:00pm. You will have a long wait unless you are a slow walker. (I) If staying in Ardlui, you need to get a ferry. This only runs every hour (roughly) on the hour. You May have a long wait so it may be advisable to walk around the top of Loch Lomond - if a trail exists! I have walked The WHW before - but in a group. This time being left to get on with it was much better. Also, the guide book they provide you with has very detailed maps. An APP is also provided with online maps. I didn't need it. Recommended.

Highland Lover

Ayrshire

true

Logistics and accommodations were great on WHW!

5

We booked the 8 day trip with MACs last minute (1.5 week before the hike) when our schedules opened up. They were able to confirm accommodations within 2 days which was helpful! The app with route work great. All the accommodations were friendly, clean and comfortable. The guide book provided was useful. The trail was great to hike. We loved it!

Andrea

Hamilton, Canada

true

Macs tour

5

The trip was overall great, impressively organized. We enjoyed the great accommodations along the route, however the last place was a huge disappointment, the Berkeley House in Fort William. It felt like a cheap place with almost no amenities. It was cold feeling, not at all like the previous places. The bed was inconveniently up against half of the bathroom door. Very disappointing end of the tour. I have attached a photo to demonstrate.

Kate

Vancouver, Canada

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Four Ancients

4

Four of us did the 8 day walk of the WHW. Our ages ranged from 68 to 70 so we were all very happy to complete the walk and still feel great. We had our moments (like the track to the immediate north of Inersnaid Hotel) but had a great time overall chatting and laughing all the way. A few sore muscles but boots did well albeit some minor blistering. It was great to reach our accommodation and have a drink and a lovely hot meal and shower. Totally enjoyable.

GT

Adelaide, Australia

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West Highland Way Walking Holiday

4.8 902

99.0

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