The 96-mile West Highland Way trail is a great balance between challenge and reward, no matter how many days you choose to spend hiking. We’ve designed a variety of trips with different durations so you can choose the challenge to suit you.
If you are completing the whole route - The longer the tour, the less hiking per day you’ll do. And the shorter trips will have longer hiking days. The trick is to find how many days suits your ability and have time to enjoy the experience while you are at it.
This is the classic West Highland Way, and one of our most popular trips. The hiking days are well balanced and is a great accomplishment with around 14-mile per day and a longer hike of 20 miles between Tyndrum and Kingshouse. This section is relatively flat and on well-trodden trails. But, if this hiking per day is too long for you then, we suggest a longer itinerary that splits this long day into two 10-mile sections.
This adventure averages 12 miles per day, which allows you a little more time to take in the sights and sounds of the West Highland Way. The main differences with this tour and the shorter ones is that the day hiking over the impressive Rannoch Moor is split in two, turning the daunting 20-mile day into more manageable hikes. You’ll start to find familiar faces whilst hiking or in the restaurants and pubs each night, adding to the outstanding camaraderie that long-distance hiking offers.
This itinerary eases you in a bit more gently while allowing you to take more time on each section of the trail. The first few days are stretched out here to build up strength in your legs and let you get into the swing of things a little easier. The biggest distinguishing factor is that the 14 mile day from Drymen to Rowardennan is split down into two with a night in Balmaha. If you’re not used to daily hiking and are worried about how your legs will cope, then it may be an idea to choose this itinerary and ease yourself into the hiking days.
This is the longest hiking itinerary that we offer on the West Highland Way. The extra night breaks the tricky 14-mile section from Rowardennan to Inverarnan into two days. You hike to the lakeside hotel at Inversnaid, where we arrange a transfer to your accommodation. This is a great itinerary for those who have the time to enjoy the full route, but want to have short hiking days to best enjoy the trail, towns, and accommodations along the way.
BEST OF THE WEST HIGHLAND WAY HIKING TOURS:
This is the most popular route in our ‘best of’ category as it hikes the most beautiful sections of the West Highland Way on a brief 5-day tour. The hikes are between 9-15 miles each. You hike across the wild beauty of Rannoch Moor, through the formidable Glencoe to Fort William at the bottom of Ben Nevis the highest mountain in the UK. You stay overnight at the marvelous Kinghouse Hotel situated on the moor with arguably Scotland's best view of Buachaille Etive Mor..
With 5 days of hiking, averaging 11 miles per day, this is a slightly longer hiking tour than the ‘Escape’ route. This includes our favorite days over Rannoch Moor to Fort William, but also hikes south near Loch Lomond and the Bridge of Orchy.
Combining romantic and beautiful train journeys with hikes on the West and East Highland Way, this unique 7-day tour is very popular, and rightly so! You have the chance to travel on the ‘Jacobite Steam Train’ - or as some may know it as the Hogwarts Express - over the famous 12 arched Glenfinnan viaduct (think Harry Potter) and spend 5 days hiking through remarkable Scottish landscapes.
SHORTER TOURS/DAYS ON THE WEST HIGHLAND WAY:
This one-week vacation provides plenty of challenge for those with a high level of fitness and long-distance hiking experience. The first section of the trip contains arguably the most difficult stretch - from Rowardennan to Crianlarich. Not only is the hike a full 20 miles, but the lake-side paths are uneven terrain and obstacles which slow a hiker’s pace. The second section that makes this tough is the long 20-mile day from Bridge of Orchy to Kinlochleven. Though the terrain over the remote Rannoch Moor is moderately flat and has even footing, the section to Kinlochleven contains the Devils Staircase, which can be pretty tough on fresh legs, never mind tired ones. This tour fits the whole trail into one week and certainly is an accomplishment.
Doing the whole West Highland Way in such short amount of time is a challenge, and one we admire you for taking on! The hikes average almost 20 miles/day over 5 days straight and provide a great experience for those looking to spend the whole day on the trail. You need to have long distance hiking experience and high level of fitness for this one.
Whichever itinerary you choose, and however many days you hike on the West Highland Way, you're sure to have a great time and see some of the most amazing Highland scenery that Scotland has to offer.
Our Macs Guide to the West Highland Way is available to download or read online at your leisure. It’s packed with info about the trail and our itineraries.