Self-Guided Walking Tours & Biking Tours


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Walking the West Highland Way
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Highlights

  • Walk a section of Scotland's most famous long distance trail from Milngavie to Inverarnan.
  • Enjoy camaraderie along the trail as you meet fellow walkers from around the world.
  • Revel in the myriad of landscapes as you walk the "bonnie banks" of Loch Lomond.
  • Explore the lush greenery of the Trossachs National Park.
  • Visit to the renowned Drovers Inn for a well deserved dram at the end of your trip!

Discover the southern half of Scotland's most famous long distance trail - the West Highland Way. Explore the lush glens and rich woodlands of the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park as you follow the trail north from Milngavie to Inverarnan.

Towering mountains, tranquil lochs and rushing rivers combine to reward you with a unique and ever-changing landscape as you journey 47 miles from Milngavie (Glasgow) to Inverarnan (just under half way 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. This really is Scottish highland scenery at its best.

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.

Day 1: Arrive Milngavie

Arrive into Glasgow and make your way to the town of Milngavie. This town is perfectly situated for quick access to the hills, and is easily reachable from Glasgow city centre.



Day 2: Milngavie to Drymen

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



Day 3: 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


Day 4: 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


Day 5: Rowardennan to Inverarnan

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.


From Inversnaid; 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: 13.5 miles / 22 km


Day 6: Onward travel

Finish your journey on this first half of the West Highland Way - hopefully you'll already by looking forward to tackling the second half at a later date. Don't hesitate to get in touch with our Destination Specialists! 

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.


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.


Accommodation Partners

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



 

 

 




Braeside B&B - Drymen

At Braeside, 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. The house sits proudly overlooking the village square and the surrounding hills.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Bramblewood - Drymen



Bramblewood - Drymen

Bramblewood is a friendly, family run Bed and Breakfast accommodation situated in the peaceful village of Drymen.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Green Shadows - Drymen



Green Shadows - Drymen

A stunning B&B which overlooks the Buchanan Castle Golf Course and offers a very high standard of accommodation.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Winnock - Drymen

The Winnock Hotel is an 18th Century Inn where log fires and peaceful, tasteful bedrooms await.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Buchanan Arms - Drymen

One of the finest and most popular small hotels in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, The Buchanan Arms Hotel & Leisure Club possesses a 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 gives you the perfect base from which to explore the stunning surrounding 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.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Anchorage Cottage - Rowardennan



Anchorage Cottage - Rowardennan

The house commands magnificent views over the loch and islands to Luss on the western shore. The private garden has large elivated timber decked area, with seating from which guests can enjoy the breath taking scenery.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Beinglas Farm - Inverarnan

Beinglas is two miles north from the top of Loch Lomond on the West Highland Way beneath the Grey Mares tail waterfall and surrounded by an abundance of Mountains Water falls 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.


 

 

 

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 7 - 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.


Navigation

The route is well way marked and easy to follow. We supply a detailed map and guidebook so you shouldn’t have any problem finding your way.


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 and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


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 Milngavie

By Air


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.


Web: http://www.glasgowairport.com/


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.


Web: http://www.glasgowprestwick.com/


By Rail


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.


Web: www.nationalrail.co.uk


By Road


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. For directions and journey planner visit:


Web: http://www.bing.com/maps/


By Coach


Services from UK destinations are operated by National Express.


Web: www.nationalexpress.com


Services from Scottish destinations are operated by Scottish Citylink.


Web: www.citylink.co.uk


Getting back from Inverarnan

Return transfers from Inverarnan 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 daily/1.5 hours).


By Coach


Scottish Citylink operates up to 8 services daily to Glasgow and the journey takes about 1.5 hours.They also operate services north to Fort William, Inverness and Skye.


Web: www.citylink.co.uk

Included

  • 5 Overnights in hand-picked B&B’s, small hotels and guesthouses
  • Breakfast at each accommodation.
  • Daily door-to-door baggage transfer.
  • 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
  • Upgrade to hotel standard accommodation throughout
  • Extra night/s along the route
  • Taxi transfers due to lack of availability at stage end.

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

How fit do I need to be?

At 43 Miles the southern sections of the West Highland Way comprise 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 10 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?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the West Highland Way is extremely popular especially over April/May and July/August. You will find up to date availability on our website and 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. Our info packs have a list of all equipement to bring on your walk.

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 are the midges like?

Midges are small biting insects (much like north American gnats) which 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 so as long as you carry repellent for the odd occasion you may need it 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 farm land.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

You can use public transport, local taxis or our baggage van may be able to move you to the next overnight stop. Full details are included in your info pack.

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