Best of the West Highland Way

7 Days & 6 Nights 4.8 Read 959 reviews
  • Experience Scotland’s rich culture while walking the highlights of it’s most famous long distance trail
  • Immerse yourself in nature—wander the “bonnie banks” of Loch Lomond
  • Enjoy stays in the best accommodations along the trail
  • Sample a dram or two on a tour of Glengoyne’s pretty countryside distillery
  • Begin in the eclectic city of Glasgow and finish at the base of Scotland’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis!

Walk the highlights of the West Highland Way—Scotland’s most famous long distance trail. Hike the route as it winds its way north through verdant lowlands, traces the “bonnie banks” of Loch Lomond, and follows deep glens steeped in turbulent clan history. Nowadays, you’ll find the West Highland Way brimming with welcoming Highland hotels and like-minded walkers revelling in the vastness of this stunning landscape.

At Macs the West Highland Way is not only our best-selling trip but our favourite, and with over 800 authentic, unbiased guest reviews on our website don’t just take our word for it! Leave the bustling heart of Glasgow, home to Macs HQ, behind for the secluded forest trails and purple heather-clad mountainsides that will accompany you on the journey north to Fort William. En route experience unstinting hospitality in accommodations that we know and love while immersing yourself in the unique Scottish landscape.

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What To Expect

If you have limited time this is the ideal active itinerary for taking in, not only some of the best hiking that Scotland has to offer, but its most iconic trail. Along the Way you’ll delight in; whisky tasting at Glengoyne Distillery, a night in Glencoe, and a warm Highland welcome at hotels that we have been working closely with for many years. The route is graded moderate and follows well-waymarked tracks and paths throughout. Perfect for your first visit to Scotland’s Highland heartland!

Tour Style:

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

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 Travelers, Families, First Timers

Ideal if you have an interest in:

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

Inspiration:

  • Most Popular
  • Classic

Activity Level & 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 route is well waymarked and easy to follow. We supply a detailed map and guidebook so will easily find your way.

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.

Accommodations

Our West Highland Way tours 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:

  • Glasgow - at the beginning of the trip to sample the city's foodie scene or simply to overnight and recover from travelling before starting the hike.
  • 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
  • 6 Nights in hand-picked accommodations
  • 6 Breakfasts
  • Luggage transfers
  • Transfers to walks as listed in the itinerary
  • Information Pack, GPX tracks and access to the Macs Adventure smartphone app
  • Glengoyne Distillery group tour & tasting
  • 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
  • Transfers to / from Glasgow or Edinburgh airports

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.  

Luggage 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/44lbs 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.

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 Glasgow and overnight Day 2 Glengoyne Distillery tour and walk from Balmaha to Rowardennan 7.5 miles / 12 km Day 3 Walk to Inverarnan and transfer to Bridge of Orchy 13.5 miles / 21.5 km Day 4 Walk to Kingshouse 12.5 miles / 20 km Day 5 Walk to Kinlochleven and transfer to Glencoe 8.5 miles / 13.5 km Day 6 Transfer to Kinlochleven and walk to Fort William 15 miles / 24 km Day 7 Onward Travel

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