Here at Macs Adventure, we pride ourselves on being the uncontested experts on the West Highland Way. It was the first trip we ever sold and since then, we have sent tens of thousands of happy walkers along the route.
It is important for us to make sure you have all the information you need before setting off on this epic walk through the Highlands of Scotland. Everything you need to know should be on this page, but if you find you are still looking for info, you can contact our Destination Specialists at [email protected] or you can download our free West Highland Way guide to read offline.
6 Essential Planning Tools for the West Highland Way
Q: When is the best time to walk the West Highland Way?
A: Spring and autumn are two of the favourite seasons for walking the WHW, when temperatures are fine for daily walking and days are often dry. Summer in Scotland is a mixed bag, if you are lucky it will be dry and warm, but you are more likely to get this weather in spring and autumn.
Q: Will I need a map and compass?
A: The WHW is waymarked with clear signposts and marker posts. For the most part, these are easy to see and follow and booking with Macs Adventure, not only do you get a comprehensive map and guidebook, but you can also download our app, which has the WHW route already loaded.
Q: Are midges a major problem?
A: There is no denying that midges can be a nuisance. They will bite if they find bare skin but they do not cause illness. Some people suffer from itchy bites.
The worse time for midges in Scotland is June to August when the weather is warmer yet still damp. The best solution is to carry midge repellent with you. See our Say Goodbye to the Midges blog for repellent ideas.
Q: Will my accommodation be close to the route?
A: We endeavour to book accommodation as close as possible to the West Highland Way. Generally, you will only have to walk less than a mile from the route to get to your overnight accommodation. We provide comprehensive details to guide you to your accommodation is each night.
Length - The West Highland Way stretches for 96 miles, from Milngavie in the South to Fort William in the North. There are many ways to break up this journey and for the best information on how many days to walk the route, check out our blog post - How Many Days to Walk the West Highland Way
Toughest Section - The jury is out on this, but here in the office, we think it is the section from Rowardennan to Inveroran. The path twists and turns and there are roots and rocks and steps. The path is completely beautiful, however, leading you along the banks of Loch Lomond, but it requires a lot of concentration.
Wildlife - There is a wide variety of wildlife on the West Highland Way. There is a huge range of birdlife including golden eagles and peregrine falcons as well as the chance to see red deer and feral goats. Our wildlife expert has put together a comprehensive blog on Wildlife on the WHW.
Midges - The one creature you do want to avoid on the West Highland Way is the dreaded midge. These tiny, swarming insects are not dangerous, but they are a pain in the neck, sometimes literally! While they are an annoyance there are many ways to avoid them. You can see our tips to minimise the midge factor in our handy blog post.
Toughest name to pronounce - The first stop on the West Highland Way is probably the toughest to pronounce. Milngavie is actually pronounced Mul-guy. Strange eh! Other tough ones are Drymen (Dri-min) and if you remember that most -ch sounds are pronounced like you are gently clearing your throat, then you will be good to go. A hard -K sound will do, i.e. Lock Lomond, but the gravelly -ch will make you sound like a local!
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