A fully organised West Highland Way hiking experience, allowing you to just turn up and enjoy

West Highland Way - Self Guided
 Distance  96 miles (154km)
 Duration  5-10 days Hiking
 Walking Level  Moderate-Challenging
 Accommodation   Comfortable
Why Choose Self-Guided?
 ⦿ You let us know what you want and relax  ✔
 ⦿ We plan every detail  ✔
 ⦿ Meet hikers from around the world  ✔
 ⦿ Just turn up and Enjoy  ✔
 ⦿ 24/7 Assistance throughout your hike  ✔
Book Your Self-Guided Hike Here

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Information

Introducing Scotland’s very own West Highland Way

The West Highland Way can best be described as Scotland’s top long distance walk with spectacular scenery at every stage of the trek.  97 Miles (156km) of charming landscape, vast wilderness and breathtaking sightseeing opportunities, coupled with great hiking conditions and the chance to see an enormous amount of Scottish history, culture and wildlife.  Take a look at our itineraries for a more detailed description of Scotland’s West Highland Way Hike

Milngavie – Drymen 12 Miles (19 km)

You start your hike on the outskirts of Glasgow in a lovely wee town named Milngavie (pronounced Mull-guy) it doesn't take long before you experience your first glimpse of woodland.  As you trek further along the way, you’ll pass Craigallian Loch and Carbeth Loch. Further on you get a beautiful view of the Campsie fells and the chance to visit Glengoyne distillery to try a well deserved whisky. (Short detour needed) Afterwards you reach the boundary of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park when arriving at Drymen.

Drymen – Balmaha 8 Miles (13 km)

From Drymen you continue north through some lovely conifer woodland. when you emerge from the trees you gain your first sight of Loch Lomond walking over the 361m (1184 foot) high Conic hill which boasts to being part of Scotland’s highland boundary fault line, look south and see the beautifully flat lowland’s of Scotland and then look north to see the high topped rugged highlands. After the descent of Conic hill you come to Balmaha, a picturesque village with a rustic little boat yard with heaps of character

Balmaha – Rowardennan 7 Miles (11 km)

The trail leaves Balmaha and starts beautifully with a short walk up Craigie Fort where you’ll witness some lovely views looking out over the islands of Loch Lomond.  This short section passes a stunning area of Loch shore and goes through some ancient oak woodland. You may also have a chance at seeing the remains of an old man made island named a Crannog, as long as the water conditions are right. If you’re feeling adventuress and have a spare 5 hours, Rowardennan is the starting point for Ben Lomond. Scotland’s most walked and most southerly Munro (Scottish mountain over 3000ft).

Rowardennan – Inversnaid 7 Miles (11 km)

This section is a beautiful woodland walk that takes you along the Loch shore, passing through native Oak woodland known as Craigrostan woods.  The scenery as you look across Loch Lomond to the Western shore is atmospherically stunning, looking across you’ll see “The Cobbler” Ben Arthur which stands at 884m (2900ft) You’ll pass over some small burns (tributaries) before crossing the bridge to Inversnaid and the Arklet falls waterfall beneath.

Inversnaid – Inverarnan 7 Miles (11 km)

This is knowns as the toughest part of the West Highland Way, though at the same time, the most rewarding on completion.  It starts by going through an RSPB nature reserve before passing a rocky section which is home to Rob Roy’s cave.  There is a very high chance of seeing some wild goats on this stretch, you’ll probably smell them before seeing them. As you get further along you’ll notice the most northerly island on Loch Lomond, Isle I vow which has a small dungeon nestled in the centre from years gone by.  It’s now time to wave good bye to Loch Lomond as the path starts to get easier for the walk into Inverarnan.

Inverarnan – Crianlarich 6 Miles (10 km)

Leaving Inverarnan, you continue north for some gentle walking through Glen Falloch and pass its beautiful namesake of a river, river Falloch.  The trek gently ascends out onto some lovely open hillside. You’ll come across your first section of old military road here, built between 1752-54 to bring order to the Jacobite rebellion

Crianlarich – Tyndrum 6 Miles (10 km)

This is an historic section of the west highland way. Much of the route is now old drover roads where the cattle farmers used to walk there herd to market in the 17th and 18th century.  There are also the ruins of St Fillan’s Priory, a 12th century monastery site built to the memory of the saint.  Probably most important of all, you’ll pass Dalrigh, the site where one of Scotland’s favourite sons, King Robert the Bruce is said to have lost a battle here with the MacDougall’s of Lorne.

Tyndrum – Bridge of Orchy 7 Miles (11 km)

As you continue your hike north, you will notice the mountains are more frequented from now on. The lowlands from the start of the West Highland Way are long gone, and in are the rugged mountain terrains of the highlands.  The scenery will now be of dramatic Scottish peaks shepherding you along the old military road from either side.

Bridge of Orchy – Inveroran 2 Miles (3 km)

The start of this section of the West Highland Way takes you over the River Orchy and through the a small area of woodland, before taking you out to start the meandering ascent of Mam Carraigh on your way to Inveroran. 

Inveroran - Rannoch Moor – Glencoe 10 Miles (16 km)

Pass Inveroran and you’re out into the sightseeing paradise wilderness of Rannoch Moor. From the extreme beauty of Rannoch Moor, continue walking north and the West Highland Way will take you to the equally impressive national scenic area of Glencoe, considered by many as one of the most beautiful places to gaze upon in Scotland.

Glencoe – Kinlochleven 9 Miles (15 km)

Glencoe has some ruggedly spectacular landscape and also has the historically charismatic Kingshouse hotel that should be visited, even if just for a refreshing beverage and break during your hike. You then have the infamous Devils staircase with breathtaking landscape and striking views looking out towards the Blackwater reservoir and the mountain peaks to the North.

Kinlochleven – Fort William 16 miles (24 km)     

The final leg of the trek takes you through the great pass of Lairigmor, with humbling mountains on either side.  Remarkable sightseeing is one of the joys as you hike through Glen Nevis and encounter the domineering Ben Nevis, as you approach the end of the West Highland way you will walk through some charming woodland and ascend down some pleasant forestry road and in to the heart of Fort William to the finish of your West Highland Way experience  

Included
Included in your Hike Excluded from your Hike
 ✔ All planning and organising  ✖ Travel Insurance is Excluded
 ✔ All accommodation during your hike  ✖ Flights are Excluded
 ✔ Breakfast each morning  ✖ Lunches, Dinners & Snacks
 ✔ Luggage Transfers between accommodation
 ✔ Maps, Guide Book & Information pack
 ✔ 24/7 Phone support throughout your hike

Extras which can be added if needed

  • Single Room supplement
  • Accommodation the night before you start & the night when you finish
  • A Highland Castle stay at the end in Fort William
  • Extra night's stay during your hike
  • Transfers if you need to skip a section
  • Tours
  • Massages
  • Any Equipment you need
  • Make it a Fully Guided & Personalised West Highland Way Hike
Accommodation

West Highland Way Accommodation 

We personally check all accommodation providers that we use. Each accommodation partner is carefully selected for a variety of reasons. We look at the location, the standard of facilities, the reputation and the hospitality provided. We will always book your room with Breakfast for you.

We always try to book en-suite rooms, though an en-suite facility is not guaranteed due to demand at certain times of year.  The sooner you can book your hike, the better the chance of getting en-suite facilities. If we can't get you en-suite, we will let you know this beforehand.

Additional Nights Stay and rest days during your hike

You are able to book accommodation at the start location in Milngavie the evening before and in Fort William when you finish your hike.  You can select this when choosing your itinerary online.

You might enjoy adding an extra nights stay with an added rest day at certain locations.  If you would like to do this, please get in touch beforehand and we can create this for you.

Accommodation Upgrade

If you'd like an accommodation upgrade to a higher standard, please do get in touch before booking, as this option can't be booked online. You can reach us by email on info@scotlandswild.com

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers 

All of of our hiking is available to solo walkers.  An additional charge is needed for single hikers to ensure your own room, as our bookable price is per person, on the bases of 2 walkers sharing a room.

If you need 3 or more single rooms, please get in touch beforehand as single rooms are limited along the West Highland Way. If your group is made up of walkers who would require a single bed, there is always the option of sharing a twin room (2 beds).

Meals along the West Highland Way

Each morning a delicious breakfast will be provided for you at your accommodation. Lunch, dinners and snacks are not provided as standard.  You are able to select Lunches as an additional extra when booking.  Each location will have an option for dinner each evening. It is recommended that dinner reservations are made before you start your hike as the limited availability can make it difficult to guarantee a table at your preferred times. If you would enjoy, you can select the option for us to create dinner reservations for each evening hike. (This is only reservation, not payment for dinner)

FAQ's

How fit should I be to hike the West Highland Way?

Fitness levels vary drastically for West Highland Way walkers. The fitter you are, the easier each days hiking will be.  People with a moderate level of fitness will be able to complete the West Highland Way if they give themselves enough days to complete it.

For shorter trips of between 4-6 days, you would need a high level of fitness.

It’s recommended that you get fit and active for a few months beforehand, building up leg and cardiovascular endurance and strength.

If you feel that you’re not as fit as you would like to be before attempting the West Highland Way, it may benefit you, hiking over 10-12 days.  Making the days shorter with more rest days and possibly a massage or two to help muscle recovery.

When should I book my West Highland Way Hike?

We would certainly suggest you book up as far in advance.  As accommodation is limited on the trek, the more notice given and the sooner you book up, the better. That means there is a much higher chance of getting our first choice accommodation. If you’re planning on hiking during the busier time of year, (April/May and July/August) as far as 10-12 months ahead would be recommended. 

How does my luggage get to where I'm staying each night?

All luggage is given to an established and trusted baggage transfer company who we use frequently.

You have a tag with your name put on the bag.  When you leave your accommodation each morning, all you do is ensure your luggage is packed away in bags or suitcases no heavier than 20kg (44lbs) in weigh.  You leave this at your accommodations chosen location; the baggage company will pick this up and transport it to your next evening accommodation, where it will be waiting for you when you arrive.

What's the best time of year to hike the West Highland Way?

Traditionally, the best time of year is April and May. As in the past, the weather has been better at this time of year.  There are also usually less Midges.  As always though, there are no guarantees with weather or Midges.   There are also seasons to take into account, do you love the spring colours, the vibrancy of summer or the beautiful autumnal season.  It really is a personal choice depending on what you enjoy most as a person. So having completed the West Highland Way at all times of year, we would say that any time from late March to October will offer you a fantastic experience.

What happens if I can’t complete a section?

For a fully private, personalised and guided trip, or a guided group hike we will be there with you if you can’t complete a section for any reason.  You will be able to relax, knowing that your guide will help you to the next location by getting some form of transport organised. If you are on one of our self-guided hikes, then you will have 24 hour, 7 days a week support.  If you need for any reason to skip a section, then all you have to do is get in touch and we will organise a form of transport for you. There may be an additional charge depending on what options are available at that time and location.

What equipment will I need to take for my hike?

A full equipment check list will be provided before your hiking vacation.  Some items that you will definitely need will be a comfortable pair of “worn in” walking boots or shoes, thin waterproof clothing, a small rucksack with snacks, Midge net, Midge spray, sun cream and a few other items.  A full list will be provided for you.  If needed, we are able to organise any item for.

What will the Midges be like during my hike?

Midges will vary depending on what time of year you hike the West Highland Way and also what the weather conditions are like that particular day.  If it’s a still and calm day, with no breeze, then they will be at their most prevalent.  They are only usually able to bite, when you are stationery.  When you’re walking, they’re easy to outpace.  We can provide you with Midge nets and Midge repellent if you need. You can select this when when booking your West Highland Way trip. 

Can I bring my dog on the West Highland Way?

If you’re having a fully guided, private West Highland Way hike or a self-guided trip, then we can organise it so that the trip will be as enjoyable for your dog as it is for you.  Sections may need to be altered depending on time of year due to lambing season etc.  There will be specific accommodation and additional charges for dogs, so please let us know beforehand if you would like to take your dog on the hike.  If you are on one of our Guided group hikes, then unfortunately no dogs will be allowed. 

Can I take my child on a West Highland Way Hike?

If you’re having a Private Guided hike or a self-guided hike, then yes, you’re able to take children along with you.  We would recommend making it a longer trip to allow more rest days for the children.  For our guided group hikes, the minimum age is 16 years old and anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. 

How do I book a West Highland Way Hike with Scotland’s Wild?

To book a Fully Private, Personalised West Highland Way Experience with us or a Self-Guided West Highland Way Hike, all you have to do is express an interest with us by sending an email to info@scotlandswild.com and let us know what kind of Hiking adventure you’re interested in.

If you would like to join us on a Guided Group West highland Way Hike, then you can book on to this trip online, at this web address

If you need further information before booking on, please also get in touch by emailing info@scotlandswild.com


We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us
— Anonymous

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West Highland Way - Self Guided

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West Highland Way - Self Guided

Option 3

Included in your Hike Excluded from your Hike
 ✔ All planning and organising  ✖ Travel Insurance is Excluded
 ✔ All accommodation during your hike  ✖ Flights are Excluded
 ✔ Breakfast each morning  ✖ Lunches, Dinners & Snacks
 ✔ Luggage Transfers between accommodation
 ✔ Maps, Guide Book & Information pack
 ✔ 24/7 Phone support throughout your hike
West Highland Way - Self Guided