The West Highland Way is the most popular long distance walking route in Scotland, and justly so. At the beginning, leaving the city of Glasgow, you walk through a lovely bucolic landscape a sweet green in the spring. You are than taken along the shores of Loch Lomand, one of Scotlands landscape treasures. As you head further north, you are introduced to the spare and mountainous Highlands and understand their almost mythical status. Along the trail you pass some of Scotland’s most famous attractions, Kings House, the 17th century inn, the incomparable beauty of Glencoe and Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest peaks.
Day 1 – Milngavie to Drymen (19km 12 mi): From the obelisk in the town centre, you depart through a popular urban park, and cross a soft, rural landscape during this easy day of walking.
Day 2 – Drymen to Rowardennan (23 km 14.5 mi): After walking through a wooded section, and climbing Conic Hill, you will walk along Loch Lomand through some of Scotland’s most classic landscapes.
Day 3 – Rowardennan to Inverarnan (22 km 14 mi): This walk, which again follows the eastern shore of Loch Lomand, is considered by many the most difficult day on the trail. But this will seem like a reasonable walk for anyone that hikes in Quebec or the North Eastern US.
Day 4 – Inverarnan to Tyndrum (19 km 12 mi): A fairly easy walk that traverses a lovely agricultural landscape. The town of Tyndrum has some small stores, accommodations and pubs.
Day 5 – Tyndrum to King House (29 km 18.5 mi): It is a long day, with no significant challenges, but it is here that one finally arrives in the Highlands. Surrounded by it’s bare mountains, and endless moors, it is worth the wait and the long journey across.
Day 6 – King’s House to Kinlochleven (14 km 8.75 mi): Although reputed to be the greatest ascent of the trail, it is not long. The views towards Glencoe are amazing, as is the descent though a moist green valley to the town. Considerable lodgings, with restaurant and shopping possibilities.
Day 7 – Kinlochleven to Fort William (24.5 km 15.25 mi): This might be the most beautiful day as it is mostly spent away from any roads. The views to the surrounding hills are immediate and amazing, as is the final descent towards Fort William which is preceded by beautiful views of Ben Nevis.
Long distance walking is an activity that is accessible to any person in good health and reasonable physical shape. For the question of endurance, one has to be able to walk for consecutive days of 4 and 6 hours. Long distance walking in Scotland are generally between 5 and and 8 days. The West Highland Way is recommended for those that do some hiking. It is up to the walker to evaluate his or her capacity to complete any walk.