Created in the 1960s, the West Highland Way is Scotland’s first Long Distance Path stretching from the Milngavie in the outskirts of Glasgow to Fort William, 96 miles away at the foot of Ben Nevis. My journey, in mid-April 2017, is described in glorious technicolour in the blog, but with 85,000 people using the trail each year and 30,000 people completing the full route, it is just one of many. Even in the short week I was up in Scotland I met all manner of backpackers; of campers (wild and otherwise) and of B&Bers, some drifting through and some snatching nothing more than a week’s holiday.
It could be argued that the blog isn’t exactly heavy on top travel tips, but if it does inspire you to go out and do it, and, you are coming up on the West Coast Mainline, I can’t recommend enough booking Virgin Trains as early as possible and grabbing a bargain First Class fare. Trust me, you’ll easily eat and drink your way through the tiny amount extra it costs on the cattle class fare, and you’ll be able to stretch your legs too!
Tip number two: really consider whether you want to backpack the whole route or whether you’d rather just get someone to move the heavy stuff from one overnight stop to the other. You need to make sure that you take enough for the day, but why carry 65 litres when you can get away with just 30?
Tip number three: get the hotel at the Bridge of Orchy. It costs a fortune but it is soooo warm and dry! Well, perhaps not everybody want to spend £150 on hotel rooms, but if you’ve had a rough night, or long day, it’s worth considering an alternative to a tent if that’s what you’ve gotten yourself mixed up in. Consider Hobbit Huts, bunk houses, even bothys to motivate you for another day’s walking.
Brucey Bonus : History of the Haggis
Originally written for my English Language A-Level in 1994, it seemed fitting to update and publish The History of The Haggis for the 21st Century. Frankly hilarious what better way to finish off a West Highland Way blog than with a guide to the area’s most loved creature.
National Parks & Tourist Information
Getting there and back
- London Euston to Glasgow: Virgin Trains
- Glasgow to Milngavie / Fort William to Glasgow: ScotRail
- Fort William to Glasgow / Glasgow to Edinburgh: CityLink Coaches
- Edinburgh to London King’s Cross: Virgin East Coast
Campsites, hotels, resorts and youth used on my journey.
- Milngavie: Premier Inn
- Drymen: Drymen Camping
- Rowardennan: Rowardennan Lodge Youth Hostel
- Inverarnan: Beinglas Farm Campsite
- Bridge of Orchy: Bridge of Orchy Hotel
- Glencoe Mountain Resort: Glencoe Mountain Resort
- Kinlochleven: MacDonald Hotel and Cabins
- Fort William: West End Hotel
If you don’t fancy carrying your own Gigantor over the 96 miles, use one of these services to take the weight off:
 Murphy, S. (2016), Everything you need to know about Scotland’s West Highland Way. The Scotsman. https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/travel/everything-you-need-to-know-about-scotland-s-west-highland-way-1-4228343 (accessed 04/04/2018).