Walking the West Highland Way (again)

I’ve just completed the West Highland Way again. Having scurried along it a few years ago in four and a half days and pedalled much of it this year, I was looking for a more sedate experience this time round.

The impetus for this trip had been the somewhat-surprising announcement by my other half that the ‘Way needed to be added to her growing repertoire of walks (the tortuous trudges up Ben Nevis and Snowdon already ticked off).

I was looking forward to experiencing this most popular trail through someone else’s eyes. The ‘Way didn’t disappoint, nor did the weather as we enjoyed some freakishly sunny days.

Another quality of the trail also endures – the camaraderie en route. We met some fantastic folk and enjoyed some superb nights in the various pubs, crowned by a celebratory dinner at the excellent Ben Nevis Inn.

It matters not who you are or where you are from, the trail remains the great leveller .

Views over Loch Lomond from Connich Hill
Views over Loch Lomond from Connich Hill
Loch Lomond shore with rain on the way
Loch Lomond shore with rain on the way
Sallochy Bay after the mother of all downpours. The midges came out with a vengeance too!
Sallochy Bay after the mother of all downpours. The midges came out with a vengeance too!
Approaching the bothy at Doune
Approaching the bothy at Doune
The West Highland Way in Glen Falloch
The West Highland Way in Glen Falloch
Pressing on through Glen Falloch - the busy road had little impact on the surroundings in such glorious weather
Pressing on through Glen Falloch – the busy road had little impact on the surroundings in such glorious weather
By the Way Campsite at Tyndrum
By the Way Campsite at Tyndrum
Leaving Tyndrum and along the trail to the Bridge of Orchy Hotel for scones
Leaving Tyndrum and along the trail to the Bridge of Orchy Hotel for scones
Following the Way down to the Inveroran Hotel
Following the Way down to the Inveroran Hotel
The drovers' road across Rannoch Moor can be hard on the feet
The drovers’ road across Rannoch Moor can be hard on the feet
Stob Dearg always an impressive sight after crossing Rannoch Moor on the drovers' route
Stob Dearg always an impressive sight after crossing Rannoch Moor on the drovers’ route
Jubilation at the top of the Devil's Staircase - not at all as hard as it may sound
Jubilation at the top of the Devil’s Staircase – not at all as hard as it may sound
After a steep climb out of Kinlochleven, the Way enters it's most impressive stretch (for me)
After a steep climb out of Kinlochleven, the Way enters it’s most impressive stretch (for me)
Looking to Ben Nevis - the first time I have seen the summit clear of mist.
Looking to Ben Nevis – the first time I have seen the summit clear of mist
Descending to Glen Nevis and, sadly, the end of the Way.
Descending to Glen Nevis and, sadly, the end of the Way.
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14 thoughts on “Walking the West Highland Way (again)

  1. Wow, what amazing photos. I always head to Scotland to climb mountains but I think I might have to add that trail to my list!

  2. Always had a bit of a downer on the WHW, I always saw it as a route that follows the A82 and didn’t climb any of the Mountains on the way. I can see from the photos I need to reappraise that View. Looked like a grand trip 🙂

    1. I can understand why you would think that way. I must admit I looked to the high ridges on a number of occasions and yearned to be up there. That said, I have changed my view of summits. I don’t feel the need to ‘bag’ anymore. Travelling through this landscape was sufficient for this trip.In fact, it sparked my backpacking interest again (sorely missing these last few months). I’m poring over maps again, plotting routes, looking overseas etc etc For that, I’m grateful.

  3. I’m the same, I only “bag” now as a means to get me into new areas I’ve never walked before. Like you I yearn to backpack. My favourite outdoor experience is a wild camp, sitting outside a tent with a brew, amongst the Mountains feeling like you have the whole place to yourself. I have hundreds of routes in my head just not enough time to do them 😫

  4. Looks like a great trip. There are some wonderful mountains in those valleys, but I’ve mainly seen them from the train to Mallaig.

    From your photos it looks eminently ridable. Would you say the whole route could be bikepacked?

    1. I did quite a bit if it this year. Some is not ideal if your rig is heavy (styles etc). The section north of Rowardenan would be awful to… Better if the bike is easily carried. The more northerly parts are best. I would pick your timing carefully though as walkers can be impatient 😀

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