The West Highland Way
Milngavie to Fort William Scottish Long Distance Route
By Terry Marsh
Guidebook to walking the West Highland Way National Trail, a 95 mile Scottish long-distance route from Milngavie near Glasgow to Fort William, passing Loch Lomond and crossing Rannoch Moor. Suggested itineraries over 6 to 9 days. Includes accommodation guide and pull-out 1:25K OS map booklet.
SeasonsMay-June and September-October avoid the worst of the midges, but suitably experienced backpackers can do this walk at any time of year.
CentresThe walk traditionally starts in Milngavie, on the outskirts of Glasgow (accessible by rail), and concludes at Fort William (likewise). There are few towns or villages en route where supplies can be had: Drymen, Crianlarich, Tyndrum and Kinlochleven.
DifficultyThe walking is not difficult for anyone accustomed to regular walks longer than 10 miles, although there is ample scope to shorten almost all of the days, and to offload the pack carrying onto an independent service that will transport your baggage for you.
Must SeeThe West Highland Way embraces diversity, from the urbanity of Milngavie to the days in the company of Loch Lomond, and then the striding splendour of Rannoch Moor. The haul from Glencoe, under the gaze of Buachaille Etive Mòr, up the Devil's Staircase, then into the hidden valley of Lairig Mòr, are stages to be savoured.
A guidebook to Scotland’s West Highland Way, a 95-mile walk from Milngavie near Glasgow to Fort William, passing Loch Lomond, crossing Rannoch Moor and finishing in the shadow of Britain’s highest mountain. The walk, which takes roughly one week to complete, is described in seven stages, with each stage ranging from 8 to 20 miles. The guide details the ‘classic’ south-north direction but also provides a summary description for those wanting to walk the route in the opposite direction.
The guidebook, which features step-by-step route descriptions, 1:100K mapping, handy practical information as well as notes on the region’s history, culture and geography, is accompanied by a separate, pocket-sized 1:25K OS map booklet, providing all the mapping you need to walk the route.
Passing from the lowlands to the highlands, the West Highland Way, which is one of Scotland’s Great Trails, showcases the splendour of glens flanked by great mountains, majestic moorland and sprawling farmland. It is the perfect adventure for distance walkers keen to discover the wild beauty of western Scotland.
From the Lowlands to the Highlands
How hard and how remote?
Planning your trip
When to go
Getting there and back
Transport along the route
First nights and last nights
Accommodation en route
Facilities en route
Preparation and what to take
Planning day by day
Using this guide
Digital and printed maps
Phones and internet
All about the Highlands
Plants and wildlife
History and culture
Food and drink
The West Highland Way
Stage 1 Milngavie to Drymen
Stage 2 Drymen to Rowardennan
Stage 3 Rowardennan to Crianlarich
Stage 4 Crianlarich to Bridge of Orchy
Stage 5 Bridge of Orchy to Kingshouse
Stage 6 Kingshouse to Kinlochleven
Stage 7 Kinlochleven to Fort William
Appendix A Useful contacts
Appendix B Accommodation
Appendix C Further reading
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To find and hold a niche in this crowded marketplace a guide has to be good. This is a very good guide.
The free market may not always produce the manifold benefits proclaimed by its more zealous proponents, but in the case of guidebooks to the West Highland Way it has certainly achieved a high degree of consumer choice. There are over a dozen assorted guidebooks and guide maps to the Way and variations on it, between them running to about 35 editions - one for every year since the route was opened.
To find and hold a niche in this crowded marketplace a guide has to be good. This is a very good guide, the fourth edition by the same highly competent author, from the stable of Cicerone, experts in the preparation of guides for walkers. lt is intensely functional, packed with information, in a compact format with a convenient map booklet at 1:25000 scale.
"This new long distance guidebook series from Cicerone has a unique selling point: each copy comes with a pocket-sized booklet providing 1:25,000 Ordnance Survey mapping for the whole of the route it covers. Guidebooks have of course included map sections in the past, but the difference here is that if you stick to the route outlined in each book you shouldn't need to carry an extra map with you. So for those of you who like saving weight (and money for that matter) on your long distance adventures, then this could be the ideal navigation tool....
The guidebooks are impeccably researched and written by Cicerone's expert pool of outdoor authors...
Our only criticism is that they haven't been doing it for years!"
Oli Reed, Trail Magazine
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Dr Terry Marsh is a Lancashire-based award-winning writer and photographer who specialises in the outdoors, the countryside, walking and travel worldwide. He has been writing books since the mid-1980s, and is the author of over 100 titles.
Terry holds a PhD in Historical Geography and a Master of Arts degree (with Distinction) in Lake District Studies, is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (FSA Scot), a member of the National Union of Journalists, and an Honorary Life Member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild.