The West Highland Way is one of the most magnificent Scotland walking holidays, covering 154km between Milngavie, north of Glasgow up to Fort William on the shores of Loch Linnhe, with Ben Nevis waiting to greet you on the final stretch. This tour covers the West Highland Way in 8 days, for a slightly quicker Highland hit, thanks to a transfer between Inverarnan and Bridge of Orchy. You still definitely have wilderness, including Rannoch Moor, Loch Lomond and Glencoe. Stay in a mix of small, mostly locally-owned accommodation, with luggage transfers.
Full list of our West Highland Way itineraries is available here.
- Mugdock Country Park
- Allander Water
- Scottish Highlands
- Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park
- Bridge of Orchy
Click to view map
*This map is only for general reference; detailed route maps will be provided in your pre-departure package.
Day 1: Arrive Milngavie
Arrive in the town of Milngavie, easily reachable from Glasgow by public transport (20-30 minutes).
- Accommodation: Hotel Premier Inn, 3-star or similar in Milngavie
Day 2: Milngavie to Drymen | 21km
The walk starts at the obelisk in the Milngavie town centre and follows Allander Water through patches of woodland, before heading into Mugdock Country Park and Craigallian Loch. The route towards Drymen follows a hedge-lined country lane, before leaving the West Highland Way down into the village of Drymen.
- Walking for the day: 21km, 6h, highest point: 140m
- Accommodation: Braeside B&B or similar in Drymen
Day 3: Drymen to Rowardennan | 24km
Back on the West Highland Way, the route soon enters Garadhban Forest, where there are two options for walkers; the first being an easier walk into Milton of Buchanan, where the road goes into Balmaha, on the banks of the loch. The second option is a more strenuous, but ultimately much more rewarding route, as the climb up Conic Hill gives rise to fabulous views over Loch Lomond. Then walk along the east side of Loch Lomond, staying close to the shore for most of the way. This is a low level and relaxed stage as it meanders along pebble beaches.
- Walking for the day: 24km, 7h, highest point: 315m
- Accommodation: Rowardennan Hotel, 3-star or similar in in Rowardennan
Day 4: Rowardennan to Inverarnan | 22km
From Rowardennan, the path heads into thick woodland. There are two options here; the easier being the wide forest track which follows the contours up and down the hill; or the more time consuming, narrow path which skirts over rocks and exposed tree roots along the banks of the loch. The path continues along the loch, hugging the water’s edge through ancient oak forest. The loch becomes noticeably narrower as the path approaches Inverarnan.
- Walking for the day: 22km, 6-7h, highest point: 131m
- Accommodation: The Drovers Inn or similar in Inverarnan
Day 5: Bridge of Orchy to Kingshouse/Glencoe | 21km
Short morning transfer to Bridge of Orchy. The path climbs up through a coniferous forest, eventually providing great views across to Loch Tulla. The path then passes Inveroran Hotel, before a long stretch across the edge of the wild and eerily remote Rannoch Moor, passing Glencoe Ski Centre and into the mountain range of Glencoe.
- Walking for the day: 21km, 5-6h, highest point: 450m
- Accommodation: Kingshouse Hotel or similar in Glencoe
Day 6: Kingshouse/Glencoe to Kinlochleven | 14km
This stage of the West Highland Way includes the infamous Devil’s Staircase, the steepest climb of the route, made easier by the zig-zag path up the hill. The views from the top are spectacular. Descend towards Kinlochleven along excellent tracks all the way into the town.
- Walking for the day: 14km, 4.5-5.5h, highest point: 550m
- Accommodation: Tigh Na Cheo Guesthouse or similar in Kinlochleven
Day 7: Kinlochleven to Fort William | 25km
The climb out of Kinlochleven is a steep ascent through forest, up to views over Loch Leven and the village. The old military road then passes through a wide valley on the edge of Mamore mountain range, known as Lairigmor, before turning towards Glen Nevis through forested areas. The path gradually descends towards Fort William, with a final stretch along the road into Fort William town centre.
- Walking for the day: 25km, 6-7h, highest point: 330m
- Accommodation: Guisachan House B&B or similar in Fort William
Day 8: Departure
Return home or individual stay extension.
What to expect
Accommodation is in hotels and B&Bs, all offering comfortable en-suite double or twin rooms. All places have been carefully hand-picked and their quality is regularly monitored. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.
Show the default hotels for this trip
Hotels are subject to availability. In the event of a particular hotel being fully booked for your chosen dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Breakfast is included on all days. When no restaurant location is available on the route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. You can have dinner at the guesthouse you are staying at or at the village pubs and restaurants.
Difficulty and terrain
Although daily elevation gains are not very big, you should be prepared to walk on average 19km or 5-7h per day. Some days will be more challenging than others and the terrain will be varied with some rough and rugged footpaths (read more about difficulty grades). The route is well signposted throughout, however, walkers must be vigilant at all times as there are paths and junctions along the way which deviate from the main route. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to go
This trip is available to commence every day from 20 March till 21 October.
The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season. For detailed info, see our blog on the Best time to go to Scotland.
Click to view travel options and route planner
Our recommended airport for this tour is Glasgow.
By train or bus
- Glasgow: There are excellent air, train and bus services, allowing easy access anywhere in the UK and overseas.
- Milngavie: Public transport, by train, bus or taxi, from Glasgow city centre
- Fort William: The main routes out of Fort William are by bus and train to Glasgow. The journey, whether by rail or coach, is an absolutely glorious trip with stunning scenery throughout. You can also take the Caledonian Sleeper train between London and Fort William.
- A great website useful specifically for public transport planning within Scotland is Traveline Scotland.
- Pre-booked accommodation as per the itinerary on 7 nights in B&Bs, small hotels and guesthouses
- Full breakfast each morning
- Door-to-door luggage transfers on all walking days (one piece up to 20kg per person)
- Private transfer Inverarnan to Bridge of Orchy
- Access to your digital pre-departure information (your accommodation list, GPS map of the route, baggage transfer information, itineraries, route information of cafes, restaurants, local bus timetables, etc.)
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses
- Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
- Any items not specifically mentioned as included in the programme
Options, extras and supplements
- If you’re travelling in a group, a supplement applies to group members who would like to have a room of their own.
- This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
- Extra nights along the route or in Glasgow are available upon request