The West Highland Way is Scotland’s most popular long-distance walking route. It stretches 154km from Milngavie to Fort William, taking in a huge variety of scenery, from countryside fields and forests to loch shores and from open moorlands to rugged mountains.
Our standard West Highland Way itinerary takes 10 days (9 nights) to complete the whole trail with an average of 19km of walking per day. On request, we can design a custom shorter version of the itinerary, either more demanding or more leisurely. Extra nights are also possible to book in most places along the route.
The route is very well signposted, with well-maintained paths and tracks throughout. Accommodation, services and refreshments are also conveniently located from start to finish, providing opportunities for a comfortable and relaxing end to a tough day’s walking.
Full list of our West Highland Way itineraries is available here.
- Scottish Highlands
- Bridge of Orchy
- Loch Tulla
- Devil’s Staircase
- Mugdock Country Park
- Allander Water
- Loch Lomond
Click to view map
Day 1: Arrive Milngavie
Today you arrive in the town of Milngavie. Milngavie is easily reachable from Glasgow by public transport (20-30 minutes).
- Accommodation: Hotel Premier Inn*** or similar in Milngavie
Day 2: Milngavie to Drymen | 2km
The walk starts at the obelisk in the Milngavie town centre and follows the Allander Water through patches of woodland, before heading into Mugdock Country Park and Craigallian Loch. The route towards Drymen follows a quaint, 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 the Garadhban Forest, where there are two options for walkers; the first being an easier walk into Milton of Buchanan, where the road is followed into Balmaha, sitting 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, flirting with the water’s edge along much of the way. This is a lovely, low level and relaxed stage as it meanders through pebble beaches.
- Walking for the day: 24km, 7h, highest point: 315m
- Accommodation: Rowardennan Hotel*** or similar in Rowardennan
Day 4: Rowardennan to Inverarnan | 22km
From Rowardennan, the path heads into the 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 rocky and uneven path continues along the loch, hugging the water’s edge amidst the fabulous and ancient oak forest. The loch becomes noticeably narrower as the path approaches Inverarnan.
- Walking for the day: 22km, 6-7h, highest point: 131 m
- Accommodation: The Drovers Inn & Lodge or similar in Inverarnan
Day 5: Inverarnan to Tyndrum | 19km
Soon after leaving Inverarnan, the path runs alongside the picturesque, fast-flowing River Falloch before a long stretch on an old military road. The route here closely follows the west highland railway and eventually passes underneath the tracks as the path nears a coniferous forest. The route continues through the forest, with the path winding and undulating through the contours. The path then crosses through the road and the River Fillin. The views of the surrounding mountains are wonderful. A well-maintained path follows the River Cononish before reaching Tyndrum.
- Walking for the day: 19 km, 5-6h, highest point: 335 m
- Accommodation: Tigh Na Fraoch B&B or similar in Tyndrum
Day 6: Tyndrum to Bridge of Orchy | 14.5km
From Tyndrum, the route closely follows the railway and the road, although it continues to maintain its own unique qualities. By this stage, you are firmly in the Scottish Highlands, and the view will be spectacular from here, all the way to Fort William. The path uses an old military road throughout this stage (and continues right across Rannoch Moor). This is also the most exposed section of the route so far with little protection from the elements. The path climbs out of Bridge of Orchy through a coniferous forest, eventually providing lovely views to Loch Tulla.
- Walking for the day: 14.5km, 4-5h, highest point: 330 m
- Accommodation: Bridge of Orchy Hotel or similar in Bridge of Orchy
Day 7: Bridge of Orchy to Kingshouse/Glencoe | 21km
The path starts from the Inveroran Hotel, before the long stretch across the edge of the wild and eerily remote Rannoch Moor, passes the Glencoe Ski Centre and into the fabulous mountain range of Glencoe.
- Walking for the day: 21km, 5-6h, highest point: 450 m
- Accommodation: Kingshouse Hotel or similar in Glencoe
Day 8: Kingshouse/Glencoe to Kinlochleven | 14.5km
This stage of the West Highland Way includes the infamous Devil’s Staircase, the steepest climb of the route, reaching the highest point of the entire mile journey (made easier by the zig-zag path up the hill). The views from the top are spectacular. The track away from the staircase towards Kinlochleven signals an escape from the Glencoe Mountains and offers a long descent along excellent tracks all the way into the town.
- Walking for the day: 14.5km, 4h 30mins-5h 30mins, highest point: 550 m
- Accommodation: Tigh Na Cheo Guesthouse or similar in Kinlochleven
Day 9: Kinlochleven to Fort William | 25km
The climb out of Kinlochleven is a steep ascent through a beautiful little forest. The view from the top provides a fabulous view down to 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 to Fort William, with a final stretch along the road into Fort William centre.
- Walking for the day: 25km, 6-7h, highest point: 330 m
- Accommodation: Guisachan House B&B or similar in Fort William
Day 10: Departure
Departure by bus or train to Glasgow (3-4h) or Edinburgh. Additional nights at the end of the walk can be arranged to explore the highlands at your leisure, including climbing up Scotland’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis.
What to expect
Accommodation on this tour includes a mix of small, locally-owned hotels, B&Bs and traditional guesthouses. They have been carefully selected based on a variety of criteria including their proximity to the West Highland Way, warm hospitality, fine local food or commitment to responsible tourism. All rooms have en-suite or private bathrooms.
Show the default hotels for this trip
*Note that hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel from the ones pictured above is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher 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. Your package includes a detailed map of the full route. We highly recommend that at least one member of your party is a competent map and compass reader. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the 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.
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
- A great website useful specifically for public transport planning within Scotland is Traveline Scotland.
- Pre-booked accommodation as per the itinerary on 9 nights in B&Bs, small hotels and guesthouses
- Full breakfast each morning
- Door-to-door luggage transfers on all walking days
- 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 single room.
- 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