Walking the West Highland Way in 5 Days

If you’re fairly fit and willing to wild camp, here’s one possible plan how to walk the 154km West Highland Way in 5 days.

Day 1

Drymen_Walking the West Highland Way in 5 Days
Drymen’s comfortable inns at the end reward your first day’s hike.

Milngavie to Drymen (19km)

The suburban parkland outside of Glasgow, the Scotland’s largest city, gradually transforms into farmland, swapping gravel paths for rocky tracks and swerving country lanes. Drymen’s comfortable inns at the end reward your first day’s hike.

Day 2

Drymen to Inversnaid (35km)

The first ascents of the hike are encountered, the most difficult being Conic Hill. Once it’s rounded you’ll be greeted with the most stunning over Loch Lomond on the West Highland Way.

Day 3

Inversnaid to Bridge of Orchy (42km)

Most of the second day is spent walking along Loch Lomond and the third day continues on its shore. Eventually the loch’s end is reached and the path enters the Highlands.

Day 4

Buachaille Etive Mor_Walking the West Highland Way in 5 Days
Buachaille Etive Mor is one of the best known and loved of all the Munro peaks.

Bridge of Orchy to Kinlochleven (34km)

On day four things get dramatic. The trail makes its way through the towering Munros until finding the far-reaching Rannoch Moor, Buachaille Etive Mor and the Devil’s Staircase.

Day 5

Kinlochleven to Fort William (22km)

The military road leads high in the hills for this stretch but follows a somewhat gentle pass. The view of Ben Nevis before going down to Fort William makes a fitting climax to this classic trail.

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Distance: 154km/95 miles

Total ascent: 3946m/12946ft

Getting to: The start at Milngavie is only a 30-minute train ride from Glasgow Queen Street station. Trains run every 15 minutes.

Getting from: Regular trains run from Fort William to Glasgow and a sleeper service links with London.

Stay: Many B&Bs, hotels, inns, and hostels along the route. Wild camping is recommended, however recent bylaws have created an exclusion area around the eastern shore of Loch Lomond and a designated campsite should be sought here instead.

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Written by Jenny Nickelson

Jenny Nickelson has been a sports enthusiast since childhood. Because of her deep love to water, she started training swimming in early years. Today she swears on variety and does it all: from swimming, running and cycling to fitness, skiing, dancing and mountaineering.

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