This walk is part of the trek The West Highland Way.
The seventh and last stage of the WHW makes us evolve in a beautiful setting, at the foot of the Mamore hills. We then cross lightly wooded areas, from which we benefit from a prominent view of Ben Nevis, the highest point in Great Britain. Arrival in the city of Fort William marks the end of this long hike.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Start at Lochaber Road, on the right bank of the River Leven.
WHW official signposting: signposts with thistle flower + signposts with yellow arrow for changes of direction + written signposts.
(S) Follow Lochaber Road to the north-north-west, preferably on the left-hand pavement (the right one is intermittent). Cross a river.
(1) Leave the road and take a path that goes right towards Fort William. Go uphill in the undergrowth. At a fork, take the path left.
(2) Cross a small road and continue on the opposite path uphill. Ignore a path from the left and turn right. Follow several switchbacks.
(3) Take a footbridge across a stream. Arrive in open terrain and continue to climb.
(4) Arrive at a track and follow it to the left: it is an old military road, to be followed for around ten kilometres. Start by going gradually downhill.
(5) Climb gradually between peaks which peak around 750m on the left and 950m on the right.
(6) Continue through an unnamed pass and start your descent. Pass through the ruins of an old fort and continue to descend.
(7) Cross a fence and continue on the path which turns to the north west.
(8) Go around a cattle park on the left. Continue on the path in a recently thinned wooded area.
(9) Cross a track and, at the information panel with map, turn right on a path that goes up. Climb a small hill then arrive at an intersection (not shown on the map).
(10) Then continue straight through the ferns then on the hillside. Climb a small hill and descend a little into a thin forest.
(11) Take a footbridge and continue north-east, alternating short ascents and descents. Enjoy the view over Ben Nevis (the highest peak in Great Britain).
(12) Take a footbridge and continue north-east, alternating short ascents and descents.
(13) Pass a signpost and start to climb.
(14) Come out onto a wide track, follow it to the right and climb a little further.
(15) At the crossroads, continue straight and downhill towards Braveheart Car Park.
(16) Come to another track and follow it to the left.
(17) At the crossroads, continue straight towards the "Braveheart Car Park" (temporarily abandon the WHW which goes to the right, taking this small “liberty” will save a good kilometre of tarmac).
(18) At a fork, turn right and cross the car park to reach a road.
(19) Follow the road on the left, on the left-hand pavement (there is no pavement on the right). After about 1.25km, reach the roundabout which marks the original point of arrival for the WHW.
(20) Go around the roundabout on the left and continue opposite towards the city centre.
(21) After about 1km and before a roundabout, turn right. Follow the main road on the left and turn right to reach the entrance to Fort William station (F).
D : km 0 - alt. 12m
1 : km 0.59 - alt. 17m - Start of path
2 : km 1.22 - alt. 78m - Byway
3 : km 2.08 - alt. 215m - Walkway
4 : km 2.32 - alt. 245m - T-junction with a track
5 : km 3.06 - alt. 240m - Cross a stream
6 : km 5.88 - alt. 332m - Pass
7 : km 8.98 - alt. 287m - Fence
8 : km 10.46 - alt. 242m - Cattle park
9 : km 12.31 - alt. 190m - Crossing with a track
10 : km 13.22 - alt. 248m - Intersection
11 : km 14.24 - alt. 221m - Walkway
12 : km 15.83 - alt. 219m - Walkway
13 : km 16.65 - alt. 211m - Sign post
14 : km 17.24 - alt. 269m - T-junction with a track
15 : km 17.44 - alt. 271m - Crossing
16 : km 20.29 - alt. 57m - Intersection
17 : km 20.88 - alt. 52m - Crossing
18 : km 21.79 - alt. 30m - Path forks
19 : km 21.95 - alt. 17m - Braveheart Car Park
20 : km 23.23 - alt. 17m - WHW original finish point
21 : km 24 - alt. 10m - Road divides in two
A : km 24.2 - alt. 5m - Fort William Station (Gare de Fort William)
Waterproof hiking shoes. Rain protection: rain cape, backpack protection, etc. Protection against the cold, depending on one’s sensitivity. Midge repellent.
The route is relatively simple and the circuit is very well marked at intersections. A physical map is useful (at least the one that accompanies this description) or a route saved on smartphone (remember to save an offline map in advance).
Food and supplies:
Bring extra water reserves and a picnic when you start.
(F) In Fort William, bars-restaurants, various shops, supermarket.
Accommodation at finish point (F):
Several other accommodation options can be found using your search engine of choice.
To return to Glasgow:
- Regular trains to Glasgow Queen Street Station. Timetables: see the ScotRail website ScotRail. Price is in the region of £32 per person (as of August 2019).
- Daily buses. Timetables and ticket prices: see the CityLink website Citylink.
The train or bus timetables allow you to plan a return to Glasgow immediately at the end of the section if you wish.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
- From (4) to (8): superb and wild landscapes at the foot of very high hills.
- From (11) to (17): beautiful views of the Ben Nevis massif, the highest point in Great Britain.
The sixth stage of the WHW takes us through the highest point of the entire hike, an unnamed pass at an altitude of 550m. After a pleasant walk at the foot of Beinn a’ Chrùlaiste, you reach the pass by climbing the Devil's Staircase, an easier climb than the name of this path suggests. We then descend on good paths or wide tracks on the former small industrial town of Kinochleven.
A very interesting alternative, full of variations, to the normal route to reach the summit of the famous Ben Nevis, the highest peak in Great Britain. It is a wilder variant than the normal route. Without being too technical it remains a solid hike. It allows walkers the opportunity to contemplate the very famous north face of Ben Nevis.
Here is a magnificent peak held in high regard by our British friends, Ben Nevis. This summit, though in itself not very high relatively speaking, requires a significant climb in altitude because it starts almost at sea level. During the ascent, the views are breathtaking.
This walk in the mountains north of Fort William visits the summits of Aonach Mor and Aonach Beag, both of which exceed 4,000 feet above sea level. The views on a good day are stunning especially of Ben Nevis. The route contains plenty of ascent and you should remember that suitable clothing is essential so you can cope with rapid changes in weather. There are also snow cornices to be considered.
This fifth stage of the WHW brings us to yet more superb landscapes! The ascent of the small hill of Màm Carraigh offers a very beautiful point of view on Loch Tulla. Then, for about ten kilometres, we follow a very comfortable old military road and we climb gently and very regularly towards a pass in the middle of the moor. Ahead during the descent you will see the classic pyramid silhouette of the Buachaille summit.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.