The West Highland Way in Five Days

The West Highland Way is the most established of Scotland’s long distance walking routes. Officially opened on 6th October 1980, it celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2020. The WHW stretches 96 miles (154 Km) from Milngavie to Fort William, taking in a huge variety of scenery along the way, from countryside parks to loch-shores and open moorlands to steep mountains. This is a five stage route, staying at prebooked accomodation along the way.

Technical sheet
No. 15367087
A East Dunbartonshire walk posted on 29/09/21 by El Sud. Update : 01/06/22
Author's time Author's time : 5 days
Distance Distance : 149.63km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 2960m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 2983m
Highest point Highest point : 548m
Lowest point Lowest point : 11m
Difficult Difficulty : Difficult
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Area Area : Loch Lomond and The Trossachs
Location Location : East Dunbartonshire
Starting point Starting point : N 55.941419° / W 4.314741°
Ending point Ending point : N 56.821401° / W 5.093951°

Step by step walk

This walk needs several days, please find the details below.

The West Highland Way - Stage One (Milngavie to Balmaha)

The West Highland Way is the most established of Scotland’s long distance walking routes. This is the first of a five stage route, staying at prebooked accomodation along the way.

The West Highland Way - Stage Two (Balmaha to Inverarnan)

The West Highland Way is the most established of Scotland’s long distance walking routes. This is the second of a five stage route, staying at prebooked accommodation along the way.

The West Highland Way - Stage Three (Inverarnan to Bridge of Orchy)

The West Highland Way is the most established of Scotland’s long distance walking routes. This is the third of a five stage route, staying at prebooked accomodation along the way.

The West Highland Way - Stage Four (Bridge of Orchy to Kinlochleven)

The West Highland Way is the most established of Scotland’s long distance walking routes. Officially opened on 6th October 1980, it celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2020. The WHW stretches 96 miles (154 Km) from Milngavie to Fort William, taking in a huge variety of scenery along the way, from countryside parks to loch-shores and open moorlands to steep mountains. This is the fourth of a five stage route, staying at prebooked accomodation along the way.

The West Highland Way - Stage Five (Kinlochleven to Fort William)

The West Highland Way is the most established of Scotland’s long-distance walking routes. This is the fifth of a five stage route, staying at prebooked accomodation along the way. A simple route, with some climbing but mostly sticking to streams and rivers to walk through the valleys whilst appreciating the high mountains from below.

Useful Information

There are many points along route that an be explored using the individual route decriptions. The official website nfor the route is https://www.westhighlandway.org/ If the weather is wet and cold, make sure you have the right gear. It's a good idea to sort out your accomodation and book well in advance.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

There's plenty to see along the way. As it is a long route, look after your feet and don't carry too much weight. As the idea is to stop at prebooked accomodation, a day-pack with around 5-6kg should be enough for all your essential requirements. Enjoy the route and look out for wildlife along the way. Don't rush, just enjoy the journey and make the most of the moment.

Other walks in the area

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
distance 30.75km Vertical gain +488m Vertical drop -517m Durée 10h10 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in East Dunbartonshire

The West Highland Way is the most established of Scotland’s long distance walking routes. This is the first of a five stage route, staying at prebooked accomodation along the way.

Walker
The West Highland Way
distance 155.91km Vertical gain +2870m Vertical drop -2881m Durée 7 days Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in East Dunbartonshire

The West Highland Way (WHW) is a very popular walking route in Scotland. At over 150 km in length, and with moderate elevations, it crosses the most western (as its name suggests) and the most southern (dare we say) regions of the Highlands.

A superb hike, marked by the diversity of landscapes, the omnipresence of water (lochs, rivers, streams, waterfalls... and the rain), and the wild beauty of the landscape. Last but not least, you are likely to make a few friends along the way!

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
Kelvin Walkway: Milngavie to Partick
distance 17.02km Vertical gain +3m Vertical drop -47m Durée 4h50 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in East Dunbartonshire

This 10 mile route along the River Kelvin feels surprisingly rural when walked from North to South, with the hustle and bustle of the city becoming more apparent the further along you go. Rather poorly way-marked for the first half, signage is then very easy to follow for the remainder of the route down to the Riverside Museum, where the Kelvin meets the Clyde.

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
The Whangie, Kilpatrick Hills
distance 4.41km Vertical gain +155m Vertical drop -155m Durée 1h40 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Stirling

This massive and unique rocky outcrop seems to appear out of nowhere on an otherwise grassy hillside. Situated at an elevation of 300m (984 ft), the 10m high rocks have a narrow passageway through the middle, formed during the Ice Age.

National Park
distance 5.6km Vertical gain +114m Vertical drop -114m Durée 1h55 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Stirling

An early introduction to two classic Long Distance Routes, starting from the picturesque village of Drymen. The West Highland Way is a long distance route that runs from Milngavie, near Glasgow, all the way to Fort William, and it passes close to Drymen. The Rob Roy Way starts in Drymen and ends in Pitlochry.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.