Blog

West Highland Way

I made it! I hiked the entire West Highland Way at the end of October. The whole 154 kilometers (96miles). I tried to draw in the route as well as possible. I guess that didn’t work out that well, haha.

 

Route

We did the West Highland Way in 6 days, and that’s pretty well to manage.

 

Day #1

Milngavie – Drymen

20km

Milngavie is a little town near Glasgow. We took the train from Glasgow to Milngavie and started off there. This part was an easy one since it was the first day and only 20km. At the beginning of the Highlands, everything is still relatively flat.

 

Day #2

Drymen – Rowardennan

24km

It starts getting a little less flat. But in comparison to Switzerland probably everything is kind of flat to me, haha. This is an easy as well as a beautiful part too.

 

Day #3

Rowardennan – Crianlarich

31km

A total underestimated part of the WHW by many hikers. 31km a day is doable, but this part of the way goes mostly along Loch Lomond. During this part, you consistently go up and down along the rock bordering the lake. I think this section took us around 10 to 11 hours. In this stage, you’ll have to cross a waterfall which cascades in Loch Lomond.

 

Day #4

Crianlarich – Inveroran

25km

On this stage, you can enjoy plenty of scenic woodlands. After 10km you’ll approach some hills. Then you have to hike up Mam Carraigh which provides you with the most beautiful view on the entire WHW. So don’t miss to plan some time to stay up there and enjoy the view over Loch Tulla. Be aware of the fact that Inveroran is not a town but just a hotel out in the nowhere. There are no public connections from there. But there you’ll have the chance to meet some lovely deer!<3

 

Day #5

Inveroran – Kinlochleven

30km

The most significant part of this stage is the Devil’s Staircase which leads you to the top of Mhic Mhartuin.

 

Day #6

Kinlochleven – Fort William

25km

On this stage, you’ll pass plenty of old ruins and signs. On the last part of this section, Ben Nevis will be visible. Ben Nevis is the highest and most famous mountain in Scotland. At the end of your journey, you will finally arrive in Fort William. Don’t miss the statue of a seated traveler rubbing his sore foot, which marks the official end of the West Highland Way. It’s placed beside the Travelodge on an open square.

 

We usually left the hotel around 10 o’clock in the morning and arrived at our stay around 6 o’clock in the evening.

The way is mostly well maintained but watch out for wet and muddy spots.

I warmly recommend downloading the WHW App. It’s perfect for tracking where you are. You can choose between different variations of the West Highland Way regarding extents and stages. It shows you hotels, hostels, etc. and stores. On top of it, it gives you information to every part of the way, where it’s worth to stop and how many percents of the stage you’ve already done.

Nature is so, so beautiful and mystical. All the time I expected a dragon or a unicorn to come out of the woods. And I wouldn’t have been surprised if we would have met a fairy or another mythical creature.

Btw, check out all the pictures at the bottom of this post. You might be able to link them to the different stages, and they are just beautiful overall!;-)

 

 

Accommodation

We allowed ourselves the luxury of staying in hostels and even hotels instead of camping. The advantages of staying at a hotel are: Always having a prepared and comfortable bed, a shower, a water heater with coffee and tea and breakfast. Another one is you will have to carry less gear and food with you.

 

Price Ranges

The price variates from facility to facility. The prices below are per night and person. As always it’s cheaper if you book in advance.

  • Wild camping – free
  • Bothys – free
  • Campground –  5 to 10 Pounds
  • Hostels & Bunkhouses – 15 to 25 pounds
  • B&B’s – 30 to 50 pounds
  • Hotels – 60 to 120 pounds

 

 

Food

Through staying mostly at hotels we had the privilege to have a traditional British/Scottish breakfast every morning. Which means eggs, baked beans, toast with butter and tattie scones – which I liked a lot. Of course, there was also coffee and orange juice with it.<3

In hostels, there is always a kitchen for cooking. You just have to bring along your food or buy some. Sometimes breakfast is provided and included in the staying price as well.

How much someone will need for the way throughout the day, one has to figure out by himself. I am a foodie, so I stuffed myself at breakfast and took two huge bares of chocolate with proteins, three usual chocolate bars and a whole bag of brownies.<3

 

 

Packing

When it comes to packing, everyone considers something else substantial enough to carry it all the 154 kilometers. In my eyes the most important things to have with you are:

  • Hiking shoes
  • Food – high in calories
  • Adaptor
  • Waterbottle – I fell in love with the water bottle from Life Straw with which you can fill up your water bottle directly from rivers etc. On top of it with every bottle bought a child in Africa gets access to clean water for a whole year!
  • Blistering plaster – luckily we haven’t had to use them
  • Softshell jacket

Before you go on the WHW make sure to go on a hike before with the hiking shoes you are going to wear on the WHW and the backpack with all the equipment.

Keep in mind to impregnate your hiking shoes – Scotland got a lot of rain for you! And by the way, the more the shoes are impregnated, the better they are at absorbing the water is a fact that’s just not true. #momknowseverything

Make sure to store all your electronic gadgets and chargers in a plastic bag to protect them from the humidity.

Plus have a coat for your backpack to protect everything from the rain in the first place.

When it comes to packing there is a simple rule for making your backpack as comfortable to carry as possible which is to pack the lighter things at the bottom and the heavier ones the top.

The weight of your backpack should be no more than 10% of your weight.

Overall less is more! I just took two sets of clothes with me, and I didn’t regret it at all. At sometimes I was convinced that I could have taken even less with me. So keep in mind: Less is more!😉

Therefore I took another pair of shoes with me for walking around in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Fort William and for flying.

 

 

Backpack Adjusting

There are two rules on how to adjust the backpack right:

Rule #1 – The weight needs to be carried on your hips.

Rule #2 – Two fingers space between the shoulder straps.

 

 

Personal Conclusion

Oh, dear, where to start? On the way back from the airport home I was so exhausted. Exhausted of this big adventure, all the new impressions, and amazing experiences.

Despite having great talks with my wonderful friend, it was a fantastic experience to just realize how powerful nature is and the fact that every one of us is a little part of it. The human is exposed to the beauty and enormous destructive force.

While hiking, we inhaled the beauty of nature. At the same time the hurricane Ophelia, which destroyed a considerable area of Ireland, came to Scotland as a stiff breeze. This also caused the sun to be constantly orange for an entire day because ex-hurricane Ophelia carried Saharan sand.

I’d do it all again, with no doubt!!!<3

 

 

Trip to Loch Ness

What would have been our hiking tour without a little trip to Loch Ness? – we thought. So we took a coach bus from Fort William to Drumnadrochit, the small town near Loch Ness. We visited the Urquhart Castle at the lake. For visiting the castle, you have to pay an entrance fee. But let’s be honest, my friend and I just jumped over the fence and acted like casual visitors. So much fun #youreallyonlyjustliveonce! We didn’t see Nessy though…

 

 

Impressions of the WHW

Made it!

Share:

38 comments so far.

38 responses to “West Highland Way”

  1. Hannah says:

    Wow! Ihr sind 150 km gloffe?? Mega wit!
    I find d Fotis sehr schön, da bechunnt me gad luscht zum selber go wandere ga 😉
    Sehr cool bitzli wie en Reiseführer
    Lg Hannah

  2. Jessi Malay says:

    Love all these photos babe!! Hope you had an amazing trip 🙂

    XO, Jessi
    https://www.mywhitet.com/baby-shower-gift-guide/

  3. Bookmarking this for when I get to go next time!! I love the photos and the landscapes are beautiful! Great animal shots as well.

    Sheena

  4. Ellie says:

    Hihi, ja…
    Mir sind eigentlich sogar no chli meh gloffe, weil mir sind ja au no en ganze Tag bi Loch Ness und Fort William, Glasgow und Edinburgh etc. umgeloffe! 😉
    Und mir chönd ja au Mal zemme go Wandere gah!!!<3
    Und Merci, freut mich, dass es dir gfallt!<3

    Lieb dich gaaaanz fest,
    Ellie

  5. Ellie says:

    Thanks!<3
    Yes, we did!;-))

  6. Ellie says:

    Thanks!:-))

  7. Was chamer dazu sege usserd total mega was Du gmacht hesch e echti inspiration ich wet das au grad mache.
    Danke fuer de tolli bricht.

  8. Ellie says:

    Oh wow, das freut mich uu mega!!!<3
    Natürlich sehr gern!;-)))

  9. what a great plan and a great trip 🙂

    Hadas

  10. This is amazing, you should be so proud of yourself!
    Some of these points are only around half an hour away from us, so beautiful! xxx

  11. Katya says:

    OMG! That is an awesome achievement. Well satisfying goal completion, happy for you! I would love to try this and follow your trail.

  12. Ellie says:

    Thanks!<3

  13. Ellie says:

    You should!;-)

  14. Jennifer says:

    Wow! Looks fun. All of the food looks delicious. Even the scenery and mountainous views is stunning too. 🙂

  15. Well done Ellie! I love the filter you use on your photos. Which one do you use? 😀

  16. Rochelle Fox says:

    You had an amazing trip. Thanks!

    Good Vibes, Team Fox

  17. Sure you enjoyed a lot the trip! Seems so interesting and the landscapes are simply amazing! Kisses

  18. What an amazing hike! Kudos to you for going the distance. Love the pic and would love to see the lake that Loch Ness is supposed to be in.

  19. Dasynka says:

    These pics are so beautiful! You are a great photographer! I love these landscapes so so much 🙂
    Dasynka

  20. Ellie says:

    Thanks!<3
    I've played around with LR a little and I figured out how to do my own presets!;-)

  21. Ellie says:

    It was!:-))

  22. Miriam says:

    What an amazing trip – you captured it beautifully in your images!

    Miriam x

  23. Falasha says:

    Great photos, this looks so adventurous.
    xoxo Falasha

  24. Courtney says:

    It looks so pretty there! I love all these pictures.

  25. Melanie says:

    Deine Bilder sind immer soooooo perfekt, dass ich der Meinung bin, dass du damit schon einen Bildband machen könntest :-*

    Melanie

  26. Ellie says:

    Vielen Dank!<3

  27. Ellie says:

    Thanks!:-))

  28. Ellie says:

    Glad you like them a lot!:-))

  29. Ellie says:

    You mean Nessy…;-)
    But yep, it was super cool!:-))

  30. Ellie says:

    Thanks a lot!
    xx

  31. Ellie says:

    Happy you liked the post!:-))

  32. These pictures just took my breath away!! Beautifully captured hun 🙂

  33. Ellie says:

    Thank you!:-))

  34. Rach says:

    I’ve always wanted to go to Scotland! It looks so beautiful there! Thanks for this recap!

  35. Ellie says:

    You need to go there once!;-)

  36. LIVSGLITTER says:

    Beautiful pictures <3

  37. Ellie says:

    Thanks!<3

  38. Looks like you had a great time. Lovely pics!

    Ann-Marie | http://facetocurls.co

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *