Planning for the West Highland Way

February 4, 2021

Since moving to the UK in 2017 I have only visited Scotland once. Shocking, I know! So, next on my list is to walk the West Highland Way. I am aware that this is a very popular route, but since it is supposed to be a perfect introduction to the amazing Scottish landscapes and it is Scotland’s first official Long Distance Route (opened in 1980) and I can reach it by train from London, I figured it would be a perfect choice. Also, the route (154km) can be walked between 5 and 7 days and thus I won’t have too much trouble arranging leave from work.

After some online searching, I found that the West Highland Way is best hiked in May, but June is also good, and less crowded. That, in combination with the uncertainties regarding Covid-19, my aim is to go in June 2021.

To make sure I will be able to afford the train journey, I looked up some dates for an impression. Not bad at all as the cheapest return London-Glasgow I could find was only £63 (without discounts) and will take approximately 5 hours. I usually use the Fare Finder from Trainline to search for train tickets. At this moment I cannot book tickets for dates beyond April 2021, so in two months’ time I’ll check again. I will be (wild)camping so only after booking my train tickets I might look for accommodation in Fort William, where the trail ends, to get myself cleaned up and sorted before taking the bus or train back to Glasgow.

This popular route is well-waymarked but that does not mean I don’t need a map. I can just get an OS map for the area, but I also like to read some background info while walking, so I prefer guidebooks that include maps. I have not yet decided between the Cicerone guidebook Walking The West Highland Way by Terry Marsh or The West Highland Way: The Official Guide by Bob Aitken and Roger Smith.

Updates on my planning for this route will follow here!


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