“The longer we were on the road, the more blisters I got on my feet. The pain was almost unbearable and the gushing rain didn’t help much either. Still I realized what a privilege it was to walk around in such a beautiful landscape like this, to see Scotland in all its glory. Oceans of bluebells, epic mountains, beautiful lakes and lots of flowers – the West Highland Way hikewas definitely worth the pain. it felt like being a hobbit in The Shire.”
The West Highland Way is the most popular long distance route in Scotland, part of the United Kingdom. The walk is 155km (96 miles) long in total and takes you from the Lowlands right into the Highlands. It’s also possible to walk parts of it as a day trip. My personal favorite parts were around Rowardennan, where you walk next to the beautiful Loch Lomond, and from Bridge of Orchy to Fort William, where you’ll see the Highlands in all its epic glory.
The track is very varied, using old ancient roads like military roads. The path can be quite rocky and sometimes hard to walk on, but that makes it only more adventurous right? Traditionally the path is walked from south to north, this way it will keep your eyes out of the sun and prepare you for the harder stages at the end of the road. With the rocky road, all the climbing and declining it can be quite a challenge, so it’s much recommended to train beforehand.
As you might expect from the most popular walking route can be a bit crowded in summer, but it’s definitely better in spring or autumn. Due to it being so popular it is wise to book accommodation beforehand or to bring a tent (wild camping isn’t always allowed though). For example – we booked in Januari for May, which proved to be just in time.
It’s such a beautiful, mesmerizing journey – one you won’t ever forget! It might sound like a big deal to hike such a long road, but you don’t have to be an experienced hiker to do this. There are many ways you can walk the West Highland Way – just parts of it as a day trip or everything from 4 to 10 days. It’s all up to you!
Just one more bit of advice – be aware of the midges!