The 96 miles of the West Highland Way pass through a wide range of different terrains, ranging from lowland moors, through dense woodland and rolling hills, to high mountainous regions. It provides some of the best scenery and sights that Scotland has to offer.
The West Highland Way was Scotland’s first official long distance route. Originally conceived in the 1960s, it was completed in October 1980.
Here are some other facts and figures about “The Way”.
The route leads you from the outskirts of Scotland’s largest city to the foot of its highest mountain, following the shores of its largest freshwater loch.
It passes from the Lowlands, across the Highland Boundary Fault and on to the Scottish Highlands.
Milngavie is the start of the West Highland Way, and lies about 10 miles north west of Glasgow. It is pronounced “Mull-guy”.
The small village of Rowardennan (our second day overnight stop) nestles at the foot of Ben Lomond, Scotland’s most southerly Munro. (A Munro is a Scottish mountain over 3,000 feet/974 metres).
After the 1715 and 1745 Jacobite uprisings the Government built many roads and bridges over the length and breadth of the Highlands. These were the military roads built by Generals Wade and Caulfield to move troops quickly to suppress rebellion. The 1751 bridge over the River Orchy gives its name to the village where we spend our fourth night.
The Kingshouse Hotel, which we passed on Day 5, was used after the Battle of Culloden as a barracks for the troops of George III, hence the name Kings House.
Buachaille Etive Mòr, at the head of Glen Etive, is Scotland’s most photographed mountain.
Past Rannoch Moor lies Glencoe, one of the most spectacular places in Scotland, and infamous for the 1692 Massacre of Glencoe.
Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the United Kingdom, attracts an estimated 100,000 visitors a year. (After six days on the hoof, we gave it a miss this time).
Fort William takes its name from the fort that William, Prince of Orange built in 1690. It was successfully held by Government troops during the Jacobite uprisings of 1715 and 1745. But was it prepared for Stu’s Band of Brothers arriving in town?