The East Highland Way

by Ian
7th – 11th June 2018

I completed the walk with 3 others; Charlie Duthie, Dave Rennie and Andy Thompson. We used Gemini to arrange accommodation and bags transport.

Getting public transport from Dundee to the start is not easy. There is a direct bus on a Tuesday, but other than that it is multiple buses or trains and a full day’s travel. We opted for a car at the start and a car at the end, dropping one off in Aviemore.

We arrived around 2pm in Fort William and after checking in hit the local hostelries. We thought about the Ben, but not for too long.

Day 1 – Fort William to Spean Bridge

The weather was sunny with clouds and the ground dry, so Charlie wore Nike Air, Dave and I Merrell low rise, and Andy full boots.

After breakfast on our first day of the walk we headed off on the public road; first stop M&S to pick up a packed lunch. A few hundred yards further on and we turned off the main road towards the smelter and Hydro pipes.

After the smelter we turned left into the woods. It was mostly paths and Forestry tracks through the woods with crossings over the the road to the Nevis Range. Andy lost his prescription sunglasses in the section between crossing the River Lundy and crossing the road to the Nevis Range. He walked back for a bit to search, but no luck.

Meanwhile Dave declared he had a blister on his heel so we stopped to apply Compeed allowing Andy to catch us up.

We walked until around 11.30 when we were in a section of cut down forestry and decided to stop in the open for lunch in the hope of avoiding midges; largely successful, although it wasn’t the most scenic place to take a break.

After a short lunch stop we continued on to Tighnacoile where we made a sharp right up a road before re-joining forestry higher up the hill.

The walk was then through high woodland and we managed to walk past a small junction on the left which was the path down to Spean Bridge. Fortunately, we noticed within a couple of hundred yards and after taking a position and a bearing we doubled back to the turnoff.

The path was narrow and uneven down to Spean Bridge. We eventually met the road and walked to the shops arriving just after 2pm. Our total distance for the day was 12.31 miles.

We bought a couple of beers from the shop because the pubs were shut until 5, and our guest house check-in wasn’t until after 3pm. A walk to the river side of the car park brought us to a path down which we walked until we got to the river where we scrambled over some rocks to find a spot to cool our feet, Charlie dived in and we sat and drank a couple of cool beers.

In the evening we got a beer in a cafe then headed for a lovely meal in the Old Station Restaurant; great food and good service, although it is recommended to book. The day ended with a drink in the Spean Bridge Hotel Commando bar. My good intentions to visit the Commando monument were overcome by laziness as I didn’t fancy the walk up the hill.