The West Highland Way – A Personal View

by Garry
4th November 2021

Twice bitten, never shy! That’s the way I look on the West Highland Way and I’m sure my third bite, in the company of Stu’s Band of Brothers, won’t see me tire of it.

When I first did it, in 2001, I have to confess I didn’t really appreciate just what the Way can offer. However, for the second time in 2016, my knowledge of the Scottish countryside – through my work as a journalist on the Scots Magazine – meant that I could appreciate every inch of the 96 miles. Some more than others, I must admit.

Pick a favourite

If I was asked to pick my favourite parts of the Way, I’d need a moment to think. OK, I’ve thought about it and one would be the leg from the hotel at Inveroran across Rannoch Moor to Glencoe. The welcoming sight of the Buachaille Etive Mor on approach to Glen Coe never fails to thrill.

Then there’s the final leg through the Mamores from Kinlochleven where, eventually, the hulk of Ben Nevis signals that the hard work has been done. Then there’s the…and that leg…and that part….! To be honest, it’s impossible to separate one part from the others. It’s a marvellous all-in-one, multi-day trek through the best that Scotland has to offer. Doing it for charity makes it even more worthwhile.

One of the best things about walking the Way is that you repeatedly meet the same walkers. We exchange experiences and opinions over a beer before bedtime, or a cup of coffee on a track-side verge. The oneness, the camaraderie, the meeting of minds makes it a wonderful and social activity.

Another undoubted plus is the ability to tailor your journey. Fast and furiously running the WHW Ultra Marathon in 2 to 3 days? Taking your time and enjoying the experience? You are never short of a place to stay, with excellent hospitality and accommodation well spaced across the route. There are also convenient stops to catch your breath or take on supplies.

We’re doing it in six days, but it can take longer. Smaller sections of, say, 10 to 12 miles a day are possible. There’s no need to hurry!