The West Highland Way (warning, horrible looking site) is a trail from just outside Glasgow to Fort William – about 96 miles or 154km. It was opened as Scotland’s first long-distance footpath in 1980. I remember at the time being a little contemptuous of this walk – I shared the view of the mountaineering community that officialdom should not get involved in walking or the hills.
Now, 30-odd years later, I’m planning a West Highland Way walk. It has become incredibly popular and I have become a bit less elitist about the countryside – official walks open up the countryside to people who wouldn’t otherwise go there. My motivation for the walk is not just that it’s a walk through some stunning scenery – I want to test some new lightweight gear I’ve bought and, after recovering from cancer treatment, I want to test myself. I haven’t done any serious backpacking for many years. If all goes well, I hope to enter the TGO challenge in 2013 and walk across Scotland from the west to the east coast.
I hope to complete the WHW in 6 days, starting on a Monday and finishing the following Saturday. If the weather is really bad, I can see it taking an extra day but I’m hopeful that won’t happen. My planned route is:
- Day 1: Milngavie to Garadban Forest
- Day 2: Garadban Forest to Inversnaid
- Day 3: Inversnaid to somewhere between Crianlarich and Tyndrum
- Day 4: Crianlarich to Inveroran
- Day 5: Inveroran to Kinlochleven
- Day 6: Kinlochleven to Fort William
I leave in a couple of weeks time – starting on a Monday to avoid the crowds.