West Highland Way – Day 8

Kinlochleven to Fort William – 16 miles

After a very pleasant night’s sleep it was time for breakfast. At the table there was so much variety of fruit, bread, jams, milk etc it was difficult to know where to start but I ordered, and had the best ever, smoked salmon with scrambled eggs.

After breakfast we said our goodbyes, headed back into town in early morning sunshine to buy our lunch from the local shop, then on to find the trail

which was pretty easy as it was on the main road out of Kinlochleven. The path led off up a steep slope into a forest

(you’ll notice that we continue to have an uphill walk after every breakfast —phew) and the ascent was severe enough to make us stop on several occasions but the bonus was that the views got better each time.

We walked on until eventually we joined the old military road leading to Fort William. The trail was good and wide with exceptional views.

We were heading along The Lairigmor, (The Big Pass at 1082ft) with Bein na Caillich (2502ft) one side and Stob Coire na Eirgine & Stob Ban (3274ft) the other, it felt awesome. There were many other mountains but too many to name. It was only other walkers on the trail in the distance that spoilt the solitude of the mountains. What with the weather getting warmer, the peace and quiet of the surroundings – this is what walking is all about.

We continued along the pass, taking photos and absorbing the surroundings. Steve would stop from time to time looking around and admiring the views saying, “Look at that, just look at that! It’s incredible!” As we went on we passed walkers having lunch, one couple setting up camp. Then from nowhere a trials bike rider came by slowly as there are many boulders and streams on the trail to deal with. This was the only disappointing part for me, otherwise it was a brilliant day for being out on the hills and he was probably a local rider. As we passed Meall a Chaoruinn (2941ft) turning the bend we could see Ben Nevis in the distance. It’s here we stopped for lunch, facing Lochan Lunn Da Bhra,

with boots off, cooling the feet. Several walkers past us saying “Hello” but we didn’t stay too long as the sun now was hot. We soon got underway passing another area where trees had been felled and it wasn’t long before we were in a forest so we had shelter for a while, tho’ not too long. As we reached a junction we met up with a group of German walkers having a rest. They were also going to Fort William and after passing pleasantries (they spoke good English) we continued into another forest heading closer to the base of Ben Nevis.

The trail led deeper into the woods, parts of which were steep, and as we descended to the bottom the path now led back up the other side of the hill, which was a little cruel I felt after so much walking. Eventually we got to the top of the hill to now be on a gravel track, wide enough to take a truck, heading towards Fort William. As we came around the bend there it was in the distance, Fort William

approximately 4.5miles away. Now we were walking away from Ben Nevis which we could view on our right and soon behind us. The day was so clear we could see the path and the rest of the zig zag right to the top. After more photos we set off down the steep track into Glen Nevis until we reached the road, turning left towards town. We were walking on tarmac, the first time for nearly a week. Alongside the road was disappointing as we were having to be careful of pedestrians, cars, cyclists and holiday makers. We eventually arrived at the original finishing point at the north end of town, took pictures

and then went on through to the new finishing point at the southern end of town by the statue of a weary walker.

It was here where Steve spoke to a chap wearing a Welsh rugby shirt, asking if he would take our photo alongside the statue. It turned out the Welshman was from Cardiff, not far from Steve’s home town. Photos taken it was time for a celebration drink so we found a pub and inside was a Dutch couple we had chatted to at various places we’d stayed at. We bought them a drink, but the gesture was not returned. (I reserve comments).

Now it was head back to our hotel which we had seen on the way into town, via a little Italian restaurant (The Stables) to check out the menu. At the hotel there was a friendly welcome but this time we had to make our own cup of tea before the final customary evening ritual.

Whilst having a pre-dinner drink at a local hostelry, the four Carlisle ladies arrived looking for somewhere to eat and decided to remain there. We set off to The Stables Restaurant which was busy but we were served quickly and to celebrate our achievement we had a lovely Italian meal and another drink or two. Then back to the hotel ready for tomorrow and the coach journey to Glasgow.

The next day on the coach we saw some people we had met on the walk & the Carlisle ladies all heading home. 
It was funny to think that it would take the coach only three hours to do what had taken us eight days.

Whilst travelling I had chance to reflect on the walk as most people were quietly sleeping or gazing out of the window. 
Overall, this is a good long distance walk with plenty of interesting sights, seeing the changes in the landscape from Glasgow where there are low line hills leading to mountains in the Highlands above 3000ft.

Another interesting point for me was the number of people we met on the WHW from other countries – Canada, Israel, France, Germany, Scotland, Sweden & Norway.

The weather for us was good, not too much rain and with some sun allowing us to take lots of photographs. The midges, although a nuisance, were not too bad but I would recommend being prepared. The other amazing thing is that although I am not fond of cows I would have liked to have seen traditional highland cattle as we didn’t see any. The Way is very well sign posted so there was very little need of any maps, but guide books did provide a lot of interesting facts.

I also enjoyed the solitude of being in the mountains. Although walking with a very dear friend we didn’t talk all the time, so there were lots of occasions to reflect and take in the views. The reality of returning to civilisation, with its hustle and bustle of everyday life, from the quiet of the mountains can be rather a shock to the system. If you have never tried a long distance walk, I can thoroughly recommend The West Highland Way and who knows – you may even be fortunate enough to encounter a real Scottish beastie!

West Highland Way – Day 7

Kingshouse to Kinlochleven – 9 miles

Today the clouds were low and our windows were wet but it was not raining too heavily. After breakfast we knew we had what could be a hard, tiring day as we had the Devil’s Staircase to deal with. We left the hotel and it wasn’t long before we donned our waterproofs as it was that fine rain that easily soaks you. We headed to the rear of the hotel 

to find the trail, passing campers who were eating breakfast in the rain. Walking along the path we could see the bulk of Beinn a Chrulaiste (2805ft) to our right and the A82 on our left.

The trail, leading us into Glen Coe, runs parallel with the road, and at times quite near. As we progressed an eerie feeling developed within as we looked around to see the clouds rolling over the mountain tops heading towards us. As we got deeper into Glen Coe the weather started to improve; the sun was beginning to appear and burn off the cloud cover upon our arrival at Altnafeadh, base of the Devil’s Staircase. As we made our preparations for the ascent we could see across the road lots of climbers preparing for the day’s climb somewhere on any of the mountains surrounding us.

We set off along the trail making steady headway uphill,

then the path got longer and steeper making for slower progress. There were lots of zig-zags to ease the climb and we stopped a few times for photos

before continuing to the three summit cairns at the top of Devil’s Staircase (1797ft)

and Glen Coe peaks all around. This is also the highest point of the West Highland Way. At the summit it’s easy to see just how exposed you could be as there is not shelter to hide or cover you in bad weather.

Here we had coffee and some Kendal Mint Cake as a reward for the climb. Whilst having our break a German family out for a day’s walk came over to seek guidance as they didn’t have a map and after a brief chat they were soon on their way towards Kinlochleven. Suddenly the Carlisle ladies appeared, breathing heavily as they thought it was a tough climb. After a few more photos we were off, heading down the long descent

towards Kinlochleven with views of Black Water Reservoir in the distance.

The path skirts the mountain side and becomes wider, and at times rockier, with some steps which were built in to ease walking. As we came around a bend in the hillside we could see Kinlochleven in the distance

and a little of the Highlands in the foreground, but as the cloud base was low we couldn’t see Ben Nevis. Continuing along the trail we came to the old pipeline

that fed water into the town for the aluminum industry that once existed. The trail became steeper as we neared the town but the sun began to shine, which made it a much more pleasant walk. As we arrived we sat and had lunch on the green in the town centre. Now we could see more walkers coming off the trail nearing the end of the day. We checked the map to locate our accommodation and found our B&B just on the outskirts of the town, a very pleasant spot overlooking the river. As we arrived, so did our luggage. In we went to meet our hosts who were very hospitable and as we were shown to our room I could see an honesty box on the landing where guests can purchase as many chocolate bars as they like. Then in our room there was even more chocolate in the various dishes that lay about! Now it was downstairs for a welcoming cup of tea and to our surprise and delight we were each given a mini Pavlova. Whilst enjoying our cup of tea two ladies arrived to receive the same treatment; in discussion we found they were from Canada and also walking the WHW. We left them to their tea, had showers, changed our clothes, reported into base control and headed back into town to find a place for dinner. It was recommended that we go to the Trailrace Inn just by the river. The inn was busy with the locals but we found an empty table and then who should come in but the Carlisle ladies! We said hello to each other, discussed the walk and upon enquiring where they were staying it transpired they were at our B&B. We had fish & chips and a pint before returning to our accommodation.

West Highland Way – Day 6

Inveroran to Kinghouse – 10 miles

Breakfast of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs to start the day; I can thoroughly recommend it, it was lovely. We collected our packed lunches, then off to find the Victoria Bridge over Abhainn Shira River towards the old drovers road to Glen Coe.

As we were walking uphill on a wide path we had views of Loch Tulla to our right until we reached open woodland with sycamore, scots pine, silver birch trees – and midges! Luckily they didn’t bother us too much as there was a breeze. We crossed the River Allt Bhreacnais into various conifer plantations and past Ba Bridge, realising we were crossing Rannoch Moor which is

the largest wilderness in Britain, uninhabited except for mountains, walkers

and the threatening clouds that were following. We past the cairn summit at 1460ft looking over Rannoch

 Moor, now descending towards the A82 that we could see in the distance. Part way down we sheltered from the wind for lunch; it was boots off and take in the views. Whilst having lunch the Carlisle ladies went past, they wanted to get to Kingshouse before any rain came. Time for boots on and follow the path passing the Glen Coe ski centre. As we descended we could see the pyramid bulk of Buachaille Etive Mor (3,345ft) at the beginning of Glen Coe.

more photos here.

Then it was time to risk crossing the A82 again, waiting for a suitable space in traffic before making a dash across the road. From here on it was about 400 yards to the Kingshouse Hotel,

our next accommodation. The hotel was built in the 17th century and was used by troops as a barracks during the Battle of Culloden (1745). As we neared the hotel we saw the Carlisle ladies feeding a small group of deer; apparently the deer are regulars at the hotel as they know people will feed them.

After booking in and unpacking, we rested before our daily routine of freshening up and phoning home with the day’s progress. We headed down for aperitifs, dinner and a look at our rehydration programme.

West Highland Way – Day 5

Tyndrum to Inveroran – 10 miles

At breakfast the weather was overcast but the forecast was for possible early drizzle with some sun later. With packed lunches in our rucksacks we said our goodbyes and headed back into town. The path was easy to find as it was just after the “Green Welly” Shop, off the A82. We started by walking uphill again,

which seems to be the norm after breakfast, before joining the old military road. The path now lay between the main A82 on our left and a train line on the right. We crossed over another bridge, so both road & rail were on our left, following the path with the impressive conical sight of Beinn Dorain (3529ft) in front of us.

We could see the mist rolling across the mountain; the top became exposed as we approached, making the spectacle even more impressive. The path was easy going, wide and with views looking down onto the traffic heading north; yet even seeing so much traffic we couldn’t hear any noise, it was so nice. Later we descended towards a narrow bridge which now put us walking between the road and the train line again and alongside the River Allt Kinglass – the path here is quite solitary. We were at the base of Beinn Dorian when we saw a train coming on what must be a journey with spectacular views. We did see the occasional walkers who chatted as they past us, then it was on to the Bridge of Orchy Hotel

and the Bridge of Orchy

where we had lunch outside. Again boots off so the feet could cool down but the drawback was that the table was close to the main road so it was noisy. Whilst we were having lunch the Costas were leaving the hotel as they had had lunch and a drink inside. They left separately this time for some reason but gave us a friendly wave.

After lunch it was boots on, back on the trail, cross the bridge and uphill once more into a conifer plantation.

Midges were present, we could feel them on us when we stopped for photos.

The path wound gently on up to open mountainside (at 1050ft) which gave us views of Loch Tulla,

Rannoch Moor and the Black Mount with all-round vistas of other mountains. We just had to take more photos as the scenery was so spectacular.

We continued down the path to suddenly see our hotel in the distance

amongst the trees; it looked brilliant. As were getting near we could see the Costas outside, having a drink and talking to other people. We acknowledged each other and then registered at the hotel. Later we sat outside in the sun with the Costas before they left for the next 10 miles of their walk.

We were enjoying the peace and quiet of the day with a drink when we were greeted by the Carlisle ladies who were also staying at our hotel. As they were chatting to us a deer walked out from behind our accommodation into the field opposite. It didn’t run off so it must be used to people.

Unfortunately, we found we could not make contact with home as we didn’t have a signal on our mobile phones and after dinner we couldn’t sit outside because the midges were out in force ready and waiting for their next meal. There were signs around the hotel asking us not to open windows and to close doors before turning lights on so as not to attract them into the hotel. Consequently after a drink or two we called it a night.

West Highland Way – Day 4

Inverarnan to Tyndrum – 12 miles

Today was wet as we had had overnight rain. We ate a hearty breakfast, put our luggage out ready to be moved on and kitted up. Then we were off to find the trail at Beinglass Farm and as we arrived there were the Costas having coffee. After another chat we found they were walking for a cancer charity and the oldest member of the group was sixty-nine years old. We set off leaving them to their coffee. The path again led off uphill – it seems that every time we start the day’s walk we have to go uphill! The terrain is still good with easy passing places for the faster walkers, there were more walkers out today. As we progressed further into the Highlands it felt like we were being surrounded by more and more mountains and were out in the wilderness.

We followed the path passing the Falls of Falloch to a narrow bridge under the railway and A82 trunk road before climbing a little on to an eighteenth century military road. As we walked we could look down onto the A82

seeing all the traffic zooming along and watching us from the other side of a wall were beasties! In the distance there were a few dark clouds looming which looked to be heading our way. We arrived at a junction where left took us to Tyndrum or right to Crianlarich. We headed to Crianlarich as Steve, who had been suffering with a cough, needed to replenish his medication. Passing through more forest there were lots of various coloured fungi all over the place. The steep path led down to Crianlarich & the A82 just opposite the railway station, which was an ideal place for lunch. Here we had the most well deserved pot tea anyone could wish for and the food was good as well. Whilst having lunch a few walkers came in but didn’t stay. We ventured out to find a pharmacy as advised by the tea shop owner and after purchasing medication we were off again to the trail. Guess what? It was up the steep hill to the junction we left earlier. Now at the junction it was through the deer gate (deer we have not yet seen) and uphill through a large conifer forest. The path was muddy in places although generally good underfoot. The sun was now making the walk more pleasant and the views of Ben More (3851ft) and Stob Binnein (3821ft) were incredible, but it was becoming obvious we were in midge territory so we needed to move on. At the bottom of the trail we had to cross the River Fillan and the A82 again. This took a while as the motorists didn’t want to let us cross this very busy road and we had to wait for a suitable gap in the traffic; drivers were easily doing in excess of 60mph. We eventually crossed at speed ourselves into a field which led up to St Fillains, named after an Irish missionary in the 7th century who came to Scotland to convert people to Christianity. The Way continues past the remains of an old priory and it was here I found I’d lost my pedometer. We followed the river to Tyndrum passing an old smeltery where nothing has grown here for 150 years. We decided that as the weather had warmed up it was time for refreshments before heading off to our accommodation. We later found The Glengarry B&B 800yds before Tyndrum and received a lovely warm welcome from our hosts who invited us to have a cup of tea and slice of homemade ginger cake in the conservatory, with views overlooking the Grampians Mountains.

After our customary routine following a day’s walk our hosts ran us back to Tyndrum to their suggested eatery where I had a local dish of Cullen Skink (smoked haddock, onion and potato soup), followed by chilli pizza. We took a look around the town, only to meet the Costas at the local pub and discovered they intended to cover twenty miles the next day. Thinking we would not see them again, as we were walking just 10 miles, we wished them luck for the rest of the walk and then headed back to our accommodation.

West Highland Way – Day 3

Rowardennan to Inverarnan – 14 miles

After breakfast and checking out we found the trail easily as it was just across from the hotel, shown by a WHW post. We went past the war memorial

then onto an unsurfaced road. As we reached Ptarmigan Lodge we headed uphill into the forest as the path alongside the loch is too dangerous due to erosion. We walked in the woods which was like an avenue of tall trees for as far as you could see. We made our way into the forest where we saw campers having breakfast, decamping or generally tidying the site after their night’s camp; all very pleasant people with their good morning ‘hellos’. The terrain was good, no boulders to worry about and wide enough to drive a tractor along which made it easy underfoot. The further we walked we could see many waterfalls, with breaks in the trees to give fantastic views of the loch below. It’s along this part of the path we expected to see wild goats and other animals, hopefully deer according to guide books, but we saw nothing apart from walkers and campers. We took the opportunity to talk to some people having a break and whilst chatting the Costas appeared, but continued to walk on ahead, exchanging greetings as they passed. We were soon to follow on after and upon arriving at Inversnaid where the Inversnaid Waterfalls suddenly appear,

we had another photo opportunity.

Here we removed our boots again and stopped for lunch

alongside the Costas group, whilst overlooking Loch Lomond. As we were eating more walkers appeared. 
After our break we set off alongside the loch. This time the path became a little more uneven and I had to clear some branches aside that got in our way !!

We had to climb over tree roots, wet boulders, muddy and narrow sections; walking poles were needed to help steady ourselves and to help with footings as we climbed. This section also claims to be the area, according to the guide book, where Rob Roy’s cave is. It’s not really a cave, more a crevice in the rocks. We passed it and as we had to be so careful on the path, this was probably the hardest section so far.

As we were now at the Doune Bothy

we caught up with a couple from Sweden who were looking around the building, wondering about its purpose. We explained, had a little look around ourselves, then continued on our way. We were now reaching the end of Loch Lomond, all 25 miles of it. As we were leaving the shore line it was another uphill walk and into a boggy area, so careful slow progress was made. The narrow trail now continued all the way towards Ben Glass Burn (stream) & Beinglas Farm campsite. Here we left the trail and headed towards our next accommodation, The Drovers Inn, which was about four hundred yards back along the A82. The Inn, established 1705, is an old Highland inn used by drovers who used to take cattle to market. The furniture and décor have barely changed, at least that’s how it felt. It is also reputed to have ghosts of the past drovers !

We found our room across the road from the inn, settled in, did our customary freshen up and reported to our respective homes to announce we had arrived safely. Then it was time for an aperitif before our evening meal and as we entered the pub there was the Costa Crowd having their usual pre-dinner drinks. After a brief chat we found a table and had a very filling meal and a pint before retiring for the night.

West Highland Way – Day 2

Drymen to Rowardennan – 15 miles

At breakfast we met the rest of the guests, to find they were a mixture of French, German, English & Scottish. The food was plentiful & good, we gathered our packed lunches as there was nowhere to purchase anything on route. Our hosts advised us of an alternative way to restart the WHW trail and after checking the map we were off. As we were leaving Drymen we saw the Costas outside their accommodation; they appeared to be waiting for the rest to gather. We acknowledged each other and were off to find the trail. We went past the local mountain rescue centre leading out of Drymen uphill and as we walked the views of the surrounding hills were most impressive. After about an hour we found the sign post to indicate the trail. We were now entering the Garadhban Forest with its large conifers and pine trees. As we got further into the forest we suddenly came to a large clearing where the trees had been felled.

The path was a good wide track with some loose gravel, but with a feeling of devastation seeing so many trees cropped – I assume for processing. The only positive thing about it was that we had good views all round; in the distance we could just make out a little of Loch Lomond. The winding path was gradually becoming more of an incline and as we reached the river, “Burn of Mar”, we now had a choice – go left to Balmaha, avoiding a climb up Conic Hill, or just go for it and walk up the Hill at 1175 feet above sea level. Guess what? We went for it and walked up Conic Hill. At this point it started to rain, but fortunately it turned out to be just a shower. I made slow but steady progress whereas Steve was off like a gazelle,

then waited for me to catch up.

The path skirts around the summit so we took a detour and climbed to the top

where we had a fantastic view of Loch Lomond.

After taking pictures we saw a group of four ladies trying to take each other’s photo so Steve offered to help them by taking a group photo.

We later found that they were walking the WHW and they came from Carlisle.

Making our descent we passed a French family taking photos of their child and Steve, now improving international relations, spoke in French to them (Bonjour).

The way down was quite steep in places with a lot of purpose made steps.

At the bottom we arrived at the Loch Lomond Visitors Centre where we had our lunch and had a chance to take off our boots to give our feet an airing. Whilst having lunch the Costas came past, giving us their friendly wave again, soon to be followed by the ladies from Carlisle.

With lunch over and boots on it was time to find the trail. We walked to the Loch beach only to find we had to go uphill again

into a wooded area passing Craigie Fort, Arrochymore Point and Cashel Campsite. We were now walking with Loch Lomond on one side and the road on the other, before entering Ross Wood. Here the path was well covered by trees & ferns and the hedgerows

were tall and muddy in places. Whilst in Ross Wood we met up with a young couple from Israel who were only walking to Rowendennan Hotel before heading back to London the next day, then returning home. It wasn’t long before we arrived at the Rowendennan Hotel

and after booking in, freshening up and a change of clothes it was time for our customary warm down stroll which today was to the edge of Loch Lomond

where we had spectacular views of the loch and Ben Lomond standing at 3,195ft

alongside Ptarmigan at 2,398ft just behind the hotel. After reporting our progress to base control (home) it was time for dinner, so back for a meal and our planned rehydration programme at the hotel where we saw the Costas having a pre-dinner drink. Later the Carlisle ladies also arrived and after our meal it was time to rest, ready for tomorrow

West Highland Way – Day 1

Milngavie to Drymen (pronounced Drimen) – 12 miles

It was an early start and the weather looked changeable. We had breakfast and put our luggage out ready for the baggage carriers at 9am. Once we had checked our walking gear and bought a sandwich for lunch it was off to the start point where we asked a lady, who was standing at the obelisk and guiding everyone to the tourist office to sign the West Highland Way book, to take our photos by the obelisk.

Whilst we were there taking more photos

we saw a group of 8 gents outside Costa’s coffee shop drinking coffee and after a quick chat we found they were also walking the West Highland Way.

We set off and the first part led us to Allander Park down into Mugdock Country Park. The path, which is well sign posted, is good underfoot; you could say purpose made. The trail is well lined with trees of various varieties, but you do need to be careful of mountain bikers as they seem to sneak up on you. There were also lots of people in the park enjoying their Sunday morning walk, jogging or walking their dogs. It wasn’t long before we were getting out of Glasgow and into more of the countryside, with hills and

rivers appearing everywhere. On the path we passed the Craigallian Loch & fire memorial which became important in the 20s & 30s when people met there to picnic & discuss issues during the time of depression in Scotland before returning to their homes, so it was a social meeting place.

As we continued we crossed the B821 and into more forest woodland. It was here I had my first sighting of the beasties; luckily for me they were in the next field.

We met a couple of walkers heading to Glasgow and with a passing chat we found they were French and had nearly completed the WHW from north to south (Fort William to Glasgow). They didn’t say very much as their English was not too good, neither was our French.

As we walked on we were seeing more and more walkers and joggers. We were now passing the Glengoyne Distillery which is just off the trail, but far enough away to use up valuable walking time so we carried on until we found a suitable place for lunch at Dumgoyne where we were joined by a robin.

After lunch we walked alongside an old railway banking, dated 1882 – 1951. It turns out to be a banking that used to hide a pipeline supplying water from Loch Lomond to Glasgow and it certainly gives protection from any wind that blows across the fields.

We were now near Gartness, over the bridge of Endrick Water / Weir,

walking on tarmac road for the first time today when we met four students also walking the WHW. They were hoping to complete it in four days at an average of 25 miles a day whilst carrying 65 litre rucksacs. We soon got our first sighting of the end of Loch Lomond & Conic Hill

and as we got to the point of leaving the road heading back into fields we saw a WHW post at the top of a hill. When approaching it, it felt as though when you got to the top you would see for miles, but in fact all you saw was the rest of the field and cows in the distance; it was what you might call a false hill. As we left the field, carefully crossing the A811, it was then a straight road into Drymen to find our accommodation which was in the centre of the village.

Here we had a warm welcome with a pot of tea and a couple of biscuits before being shown our room. After a quick freshen up / shower it was time for a warm down walk around the village, report into base control (home) to announce our arrival and then find somewhere for dinner. Drymen is a little village with pubs, hotels & B&Bs, but our host had suggested we try the oldest registered pub in Scotland. Dated 1734, the Clachan Inn just happened to be across the road from where we were staying, how convenient! Whilst waiting for our dinner we saw the Costa crowd (as we now named them) for the first time since leaving Milngavie (Mullguy). We had our meal and a drink or two before calling it a day

West Highland Way

Planning & Preparation

After our completion of the Cumbria Way last year we decided to do another walk marking the beginning of our maturity of adulthood (65). Originally we were going to walk St Oswald’s Way but we couldn’t stay as a team as Margaret (Magellan) was already committed to another walk so Steve & I decided to go for the West Highland Way. We had thought about training plans, getting together and doing strengthening walks; unfortunately it didn’t happen.

Training was left quite late for both Steve & myself. I started training about two months prior and Steve was able to do some walking at weekends and when on holiday.

I completed some walks over Long Mynd, Shropshire and I then decided I would do my old training walk to Kidderminster, approximately 10 miles. This inspired me as I didn’t feel unfit but more training was due, so I walked from Bewdley to Bridgnorth following the River Severn a distance of approximately 15 miles. The good thing about this walk is there are not any beasties (cows) to bother me as they make me feel uncomfortable.

Another training walk we did was the Magnalonga Walk in Ludlow a week before the WHW. This was done as a family outing as our wives and friends came along on a 9 mile walk around the Ludlow countryside which was a splendid day out.

The West Highland Way Route

Pre Start Stourbridge to Glasgow (Milngavie) 304 miles
Day 1 Milngavie to Drymen 12 miles
Day 2 Drymen to Rowendennan 15 miles
Day 3 Rowendennan to Inverarnan 13miles
Day 4 Inverarnan to Tyndrum 12 miles
Day 5 Tyndrum to Inveroran 10 miles
Day 6 Inveroran to Kingshouse 10 miles
Day 7 Kinghouse to Kinlochleven 9 miles
Day 8 Kinlochleven to Fort William 16 miles

Home to Glasgow, (Milngavie)

We travelled from home to Wolverhampton railway station ready for our journey. As we arrived we noticed crowds of people with tents and sleeping bags etc. We realised they were going to the V festival and as we were waiting we noticed a Virgin Train rep handing out sunglasses to everyone going to the festival. With a little persuasion and a chat we were the proud owners of sunglasses which we thought would be of benefit on our walk as we had failed to bring our own from home.

The train was on time and the journey to Glasgow Central was impressive as the journey was smooth and quiet. At Glasgow Central we bought tickets for the onward journey to Milngavie (pronounced Mullguy). As we arrived in Milngavie the heavens opened but luckily the heavy downpour only lasted a few minutes. It was then onwards to find our overnight accommodation, which was not too far away.

After leaving our luggage at the hotel we ventured into town

to find the starting point of the West Highland Way, which we found quite easily. We meandered around the town for some last minute shopping and light refreshment at a local hostelry before heading back to our hotel for an evening meal and a pint or two before retiring for the night. Steve had developed a cough so had a restless night.