Set amidst beautiful countryside this busy town is just 7 miles northwest of Glasgow and is the official start point of the West Highland Way.

Milngavie to Drymen: 12 miles
The official start of the West Highland Way is a granite obelisk in Douglas Street, Milngavie. The Way leaves the town centre and enters Mugdock Country Park. On leaving the park the route continues northwards on good paths through rolling farmland. On route to Drymen, the Way passes through Dumgoyne village.

Drymen to Balmaha: 8 miles
The Way enters Garadhban Forest and follows a forest track for a few miles. Upon leaving the forest you can either follow an alternative route to Milton of Buchan and then the road to Balmaha or follow the path as it climbs almost to the summit of Conic Hill. On a clear day there are wonderful views over Loch Lomond. The Way then descends to Balmaha and passes the National Park Centre.

Balmaha to Rowardennan: 7 miles
You encounter a woodland walk along good paths or tracks for most of this route but it can be twisty and undulating in places. The Way runs close to the eastern shore of Loch Lomond.

Rowardennan to Inverarnan: 14 miles
The Way follows a forestry track for approximately 2 miles to Ptarmigan Lodge and 300m further on the Way divides. The right hand higher path follows a forest track and is easier going. The lower route goes down steep stone steps toward the shoreline. It is hard going in places, sometimes steep above the loch and sometimes scrambling among boulders. The two paths run for 4 miles then converge and continue through pleasant woodland for a further 3 miles to Inversnaid. Continuing along the side of the loch, the going is more difficult and the path for the next few miles is regarded as one of the toughest sections of the Way. Two miles before you reach Inverarnan the going gets much easier. The historic, and somewhat eccentric, Drovers’ Inn at Inverarnan is a favourite among walkers with its range of good value meals and selection of beers and whisky’s. It is well worth a visit, if only to see the collection of stuffed animals and birds.

Inverarnan to Crianlarich: 6 miles
The Way now moves along good paths and tracks where much of it is an old military road. This is the gateway to the Highlands and the Way gains height as it leaves the Loch Lomond basin and rises to 250m.

Crianlarich to Tyndrum: 6 miles
Initially through a forest the Way continues along good paths and tracks with some moderate descents and ascents.

Tyndrum to Inveroran: 9 miles
The Way continues for 7 miles along good paths and tracks following the line of an old military road to the Bridge of Orchy. The route crosses the bridge and climbs a small hillock, 310m above sea level, with some superb views.

Inveroran to Kingshouse: 10 miles
There is good going underfoot as you cross Rannoch Moor, one of Britain’s largest and wildest moors. The path climbs steadily to its high point, at 450m above sea level, before descending to Kingshouse. The scenery here is spectacular but this can be a tough stage of the way in bad weather due to being highly exposed. Built in the 17th century, Kingshouse is believed to be one of Scotland’s oldest licensed inns.

Kingshouse to Kinlochleven: 9 miles
The Way follows the route of an old military road for 3 miles beyond Kingshouse before climbing steeply up the Devils Staircase. At 550m above sea level this is the highest point on the Way. There is now a long descent into Kinlochleven which is, again, a hard and exposed stage in bad weather.

Kinlochleven to Fort William: 14 miles
Within the first mile the Way zigzags steeply up the hillside to meet an old military road at 250m above sea level. The highest point and toughest climb on today’s route is Lairigmor, the high pass is 330m above sea level, though there are no more serious gradients as the route continues on good paths with high mountains on both sides. The final stretch is a bit of rough walking through Nevis Forest with Ben Nevis (Britain’s tallest mountain at 1344m) visible through breaks in the trees. The Way descends into Glen Nevis and follows a road for the final 1.5miles to Nevis Bridge and the end of a wonderful route.

Fort William
Fort William is the largest town in the west highlands of Scotland. It is surrounded by magnificent scenery and has an important history. There are high mountains, lochs, beautiful glens, forests and beaches in between. This is a huge outdoor playground which caters for a wide range of activities. Fort William is an excellent location to spend an extra day or more. There are numerous land and water activities to take part in with many people staying a day longer just to climb Ben Nevis.

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