Start: Drymen Finish: Fort William
Make your own way to Drymen, a small town north of Glasgow that is a gateway to the Highlands. If you arrive early there is a teashop with home made cakes across the green and the small Clacan Inn where Rob Roy used to come down for a swift pint whilst collecting “Blackmail.”
Accommodation: Stay overnight in a guesthouse, where the host will make you more than welcome and has become a favourite with customers.
Gentle scenery on the bonny banks of Loch Lomond. Passing highland cattle in the fields, the route winds up through forest and across the moors up to Conic Hill. From the summit enjoy great views over the loch and across the islands there. This marks the boundary of the Highland fault and officially the start of the Highlands proper. The way drops down to Balmaha by the water, and then winds its way towards Rowardennan along the Loch shore with tree-framed views. Rowardennan marks the road head, and is a convenient place to stay at our pleasant hotel.
Accommodation: Stay overnight at the Rowardennan Hotel. The Inn is practically on the shore of Loch Lomond with beautiful scenery including the mass of Ben Lomond. All rooms have ensuite facilities. The restaurant provides carefully selected dishes ensuring that you receive a true taste of Scotland.
Note: If you like to make an ascent of Ben Lomond, please ask our team to book an extra night at Rowandennan.
Today you walk in the shadow of Ben Lomond for much of the time, following the Loch edge path. There are no big ascents to make, but a few short steep ups and downs. You can pass by Rob Roy’s prison and cave where he is said to have stopped at in times of difficulty and held prisoners at his pleasure. You could perhaps have a drink at the hotel at Inversnaid before walking onto Ardleish, where you can raise a buoy on a pole to attract the attention of the ferryman who will collect you and transfer you to the hotel on the western side of the Loch (approx £4, not included). Or if you fancy the longer option, or if the weather is too rough on the water, you need to continue to Beinglas farm or the Inverarnan Drover’s Inn to call for a taxi to transfer you to the hotel (not included).
Accommodation: Stay at a 3 star hotel with comfortable rooms on the western side of the Loch. There are two restaurants, a lounge and public bars
Two choices today: It is a long way from here to Loch Tulla, if you are a strong walker then it is fine, but otherwise we advise you to use the taxi (included) to take you to Crianlarich or further, to reduce the day to a more manageable length. Crianlarich lies under another big peak; Ben Mor. The largely valley route goes via the ancient priory of St. Fillan associated with both Robert The Bruce and Rob Roy. It takes you through the moraines of Dalrigh, where the Bruce was defeated in 1306, then via the old mining settlement of Tyndrum where a seam of gold has been found. The route continues up past the peaks of Ben Lui and Ben Dorain to the Bridge of Orchy for a quick dram before continuing on to Loch Tulla (Inveroran). This is a beautifully situated lake surrounded by Scots pines, a remnant of the ancient Caledonian forest.
Accommodation: Stay at the Inveroran Hotel which is 16.5 miles from Crainlarichl, or at the upgraded accommodation - The Bridge of Orchy Hotel approx 14 miles from Crainlarich. Both hotels are set in beautiful surroundings.
Head up on the old military road across the wilds and the heather-clad wastes of Rannoch Moor, past Ba Bridge, claimed to be the remotest part of the route. The views become ever more expansive with views into great corries once filled with glaciers. Often you can see deer and a great interplay between land, lake, mountain and sky. The military road winds down to the old drovers inn near the Gateway to Glencoe. This is in the shadow of perhaps the most impressive looking mountain of the tour- Buachaille Etive Mor - the shepherd of Etive Mor.
Accommodation: Kings House only accepts 2 night stays if your booking falls on a Saturday. If so, you'll stay at the Glencoe Mountain resort on a room-only base in the form of Microlodges (1 x double bed and 2 x single beds). There are shower and toilet blocks and a café open from 9am to 8.30pm (hot food until 7.30pm). You need to provide your own sleeping bag, liner, towel.
From the Kings House Hotel, the way passes beside one of the most impressive mountains in Scotland - Buahaille Etive Mor. It then proceeds up the Devil’s staircase to 1850 ft: not as bad as it seems, it is a well graded section of the West Highland Way. This offers spectacular views back from where you came. Then it is a long descent to sea level at the head of Loch Leven with views of the Blackwater damn, Loch Leven and The Pap of Glencoe.
Accommodation: In Kinlochleven stay in a lovely guesthouse, which has become popular with our clients and a warm welcome awaits.
A steep climb up under the steep slopes of the Mamore hills at the beginning of the day follows old Victorian hunting tracks and then you are back on the old military road and over Lairigmor Pass, through dense coniferous forest to Glen Nevis past the foot of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest peak (4408ft).
Accommodation: We use many different bed & breakfast/guesthouses in Fort William as it is a popular town.
The tour ends after breakfast but why not stay an extra night to climb Ben Nevis and take the evening sleeper out of Fort William.
This B&B in Drymen is located in the centre of the village along the Stirling Road. It's just a few minutes’ walk from the village green where there are plenty of places to eat and drink. It's a very welcoming B&B and the owner has a deep love of the area. Stay in an incredible building, a church until 1935, that the owner has refurbished from top to bottom.
This hotel has an interesting heritage, lying at the foot of Ben Lomond (3,192ft). It is part of the turbulent history of the district which was the stamping ground of that almost legendary outlaw, Rob Roy MacGregor. In its peaceful capacity, the Inn served as a wayside halt for the wild drovers, on their way to the famous markets that were held at Stirling and Falkirk. It has breathtaking views of Ben Lomond, Loch Lomond and the mountains to the North.
A country house hotel providing warm and comfortable accommodation situated at the head of the loch on the “Bonnie Banks” with superb views across the Loch. It is an intimate, small 3 Star hotel on the banks of Scotland’s beautiful Loch Lomond, run by the same family since 1959. It captures the calming essence of Loch Lomond with its easy-going and homely atmosphere. The Ardlui is also a Whisky Ambassador Hotel offering a plethora of authentic Scottish whisky’s for every taste. There is a restaurant and a public bar and restaurant round the other side of the hotel.
This hotel has a small welcoming bar and a good restaurant which is popular with walkers and couples driving through. Rooms are cosy and quite old fashioned.
After dinner, you can take a stroll towards Loch Tulla and you may see red deer. There has been an inn on this amazing spot for over two centuries.
Kingshouse is one of the legendary hotels of the West Highland Way that has recently been given a rebuild. As the hotel states: "We've got a comfortable bed waiting for you after a day of adventuring. As well as locally sourced food, beers and single malts to help you wind down. All served with views to tempt even the weariest to proclaim themselves ready to do it all again the next day."
Bed & Breakfast accommodation centrally located in the picturesque village of Kinlochleven. Rooms have gorgeous views of the Scottish Highlands. Most of the rooms are in the terrace houses close to the pub. They do food here to and there is a lovely upstairs bar which has a balcony with seating area overlooking the river if it is warm enough to sit out.
Guisachan Guesthouse is a large bed & breakfast in Fort William. It is located in a prominent hillside position set back from the A82 Belford Road in Fort William, overlooking the town and adjacent Loch Linnhe. Views from the guest lounge and dining room are stunning.
This program can be booked any day between late March and mid-October, subject to availability
The nearest international aiports to fly to are Glasgow and Edinburgh
Getting to Drymen
London to start point: Train from London Euston to Glasgow Central (5 1/2 hours). Bus to Drymen that stops outside of the hotel (approx journey time 1 hour). Or train from
Glasgow central to Balloch then bus or taxi to Drymen (Approx 1 hour journey time).
Return from Fort William
To Glasgow at end of tour: Short walk to Fort William station. Train to Glasgow approx 3 hours 40mins, then travel to airports from Glasgow. You can also take a City Link bus from Fort William to Glasgow Buchanan Street station in 3 hours. 4 departures a day.
To London at end of tour: Short walk/ taxi ride to Fort William station. Train to London, via Glasgow. There is also an overnight sleeper service from Fort William to London via Glasgow.
GPS tracks are available on request.