A 100 mile Trail
A 100 mile trail in Scotland from the Lowlands to the Highlands, across some of the most spectacular scenery Scotland has to offer. The West Highland Way is fast becoming one of the worlds bucket list trails, as people take from 5 -10 days to complete it.
It starts off though in a rather ‘ho hum’ manner from the bus/train station at Milngavie which is actually pronounced Mull Gye. This town on the outskirts of Glasgow is quickly left behind thankfully and you start to walk north through the wilderness.
The first main part of the walk is along the banks of Loch Lomond for 17 miles!
It is indeed a mighty long loch and you often see no one for hours as the only main road is on the other side of the loch, you do really feel on your own in nature.
At the end of this leg, one of the favorite places to stay is The Drovers Inn, a haunted sprawling hotel thats been going since 1705. Good food and live music usually drown out the clanking chains.
The WHW then takes you through Tyndrum and the Bridge of Orchy where you leave civilization to enter into the Black Mount, a mountainous area above Rannoch Moor that was the inspiration behind Tolkiens Dead Marshes. A soggy bog that has claimed many lives of those who have strayed from the path. The wet peat earth can act like quicksand in some conditions and it also has the properties to preserve the bodies that fall into it and in very dry summers the bodies can rise to the surface, which can put you off your sandwiches.
The path then takes you back to society a little, to Kingussie and Glen Coe.
The geography of Scotland begins to change here as the mountains become craggy and rugged as opposed to the smoother hills to the south. They are also very imposing and it feels as if the steep sides of the Three Sisters and Buachaille Etive Mòr are hanging over you.
The next section holds the steepest and hardest climbing taking you over the Devils Staircase from Glen Coe into Kinlochleven a zig zagging slog that earned its name from the road builders of General Wade in the 18th century who had to carry the road supplies up this backbreaking climb.
After a nights rest in Kinlochleven you take the hard but beautiful walk into Glen Nevis through some real wilderness far from any road or electrical pole and then you make the easy walk up the glen into Fort William and the end of the walk.
Again the end, like the start is a little unsettling after the peacefulness of what you have experienced as you end up standing outside a shopping mall. Nevertheless a few decent pubs are nearby that help you get over it all.
~ by John Tomnay. CEO at Apex Office Centers