The 96 mile West Highland Way winds its way through some of Scotland’s finest scenery, but the overnight stops are also a highlight. Historic drovers’ inns and comfy B&Bs allow you to experience Highland hospitality first hand, while there are countless day trips to enjoy if lingering a little longer.
We highly recommend adding a few rest days to get the most out of your time on the trail. Here are our favourite 5 places to spend an additional night, giving you a chance to further explore the amazing locations you will be walking through …
Rowardennan is a picturesque village situated on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond. If you’re up for a little more walking on your rest day, Rowardennan is a stone’s throw from the base of Ben Lomond – Scotland’s most southerly Munro. The summit rewards the 30,000 people who climb it annually with fantastic views along the length of Loch Lomond and towards The Trossachs to the east.
For a less strenuous experience, relax with a good book by the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, or enjoy a few drinks in The Rowardennan Hotel‘s superb beer garden.
Tyndrum is roughly the halfway point of the West Highland Way and the perfect place to rest your legs. You could take the scenic rail journey to Oban on Scotland’s west coast. The hour-long journey takes you alongside the shores of Loch Awe (Scotland’s longest loch at 25 miles), under the shadow of Ben Cruachan, and past the romantic ruin of Kilchurn Castle.
Oban itself is a beautiful spot and is known as the ‘Seafood Capital of Scotland’. For those who love whisky, a visit to the Oban Distillery is a must. For history lovers, Dunollie Castle is situated just on the northern outskirts of Oban and was the seat of ‘The Lords of Lorne’ who once owned a third of Scotland. Or spend your day taking in Oban’s fresh air and enjoying the wonderful views over the Sound of Kerrera, before returning to Tyndrum.
As the West Highland Way bypasses Glencoe, we highly recommend spending an additional night in Kingshouse to allow you to visit Scotland’s most hauntingly beautiful valley. Visit Glencoe village to learn about the infamous 1692 massacre of the Clan MacDonald – it’s sure to send a shiver down your spine.
If you’d prefer to do a bit of hiking the opportunities are endless. Buachaille Etive Mòr is one of the best known and loved of all the Munro peaks. The epic view of the mountain from the main road makes it appear quite unassailable, and it is one of the most photographed mountains in Scotland.
Kinlochleven is home to the Ice Factor – the largest indoor ice climbing arena in the world, and a perfect spot to improve your mountaineering skills. They offer one-hour introductory courses, but there’s also a great café bar if you’d prefer to relax with a drink and watch the climbers.
Kinlochleven sits in a picturesque location on the shores of Loch Leven and nestles beneath the great mountain range of the Mamores, and there are countless walks nearby.
You’ve made it to Fort William and completed the West Highland Way – congratulations! Before heading off, it’s worth lingering in the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’ a little longer.
If your legs are up for it, why not climb Britain’s highest mountain – Ben Nevis. The hike to the summit is around 4.5 miles each way, but the ascent and the descent of over 1,300 metres mean that up to eight hours should be allowed for the round trip to the top of Britain.
For something a little more relaxing, hop on board the Jacobite Steam Train. Described as one of the greatest railway journeys of the world, this 84-mile round trip will take you across the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct – following in the footsteps of Harry Potter’s Hogwart’s Express – to Mallaig on Scotland’s west coast. You’ll have around an hour and a half to explore Mallaig and dine on some of Scotland’s freshest seafood, before returning to Fort William.
You are guaranteed an unforgettable experience however many days you choose to spend on the West Highland Way. But why not extend your stay and get to know the Scottish Highlands a little better?
P.S. We would be delighted to arrange additional nights for you on the West Highland Way. Please request this when making an enquiry.