The West Highland Way is a linear trail route in Scottish Highlands. Running from Milngavie to Fort William, this 154 km long moderate difficulty trekking route is one of the premier short-distance trails in the world. Here are the top 5 tips for aspiring West Highland Way hikers.
Check the weather forecast and weather trends in advance. This will ensure that you do not miss out on the sunny part of the weather during your trip. But it can be cold any time of year in Scotland. So don’t forget to bring your cold gear. When it looks like it is going to rain, carry pack-liners, rain layers, and other waterproof gear. These will save you from wearing down in Scotland’s notorious rainfall. Lastly, packing lots of extra socks can be a lifesaver. You can thank us later.
Plan Out the Route
The trail begins from the right in the middle of Milngavie. This town is a great place for you to get your supplies before the hike. You will easily get a train to the town of Milngavie from anywhere in the United Kingdom. Fort William is the final terminus of this hiking spot. Along the trail, the Green Welly Stop is important if you want to do the trail in a week and only resupply once.
Know Your Trail
This trail is deceiving, as the heightened pace is extremely difficult to maintain due to bushwhacking and elevation profile. Also, the trail is incredibly rocky. Nearly the entire trail is stretched between bare hills and open valleys of treeless Scottish Highlands, which needs appropriate sun and wind gear. Such an exposed trail also demands you to be wary of potential storms.
Plan En-Route Essentials
Carrying a map or following the Guthook App will save your day if you lose the guideposts on the way. You can stay in hostels in the towns virtually every night if needed. Wild camping is allowed across much of the trail, but in few prohibited areas, there are some paid official campsites too. Carrying your own filtration system is important but you will also find many water sources as you hike through the trail.
Do Not Miss Out on the Added Perks
Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the United Kingdom, and the terminus at Fort William is nearby. So, don’t miss the chance to add it to the end of your trail. Also, don’t miss the absolutely gorgeous tradition of swimming in Loch Lomond, to refresh and embrace yourself after a long hiking day, even in cold weather.
These tips will surely arm you to stay prepared on your trek planning, as well as help you enjoy the West Highland Way trail.