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West Highland Way: Milngavie to Fort William

by: Charlie Loram


Updated information

Thank you to the readers who sent in the following updates: Sherry B, Geert Ariaans, Roger Coe, Barbara Winzberg, Carly Bishop, Heather Bell, Tony Hufton, Mary Hartman, Lisa Radel, Zsuzsa Koger, Matt Gardiner, Peter Marshall, Simon Quinn, Frank Norris, Dave & Angie Walsh, Paul Scott, Moira and Michael Noble, Bill Thornton, Stephen Thomas.


The information has not yet been checked by Trailblazer but it will be for the next edition.

8th edition



p101, Milngavie. West Highland Way Rooms, 26 Station Road, midway between the station and the path start.Recommended by a walker.  Clean, comfortable rooms, some including a large kitchenette, and at £69, probably good value for Milngavie. Booked via 

p116, Map 10, BalmahaThe new steps from Conic Hill are beautifully designed and worthy of mention.

p120 Balmaha. The Oak Tree Inn - feedback from a walker saying it was expensive: "(£6.75 for a pint of lager) and expected all customers to place orders using Apps on tables. Given that 30 % of the population cannot afford/cannot manage/ choose not to have a smartphone, this approach seems very regrettable and hardly in the spirit of Tom Weir, the local notable, who campaigned to make access to the area open to all."

pp128-139, Rowardennan to Inverarnan. A walker reports "I did it on an exceptionally hot and humid day. Having said that, I would argue that the lakeside path north of Inversnaid is actually more gruelling than that you highlight south of Inversnaid. I saw little or no evidence of attempted improvements on the former. So perhaps this could be emphasised a little more in the narrative. Also from the Ardlui crossing to Inverarnan , I don’t think there is any opportunity to obtain water. I drank nearly 2 litres of water from Inversnaid onwards and was almost out of water by the time I got to Inverarnan. Another person walking the path did run out of water on this section and struggled accordingly."

p174, Kinlochleven. The Ice Factor is currently closed. Locals seem uncertain why and if/when it will reopen.

p188, Approach to Glen Nevis/Fort William.  The guide gave advance warning of the suburban sprawl approaching Fort William. What it made less mention of was the extensive amount of felled woodland along this stretch. Unless you like walking through acres of slowly decaying tree stumps, this is not a great section. Taking the quiet lane from near Lochan Lunn Da Bhra into Fort William might be an aesthetically better option?

p183, Map of Ben Nevis. To be consistent with the other maps, the climbing symbols on the map really all need to be increased to steep slope, especially the sections between Red Burn and Lochan Meall, and the earlier “zig-zags”.

For those wanting a longer but far quieter and gentler descent, including great views of the north face cliffs, the path round to the CIC hut and then the clear path down by Coire Leis and through woodland to the North Face car park (well signposted) is recommended. Taxi services from Fort William will pick you up from the car park.


A walker sent feedback as follows: 

MAP11 - the main trail down to Balmaha now is a new path and has numerous steps, the old path is closed off. It is quite a decent descent and steep as well which is a shock early into the walk.

p120 - continuation of services in Balhama; it mentions that toilets are free at The National Park Visitor Centre, they are not, you need to use a debit/credit card and they charge 50p.

MAP 26 - A significant amount of pylons shown on map have now been removed and the cases duties underground in the few miles before to get to Crainlarich

p146 - Tyndrum is an awful place, especially on weekends when 100’s of motorcycles descend to meet for tours in Highlands, the noise is terrible and makes stopping for any time unpleasant. Overall very busy and the worst stop on the WHW by a long way!

p188 on Transport, whilst you mention the train route back to Glasgow you could mention the glorious scenery and in part seeing some of the route you have just walked and pass through stations you walked through as well. This was a great end to the walking the WHW I felt.

p191,  Fort William. The Garrison Hotel, High Street,  Fort William.  Inverness-shire PH33 6EE. Tel: 01397 602 021. A modern and fairly large hotel very close to the end of the WHW - a walker sent very positive feedback - 'We stayed and it was very good.'



p172 Kinlochleven. Highland Getaway. Is open again and we've had postive feedback from walkers recommending its food and drink.  They could not comment on the accommodation but it does have rooms.

p134 Inversnaid - Beinglas Campsite is now closed for the 2022 season and not currently taking bookings. On their website they report that they are making plans for opening for the 2023 season and these will be announced soon along with information on how to book accommodation.

7th edition




p140, Map 25. There is no longer an honesty box at the location on the map. 

 p153, Map 32. There doesn't appear to be an honesty box at the location at the sleeper bunk house but may need more investigation.

p132 Inversnaid Hotel

"When I arrived at the Inversnaid hotel 6th May 2022, I was informed that the hotel does not serve any food for non-residents. I’m not sure if this service has ended indefinitely. In the short time I was there I saw some disappointed walkers. As the hotel is rather isolated, it can be a crucial point on the planned trip" (Geert Ariaans). Phone ahead to check, if you're relying on getting food there.




p135 Map 20. The kissing gate opposite Island I Vow.  The gate is no longer upright and sits on the ground totally broken up.

p139 Map 24. The bridge over the Allt a’Chuilinn near the ruins (Grid Reference NN 34492 21386).  The bridge is no longer in situ and there is a signposted diversion in place.  The diversion heads south east up the western side of the Allt a’Chuilinn for 300 yards then crosses a bridge at Grid Reference NN34648 21202 and follows a farm track north to rejoin the WHW at Grid Reference NN 34690 21460.  



pp18-19 Wild camping

Roger Coe has pointed out that the information we give about wild camping gives the impression that no wild camping is allowed along the Way except at officially-designated sites. This is not what was intended when we state on p18 that 'pitching your tent wherever you want along the Way is not allowed - see p53 for Loch Lomond restrictions'.

The situation is as follows: as in the rest of Scotland you can wild camp anywhere except where there are stated restrictions. Along the Way these restrictions are only in force in Loch Lomond National Park. Elsewhere along the Way wild camping is allowed.



Killearn.   Turnip The Beet, Killearn Mill Business Park, Killearn, G63 9LQ is a catering business & deli situated on Mile 8 of the Way between The Beech Tree Inn & the Garden Centre.  There's a little gate that opens directly onto the Way so it's hard to miss them.

Offer weekly, changing menu as part of £4.50 lunch deal,  menu features a variety of world cuisine, eg Japanese Chicken Katsu, Butter Chicken, Vegan Sri Lankan Jackfruit Curry, Moroccan Lamb Tagine & Balinese Beef Satay, Mediterranean style dishes and sometimes French. Also offer baking, coffee, tea, juice and home-brewed kombucha.  Also is a small retail space from which they sell midge repellent, nets, tick removing devices etc.


Balmaha.  Island of Inchcailloch. You can camp on the small island but you have to catch a ferry, run by MacFarlane & Son and the ferry stops at 5.00pm. 

pp128/131 Map 18  Cherry Tree Café.  Sadly, they're not able to open in 2019.


6th edition



p24 Credit cards. A walker reports their experience was that virtually everyone accepted a Visa card, even those who noted (on their websites) they wanted cash.

p25 Baggage carriers. Baggage Freedom is an addition to the list in the guide. Tel: 07508 940 915.

pp. 63 and 178-181 Glen Nevis Map 48. One walker reports being surprised at the large - and recent - clearcuts that pretty much dominated the second half of the Kinlochleven-to-Fort William route. One of those clearcuts, directly on the trail, is on the final descent. 

pp128 and 134 Northern portion of Loch Lomond. Two walkers in their 60s reported 'a pretty tough time along the northern portion of Loch Lomond; the trail surface there was far more difficult than anywhere else along the WHW, and all the roots/rocks/mud made for some slow, frustrating hours. The text, for the trail immediately south of Inversnaid (p. 128), says that it is a "well-made path." And north of Inversnaid (p. 134), the text says that the route "provides some of the best walking so far." The text, to be fair, also notes that this section "has a reputation for being one of the hardest sections of the Way but recent path improvements have made it significantly easier."'

p153 Bridge of Orchy.  Stance Cottage B&B, Bridge of Orchy, Argyll, PA36 4AD recommended by a walker. It's immediately north of the hotel and has two Tel: 07500 904502

p162 Kingshouse. The Kingshouse Hotel has recently (late Jan. 2019) been significantly upgraded and its prices have increased. 



pp186/7 Map 49 Cow Hill option.  Feedback from one walker is it can be difficult to follow the route from Douglas Place on the map to the official end,  in places the details of the streets do not match the reality.

pp133 and 135, Maps 19 and 20, north of Inversnaid. Some feedback says this section is harder than you might think so be careful and there are no escape routes if you need them.

p162 Kingshouse. Kings House Hotel is still closed and being re constructed. The bunk house is also not in use. The taxi firms in Glencoe regularly pick up people at the Glencoe Ski Centre to take down to other accommodation eg the Clachaig Hotel which we've heard good reviews about. Some walkers report the taxi fares can be high.

Wild Camping. The most recent update of the bye law in 2017 says it's effective from 1st March-30th September. 


June 2017

pp. 179 and 181 Maps 47 and 48.  A walker reports that at the very end of the Way part of the conifer plantation has been cleared. Hopefully the new trees will grow up soon but in the immediate future it looks bare.


May 2017

p162 Kingshouse. Kings House Hotel by Glen Coe, Argyll PH49 4HY is being renovated from November 2016 for 18 months, but has opened a nice, brand new bunkhouse by the name of Way Inn Bunkhouse.  Information and booking is via the Kingshouse Hotel website. Walkers report they paid £25 pound per night and person in a 4 dorm and were tremendously happy with it: Clean facilities, a drying room, individual lockers, two fluffy towels, and bed linen provided, every bed has a reading lamp, regular and USB sockets. You can have breakfast (starting at 7:30) in the makeshift cafe bar that currently replaces the walkers' bar and order packed lunches for the next day (£6.50).


October 2016

p134 Inversnaid to Inverarnan. A reader wrote in to say they found this part of the walk hard and slow so please be prepared for it.


June 2016

p170 Kingshouse to Kinglochleven.  One reader comments that the traffic noise can be heard to the top of the Devil's Staircase.

The same reader comments that compared to many other post-industrial places this is a gem.


5th edition

August 2015

p116 Milton of Buchanan  Mar Achlais has closed.


p165 Glencoe Village   Inchconnal has closed



30 April 2015

p103 Milngavie .  Toscana on Station Road is now Garvie

p110 Gartness. The Wishing Well Coffee Shop has closed, so the Beech Tree Inn is the only option for lunch between Milngavie and Drymen. 

p114 Drymen.  The Buchanan Hotel sports massage is very good indeed. Need to book in advance, but a lovely treat at the end of Day One.

p116.The Drymen Pottery Cafe is now an Italian restaurant and cafe called Siena.

The Drymen Inn is nice for supper.

p116 Drymen to Balmaha. The way passes through a great deal of forestry clearing. It looks a bit grim, but the views of Loch Lomond are terrific, and come much earlier than before.

p120 Balmaha. St Mocha Coffee coffee shop is very nice and serves excellent soup for lunch. Delicious ice cream too!

p128 The path between Inversnaid and the top of the loch is indeed rough and a bit difficult. The lower path by the loch is closed for development - apparently they are going to make it the main path whilst they clear the slopes. It all seems to be taking longer than planned, to judge by the signs.

p134 Inversnaid to Inveranan.  Beinglas Farm serves good 'proper' food - a nice change after all the catering packs and mexican nachos that are so sadly frequent on the Way.



2 September 2013

MSR whisperlight fuel (which can easily be normal car fuel) is only available in Tyndrum (only 1 point along the whole WHW) where there is a petrol station.
p 87 Glasgow. Vegetarian places to eat are: Tchai-Ovna, 42 Otago Lane, Glasgow G12 8PB, close to the university buildings, has vegetarian food and 50 kinds of tea. Tel: 0141 357 4524. Stereo, 22-28 Renfield Lane, in the town centre, a cafe often with live performances: Tel:0141 222 2254. The 78, 10 - 14 Kelvinhaugh Street. Tel: 0141 576 5018


p152 Bridge of Orchy.  Bridge of Orchy Hotel has no plans to rebuild the bunkhouse. The building works going on are for an extension of superior rooms.

p162 Map 38. Kingshouse to Glencoe. When taking the bus from Kingshouse to Glencoe, there is only one bus stop where you can get on the bus,  The bus stop 'Glencoe Ski Centre' is right at its signpost on the A82 (GPS waypoint 92). There is no shelter, so should the wait be longer, it is recommended to wait at the Ski Centre Cafe.




West Highland Way: Milngavie to Fort William