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West Highland Way

Beautiful scenery but no real skill involved, walking along tracks, no maps required for navigation, felt extremely sanitised and over managed. I appreciate the effort people put into completing this walk, and we'll done for doing so, but walking is not about ticking boxes. 've walked the WHW several times (and various parts), in various conditions. The scenery, in places is spectacular. Conic Hill, Loch Lomond - especially in spring and early summer (the bluebells are spectacular) and the Devil's Staircase all make the journey worthwhile. Important note - there are two routes along Loch Lomond once past Rowardennan towards Inversnaid. The lower route is far superior and a joy to walk (but much more strenuous) than the upper, which is a forest track with limited interest and views. Accommodation is plentiful and varies in standard (and character). There are plenty of options for camping, although it should be noted that there are heavy restrictions on wild camping between Drymen and Rowardennan (Loch Lomond). Beds also book up very quickly so if planning a trip book early (some places can be booked out a year in advance). There are several hostels on the route - SYHA at Rowardennan and Crianlarich - Independents at Inversnaid, Tyndrum (By-the-way Hostel is superb) and Kinlochleven (Black Water Hostel - also superb). Bridge of Orchy has a hotel, as does Inversnaid, Inverornan, Inverarnan and Kingshouse. Apart from a wild campsite there is nothing else at Kingshouse - the hotel is a little rustic - although it's worth staying there just to see the semi-tame red deer that graze right outside. The trail itself is essentially a 100 mile road walk, much of it following what was the original A82, one of the old military road. It is hard on the feet and a boring slog with very little interest. As a consequence as well, the route tends to stay firmly at the bottom of the glens it passes through giving very limited views. There are of course the exceptions (see above) at which point the character of the walk changes for the better. Sadly they are few and far between. It's a route with so much potential which is never fulfilled - but it is insanely popular. If walking in the summer it can become a procession - although this also makes it an enjoyable social event as well. Despite what I have said above, don't let it put you off if you wish to do it. The WHW is a decent enough trail without being outstanding - there are far better trails out there in the UK, and far less busy to boot - but it is enjoyable, just don't expect too much.


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