|This map shows the section from Loch Lomond right up to the finish at Fort William.|
So to the walk itself. If you have walked The West Highland Way yourself then you will know what I'm babbling about when I say it is utterly beautiful, a quite stunning mid distance walk of a mere 96 miles that takes in some of the most breath taking scenery this little island has to offer.
|The start of the walk, Milngavie.|
|The first really good view of Loch Lomond, from Conic Hill. Balmaha is at the foot of the hill.|
That will be a good twenty miles or so under our belts, then from Balmaha we will head on to Inverarnan, alongside Loch Lomond all day long. (save for the last three miles into the stunning village of Inverarnan).
It is, as you can see, quite beautiful. The walking does get quite arduous in a few places, with much scrambling over rocks and plenty of up and down bits. After several hours of this one has probably earnt a decent dinner and a wee dram or two at best pub in the world (1705, official!) The Drovers Inn at Inverarnan. Another twenty odd miles 'bagged'.
From here we will pass through beautiful Glen Falloch as we near the end of The Trossachs, on our way to Tyndrum. Another gorgeous little village, our stop for the night at the quite wonderful Glengarry guest house. Fifteen further miles clocked.
Onwards through Glen Orchy to Bridge of Orchy and the walking and climbing will be pretty arduous by now, though very rewarding and quite possibly wet - depending on the whims of Mother Nature when she dishes out the Scottish weather! But a few wee drops of rain will not spoil things, for this is truly stunning as we enter Glen Coe on our way to The Kings House Hotel, in the middle of nowhere to the west of wild Rannoch Moor. Another seventeen miles on the total.
|The River Falloch.|
Kings House is sited on the old military road and an absolute must to stop the night at, partly because it is damn good, but also because there isn't really much else for miles unless you take a tent!
Onwards from here we next have the world renowned Devils Staircase to climb, the highest point on The West Highland Way. It is pretty steep, but the reward is very good indeed, for then follows some quite fantastic high level walking with beauty as far as the eye can see. Unless of course the weather has closed in, then you will see nothing but mist. We hope and pray for a clear day and views like these.
The descent into the splendid highland village of Kinlochleven is also quite fantastic, which we will follow with bed for night at The Tailrace Inn. Ten more miles, now 81 in total.
From Kinlochleven we have the stiffest climb out of the village for the final push to Fort William through the edge of Glen Nevis, in the shadow of that great Scottish mountain Ben Nevis. A final plod of fifteen miles to bring our total to Ninety Six over six days of tough but very rewarding walking.
We will be starting the walk on Sunday May 17th, and I will be recording the whole walk with words and pictures on this blog, so please pop back and take a look. I will post details of how to sponsor us to raise money for the kids charity too. I thank you.
Alec Hawkes January 2015.