The most dramatic section of the West Highland Way; from Bridge of Orchy to Fort William.
Walking across the amazing wilderness landscape of the Rannoch Moor.
A visit to the world famous Kingshouse Hotel for a well deserved pint or even a wee dram.
The challenge of the Devils Staircase and the reward of the view from the top.
Getting to Fort William with a real sense of achievement having passed through some of Scotland’s finest scenery.
Three days of excellent walking along the world famous West Highland Way. Best described as Scotland’s finest long distance walk, the West Highland Way takes you through some of the the country's finest scenery. With this short break we have focused on arguably the most scenic part of the walk, from Bridge of Orchy to Fort William. This short break allows you to drink in the peaceful wilderness of the Rannoch Moor and Glen Nevis leaving you refreshed and invigorated.
Starting at Bridge of Orchy, you are immediately immersed in the refreshing highland air, the peace of the area flooding through you. Starting off at Bridge of Orchy means that you are already walking in the Highlands and your first day is spent crossing the remote Rannoch Moor on your way to the Kingshouse Hotel. From here your trip takes you to Kinlochleven via the ’Devils Staircase’ surrounded by the stunning mountain scenery before your final day's walk into the vibrant town of Fort William.
Macs Adventure has been operating self guided walking holidays on the West Highland Way since 2003. Based locally, just a few miles from the start of the West Highland Way, we literally know every step of the way. As the largest operator on the West Highland Way we can secure you the best value and quality accommodation, baggage transfer and services, regardless of whether you are walking solo or as a group of 20. So give us a shout today to start planning your adventure.
Day 1: Arrive Starting Point: Bridge of Orchy
Bridge of Orchy consists of a Hotel, Bunkhouse and Rail Station and little else. It is a great introduction to the idea that you will be able to get away from it all and forget the day to day of modern life. It is easily reached by bus or train from Glasgow. (around 2 hours)
Day 2: Bridge of Orchy to Kingshouse—12 Miles
Our favourite section of the West Highland Way. A couple of miles after leaving Bridge of Orchy you are gifted with a stunning view over Inveroran.
From there you skirt Loch Tulla and then join the military road across Rannoch Moor, a wonderful, lonely and exposed place that was once covered by a giant icecap and is today covered in bog.
There is no shelter and in bad weather it can be exposed. In good weather it is simply inspiring. Kingshouse provides great views of Buachaille Etive Mor, Scotland’s most photographed mountain.
Day 3: Kingshouse to Kinlochleven—9 Miles
From Kingshouse you follow an old military road to Altnafeadh, which gives great views of the famous ‘weeping glen’ and site of the Glencoe Massacre in 1692.
Then you zigzag up the Devil’s Staircase to the highpoint of the Way at 548m, which gives stunning views towards Ben Nevis, given clear weather.
From here you wind our way down into the pretty little town of Kinlochleven, the end to a very pleasant day. Kinlochleven Facilities: Hotels, pubs, Co-op supermarket, cash machine, post office, internet, Ice Factor Climbing Centre.
Day 4: Kinlochleven to Fort William—16 Miles
The initial sharp climb out of Kinlochleven is worth it for the fantastic views it brings and once over the top you follow a wonderfully remote valley past deserted sheilings towards Fort William.
Approximately half way through the day you enter a beautiful area of cultivated forest and follow a narrow winding track until you reach the saddle which brings you into Glen Nevis.
Ben Nevis towers ahead and you can clearly see the mountain track which snakes up the southern side of Britain’s highest mountain. At this point you bear left and follow a wide forestry road down to the Ben Nevis visitor centre and then the final miles are along the Glen Nevis road and through the centre of Fort William. This brings you to the end of your short break, and time for a few well earned beers.
Day 5: Depart Fort William
Fort William is on a main train line back to Glasgow and is also well serviced by Intercity bus. The train more or less follows the route of the West Highland Way back to Glasgow, while taking the bus will take you through the truly stunning Glen Coe.
This walk is only available from South to North due to baggage delivery restrictions.
Tailor Made Holidays
We are always more than happy to tailor our standard itineraries to suit. Just let us know what you would like and we will be happy to arrange your tailor made walking holiday.
The trip is available from mid April to mid October and while it does
get very busy, we are always willing to try and get you booked in.
Single Rooms & Solo Walkers
This holiday is available to solo walkers, although a single supplement is payable. If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate your request, although it is not generally possible to secure more than three single rooms in a party. A single supplement is payable.
Grade & Terrain
This holiday is graded moderate and includes daily walks of between 9 - 16 miles. Perfect for regular walkers, some days will be more challenging than others and the terrain will be varied with some rough and rugged footpaths. The way is on well maintained footpaths, bridleways, across fields, but in general follows General Wades Roads which were built to open up the highlands back in the 18th Century. Ascents and descents are involved so a good level of fitness will be required.
The West Highland Escape is clearly defined on the ground and the route is waymarked for easy walking. Though map reading and use of a compass is not totally necessary, it is always advantageous. We supply a detailed map and guidebook so you shouldn’t have any problem finding your way.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.
Your bags will be collected from your accommodation each day and moved onto your overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.
The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.