The southern portion of the walk is characterized by bucolic pastoral landscapes, rolling green hillsides, and peaceful woodlands. Here is nice room to drink cheapy tea or coffe (50 pences) even if come from the outside.This village is the perfect place to meet new people! West Highland Way Logistics – Don’t forget the small details! For those completing the WHW in eight days, stage three is a loooong one. I know we’re asking you to work some Goldilocks magic here, but it’s definitely worth it! Secondly, if you’re fit, I would suggest to do the WHW in six or seven days. Ideally, you should put at least 30 miles on them before your trek in various terrain and weather conditions to reduce the chance of running into issues on the trail. It’s remarkably easy to wander off course when you’re captivated by the scenery or deep in a daydream! Lastly, I would recommend to add another day to summit Ben Nevis after you finished the WHW. We’ve noted the availability of these in our stage-by-stage camping guide below. Making smart choices about what to pack (and what to leave behind) is a vital part of setting yourself up for a successful and enjoyable West Highland Way experience. Camping along the West Highland Way allowed us to meet so many great people from all over the world, sleep in stunning locations, keep our trip expenses very low, and earn the satisfaction of carrying everything we needed on our backs. Although some hardy souls brave the wind, rain, cold, and snow to walk the West Highland Way during the winter months, most will prefer just the wind and rain of the spring/summer/autumn…and hopefully some sunny days too! You’re welcome! Can’t wait to hike the WHW! Camping next to a car park is theoretically allowable, but sounds a bit pointless to me, it is hardly wild camping and you might as well use a proper campsite with facilities. Glad you are enjoying our guide! **, Price: Varies, but expect to pay about £7-10 per person, Price: Varies, but expect to pay about £9-15 per person. Please also note that within the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park camping byelaws operate between March and September.”. You don’t need a permit. The fifth section of the West Highland way between Tyndrum and the Bridge of Orchy or alternatively to Inveroran is the shortest section. Midges, those tiny biting flies that come out in massive swarms that come our at dusk and in cloudy, still weather conditions, are an unfortunate reality on the West Highland Way. Even in the summer months, it’s common to encounter cold, gray, windy conditions, especially at higher elevations and further north along the trail. This is a fabulous time to walk the WHW, although it can be quite wet. We like the kind with two USB ports built in to maximize our charging time. Expect to get service in all of the larger towns, but less so as you go further from civilization. If you want to hike the entire route in a week or less, be prepared to cover at least 15-20 miles each day. Because of its relatively low elevation and minimal technicality, the West Highland Way is a very approachable long-distance trek for the casual hiker. Camping is by far the most economical way to trek the WHW. Unfortunately, there are no campgrounds in central Glasgow, nor in Milngavie, so you’ll need to stay indoors prior to starting the WHW. If you do choose to stop at one of these, simply stay at Beinglas Farm the following night. The West Highland Way officially starts in the town of Milngavie, which is located about 30 minutes by train from Glasgow. This is inside the national park and therefore has different rules. Your email address will not be published. Crowds, midges, and rain are all plentiful during peak summer these months. However, if they train ahead of time and keep reasonable expectations, walkers of all ability levels should be able to complete the West Highland Way – and enjoy themselves while doing it! ), How to Find All of your Campgrounds on the West Highland Way. Drymen Camping is located in a peaceful, pastoral setting. Don’t forget to bring a pack cover (included with many newer backpacks) to protect against rain. The area is very wooded, which is unusual for Scotland. It is a pretty small camping area! There you’ll find a grocery store, ATM, and a medical center. Just over the bridge next to the river. The MacDonald Hotel is at the far end of town and can feel quite tedious to get to after a long day of hiking. We loved camping at Beinglas Farm! Here are some great things about staying at the Bridge of Orchy Bunkhouse: - Situated right on West Highland Way. This village is the perfect place to meet new people. Some things to think about…. You cannot wild camp on the stretch of trail that runs along the shore of Loch Lomond between March and October. #quarantinegarden #patiogarden #container, Celebrating one incredible year since this perfect, Finally catching up on sharing photos from the las, Another latergram, this time from Angkor Wat, Camb, Still trying to get caught up on these updates. This small campground is surrounded by rolling hills and picturesque farmland. You’ll be able to find food shops and/or restaurants on nearly every stop of the Way. Even though food is abundant, make sure you plan accordingly, as there is quite a bit of variation in terms of what is available. However, keep a few things in mind: The WHW walks right past it. This is an incredible resource! It is located on a lovely spot alongside the river and also conveniently located in the center of town. Thank you so much. How to Find All of Your Campgrounds on the West Highland Way- Free downloadable GPS waypoints! Wild camping is permitted in Scotland, including along much of the West Highland Way route. Furthermore, we strongly suggest using GPS to make your life easier and less stressful. The West Highland Way long distant path passes the village. Snow will likely remain in some areas. For those completing the WHW in eight days, stage three is a loooong one. That being said, you also don’t want your boots/shoes to be too broken in, as you need them to hold up faithfully for many miles of gnarly, muddy terrain. Riding the southbound train through the rugged Highland scenery upon completion of the WHW is a highlight for many trekkers. It is popular when in spate with Kayakers and rafters but when lower provides some excellent swimming and river fun. Read more: Pack right and be prepared for all of the elements the WHW might throw at you! Still, I’ve got some recommendations: For day five I would suggest to camp near the Inveroran Hotel (400 meters past the hotel). So, clamber uphill a couple of hundred metres and enjoy a sunset over Loch Lomond or the soaring mountains above Crianlarich and Tyndrum. There is no official camp site here but West Highland Way wild camping is allowed, as with any camping in Scotland follow the Scottish Outdoors Code. You are going to get rained on at some point while walking the West Highland Way- this is Scotland after all. However, the chance of colder, wetter weather increases with each day that passes. Be advised that the area can be a bit boggy and level spots are hard to come by. You will pass through many villages with public drinking fountains or cafes that will fill your bottles for you, but make sure to plan ahead and carry 1-2 liters of water each day. Due to the presence of agricultural activity near large swaths of the trail, we do not recommend drinking any water from natural streams without filtering it first. Situated near Swindon and 17.9 miles away, as the crow flies from Bridge of Orchy. from time to time. Nearly all of the campgrounds along the West Highland Way will allow you to charge phones and other devices for free, as will many pubs and guesthouses. There are four waterfalls where the current is fast but exciting for swimming (Use a … Soak your tired feet under the Bridge of Orchy before enjoying your free campsite. Be prepared for shorter days and therefore fewer daylight hours for walking. Good weather, tolerable midges, and generally less crowded on the trail (compared to May). This detour is highly recommended if you’d like to resupply at a proper supermarket. Be sure to read our entire series on the West Highland Way to learn everything you’ll need to know for your trip! The same rule for shoes applies to backpacks: make sure you complete several practice hikes with your bag packed the same way (and with the same weight) you’ll carry on the West Highland Way. Take a detour from the busy main roads connecting Dalmally and Bridge of Orchy via Tyndrum and enjoy a pleasant stretch of Scotland's ancient Caledonian forest. Free camping possibility right next to the bridge. The second stage of the West Highland Way presents many options for camping, all of which offer beautiful lochside views. The temperamental and variable weather conditions are a quintessential part of any West Highland Way experience. They ended up with midges getting trapped inside their nets! You’ll see it on the lefthand side of the road about a mile and a half before reaching the town of Drymen. Nearby in Drymen: The nearest services are in the town of Drymen, another 1.5 miles up the road. The riverside picnic a… on Guide to Camping on the West Highland Way. … First, the lochside campsites are secluded, peaceful, and totally gorgeous. For a complete packing list, check out this comprehensive article on packing for the West Highland Way, This isn’t easy to answer since there are a ton of factors that influence how much is too much for any individual hiker. You’ll also want to make sure you have some good socks. You might be able to pick up a few bars at high points and unobstructed areas, but definitely don’t count on it. Keep walking about five minutes north of the hotel (beyond the boathouse) until you reach a small clearing. For budget travelers, it is possible to self-cater with goods from the many shops you’ll pass. Our stage-by-stage camping guide (below) is written for a moderately-paced 8-day itinerary, but could be easily adapted for other lengths. Moreover, Drymen is your last opportunity to visit a full grocery store along the trail until you reach Tyndrum. Services at Inversnaid Bunkhouse (alternative option). This is an absolute must-have. https://www.blackwaterhostel.co.uk/campsite/, How to Navigate on the West Highland Way | GPS Maps. There are plenty of local transport connections available if you need to detour or skip a section due to adverse conditions. Where do we even begin when discussing the famous (er, infamous) Scottish weather? While it’s true that Scotland is expensive, your West Highland Way adventure doesn’t have to be. I'll be getting off the train at Corrour Station at the beginning of my trip at the end of the month, and am wondering if there's somewhere suitable alongside the loch amongst the trees for a night, on it's northern side most likely. Honestly, you should hope you’re lucky enough to experience some of these steely conditions; the rugged landscape looks its best when shrouded in a layer of dramatic clouds. Suggested itineraries. The Guide includes everything you’ll need to have an awesome experience on the WHW. https://www.campervanlife.com/travel-guide/europe/britain/scotland Thom – Thank you for sharing your tips and glad you had perfect weather! It’s typically free to use, although some places may require an additional fee. Fort William Backpackers is a great hostel to stay when you’re planning to climb Ben Nevis and therefor need to stay another night in Fort William. If the Bridge of Orchy hotel is a little rich for your blood, here you'll find camping with an infinitely better view and a price point you just can't beat. One of the many wonderful things about the West Highland Way is that you don’t need to worry about carrying (and eating) eight days’ worth of underwhelming freeze-dried backpacker meals. If you’re new to backpacking and/or have chronic injuries, it’s especially important to keep it as light as possible. This guide is based on a moderately-paced 8-day itinerary that begins in Milngavie and ends in Fort William. Fortunately, there are frequent re-supply points along the WHW, so you shouldn’t need to carry much food and water, even if you plan on self-catering. West Highland Way Packing List – Be sure you’ve got everything you need! Unfortunately, you won’t be the first person to use these natural facilities, and they were a bit polluted with human waste when we were there. If the Bridge of Orchy hotel is a little rich for your blood, here you'll find camping with an infinitely better view and a price point you just can't beat. Scotland uses the British pound and cash is king on the West Highland Way. Here is a nice youth hostel in the train station. Beinglas Farm is the traditional stopping point, and will be a welcome sight for those who walk the entirety of stage 3 to reach it. Glad you found it helpful. How to Navigate on the West Highland Way – Turn your smartphone into a GPS! Use the designated zones there. Advantages of the traditional south-north direction include having the wind at your back and finishing at the dramatic Ben Nevis. It’s simple- the heavier your pack, the harder your effort. Always check the weather forecast before you begin walking each day and air on the side of caution if you’re not sure if you should attempt to walk. If you’re coming from outside of the United Kingdom, you’ll need to use a travel adapter. For better or worse, many of the campgrounds, guesthouses, and pubs along the WHW now offer Wifi. Braehead, EAST RENFREWSHIRE . If you’re caught unprepared, they can drive you mad and threaten to ruin your day. If the Bridge of Orchy hotel is a little rich for your blood, here you'll find camping with an infinitely better view and a price point you just can't beat. This is the first of two options that will allow you to split up stage 3 across two days by stopping in Inversnaid. Check out our in-depth article on how to train for the West Highland Way. Caolasnacon Caravan and Camping Park Situated near Kinlochleven and 17.9 … We were really hoping to find some woodland camping etc. You’ll pass the Blackwater Hostel first, almost immediately upon entering Kinlochleven. There are three good options for camping on Stage 4, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Are these sites on the luggage transfer drops or are the restrictions to avoid luggage drops? You’ll need to bring your own camp stove and cooking equipment if you plan on fixing most of your own meals along the West Highland Way. The West Highland Way traverses a wide range of rugged and beautiful landscapes. Has anyone wild camped near/next to Loch Ossian? When is the best time to hike the West Highland Way? Which direction should I hike the West Highland Way? Services are widely available along the route, simplifying resupply and logistical considerations. Additionally, the Rowchoish and Doune Bothies are simple, free options that may be appealing to campers. Thank you, Taryn! In addition to its dramatic beauty, the West Highland Way offers some other great perks: If you haven’t considered camping, we are here to tell you that you should! There are only 11 pitches, so reservations are recommended in peak season. It’s still very possible to have a wonderful time if you trek in July or August, just make sure you book your (non-camping) accommodation in advance and pack rain gear and a midge net! You really lose yourself to hills here which leave you feeling inferior. That being said, don’t rule out the possibility of warm and sunny days. The first step to being prepared? There are no facilities, but you are welcome to eat with us if you let us know in advance. This means that you should bring a pair of boots or shoes that you know from experience don’t cause problems for your feet. May is a very busy time on the trail. This is inside the national park and therefore has different rules. Early October can be a lovely time to trek, with beautiful fall colors painted across the woodlands and hillsides. Additionally (for those with deeper pockets), many of the hotels, guesthouses, and pubs serve meals. If more basic and free accommodation is what you’re after, keep walking a bit further to reach the Kingshouse Hotel. Beautiful views of Buachaille Etive Mòr from the Glencoe Moutain Resort. Drymen Camping is approximately 1.5 miles from the town of Drymen. Heads up: You must make reservations in advance for this campsite (the website makes it quick and easy). Nearby Glen Nevis and Fort William:  There is a visitor center and a few restaurants in the village of Glen Nevis. You can use the facilities in the hotel bar during opening hours. Alternatively, you can use the hotel restroom if you purchase something at the bar/restaurant or if you leave a donation on the tray by the bar. Glad you have found it useful!/, Is it impossible to truly wild camp anywhere? Always ask permission before pitching your tent on farm or pastureland. How to Train for the West Highland Way – Get in shape for the WHW! A stage-by-stage guide for camping on the WHW. Either direction you choose to walk, you’ll have plenty of accommodation options and easy connections to and from the trail. The facilities are basic but functional, and the views more than make up for it. The quiet B8074 runs the length of Glen Orchy and is perfect to explore by bike or car. For our next adventure, we chose the West Highland Way (WHW), a 94-mile (151 km) trek that begins just outside of Glasgow, winds its way past the iconic Loch Lomond towards rugged moors and emerald hillsides, and ends in the stunning Highlands at the foot of Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. There are no banks or ATMs directly along the route between Drymen and Tyndrum, so you’ll need to plan accordingly. Hiking Highlight. When you arrive at Bridge of Orchy, continue past the hotel and across the bridge to the free camping area. - 1 mixed dorms of 10 bunks, with en-suite facilities including multiple showers. This 10-page printable guide has everything you need to get started planning your adventure. 10 Essentials for the West Highland Way – The quick and dirty basics. Bridge of Orchy camping. You don’t need a permit. The 50+ page guide contains West Highland Way resources you won’t find anywhere else, including: We truly believe this is the best guide available for the camping on the WHW. However, one place where this is prohibited is the restricted zone along the east side of Loch Lomond. A nasty blister can be catastrophic on a multi-day trek like the WHW! In 2014 the Dalmally and Craig Lodge Beats were combined to form the River Orchy - Dalmally Fishings - Beats 1, 2 & 3 situated on the middle and lower reaches of the river amid the majestic scenery of Glen Orchy. Low budget accommodation on the West Highland Way! Note that there’s a seasonal ban in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, with more details to follow. We’d recommend bringing plenty of your own food as insurance. Some walkers prefer to head from north-south to meet more new people on each stage and avoid crowds on the trail. Thanks Tobias! Here is a nice youth hostel in the train station. A walkers paradise in the West Highland Way with 32 well-appointed rooms Book Direct 01838 400 208 On a final note, believe us when we say that you will enjoy your trip infinitely more if you train ahead of time. There are campsites, hotels and B&Bs dotted all over, though. Here’s a link to the official site for now: official Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Wild Camping page The map for 2018 is here. One of our favorite parts of hiking the West Highland Way! Our downloadable Guide to Camping on the West Highland Way is ultimate resource to help you plan your perfect trip. Traditional hiking boots, hiking shoes, or trail runners will all work for the trail conditions on the West Highland Way, but you need to make sure they will work for you too. The easiest way to get from Glasgow to Milngavie is by taking one of the frequent trains that run between the two, but you can also take a public bus or a taxi. Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports . If needed, you can catch a bus or hitch a ride from the A82 to Glencoe Village (9 miles away). Our friends bought cheap insect nets and the holes in the mesh turned out to be too big. Additionally, Stage 3 of the WHW is the longest and most strenuous day of the entire trek, so make it all the way to Sallochy on Stage 2 and you’ll have a head start for the day ahead. Wild Camping . With flat spots and room for ten plus tents, this spot has everyone you could want for a wild camping spot. 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