Les etapes del West Highland Way

West Highland WayStages

The West Highland Way official guide divides the 154 kilometers that make up the route in 8 stages.

These 8 stages of the official West Highland Way route are the same ones I comment on in my story. Instead, the official website www.westhighlandway.org divides it into 7 stages, although it comments that there are 8 stages.

In the end, it is a question of adapting the route to each other’s possibilities, considering the state of fitness that allows for more or less miles to hold, and where accommodation has been found to sleep, that if it is not planned, it may force us to change some end or beginning of some stages.

Below you can find the West Highland Way stages divided by 5, 6, 7 and 8 days, with two possibilities for route 7:

# stageItineraryDistance (km)
1Milngavie – Drymen19,5
2Drymen – Rowardennan22,5
3Rowardennan – Inverarnan22,25
4Inverarnan – Crianlarich10,5
5Crianlarich – Bridge of Orchy21,5
6Bridge of Orchy – Kingshouse19,25
7Kingshouse – Kinlochleven14,5
8Kinlochleven – Fort William22,5

# stageItineraryDistance (km)
1Milngavie – Drymen19,5
2Drymen – Rowardennan22,5
3Rowardennan – Inverarnan22,25
4Inverarnan – Tyndrum19,4
5Tyndrum – Inveroran14,5
6Inveroran – Kinlochleven30,6
7Kinlochleven – Fort William22,5
# stageItineraryDistance (km)
1Milngavie – Drymen19,5
2Drymen – Rowardennan22,5
3Rowardennan – Inverarnan22,25
4Inverarnan – Tyndrum19,4
5Tyndrum – Kingshouse30,6
6Kingshouse – Kinlochleven14,5
7Kinlochleven – Fort William22,5
# stageItineraryDistance (km)
1Milngavie – Drymen19,5
2Drymen – Rowardennan22,5
3Rowardennan – Crianlarich32,2
4Crianlarich – Inveroran24,1
5Inveroran – Kinlochleven30,6
6Kinlochleven – Fort William22,5
# stageItineraryDistance (km)
1Milngavie – Balmaha32,2
2Balmaha – Inverarnan33,8
3Inverarnan – Bridge of Orchy30,5
4Bridge of Orchy – Kinlochleven33,8
5Kinlochleven – Fort William22,5

The West Highland Way: The Official Guide

Surely, buying the official guide, or any other guide, is not necessary to travel the West Highland Way without any problem.

But if what you want is to know better about the environment where it goes, the landscape, fauna, flora, history, while you see precious photographs of the lakes and hills that you’re going to go through, it’s definitely recommended.

And it will also help you, of course, to improve the planning you can do.

The official guide, updated in 2018, is the one I used (in a previous edition, obviously); it is protected with a plastic cover so that it does not get wet, and it carries a map that goes very well to know where you are at all times.

For those who do not want books, or want to save money, you can buy the official map, indestructible, without the guide, or, for example, this other map, on a scale of 1: 40,000 and water-resistant.

The 8 stages of my West Highland Way

Stage 1: Milngavie – Drymen

20,7

Distance (km)

1.556

T. ascent (m)

1.573

T. descent (m)

12%12%

On Saturday mornings, Glasgow sleeps. Waiting for the 8:31 train, we were 5 people, three of them with backpacks. On the 8:20 train, which I let go so as not to sprint, three more boarded. The train left and arrived on time, and in Milngavie we all looked like we were starting the West Highland Way.

Stage 2: Drymen – Rowardennan

27,2

Distance (km)

3.385

T. ascent (m)

3.440

T. descent (m)

28%28%

There were three busy tables having breakfast early, two couples and me. Mine, next to the windows. I was absent watching as it rained when he brought me the scrambled eggs. It’s raining, he told me.

Stage 3: Rowardennan – Inverarnan

18,4

Distance (km)

1.503

T. ascent (m)

1.496

T. descent (m)

40%40%

Every hostel worthy of admiration must have its red hair working in it. In Rowardennan Lodge, he serves food. And for every dish that yesterday he served to the group of four women who became the real queens of the party, he took a standing ovation and the chef a few congratulations.

Stage 4: Inverarnan – Crianlarich

15,5

Distance (km)

1.736

T. ascent (m)

1.606

T. descent (m)

49%49%

I met Greg, who I don’t remember his name, walking away with his three companions, when I was going to breakfast. He was the tenant of bothy next door. He had done the West Highland Way last week by bike and this one he did on foot, in just five days.

Stage 5: Crianlarich – Bridge of Orchy

23,8

Distance (km)

2.209

T. ascent (m)

2.226

T. descent (m)

64%64%


In Crianlarich the train also stays longer than necessary, about 6 minutes. Crianlarich has train station and bus stop, as I told you. It is a good starting point to the north, towards the Highlands, and a good point of return to the south, towards the Lowlands. Or you can change lanes and head west to Oban.

Stage 6: Bridge of Orchy – Kingshouse

18,7

Distance (km)

1.855

T. ascent (m)

1.724

T. descent (m)

75%75%

I had asked Wendy if she could have breakfast at seven-thirty instead of eight. You have to take the bus, she said.

Stage 7: Kinghouse – Kinlochleven

15,9

Distance (km)

1.538

T. ascent (m)

1.824

T. descent (m)

85%85%

The 8:34 bus was full of hikers. At least, of people dressed as hikers. No wonder. From Crianlarich to Glencoe there is only one village, Tyndrum, three or four settlements, and mountains. And the bus arrives at Fort William, the nerve centre of mountain sports in Scotland.

Stage 8: Kinlochleven – Fort William

25,8

Distance (km)

2.712

T. ascent (m)

2.709

T. descent (m)

100%100%

His name was Pepe and he was from Badajoz, Spain. She came to Fort William sixteen years ago, fleeing a divorce, with the intention of staying there for a few months. He found a Galician woman there, and never returned. He is a taxi driver and owner of a small taxi company, the father of two Scottish children, and has a client who spends her alcoholism subsidy on bingo and the taxi that takes her there, as she is abstinent.