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Fully revised 5th edition of the first of Trailblazer's 13-title series of British Walking Guides. The West Highland Way is the most popular long-distance path in the country, passing through some of the most spectacular scenery in all of Britain. From the outskirts of Glasgow it winds for 95 miles along the wooded banks of Loch Lomond, across the wilderness of Rannoch Moor, over the mountains above Glencoe to a dramatic finish at the foot of Ben Nevis Britain's highest mountain.
Charlie Loram was the series editor who developed this British Walking Guides series for Trailblazer. He has hiked in the Himalaya as well as in Wales and Scotland.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION (1) PART 1: PLANNING YOUR WALK – About the West Highland Way (History, How difficult is the West Highland Way, How long do you need?), Practical information for the visitor (Accommodation, Food and drink, Money, Other services, Information for foreign visitors, Walking companies), Budgeting (Accommodation, Extras), When to go (Seasons, Temperature and rainfall, Daylight hours, Annual events), Itineraries (Which direction? Highlights, Village and town facilities, Suggested itineraries, Hillwalking side trips, Mountain biking, Walking with dogs), What to take (Keep it light, How to carry it, Footwear, Clothes, Toiletries, First-aid kit, General items, Sleeping bag, Camping gear, Money, Maps, Recommended reading), Getting to and from the West Highland Way (National transport, Getting to Britain, Local transport, Local transport map and details) Sources of further information (2) PART 2: MINIMUM IMPACT TREKKING Economic impact, Environmental impact, Access (3) PART 3: THE ENVIRONMENT AND NATURE Conserving Scotland’s nature (Scottish Natural Heritage, Campaigning & conservation organizations), Fauna and flora (Mammals, Reptiles, Birds, Trees, Flowers (4) PART 4: GLASGOW City guide (Orientation, Arrival and departure, Getting around & to Milngavie, Services, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, What to see) Walking from Glasgow to Milngavie (Getting to the start, Services, Route overview, Maps A-D) (5) PART 5: ROUTE GUIDE & MAPS Using this guide, Milngavie (Services, Where to stay, Where to eat), Milngavie to Drymen – Maps 1-8 (Route overview, Services, Drymen), Drymen to Balmaha – Maps 8-11 (Route overview, Services, Balmaha), Balmaha to Rowardennan – Maps 11-15 (Route overview, Services, Rowardennan, Ascent of Ben Lomond), Rowardennan to Inversnaid – Maps 15-19 (Route overview, Inversnaid), Inversnaid to Inverarnan – Maps 19-22 (Route overview, Services, Inverarnan), Inverarnan to Crianlarich – Maps 22-26 (Route overview, Crianlarich) Crianlarich to Tyndrum – Maps 26-29 (Route overview, Services, Tyndrum), Tyndrum to Bridge of Orchy – Maps 29-32 (Route overview, Bridge of Orchy) Bridge of Orchy to Kingshouse – Maps 32-38 (Route overview, Services, Kingshouse, Glen Coe, Day walks around Glen Coe), Kingshouse to Kinlochleven – Maps 38-42 (Route overview, Kinlochleven), Kinlochleven to Fort William – Maps 42-49 (Route overview, Glen Nevis), Fort William (Services, Where to stay, Where to eat, What to see), Ben Nevis (Climbing Ben Nevis, Tourist Route, Carn Mor Dearg Arête Route) (6) APPENDICES A: Health and outdoor safety, B: Gaelic (7) MAP KEYS (8) INDEX
[Glencoe and Lochaber] had everything: peak, plateau, precipice, the thinnest of ridges, and green valley, all set between the widest of wild moors and a narrow sea-loch. WH MurrayUndiscovered Scotland
WH Murray is not alone in thinking the dramatic concluding stages of the West Highland Way (Glencoe and Lochaber) equal in beauty to anywhere in the world. The Way has become a pilgrimage for mountain lovers keen to travel simply on foot into the heart of the Scottish Highlands. A better introduction to this stunning region could not have been designed and, what is more, you don’t have to wait until the end for the highlights. Right from the start the Way gives walkers a taste of the magic of Scotland’s wild land and within a week you will have walked through some of the most fabulous scenery in Britain with relative ease, safety and comfort.
The Way begins kindly just 20 minutes from the centre of Glasgow, gently undulating through woods and farmland, easing you in to the new demands of long-distance walking. As you stroll along the length of Loch Lomond’s celebrated wooded shore, lowland subtly transforms into Highlands and rugged mountain grandeur begins to dominate the scene. Ancient tracks previously used by soldiers and drovers lead you north along wide valley bottoms past historical staging posts which still water and feed today’s Highland traveller.
The character of the Way becomes more serious as it climbs across the bleak, remote expanse of Rannoch Moor, skirting the entrance to Glen Coe and climbing over the Devil’s Staircase, the highest point on the trail. This is true hillwalking country and the extra effort is amply repaid by breathtaking mountain views. As you approach Fort William, the end of the Way, Ben Nevis comes into view rising above the conifer forests. If you have energy left after this superb 95-mile (152km) walk an ascent of the highest mountain in Britain makes a fitting climax.