How long to walk the West Highland Way

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The West Highland Way, like many long distance walks can be tailor made to be as easy or hard as you like. Firstly, I want to point out that there is no right or wrong way to walk the trail. If you want to march the trail in 3 days, theres options for you and if you want to slowly digest the route, then there are options for you here too. 

How long to walk the West Highland Way?

Slow travel is taking a huge quantum leap. 

For many walkers, and I dare say the majority, taking the route slow is becoming really popular, regardless of age.


Well it’s simple. You can sample all there is to sample along the route. By eliminating the huge daily mileage, you instantly free yourself up to enjoy the views, attractions, pubs and tea rooms available on route. 

One example of an easy itinerary is this one below, as adapted from Contours Walking Holidays

Travel to Milngavie
Day 1: Milngavie to Drymen – 12 miles / 19km
Day 2: Drymen to Balmaha – 6.5 miles / 10.5km
Day 3: Balmaha to Rowardennan – 7.5 miles / 12km
Day 4: Rowardennan to Inverarnan – 14 miles / 22km
Day 5: Inverarnan to Tyndrum – 13 miles  /21km
Day 6: Tyndrum to Inveroran – 10 miles  / 16km
Day 7: Inveroran to Kingshouse – 10 miles / 16km
Day 8: Kingshouse to Kinlochleven – 9 miles / 14.5km
Day 9: Kinlochleven to Fort William – 14 miles / 22km
Depart from Fort William

This itinerary, with an average daily milage of 10.6 is an ideal starting point a slow walk. 

Doing it in halfs

How long to walk the West Highland Way if you want to walk the West Highland Way but you don’t have 10 days spare? Well It’s perfectly acceptable to walk the route in two half’s. A good mid-way stopping point is Tyndrum which has two train stations giving you public transport back to the start. Moreover, a few of the luggage transfer companies offer returns to the start of the route for a reasonable price. 

The marchers

Whether you enjoy a personal challenge, sponsored walk, trail run, or your just too damn hardcore and simply want to tick the trail off your list in a weekend (please write and let us know how you do!), there are itineraries to suit.

Personally, I feel there is no shame in enjoying the comfort of a B&B if you are walking/running/unicycling the route in 4 days. 

Either way, Hillwalk Tours offer an excellent option of routes, including a 4 day challenge hike from Inveroran to Fort William. There are other companies offering challenge hikes too, such as the West Highland Way Challenger, who offer walk support or the West Highland Way Race

The takeaway

So there you have it. How long to walk the West Highland Way. Be sure to pick a route based on your ability rather than feeling like you have to overacieve. Slow is great, so is  fast. There really is no right of wrong way to walk the route. 

Walk or run the route happy rather than bent and broken, from biting off more than you can chew. 

If you would like some help booking your West Highland Way walk, perhaps take a look at our recommended businesses, and luggage transfer companies


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