For trekkers who want to keep expenses low, stay in touch with the natural world, and retain an adaptable routine while hiking Scotland’s most well-known far-flung trail, camping & trekking along the West Highland Way is a terrific choice. Throughout the Way, you have the option of wild camping, setting up camp, or combining the two.
As you explore Scottish Highlands and consider hiking or other outdoor activities in this region, it would be wise to look into this lengthy track. The West Highland Way has provided hikers, bikers, and horseback riders with a beautiful trail through the Scottish Highlands because it opened in 1980. This route includes passages via a national park, above a mountain crest, and past agriculture and moors.
One of the best options to experience the West Highland Way is to spend the night at campsites. This maximizes the time you spend outdoors and allows you to interact with nature further, whether over a morning coffee before putting on your hiking boots or by sharing advice with other trekkers.
This article will cover everything you must know about trekking and camping on the West Highland Way, including wild camping options, what to pack, details of the campsites, and more. So, let’s get started!
About the West Highland Way
Numerous individuals regard the West Highland Way as one of Europe’s top long-distance walks. This 151-kilometre (94-mile) hike, which starts in Milngavie and travels north to Fort William, passes through incredible scenery.
The walk’s southernmost section features tranquil woodlands, lush, undulating hillsides, and rural scenes. The famous Loch Lomond’s whole width is traced in the centre of the path, giving hikers a chance to see its untamed, overgrown coastline.
The Scottish Highlands, one of Britain’s last surviving areas of pure forests, are traversed by the Way in the north along their best sections. The West Highland Way genuinely offers cultural heritage, elegance in the natural world, and adventure. The length of West Highland Way is 94 miles, and it’s situated at an elevation of 13000 feet.
Which locations to explore on the West Highland Way?
The West Highland Way meets your needs regarding gushing waters, mountain ranges, lochs, and similar attractions. The top attractions are:
The West Highland Way will take you through the eastern seaside of the captivating Loch Lomond. It’s one of the largest freshwater lakes in the UK; hence, you might intend to stay put for water activities or cruises.
Only seven miles from Milngavie, this Scottish whisky factory offers excursions and tastings (requiring a brief diversion from the walk).
Having a picnic is a great way to spend time off the West Highland Way between Inverarnan and Tyndrum, close to the Falls of Falloch. The bottom-level lake is perfect for an adventurous swim (or dive, if you want). If not, just relax your toes and see the 30-foot waterfalls.
The Devil’s Staircase
The ridgeline is 10 kilometres long and rises 550 meters above the ground. It is the most elevated spot on the trail and a fantastic reward for admirers of a breathtaking vista.
Consumption along the West Highland Way
Camping along the West Highland Way has numerous benefits, including not having to bring along (and consume) eight days’ supply of unappealing frozen hiker meals.
Almost every one of the Way’s stops has grocery stores and/or eateries. Even though there is enough food, you still need to get ready ahead because a wide range of items are offered.
Travellers with limited resources and campers can self-cater using supplies from the several stores you’ll pass. Your expenditures for meals and beverages will remain quite affordable as a result. If you plan on making most of the food you consume along the West Highland Way, it’s essential to pack your camp stove and cooking supplies.
In addition, many accommodations, guesthouses, and taverns offer meals (for those with maximum budget). If you plan to stay indoors, ask your lodging provider about their amenities.
Relish a glass of ale, a full Scottish breakfast, a decent cup of tea, or any other countless regional delicacies you’ll come across along your hike, no matter how you decide to handle your eating and drinking strategy.
Wild camping along the West Highland Way
Wild camping is allowed across the West Highland Way, except in a few spots in the Trossachs National Park and Loch Lomond, where there are camping bylaws to safeguard the land between March and September. These consist of camping management areas requiring motorhomes and tent permits.
Beyond these restricted areas, the Scottish Outdoor Entry Code permits tourists to Scotland to set up camp in the outdoors anywhere they like (for a maximum of three nights in a single location), provided they do so responsibly and with consideration for fellow travellers and the natural world. To prevent harm or injury to oneself, it is advised that you avoid camping near livestock, crops, archaeological sites, highways, and facilities.
What to pack for camping and trekking for the West Highland Way?
Choosing wisely what to bring (and what to get rid of) is essential to ensuring that your West Highland Way adventure is pleasant and effective. Your work will be tougher if your bag is heavier.
But with a bit of careful preparation, you can minimize the total weight of your backpack while still having everything you require for luxury both on the path and while unwinding in the lodgings, campgrounds, and communities you pass through.
Campers should generally maintain their luggage’s weight, combining food and drink, under 13 kilograms. Loading up as lightly as possible if you’re unfamiliar with backpacking or suffer from ongoing difficulties is crucial.
For footwear, conventional hiking shoes, boots, or trail runners work miraculously for the trail conditions on the West Highland Way. However, you must be confident they will also be effective for you.
Therefore, you must bring comfortable boots or shoes that won’t hurt your delicate feet. To lessen the likelihood of encountering problems on the trail, you should always put at least 30 miles on them before walking in various terrain and climates.
Another thing that you must remember to pack for camping and trekking in the West Highland Way are trekking poles. You will be very grateful to have these on steep areas, mainly if you carry bigger things while camping.
You’re already far from having a fantastic camping trip along the West Highland Way. Nevertheless, you still need to put a lot of work into preparing. For all the information you’ll require regarding your trip, be careful of going through this article on the West Highland Way entirely. Happy camping!