I am a mountain girl and nature lover, which is quite natural, coming from Austria. When traveling around Scotland last year by car, I thought that it must be a perfect place for hiking, too. As Scotland grew very close to my heart during this trip I decided to return for a decent hiking holiday. After a bit of research I decided upon the West Highland Way, Scotland's most popular and longest trek. It goes from Milngavie (pronounced Mulguy) to Fort William - 96 miles in total.
The whole trip was truly an awesome experience. Not only was I blown away by the landscape, but also by the Scots themselves. These are warmhearted and welcoming people, always friendly, with a very good sense of humor (which I really like). They offer the best whiskies (of course) you can think of and food you cannot get enough of.
The trek itself is quite easy if you are an experienced hiker. There no mountains to climb, just two hills within 8 days. Still, you need to bring good shoes as some paths close to the shore of Loch Lomond can be a bit slippery. You should be fit enough to walk for 6-7 hours per day. You don't need to worry about carrying a heavy backpack, as your luggage is transferred. Make sure to bring some snacks and water along with you. Sometimes you will also encounter a little pub on your way.
After 8 days of hiking, I finally arrived at Fort William, the outdoor capital of the Highlands. I was so happy that I had made it but at the same time heavyhearted because I had to leave the Highlands. I should have added another one or two days to conquer the UK's highest mountain, Ben Nevis. It would have been so easy because the tours start right near Fort William. I'll leave that for the next time!
I took the bus back from Fort William to Glasgow, which is a 3-hour ride through beautiful scenery, with time for re-living your trip and indulging yourself in sweet memories of the last week.
I booked an additional night in Glasgow to inhale the city spirit and experience the famed Glaswegian hospitality. This is no myth at all – according their slogan, “People Make Glasgow,” they made me feel safe and welcome. It was yet another unique experience of Scottish hospitality.
I can warmly recommend The West Highland Way to every solo traveler with the physical ability to walk it. It is easy, it is safe, and above all – it is so much fun!