Rucksack Readers

Rucksack Readers => West Highland Way, from near Glasgow to Fort William, Scotland => Topic started by: steve-o on January 10, 2011, 08:31:04 pm

Title: How many days for the WHW?
Post by: steve-o on January 10, 2011, 08:31:04 pm

I'm currently planning my WHW, North to South and and wondering how many days I should consider it should take me.  I intend to walk the Way and am not a speed walker.  I've looked at the route planner on the official WHW website and am planning around the times as I've got plenty of time before the event in May to get ready and fit for it.

So my question is: "how long did it take you?"

I'm planning on it taking me no more than 7 days but I don't want to be idle on the route and simply dawdle from point to point but take in the scenery as I walk.  I have no intentions of taking a day off or stopping over at locations to go sight-seeing

Any help would be appreciated please

Title: Re: How many days for the WHW?
Post by: Stottie on January 10, 2011, 10:21:25 pm
I took six days.

First day too much - Milngavie to Balmaha (Drymen would have been better)

All other days fine, neither too long nor too short.  Overnights at Inversnaid, Crianlarich, Inveroran, Kinlochleven, Fort William (but I could have been at FW for lunchtime and got the train to Glasgow if I hadn't booked an overnight)

I walked late April-early May when the leaves aren't blocking the view across Loch Lomond and the cornices still enhance the high ridges - magic!  Enjoy!

Title: Re: How many days for the WHW?
Post by: Jacquetta on January 11, 2011, 09:05:04 am
Hiya Steve, and welcome

Our guidebook ( suggests itineraries for 5, 6, 7 or 8 days, with two versions of the 7-day, showing distances in miles and km.  You don't even have to buy our guidebook because page 6 is included in the extract from Planning under "Look inside": view it here (  There's an altitude profile on the same page, but read my caveat about Loch Lomond-side! ;)

I'd agree with Stottie: a first day of 18.5 miles/30 km with the Conic Hill climb near its end makes a very long first day (and you'll see this is not how we recommend splitting the six-day option, which I've done fairly comfortably when not very fit at all).  If you fancy any small detours, or just want less pressure for early starts, then I'd recommend seven days.  There's plenty of daylight hours in May and you won't feel rushed.  It's about enjoying the experience, not taking a day less than somebody else, so have a great time! :D

Title: Re: How many days for the WHW?
Post by: steve-o on January 12, 2011, 09:35:17 am
Stottie and Jacquetta

Thanks so much for the replies. My expeditions are normally vertical rather than horizontal so a long walk is going to be something of a challenge to me.  I'm planning my training at the mo and intending to walk from Stoke (home) to Stafford this weekend, a small jaunt of some 18 miles.

My plan is to walk north to south and my logic behind this is every footstep is a footstep closer to home.  Your guide book arrived last night from Amazon and I'm in the process of trying to read it (at work!!!)..  Very impressed with your maths on the inside cover  :D

Expect to see many more questions in the near future

Title: Re: How many days for the WHW?
Post by: Stottie on January 12, 2011, 02:32:30 pm
For what it's worth, steve-o, one of my great pleasures after the WHW was the train ride from Fort William south to Glasgow.

The first part takes you round Ben Nevis and across Rannoch Moor, an experience in itself with great views.  After Bridge of Orchy until more than halfway along Loch Lomond the railway is never far from the WHW.  I enjoyed spotting the route of the Way, picking out the small figures of hearty souls marching stout-hearted to journey's end.  Glad I did it that way round.

Title: Re: How many days for the WHW?
Post by: Buggiba on January 23, 2011, 10:04:20 am
Hi Steve-O, we walked it in April 2008 over 5 days. I was 55 at the time and my son-in-law 25. Five days is NOT long enough!! 20 miles a day and you don't get to see much scenery. We walked south to north. Who in their right mind would want to walk to Glasgow? Accommodation on the route was generally very good. The one exception was Beinglas Farm. We had tried booking one month prior to departure but could only arrange tent hire. On arrival on the day, having walked from Balmaha, having got wet and cold, we reached Beinglas Farm at 7.30pm, just getting dark. The man responsible for sorting out the tents is the chef!! ??? He won't do it until he has finished cooking! Hence we got our tent to erect at 9.30pm, pitch black and freezing cold. Had nothing to eat as we wanted to get the tent up and changed before feeding. Too late.  >:(

We are going again in May this year, south to north again, but extending it to 7 days. To avoid Beinglas Farm, and Inverarnan, where accommodation is limited and not cheap, we have opted to walk on to Crianlarich.  Don't miss the bunkhouse at Bridge of Orchy Hotel.

Title: Re: How many days for the WHW?
Post by: Buggiba on January 31, 2011, 03:28:27 pm
Hi Steve,

I notice that you are walking the WHW in May. Three of us are setting out from Milngavie on Friday 13/05/2011 and expect to arrive in Fort William on Thursday 19/05/2011. If our dates overlap, see if we can organise a meeting somewhere.

The last time we walked the WHW we did it for Cancer Research and raised nearly £400. This time we are doing it for the hell of it. The problem with sponsored events is not doing the event but collecting the money in afterwards. Let me know who you are raising money for and we will see what we can do this end :D

Title: Re: How many days for the WHW?
Post by: steve-o on February 02, 2011, 08:15:55 pm
Hi. We are expecting to start the event in FW on Friday 27 May, so we'll be walking a week later. Thanks for the idea of meeting up though. I imagine we will be meeting up with many other LDPers on the walk.  I imagine it can be a very sociable event with all people walking in the same direction ... and sometimes very busy

One of my reasons for walking back to front (North to South) is to try to cut down on the traffic. Yes I am a sociable animal but I also appreciate the tranquility of the hills and always try to get on them with as few "tourists" as possible

Totally agree with your comments about the sponsored events and always tell other eventers that the easy part is doing the event. Sponsor collection can take a VERY long time.  I'm hoping to raise £1,500.00 for Christies Cancer Research Trust. I've already started at work and have a work force of around 1,000 very good people and 35,000 students who I'm hoping to con into helping me raise the much-needed money for the charity. I've also got a few large corporate sponsors that I'm hoping to talk to. So if you do see me on the event, you'll know its me due to the advertising I'll be carrying (or at least have splattered over my rucksack).

I can understand that the walk has a magnetic effect. Snowdon and its many routes has the same effect on me, but then again it's only 2.5 hours away unlike FW or Glasgow which are much further.

I was considering using Crianlarich as a food stop on the route from Tyndrum. Thanks for the good advice.  Is this classed as cheating if I deviate ???

Title: Re: How many days for the WHW?
Post by: Buggiba on February 02, 2011, 11:21:02 pm
I appreciate your reasons for doing it backwards but you may well have lengthy periods when you are standing to one side to let the hordes go by :(.

Deviating to take in Crianlarich is no more cheating than calling in at Inverarnan or Drymen, both of which are 'off-route' but close enough to be useful and welcome.

Shame we will miss each other but you are doing it over a Bank Holiday weekend so don't be surprised if there are more walkers about than usual. The easiest way to avoid other walkers is to get out early. We intend starting at 6 am each morning. It should be daylight but could see us as much as 3 hours in front of those who stay at B&Bs. What do they say about early to bed and early to rise!!!!