Rucksack Readers

Rucksack Readers => West Highland Way, from near Glasgow to Fort William, Scotland => Topic started by: Buggiba on October 10, 2015, 06:33:24 pm

Title: Walking the Way in 2016
Post by: Buggiba on October 10, 2015, 06:33:24 pm
After much deliberation I have decided to revisit the WHW in April 2016, intending to complete it over 7 days. I will also attempt to update the Real Ale scene as we progress, as the previous one will be 5 years old by the time we depart. (Many thanks to all readers (over 50,000 of you) who have taken the time and trouble to read my report from 2011.) A lot has changed since my last visit, particularly in the accommodation stakes, so the preparation will be even more of a challenge.

Title: Re: Walking the Way in 2016
Post by: Buggiba on December 14, 2015, 05:20:03 pm
Dates and accommodation for our journey are now finalised. 4 of us travel from Birmingham on 14th April 2016 and have b+b booked at the Best-Foot-Forward Guest House in Milngavie. We start walking the following morning, and are booked in to the Kip-In-The-Kirk bunkhouse in Drymen for the Friday night. Saturday sees us walk to the youth hostel at Rowardennan and Sunday we tackle LochLomondside before over-nighting at Beinglas Farm. Monday sees us undertaking a 20-mile day, via Tyndrum, to Bridge of Orchy, where we have reservations at Stance Cottage. Tuesday 19th April and a more leisurely day crossing Rannoch Moor to the Kingshouse Hotel. Just 8 miles on Wednesday to the West Highland Lodge at Kinlochleven, followed by a final day to Fort William, where we will be staying at the Bank Street Lodge bunkhouse. Everything confirmed including usage of Travel-Lite, bag-carrying service. Bus back on Friday 22nd to Milngavie then a 300-mile drive home. Looking forward to it. Just preparatory training now then  ::).

Title: Re: Walking the Way in 2016
Post by: Buggiba on February 06, 2016, 07:21:11 pm
My previous entry stated that we would be travelling back from Fort William to Glasgow, on completion of the 'Way', by bus. The fare is over £23 each. Imagine my surprise to find that a Scotrail single ticket from Fort William to Milngavie, including 2 changes and avoiding Glasgow, is only £11-60 each on a Friday. No prizes for guessing which one we have opted for, especially as the railway line passes by so much of the route that we will have walked previously.

Title: Re: Walking the Way in 2016 - Completion Update.
Post by: Buggiba on April 24, 2016, 10:58:21 am
Well what a week that was  :). Four of us left from Birmingham on April 14th 2016 and drove to the Best-Foot-Forward B&B in Milngavie. The room was excellently appointed, the staff friendly and the breakfast was huge. At £35 pppn it is not cheap but the Travel-Lite Bag-Carrying Company collect from here so you have no need to haul your bag to the obelisk.
Set off on Day 1 (15/04) to walk to Drymen. Showers as we proceeded past the Glengoyne Distillery which turned to rain as we departed the Beech Tree Inn. Made good time into our destination and quickly located the Kip-in-the-Kirk accommodation, where we had reservations. Scones with jam on arrival and an amazing continental breakfast prior to departure. Friendly staff. Not cheap at £30 a night but worth the experience.
Day 2 (16/04) was a walk to the Youth Hostel at Rowardennan. We departed at 0910 in freezing temperatures. Stiff climb up Conic Hill and harder one down. Break for lunch at Balmaha before an incident-free stroll to Rowardennan. Arrived just prior to 6pm. £27 per night here but the views and location make this not unreasonable. There is also a food/tuck shop for snacks etc.
Day 3 (17/04). Not looking forward to this one. Reasonably easy going as far as Inversnaid in rain and showers. Cold. Enjoyed lunch at the Inversnaid Hotel before setting off to tackle the assault course that is the walk to the end of Loch Lomond. Really hard going. Called in to Doune Bothy to put waterproof trousers on. A wise move  :(. Walked in to Beinglas Farm about 5.55pm, cold, wet and tired. The pre-booked 4-bed bunkbarn was comfortable and quickly got warm. Good value at £15 each.
Day 4 (18/04). The long day - 19.5 miles. Departed at 0655 and headed off, in rain, past Derrydarroch Farm and on to the junction with the path to Crianlarich. Making good time. Rain is heavier as we approach Tyndrum and our lunch stop at the Best Food Café. Whilst inside there is an absolute downpour. Perfect timing  :). 2 o'clock sees us depart the Green Welly Stop and head off to Bridge of Orchy. Pleasant, dry walk and getting warmer. Arrive Stance Cottage B&B at 4.30pm. Lovely people here, although it is up for sale. £42-50 a night made this the most expensive accommodation. No lounge, so breakfast is served in your bedroom. Novel. No TV either.
Day 5 (19/04). Looking forward to this day, to Kingshouse Hotel. Weather is glorious sunshine. Over the hill and Inveroran comes up quickly. Onto Rannoch Moor. Amazing how many people are doing this walk so early in the year!! Pass the Fleming cairn and look down on our destination. Arrive Kingshouse at 2.30pm. Feeling good. Views to Buachaille Etive Mor are stunning. £40 for B&B seems good value.
Day 6 (20/04). Short day today, only 9 miles. Sun shining magnificently. Views to die for. Didn't leave till 10am after leisurely breakfast. Struggled up The Devil's Staircase and had lunch at the summit. Incredible vista from up here. Ben Nevis visible in all its' glory. Strolled into Kinlochleven about 3.15. Booked in to the West Highland Lodges but, on arrival at Blackwater Hostel, we were offered the opportunity to reside here overnight for the same price (£18 each) which included an en-suite bathroom. Accepted.
Day 7 (21/04). The hard last day here already  ;). Depart Blackwater Hostel at 8.05am. Long, steep, arduous climb up to the Mamore Ridge then a longer walk on rough-going, past the two ruined cottages and into the forest. Sun still beaming on us but the wind is bitingly cold. Eventually exit on to the pavement and make our way into Fort William. Arrived at the official finish statue at 1615 hours, just in time to fall into the Great Glen, the local Wetherspoons outlet  ;D. Overnight booked at the Bank Street Lodge. Good accommodation but £31-50 each.
22/04 - made our way to the railway station for the 0744hrs train. The journey from Fort William to Glasgow by train is one of awesome views and outlooks. 2 changes and we are back at the car and returning to Birmingham. As I said - What a Week!!