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 on: July 30, 2016, 09:54:41 am 
Started by Jack - Last post by Jack
I've just got back home from completing the GGW yet again, and had one heck of a good time doing it. Got caught under canvas in that heavy rain storm though.

I started at Fort William then walked to Gairlochy where I camped by the side of the lock, lovely views of Ben Nevis in the distance. Then on day 2,  it was on to South Laggan where I stopped at the always welcoming Great Glen Hostel. Day 3, I walked from South Laggan to Fort Augustus, where I camped at Stravaigers Lodge campsite. I also noticed that  great improvements have been made to the footpath, as far as Aberchalder swing bridge, making it very easy going, and also accessible to disabled people.

Day 4, start of the hills, had a short day (8.5 miles only) and walked on to Invermoristion where I stayed at the Glenmoriston Arms Hotel, the SYHA Loch Ness no longer being available four miles further on. Day 5, had a 14 mile hike to Drumnadrochit took my time going up the hills, but got there in the end.

Day 6, the long one. Started out early (5:30) now it is my contention that the hill you are faced with after turning off the road at Temple House after leaving Drumnadrochit, is one of the steepest and hardest of the entire walk, and not all together the safest of paths in parts, However, once the top is reached you do get a true sense of achievement. Then it's on to the Abriachan forest, where I stopped at the ever welcoming eco-café to rest my tired old legs. Suitably rested and recharged I set off again and reached Inverness Castle having taking nine hours and fifty-five minutes to complete the walk from Drumnadrochit to Inverness. Not fast I can hear you all saying, but not too bad either for a 65 year old man carrying a heavy rucksack and full camping gear.

The main thing is, I met some really nice people on my journey and had the most enjoyable  time as always, doing the GGW. I hope you do too. See you all on the trail!  Grin

 on: July 25, 2016, 07:25:23 am 
Started by drlogs - Last post by Jacquetta
Sorry to have missed this interesting question. Having walked some but not all of it, I'd say that it doesn't really matter, which is just as well because you have probably made your plans by now. The reason most people go anti-clockwise is so they complete the shorter, easier days first. With a circuit walk, the prevailing wind isn't a consideration, but for many (most?) walkers Sneem to Kenmare (at 30 km/19 miles) is at the upper limit of what they can manage in a day, and Kenmare to Killarney contains a fair amount of repetition of the outward journey. I suspect that many people with limited time actually curtail the walk at Sneem and take a bus home!

 on: July 25, 2016, 07:17:18 am 
Started by Jack - Last post by Jacquetta
Thanks for the headsup, Jack, which was news to us until we revised our guidebook for 2016. However, it's worth pointing out that Briar Bank B&B in Allltsigh is still open. Although that is obviously more expensive than the hostel, it is usefully located and gets good reviews, though I've never stayed there. Although the High Route is brilliant for walkers, its terrain is unsuitable for normal bikes and it's great to have accommodation so close to Loch Ness.

 on: July 06, 2016, 01:27:19 am 
Started by Mason - Last post by Mason
1) Tarbert Claonaig

Massive ditch to jump in boggy area. Not lethal, but a 100% chance of getting soaked. In Skipness there is a little shop for drinks and sweeties. Between Tarbert and Claonaig there are MANY places to wild-camp along the shore. Some people take the ferry to Lochranza = "Black Island" / Tintin to stay in a hostel or sleep better than in a tent. cost about 4.50 one way.

2) Claonaig - Clachan

Simple distance and a good place to pitch a tent along the way. I strongly urge any walker _not_ to try to finish at Clachan unless in a hotel or B&B. 2 Miles after Clachan you can wild-camp on a beautiful beach along the road. It is called "Seal Point" if you are into wild camping http://en.parkopedia.co.uk/parking/carpark/a83_seal_point/clachan/

3) Clachan / Seal Point to Tayinloan

Short walk with ankle-killing stones on the beach. Tayinloan has a little shop in the village and a place just by the ferry where you can eat and drink "Big Jessies". Before you come to Tayinloan, you will find the finest place in Scotland (in my modest opinion) to wild-camp, just before "Point Sands holiday park". We were dry on everything so we did not stop, but that is really something!! Also talked to the ranger who said its fine to camp a bit outside that caravan park along the way.

4) Tayinloan - Carradale

Carradale offers a good camping and a few B&Bs and a great pub.

5) Carradale - Campbeltown

A seriously hard descent. Other than that, a good easy walk.Campbeltown does not have a camping but many B&Bs, good food and budget opportunities.

6) Campbeltown - Southend

Easy walk. In Southend there are many good places for wild-camping if you keep your eyes left of the golf course. We stayed in a little cove just by a white house. The Argyll pub offered food, drinks and an everlasting friendship,15 min walking from where we pitched the tent. Southend has many opportunities for walkers. Start looking along the golf course.

7) Southend - Machrahanish

Did not walk this. Shin splints. When finishing in Machrahanish, there is a pub around the corner where among others the ranger works. Lovely camping further up the road with hobbit houses.

We had great weather and all the best circumstances and I am an 'experienced' walker after 2xWHW GGW, Hadrian's Wall, Knoydart and a few others. Kintyre Way is not old military roads like up in the Highlands. Kintyre way is highly "arranged" to pass businesses and I thought little of it compared to the alternatives. Sometimes it also makes ridiculous detours just to prolong the way. Because of shin splint i will get back one day and finish it, but i will never hold it as a "good fun alternative" to the many other walks available in Scotland.

 on: June 01, 2016, 02:33:25 pm 
Started by Jack - Last post by Jack
Hi to all!
Just a quick message, to let all the forum members know, that the SYHA youth hostel, Loch Ness at Altsigh is closed.  Huh So if you are walking the Great Glen Way this year, this option for a pleasant night's rest, is no longer available. Best make alternate arrangements quickly before everywhere around Invermoriston gets booked-up. Let's hope the new owners open the hostel up again soon! See you on the trail.  Grin


 on: May 05, 2016, 10:38:01 am 
Started by Buggiba - Last post by Buggiba
I am giving serious consideration to taking on the C-2-C in 2017, possibly over 2 weeks in May/June. I propose to walk West to East and use as many bunkhouses as practicable, to keep the costs down. I also intend to prepare a Good Beer Guide to the route for other walkers' information. I should be retired by then so should have a lot more time!! Anyone who might be interested in joining me please get in touch.

 on: April 25, 2016, 08:12:12 pm 
Started by walkerjohn - Last post by Buggiba
Four of us walked the WHW from 14th to 22nd April 2016. There follows a list of the overnight accommodation I booked and stayed in. Be aware that good early booking is recommended for the duration of this excellent walk.
14/04. Best-Foot-Forward B&B in Milngavie, evening prior to starting the WHW. £35pppn. Excellent.
15/04. Kip-in-the-Kirk bunkroom in Drymen. £30pppn includes tea and scones on arrival and continental breakfast before departure.
16/04. Rowardennan Youth Hostel. Quality accommodation. £27pppn.
17/04. Camping cabin at Beinglas Farm. £15pppn. Cosy with most facilities. Good value.
18/04. Stance Cottage B&B, Bridge of Orchy. £42-50pppn. Little choice since bunkhouse at hotel closed. Expensive but different!!
19/04. Kingshouse Hotel. The ONLY place to stay. £40pppn but what views (in good weather.) Excellent breakfast included.
20/04  Blackwater Lodge, Kinlochleven. £18pppn. Good facilities and handy for local amenities.
21/04. Bank Street Lodge, Fort William. Good facilities in the centre of Fort William. £31-50pppn. An ideal place to relax and enjoy    the satisfaction of completing your 96-mile hike  Smiley.  

Anyone requiring further information please feel free to contact me.              

 on: April 24, 2016, 11:33:48 am 
Started by Buggiba - Last post by Buggiba
As promised here is the updated Good Beer Guide to the West Highland Way as of April 2016.

14/04/16 - Talbot Arms, Milngavie. Provenance 'Bruges'. 4.3%
                                                  Jaw Brew 'Drop'. 4.2%

15/04/16 - Beech Tree (on the WHW) all keg beer.
                Drymen Inn, Drymen.   Belhaven 'Golden Bay'. 3.8%
                Clachan Inn, Drymen.   Greene King 'Old Speckled Hen' 4.5%
                Ptarmigan Bar, Winnock Hotel, Drymen. 2 handpulls, sadly neither in use  Sad.

16/04/16 - Oak Tree Inn, Balmaha. Belhaven IPA, 2 x Loch Lomond brewery beers.
                Rowardennan Hotel. Still all keg beer.
                Rowardennan Youth Hostel. Traditional ales in bottles including selection from Fyne Ales.

17/04/16 - Inversnaid Hotel. More Fyne Ales in bottles.
                Drovers Arms, Inverarnan. Deuchars IPA. 3.8%. £3-90 a pint. (An increase of only 10 pence in 5 years!!)

18/04/16 - Bridge of Orchy Hotel. Harviestoun Bitter and Twisted. 3.8%
                                                Harviestoun Haggis Hunter. 4.1%  Both £3.80 a pint.

19/04/16 - Kingshouse Hotel. Cairngorm Trade Winds. 4.2%. £3-70 a pint
                                           Timothy Taylor Landlord. 4.2%. £3-80 a pint.

20/04/16 - Kinlochleven. Bothan Bar, River Leven Brewery Tap, only open Thursday to Saturday.
                                    Macdonald Hotel, Bothy Bar. Cairngorm Trade Winds.
                                                                              Cairngorm Wildcat. Both £3-20 a pint
                                                                              River Leven beers in bottles.
                                    Highland Getaway Inn.          River Leven Blonde and Dark in bottles. £4-40 each.

21/04/16 - Fort William. The Great Glen (Wetherspoons). Oban Bay - Skinny Blonde
                                                                                  Strathaven - Great Glen
                                                                                  Orkney - Northern Light
                                                                                  Blackwolf - William Wallace.
Sadly time did not permit me to visit the Grog and Gruel or the Cobbs Bar at Nevisport to examine their beer portfolios. I have every confidence that they will both have an interesting selection for the weary and thirsty traveller.
So there you have it. A long and tiring walk made bearable by the many and various opportunities to sample beers from breweries large and small, for the length of this fantastic trail. Enjoy.

 on: April 24, 2016, 10:58:21 am 
Started by Buggiba - Last post by Buggiba
Well what a week that was  Smiley. 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  Sad. 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  Smiley. 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  Wink. 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  Grin. 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!!

 on: February 07, 2016, 06:52:28 pm 
Started by drlogs - Last post by drlogs
We are planning to walk the Kerry Way in September 2016.  Can anyone comment on whether it really matters if you walk the route counter clockwise or clockwise?  Thank you.  Lisa and Dennis

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