Walking the West Highland Way – Map the Route
Scotland’s most loved long-distance trail, this giant offers some of our very best scenery and gives an unmatched perspective into the diversity that the west southern Highlands has to offer. Starting at Milngavie (mull-guy) to the north of Glasgow, it’s a meandering 96 miles across varied terrain that concludes at Fort William, under the mighty Ben Nevis. The path is an easy one to follow and you’ll start by working your way up the eastern shore of Loch Lomond before largely walking parallel to the main road, the A82, passing the villages of Crianlarich and Tyndrum. You then continue north into the desolate Rannoch Moor, magnificent Glen Coe and onwards by the main road to Fort William.
The chances of you getting good weather throughout are extremely slim, so pack for all conditions. There are accommodation providers throughout the route (book well in advance), while many will opt for camping. You can get more information on that on the official route website. In any case though, be prepared for the scourge of the midge. These tiny terrors are prolific in the West Highlands, especially at night. Bug repellent and nets are advised.
Distance: 96 miles.
Time Taken: A week, give or take, if you take on the full route. You may also opt to incorporate the hike up Ben Nevis to conclude. Equally, the route can, and commonly is, split into sections to suit.
Difficulty: Hard, due entirely to its length. It can be tough going in extreme weather, particularly in the exposed areas like Rannoch Moor, but the route is rarely strenuous.
West Highland Way Map
You can track the full route for the West Highland Way in the interactive map below. It starts in the town of Milngavie, where you can stock up on final supplies, and can end in Fort William itself or roping in the hike of Ben Nevis.
Zoom in and out as needed and, to help guide you further, this map is built with geolocation incorporated into it. That means when you are physically there, you can use your mobile device to see where you are in relation to the route. Please note that your real time location marker may not be exact 100% of the time and is at the mercy of Google geolocation. You will also need to allow Location Services on your device for it to work – same as you would for a Google Map. Therefore, a good, old-fashioned map is still advisable for all rural walking routes. The below map is intended as a guide only and should not be used as your sole source of direction.
Using the Map
Take note of the icons running vertically on the left of the map. From top to bottom you can:
- Zoom in and out of the map.
- Make the map fullscreen on your device (the ‘broken square’ icon).
- See where you are by geolocation (the ‘pin’ icon). You can switch this on and off with one press. Note my above points about geolocation and that geolocation can never be 100% accurate.
- Return the map to its starting position (the ‘house’ icon).
The map format has been pre-set to Terrain so as to include helpful contour lines specifically. You can, though, change the map appearance via the icon in the top right eg. to Google roadmap if you are more comfortable with this.