Scotland: Walking the West Highland Way
Posted on: May 7, 2014, by julie shipman
Walking the West Highland Way? ~ for Americans, the West Highland Way is definitely a HIKE. But for the Scots, it’s a mountain walk. In fact, the word hike is not part of their vocabulary!
I am sitting on the southern shore of Loch Ness (no monster in sight) having just finished the last few sections of the West Highland Way in Scotland; an incredible experience. The 96 mile trail was officially completed in 1980 but it connects ancient and medieval routes of communication, 18th century military roads and old railway tracks. It is truly a walk through time with breathtaking scenery. It begins with lowland moors, enters dense forests, rolling hills of heather, high mountain passes and fairy-land mossy glens.
I began my walk at Kings House, as the mountains were looming large with steep rocky terrain.After 9 miles of strenuous walking, the town of Kinlochleven is a welcome sight! My accommodations were first class, hosted by Elsie and Drew in their perfect guest inn. Freshly-baked scones and tea were ready when I arrived.After a lovely full Scottish breakfast, I hit the trail again – with 16 miles ahead to Fort William.This ewe greeted me with trepidation; newly birthed lambs dotted the hillside.Ancient and medieval ruins are a common sight. History runs deep in the Highlands.The trail continues…The lake where King MacBeth was said to have lived…The land became a bit greener as I began my descent into Fort William. The mountains are majestic. The highest peak in Scotland, Ben Nevis (with a ski resort) is in the distance.Then I entered “fairy land.” And, the final leg of my journey… I can see Fort William ahead. My day ended at 19 miles, due to a detour to see an ancient fort. I look forward to a dram of whisky and some local fare… followed by a good night’s rest in a Scottish Inn.
Chasing Atlas can take you to Scotland for a luxury active vacation. Sea kayak in Oban, bike the Loch Ness shoreline, walk the West Highland Way, golf Inverness , and enjoy a private whiskey tasting in the finest whiskey distilleries (I love Glenmorangie in Tain). These are just a few things Chasing Atlas can offer in the Highlands. Options are endless…
I’m off to the Isle of Skye tomorrow to visit two spectacular castles… join me!