West Highland Way - The Lowlands and Lochs
Milngavie to Crianlarich in 3 Days Walking Code: WHL4
Dramatic scenery along the banks of Loch Lomond culminating in a 20 mile day between Rowardennan and Crianlarich.
For walkers with limited time, this holiday covers the first half of the West Highland Way, through the beautiful lowlands and lochs.
|Day 1||Travel to Milngavie for your first nights accommodation|
|Day 2||Milngavie to Drymen||12||19|
|Day 3||Drymen to Rowardennan||14||23|
|Day 4||Rowardennan to Crianlarich||20||32|
|Day 5||Depart from Crianlarich after breakfast|
Milngavie to Drymen
The route starts in Milngavie, a suburb of Glasgow. It travels across rolling hills and lowland plains. This is an easy pleasant walk along the valleys of Blane and Endrick with good views of the hills.
Drymen to Rowardennan
The route continues with a mixture of good woodland paths, moderate gradients on Conic Hill and hillside tracks as the path skirts the Campsie Fells. There are great views of Loch Lomond and its islands, before the path descends to the shoreline, which is followed to Rowardennan, at the foot of Ben Lomond.
Rowardennan to Crianlarich
Today is mainly rugged walking over loch side rocks and tree roots with some scrambling. As well as the views of the loch, islands, and woodlands, there are glimpses of the Cobbler, a spectacular mountain across the loch, and later waterfalls and rapids along Glen Falloch.
Moderate to Challenging
This is the easier part of the WHW, and doesn't include the more serious mountain terrain further along the route. It still includes a tough, long day from Rowardennan along the side of Loch Lomond – so you need a degree of experience, fitness and stamina.
Terrain: Varied – lowland meadows, foothills, wooded loch paths.
What’s it like underfoot? The first part of the route is generally well maintained but there are sections where the going is rougher and others where it can get muddy. The side is Loch Lomond is infamous for its difficult tree roots.
How Much Up & Down? Up to 500m a day.
Navigation: Pretty straightforward – good paths and signposting – but keep you map and guidebook handy.
Weather: Some people complete the whole route in fine weather, but most will encounter at least some rain. Good clothing and waterproofs absolutely essential, even if you end up not needing them too often.
|Accommodation||Overnight Bed and Breakfast accommodation in selected hotels, farmhouses, village inns, guest houses and family B&Bs.Full English or Continental breakfast.|
|Guidebook||A detailed guidebook with route information, maps, photos and background information.|
|Information of Services Along the Route||A comprehensive Service Info sheet, including services such as cash points, banks, post offices, village shops, inns, cafes and taxis.|
|Maps||A waterproof 1:40000 map from Harvey Maps covering the whole route.|
|Personal Itinerary||A personal itinerary setting out each overnight stop, including large scale maps of each accommodation, to ensure you find it easily.|
|Emergency Telephone Support||If you get in to difficulties during your holiday, we are always available to help, even out of office hours.|
|12.5% discount at Cotswold Outdoors||We will issue you with a 12.5% Discount Card valid at all Cotswold Outdoor stores, and online, for the whole year on confirmation of your booking.|
|Luggage Transport||We will transfer your luggage between each overnight stop – if you leave your luggage at the accommodation when you set off in the morning, it will be moved on to your next B&B. You only need to carry a small day sack with the clothes and provisions you require during the day’s walk.|
| Packed Lunches
||Provided for each day’s walking and recommended on this holiday as there will not always be a handy shop or cafe on the route.|
|Off Road Parking||If you are travelling by car we can usually arrange off road parking for the duration of your trip. (There may be a small charge for this).|
|Arrangement of return transport||We can also arrange your transfer back to your car, (or advise you when public transport is a better option)!|
What’s not Included
|Evening Meals||Your evening meal isn’t included in the package, but we include full details and recommendations for each evening meal in your itinerary. You will normally be within walking distance of a pub and/or restaurant, or where there is good food available at the accommodation, we’ll book that for you. Allow about £20.00 per night.|
|Transport to the Start & Away from the Finish||Have a look at the “Travel Info” tab above for suggestions. If you’re still struggling, get in touch and we’ll help you sort it out.|
|Travel Insurance||Even if you are based in the UK travel insurance is worth having.|
Good accommodation and friendly hosts are an essential part of any holiday. We understand this and go out of our way to find the best. We put a great deal of effort into hand picking our accommodation and matching it to individual customer requirements. As well as visiting the accommodation ourselves, we ask all our customers to complete a short evaluation on each night’s accommodation, which then gives us an insight into the day-to-day operation and lets us spot any potential issues before they become a problem.
We use a variety of accommodation, including small country house hotels, guest houses in market towns, bed and breakfasts in farm houses, country cottages and Victorian town houses. In selecting the accommodation we look for helpful, friendly hosts with good quality, characterful accommodation close to the trail. For example, over the course of your trip you might stay in a village inn, a bed and breakfast in a converted barn, a Victorian guest house, on a working farm, and in a Georgian hotel.
We always try to arrange en suite accommodation, i.e. rooms with their own bathrooms for each night of your stay. However, in some of the more remote locations accommodation is limited and occasionally we may have to book rooms with shared bathrooms for one or two nights of your holiday, (especially if the booking is made at short notice), but we will always let you know if this is likely to be the case.
We are happy to book single rooms on our holidays but cannot normally book more than 2 for any one group. Single room bookings include a supplement.
Here are some examples of the accommodation we use along the West Highland Way:
The Inveroran Hotel
The Inveroran Hotel is an old Inn on the old drovers trail that is now known at the West Highland Way. The small bar is full of character and a great place to meet, chat and exchange stories with other walkers. A characterful Scottish Inn, in spectacular surroundings.
Visit their website at: www.inveroran.com
Ashbank is a really cosy guest house run by a lovely and welcoming couple who do all they can to make your stay an enjoyable one. In the beautiful village of Drymen and not far from the pub, Ashbank is a popular choice for walkers. You will be sure to get an excellent breakfast and enjoy your stay in this delightful B&B.
Visit their website at: www.ashbank-drymen.co.uk
Possibly one of Scotland’s oldest Inns, The Kings House is in a very remote location in the Highlands. It has provided respite for travellers for centuries, offering shelter from the elements and rest from their journeys. You will appreciate the comfortable accommodation, hearty meals and delicious breakfasts.
Visit their website at: www.kingshousehotel.co.uk
General travel information on the West Highland Way area will be in your holiday pack including train and bus timetables where available.
Detailed instructions on getting to your first night’s accommodation by car, or on foot from the nearest train or bus station, will also be included in the holiday pack on individual accommodation maps.
If you require secure car parking whilst walking this route, please contact us for information.
By Air: The nearest international airport is Glasgow (GLA). There is a regular shuttle bus into Glasgow city centre (approx 25 mins). Glasgow to Milngavie is 7 miles, you can either: take a taxi from Glasgow city centre; travel by train directly to Milngavie, this takes 25 minutes; or travel by bus, which takes 40 minutes.
By Public Transport: Milngavie has a railway station. Most services will pass through Glasgow.
By Road: Milngavie is 7 miles north of Glasgow. For Glasgow, travel on the M6 north followed by the A74 (M). From Glasgow, follow the A81 direct to Milngavie.
Returning from Crianlarich:
By Public Transport: There is a railway station in Crianlarich, most services will pass through Glasgow.
By Road: Crianlarich is 56 miles north of Glasgow. If heading out of Scotland you need to head south to Glasgow, to connect with major roads and motorways for onward travel.
The name Crianlarich comes from the Gaelic for low pass. In the 1750s two military roads met here. Crianlarich makes a good location for a “rest day” in order to travel along the picturesque West Highland Train Line to visit Oban – a coastal resort with a difference - the town and its bay are virtually land-locked, giving it a sheltered setting. For memorable views walk up Oban Hill to McCaig's Tower or take a walk to Ganavan Sands and relax on the beach.