Saturday, 11 September 2010

Extension to the West Highland Way

Many years ago I walked the northern half of the West Highland Way as part of a walk from Crieff to Fort William. I joined the path at Bridge of Orchy and headed north through some spectacular scenery. It is Scotland's most popular path and it is obvious why - both ends are easily accessible, it can be walked in a week, and the walk is not too hard - it is certainly within most people's capabilities.

After descending down from the hills, it joins the valley floor near Ben Nevis and heads towards Fort William, ending at a fairly dingy roundabout on the outskirts of the town. It is hardly a fitting end point for the people who have struggled 95 miles over the hills. Many people walk it as their first National Trail, and their achievement deserves something more.

Now, thankfully, the Way has been extended by a mile into the centre of Fort William. Although I am guessing that this means a fairly uninteresting walk through the outskirts, it is still an improvement. For one thing, the vast majority of people will be making their way into the centre to get accommodation or transport back home.

It must surely be a welcome improvement to one of our best-loved trails.


sowerbysteve said...

A wonderful extension in that I finished inside a rather good pub with a pint in one hand and a relieved smile on my face.

This was my first longer walk, but it was so rewarding plans are in hand for more in 2011. The pint in the hand will be a major feature as will wild camping all the way as with the WHW.

David Cotton said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the WHW, and that you are using it a springboard to other great adventures (and more pints, of course).

Be warned, though: long distance walking can become addictive...