The West Highland Way (Scottish Gaelic: Slighe na Gàidhealtachd an Iar) is a linear long distance footpath in Scotland. It is 154 km (96 miles) long, running from Milngavie north of Glasgow to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands, with an element of hill walking in the route. The trail, which opened in 1980, was Scotland's first officially designated Long Distance Route, and is now designated by Scottish Natural Heritage as one of Scotland's Great Trails. It is primarily intended as a long distance walking route, and whilst many sections are suitable for mountain biking and horseriding there are obstacles and surfaces that will require these users to dismount in places.
It is managed by the West Highland Way Management Group (WHWMG) consisting of the local authorities for East Dunbartonshire, Stirling, Argyll and Bute and Highland, alongside the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority and Scottish Natural Heritage. About 120,000 people use the path every year, of whom about 36,000 walk the entire route. The path is estimated to generate £5.5 million each year for the local economy.
|West Highland Way|
|Length||154 km (96 mi)|
|Location||Highlands of Scotland|
|Designation||Scotland's Great Trails|
|Use||Primarily intended for walkers|
|Elevation gain/loss||3,155 metres (10,351 ft) gain|
|Highest point||Devil's Staircase near Kingshouse , 550 m (1,800 ft)|
|Lowest point||sea level|
The trail, conceived by the late Tom Hunter from Glasgow, was approved for development in 1974 and was completed and opened on 6 October 1980 by Lord Mansfield so becoming the first officially designated long-distance footpath in Scotland. Significant in the development of the Way was geographer Fiona Rose who surveyed the route over a year in the early 1970s, covering some 1,000 miles on foot.
The path uses many ancient roads, including ancient drovers' roads, military roads dating to the Jacobite uprisings and old coaching routes. It is usually walked from south to north, making it a journey from the Lowlands to the Highlands. The route is commonly walked in seven to eight days, although many fitter and more experienced walkers do it in five or six. The route can be covered in considerably less time than this, but a less hurried progress is the choice of the majority of walkers, allowing for appreciation of the countryside along the Way. Due to the large number of walkers being constrained to a single track, some parts of the Way have become badly eroded. However, a considerable amount of work is undertaken to maintain the route.
A walk along the Way is often broken up into sections or stages, each of which will typically be walked in a day. One pattern of sections, travelling from south to north, is as follows:
The path officially starts in the centre of Milngavie, a town on the northern fringe of the conurbation of Glasgow. | granite obelisk is located a short distance from Milngavie railway station. Heading north, the path passes Mugdock Castle and Mugdock Country Park before emerging into open countryside, and the Campsie Fells can be seen. By the west side of Craigallian loch the path passes a small monument to commemorate The Craigallian Fire, an important historical symbol for outdoor activities in Scotland. As the Way approaches the Campsies by the piece of ground known as Tinkers Loan, there is an opportunity to explore adjacent hills such as Dumgoyne (grid reference ; 427 m or 1,401 ft) or the small but heavily wooded Dumgoyach ( ; 108 m or 354 ft). Finally the Way reaches the village of Drymen.
This section is about 19 km (12 miles) long:
After leaving Drymen the path enters Garadhban Forest before reaching the first major summit of the route, Conic Hill (361 m (1,184 ft)), a site of special scientific interest lying on the Highland Boundary Fault. The main route goes over the summit, but an alternative "bad weather" route via Milton of Buchanan allows walkers to avoid the ascent to the summit. The village of Balmaha on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond is the next settlement reached.
The path heads north along the wooded eastern shore of Loch Lomond, to reach the village of Rowardennan, the furthest point north to which there is road access available from the south on the east shore of the loch.
The path leaves Rowardennan and continues north, along the wooded eastern shore of Loch Lomond to Inverarnan. The route follows the lower slopes of Ben Lomond before returning to the waterside at Inversnaid, where there is road access from the east, via Aberfoyle. North of Inversnaid the route passes a cavern known as Rob Roy's cave, before reaching Inverarnan.
The way skirts the hills just west of Crianlarich alongside Bogle Glen. At the deer gate an additional path leads to Crianlarich. Meanwhile, the route continues up through the dense woodland to one of the high points of the Way before descending to cross the A82 and pass through Auchtertyre Farm and gently up to Tyndrum.
This is one of the more remote sections of the route, with little in the way of settlements. The route passes over the drovers' road between Bridge of Orchy and Inveroran with large panoramic views, and not much sign of civilisation. This section is about 30 km (19 miles) long:
Glen Coe (Scottish Gaelic: Gleann Comhann) is often considered one of the most spectacular and beautiful places in Scotland, and is a part of the designated National Scenic Area of Ben Nevis and Glen Coe. The route climbs the Devil's Staircase before a great descent to sea level at Kinlochleven.
The final stage skirts the Mamore Mountains on an old military road and descends into Glen Nevis before finishing in Fort William. Starting with a steep climb out of Kinlochleven, the route follows the contour of the valley, until the forest is reached outside Fort William. The last stage passes the foot of Ben Nevis, before finally reaching the pavements leading into the traditional finish line in Fort William, where a statue depicting a man with sore feet marks the end of the path. Many walkers crown their achievement of walking the Way by climbing Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the United Kingdom.
There are several ultramarathons held on the West Highland Way. The Highland Fling Race is an annual 85 km (53 mi) race from Milngavie to Tyndrum. The Devil o' the Highlands Footrace is 69 km (43 mi) from Tyndrum to Fort William, along the northern section of the way. The West Highland Way Race is an annual 153 km (95 mi) race along the full south–north distance of the West Highland Way. The West Highland Way Challenge Race is a younger, alternative race which also covers the full route.
Bobby Shields (Clydesdale Harriers) and Duncan Watson (Lochaber) initiated the idea of racing over Scotland's most popular long distance footpath.
On 22 June 1985 the two set out from Milngavie. Their route differed in many ways from the route of today: it was shorter, at 150 km (93 mi), and had 13 km (8 mi) more on tarmac, with around 150 m (500 ft) less of climbing. After around 100 km (60 mi), as they started over Rannoch Moor, they decided to cease competing against each other and ran together. They set a time of 17 hours 48 minutes 30 seconds.
In 1986 Shields and Watson opened up an invitation to some fellow runners to race in the opposite direction, Fort William – Milngavie. 1987 saw a return to the established direction of running, South – North. Of eleven starters seven arrived in Fort William. Jim Stewart took over the organisation of the event in 1991, as the footpath was now complete, the course was changed, increasing the distance to 153 km (95 mi) with only 15 km (9 mi) on road and more climbing was introduced. With this increased difficulty runners were likely to be out longer and now a bigger percentage are out for a second night.
Dario Melaragni, who had completed the race himself three times, took over as race director in 1999. He developed the format of the race by involving local mountain rescue teams who provided emergency response during the event. He also inaugurated and developed the race website, which has become a prime source of information for runners wishing to attempt the race. The race has gained status in recent years and entries open in the November preceding each race – for the 2013 a ballot process was used for the first time to allow 250 entries.
In July 2009, whilst out running with friends, Melaragni suffered a suspected heart attack and died near the summit of Lochnagar in the Cairngorms. His funeral was attended by many people wearing West Highland Way Race clothing.
122 runners finished in 2009 and 109 finished in 2010. 966 have now completed the challenge. Jim Drummond holds the highest number of male finishes with 15 and Fiona Rennie has the highest number of female finishes with 11. The race record holder is Rob Sinclair with a time of 13 h 41 m 8 s, set in June 2017. The female record holder is Lucy Colquhoun of Aviemore with a time of 17 h 16 m 20 s, set in 2007.
The West Highland Way Race is part of the Scottish Ultramarathon Series.
Listed south to north, with approximate distances from Milngavie, the West Highland Way passes the following towns, villages or hotels:
Balmaha (Gaelic: Baile MoThatha) is a village on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond in the council area of Stirling, Scotland.
The village is a popular tourist destination for picnickers and day trippers from Glasgow as well as walkers on the West Highland Way. The only road passing through the village is the B837. Boat trips leave from Balmaha for the town of Balloch and the village of Luss as well as nearby Inchcailloch Island.Balmaha sits at the westerly foot of Conic Hill, and is roughly 30 kilometres (20 miles) along the West Highland Way if coming from Milngavie.Ben Lomond
Ben Lomond (Scottish Gaelic: Beinn Laomainn, 'Beacon Mountain'), 974 metres (3,196 ft), is a mountain in the Scottish Highlands. Situated on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond, it is the most southerly of the Munros. Ben Lomond lies within the Ben Lomond National Memorial Park and the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, property of the National Trust for Scotland.
Its accessibility from Glasgow and elsewhere in central Scotland, together with the relative ease of ascent from Rowardennan, makes it one of the most popular of all the Munros. On a clear day, it is visible from the higher grounds of Glasgow and across Strathclyde. Ben Lomond summit can also be seen from Ben Nevis, the highest peak in Britain, over 40 miles (64 km) away. The West Highland Way runs along the western base of the mountain, by the loch.
Ben Lomond's popularity in Scotland has resulted in several namesakes in the former British colonies of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States – see this list. The mountain is mentioned directly in the popular folk song The Bonnie Banks o' Loch Lomond.Blanefield
Blanefield is a settlement contiguous with Strathblane's northwestern fringe. To the west is the volcanic plug Dumgoyne, Glengoyne Distillery and the Trossachs National Park. The West Highland Way—a long-distance trail—passes close to the village.
The Blane Water (Uisge Bhlàthain) has also been referred to as Beul-abhainn (Scottish Gaelic pronunciation: [ˈpial̪ˠa.ɪɲ]) meaning "mouth-river" after the numerous burns merging. One of its tributaries, the Ballagan Burn passes over the waterfall the Spout of Ballagan which shows 192 alternate strata of coloured shales and limestone (including pure alabaster). The Blane flows into the Endrick, which, in its turn, flows westward to Loch Lomond.Bridge of Orchy
Bridge of Orchy (Drochaid Urchaidh in Gaelic) is a village in Argyll and Bute, Scotland.
Dating back to 1751, it includes a notable tourist hotel. Located at the head of Glen Orchy, it is on the A82 road, has a railway station and is on the West Highland Way long distance path. Nearby prominent peaks include the munros Beinn Dorain and Beinn an Dòthaidh. The village itself is in the central highlands.
The eponymous bridge was constructed by Government forces as part of a programme of pacification of the Highland Clans which involved the construction of military roads from the Lowlands into the much wilder upland areas of Scotland. It crosses the River Orchy, one of the finest white-water rivers in the United Kingdom.Drymen
Drymen (; from Scottish Gaelic: Druiminn [ˈt̪ɾɯmɪɲ]) is a village in Stirling district in central Scotland. Drymen lies to the west of the Campsie Fells and enjoys views to Dumgoyne on the east and to Loch Lomond on the west. The Queen Elizabeth Forest reaches down to the village edge, and the whole area is part of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park (the first National Park in Scotland). The population at the 2011 census was 820.
It is often used as an overnight stop for hikers on the West Highland Way, and forms the western end of the Rob Roy Way. There are a couple of pubs and a walkers' shop. The Clachan pub claims to be the oldest pub in Scotland and to have a connection with the family of Rob Roy.
Despite the growth in the numbers of villagers commuting to Glasgow to work, there remains an agricultural tradition in the area. Every year, in early summer, an agricultural show is held in the fields around the Endrick Water.
The Scottish family name Drummond is derived from the Scottish Gaelic form of the village's name.
One mile from Drymen is the ruins of the country house Buchanan Castle, owned by the Duke of Montrose, which was also used as a hospital in World War II which housed Nazi senior officer Rudolf Hess. At one time the estate was also home to the seat of Clan Graham.Fort William, Highland
Fort William (Scottish Gaelic: An Gearasdan [ən ˈkʲɛɾəs̪t̪ən]; "The Garrison") is a town in Lochaber in the Scottish Highlands, located on the eastern shore of Loch Linnhe. As of the 2011 Census, Fort William had a population of 10,459, making it the second largest settlement in the Highland council area, and the second largest settlement in the whole of the Scottish Highlands — only the city of Inverness has a larger population.Fort William is a major tourist centre, with Glen Coe just to the south, Ben Nevis and Aonach Mòr to the east and Glenfinnan to the west, on the Road to the Isles. It is a centre for hillwalking and climbing due to its proximity to Ben Nevis and many other Munro mountains. It is also known for its nearby downhill mountain bike track. It is the start/end of both the West Highland Way (Milngavie—Fort William) and the Great Glen Way (a walk/cycle way Fort William–Inverness).
Around 726 people (7.33% of the population) can speak Gaelic.Great Trossachs Path
The Great Trossachs Path is a 48 km long distance footpath through the Trossachs, in the Stirling council area of Scotland. It runs between Callander in the east and Inversnaid on the banks of Loch Lomond in the west, passing along the northern shores of Loch Katrine and Loch Arklet. The path is suitable for walkers and cyclists; much of the route is also suitable for experience horse riders, although the middle section along the shoreline of Loch Katrine is tarmacked and so may not be ideal for horses.The path is listed as one of Scotland's Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage, and also links to two of the other Great Trails, the West Highland Way and the Rob Roy Way. It is also possible to link the path with two further Great Trails via the ferry across Loch Lomond from Inversnaid to Inveruglas, which is the terminus of both the Three Lochs Way and the Cowal Way. The path also links to National Cycle Route 7 at Callander.
Launched in April 2015, the path lies almost completely within the Great Trossachs Forest National Nature Reserve. The reserve is considered to be a "forest in the making", and is managed jointly by Forestry and Land Scotland, RSPB Scotland and Woodland Trust Scotland. The national nature reserve project aims to deliver a varied landscape that provides habitats for species that are otherwise rare in Britain, including black grouse, golden eagle, osprey, wildcat, pine marten, red squirrel, water vole and otter.Inversnaid
Inversnaid (Scottish Gaelic Inbhir Snàthaid) is a small rural community on the east bank of Loch Lomond in Scotland, near the north end of the loch. It has a pier and a hotel, and the West Highland Way passes through the area. A small passenger ferry runs from Inversnaid to Inveruglas on the opposite shore of the loch, and also to Tarbet. There is a seasonal ferry that also operates between Ardlui and Ardleish as well, which is a walkable distance from Inversnaid. To reach Inversnaid by road involves a 15-mile route from Aberfoyle. Nearby is an alleged hideout of Rob Roy MacGregor known as Rob Roy's Cave. The cave is difficult to access, and is best seen from Loch Lomond, where there is white paint indicating the location of the hideout.Killearn
Killearn (Scottish Gaelic: Cill Fhearann, from orig. Ceann Fhearann, "Head/End of (the) Land/Territory" – until the 15th century when Ceann was replaced by Cill; denoting the presence of a house of worship) – is a small village of approximately 1700 people in the Stirling council area of Scotland.
The village is located approximately 15 miles (24 km) north of Glasgow, 7 miles (11 km) east of Loch Lomond, and sits on the northwest flank of the Campsie Fells, most predominantly in the shadow of the volcanic plug of Dumgoyne, overlooking the confluence of the Endrick Water and Blane Water.
The Glengoyne whisky distillery, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and West Highland Way long-distance walking route are situated close to the village.
The residential special school of Ballikinrain is also located in Killearn Parish, and caters for boys with special needs from throughout Scotland. (The school has been earmarked for closure in July 2015).
The Church of Scotland congregation at Killearn Kirk falls under the Presbytery of Stirling, within the Synod of Forth. Within the Roman Catholic Church, Killearn falls under the Parish of Saint Anthony within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh; although the Catholic community in Killearn is served by St. Anthony's Church in the neighbouring town of Balfron.Kinlochleven
Kinlochleven () (Scottish Gaelic: Ceann Loch Lìobhann) is a village located in Lochaber, in the Scottish Highlands and lies at the eastern end of Loch Leven. To the north lie the Mamores ridge; to the south lie the mountains flanking Glen Coe.
The village was formed from two previously separate small communities - Kinlochmore to the north of the River Leven in Inverness-shire and Kinlochbeg to the south of the Leven in Argyll - following the construction of an aluminium smelter and associated housing for its employees. The processing plant was powered by a hydroelectric scheme situated in the mountains above, and made Kinlochleven the first village in the world to have every house connected to electricity, coining the phrase "The Electric Village". In 1991, the village (according to annual census returns) had just over 1000 inhabitants in some 420 households. Today it is a notable tourist destination and centre for mountain pursuits.Loch Lomond and Cowal Way
The Loch Lomond and Cowal Way is a waymarked footpath through the Cowal peninsula, in Argyll and Bute, between Portavadie on Cowal and Inveruglas on Loch Lomond side. It was formerly known as the Cowal Way, but was renamed in December 2018 to reflect the fact that half of the route lies with the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. The way is 92 kilometres (57 mi) long, and is suitable for both walkers and mountain bikers. Much of the route is also suitable for experienced horseriders, although in some places steps, narrow footbridges and gates may restrict access for horses. A review to identify these obstacles and suggest alternative routes and/or remedial measures was undertaken in 2016.The route was first established in 2000, and is managed by the Colintraive and Glendaruel Development Trust. It was renamed in 2018 to in order to increase usage of the trail, as the Trust considered that Loch Lomond had higher brand recognition in the target markets.Since 2016 the trail has been listed as one of Scotland's Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage. The route is fully waymarked with the Loch Lomond and Cowal Way logo, which depicts a stylised image of a path in a landscape of hills and lochs. The trail links directly to another of the Great Trails, the Three Lochs Way, which shares the section between Arrochar and Inveruglas. There are also indirect links to three further Great Trails at both end points of the Loch Lomond and Cowal Way: at Portavadie there is a Caledonian MacBrayne ferry service to Tarbert, which is one of termini of the Kintyre Way, whilst at Inveruglas there is a passenger ferry across Loch Lomond to Inversnaid, which is one of the termini of the Great Trossachs Path, and lies on the West Highland Way.As of 2018 around 45,000 people use the way each year, of whom over 3,000 walk, cycle or run the complete route. The top five markets for users are Scotland, England, the
Netherlands, Germany, and North America.Milngavie
Milngavie ( (listen) mil-GHY; Scots: Mulguye, Scottish Gaelic: Muileann-Gaidh) is a town in East Dunbartonshire, Scotland. It is on the Allander Water, at the northwestern edge of Greater Glasgow, and about 6 miles (10 km) from Glasgow city centre. It neighbours Bearsden. Milngavie is a commuter town, with much of its working population travelling to Glasgow to work or study. The town is served by Milngavie railway station on the North Clyde Line of the SPT rail network, which links it to Central Glasgow. The town was formerly served by routes 13 and 14 of the once extensive Glasgow tramway system. Tramway services in Milngavie were withdrawn in 1956; the entire system was dismantled by September 1962.
The town is a very popular retirement location, with an unusually high proportion of elderly. In the 2001 census the town had a population of 12,795 in 5,256 households.
The Milngavie and Bearsden Herald, owned by Johnston Press, is a weekly newspaper that covers local events from the schools, town halls, community and government in the area. The paper was established in 1901 and is printed every Wednesday, to be sold on Thursdays.
Currently the town is perhaps best known as the start of the West Highland Way long distance footpath which runs northwards for 95 miles (153 km) to the town of Fort William. A granite obelisk in the town centre marks the official starting point of the footpath.Milngavie railway station
Milngavie railway station serves the town of Milngavie, East Dunbartonshire, near Glasgow in Scotland. The station is 8 1⁄2 miles (13.7 km) north west of Glasgow Central on the Argyle Line and 9 miles (14.5 km) north west of Glasgow Queen Street on the North Clyde Line.
Its principal purpose today is as a commuter station for people working in Glasgow city centre. The station itself is a category B listed building. Milngavie station is generally well kept and has had a history of winning many awards and commendations for the quality of the flower baskets and tubs in station garden competitions.
The station is the usual access point for the 154 km (96 mi) long West Highland Way, a long-distance trail which officially starts in Milngavie town centre marked by a granite obelisk. The first few hundred yards of the way follow the line of short spur of the railway originally built to serve the Ellangowan Paper Mills.Mugdock Country Park
Mugdock Country Park is a country park and historical site located partly in East Dunbartonshire and partly in Stirling, in the former county of Stirlingshire, Scotland. It is around 10 miles (16 km) to the north of Glasgow, next to Milngavie (from which the park is easily accessible), and covers an area of 260 hectares (642 acres).
The park includes the remains of the 14th-century Mugdock Castle, stronghold of the Grahams of Montrose, and the ruins of the 19th century Craigend Castle, a Gothic Revival mansion and former zoo. The park has a moot hill and gallowhill, historical reminders of the baronial feudal right, held by lairds, of 'pit and gallows'. Also located in the park are the remains of numerous anti-aircraft trenches, which were established during WWII as part of the Clyde Basin anti-aircraft defense system.
The park is also the home of the Mugstock Music Festival, at which performers have included Emma Pollock, Dodgy and Beats Antique.
Natural features include the Allander Water, Mugdock Loch, and Drumclog Muir, all of which provide popular walking and cycling routes with tourists. Visitor facilities include a visitor centre and cafe in the former Craigend Castle stable block, and a garden centre and restaurant in the walled garden.
The park is served by the Mugdock and East Dunbartonshire Countryside Ranger Service.
The West Highland Way, a linear long distance footpath between Milngavie and Fort William, passes through the outer areas of the park alongside the local Clyde Coastal Path.
Close again to the country park is Milngavie water treatment works, another popular walking and tourist attraction. It is situated just south of Mugdock and connects to the park via Drumclog Moor.Rob Roy Way
The Rob Roy Way is a Scottish long distance footpath that runs from Drymen in Stirling to Pitlochry in Perth and Kinross. The path was created in 2002, and takes its name from Rob Roy MacGregor, a Scottish folk hero and outlaw of the early 18th century. It traverses countryside that he knew and travelled frequently. The route crosses the Highland Boundary Fault, a geological fault where the Highlands meet the Lowlands. Views from the trail overlook Loch Lubnaig, Loch Earn, Loch Venachar and Loch Tay. The way is 127 kilometres (79 mi) in length if the direct route along the southern shore of Loch Tay and the River Tay is followed between Ardtalnaig and Aberfeldy. A optional loop also link these places via Amulree: choosing this option increases the length by a further 27 kilometres (17 mi) to 154 kilometres (96 mi).The Rob Roy Way was designated as one of Scotland's Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage in spring 2012, and also links to two further Great Trails, meeting the Great Trossachs Path near Callander, and the West Highland Way just north of Drymen. The Rob Roy Way also shares sections of route with Route 7 of the National Cycle Network, which also links Drymen and Pitlochry. Shared sections include the minor road on the south side of Loch Tay and the section following the route of the former Callander and Oban Railway, including Glen Ogle viaduct.Besides Drymen and Pitlochry, the way passes through Aberfoyle, Callander, Strathyre, Killin, Amulree and Aberfeldy.About 3,000 people use the path every year, of whom about 450 complete the entire route.Rowardennan
Rowardennan (Gaelic: Rubha Aird Eònain) is a small rural community on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond in Scotland. It is mainly known as the starting point for the main path up Ben Lomond.Rowardennan is at the northern end of the public road, but the West Highland Way passes through the area and continues north along the side of the loch. Rowardennan has a hotel, hostel and camping for hikers on the West Highland Way. A small passenger ferry crosses the loch to Tarbet on the opposite shore. Rowardennan has a hotel, hostel and chalet accommodation.
It appears as "Dennan's Row" in Walter Scott's poem The Lady of the Lake.Stob Bàn (Mamores)
Stob Bàn is a Scottish mountain situated at the western end of the Mamores ridge, five and a half kilometres north-west of Kinlochleven. With a height of 999 metres (3,278 feet) it qualifies as a Munro. Stob Bàn is a distinctive sight when viewed from lower Glen Nevis with its sharp peak and capping of white quartzite rocks which are often mistaken for snow; its Gaelic name translates as White Peak or Light Coloured Peak.Stob Bàn exhibits striking examples of Dalradian rock geology and has been identified by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) as an important site in its Geological Conservation Review. Dalradian rocks were characteristically formed in the high ground to the east and south of the Great Glen of Scotland. Dalriada was the name for this ancient Celtic region. The mountain should not confused with another Stob Bàn, also a Munro which is located in the Grey Corries above Spean Bridge.
Stob Bàn has three main ridges: the east ridge connects to the former Munro of Sgor an Iubhair via the top of the Coire a' Mhusgain (Corrie of the Shellfish), the western ridge links to the adjoining Munro of Mullach nan Coirean while the northern ridge drops steeply to Glen Nevis over a series of terraced rocky outcrops. There is a less significant fourth ridge which gives a steep descent south west to the West Highland Way en route from Kinlochleven to Fort William and is quick way off the mountain for walkers who have approached from the south. Stob Bàn can be climbed as part of the Highland High Way, a high level alternative of the West Highland Way, walkers often do the final day between Kinlochleven and Fort William over some of the Mamores peaks if the weather is fine.
Stob Bàn’s most striking physical characteristic are its crags on the north eastern face; these fall precipitously to Coire a' Mhusgain over 400 metres below and contribute greatly to the mountain’s classic pyramidal shape. The buttresses on the northern ridge of the mountain attract winter ice climbers. South Buttress has several good winter gully climbs, Central Buttress features three gully lines, a rocky rib and an arete all giving good winter climbs on broken rock.Stob Bàn is usually climbed from Glen Nevis to the north; direct ascents start at Achriabhach and take the stalkers path which ascends Coire a' Mhusgain to reach the col between Stob Bàn and Sgor an Iubhair before climbing steeply up the eastern ridge to the summit. From the same starting point it is also possible to ascend the rough and undulating north ridge; on this route there is a significant false top at a height of 900 metres which is often mistaken for the summit. Stob Bàn is also quite often climbed in conjunction with the neighbouring Munro of Mullach nan Coirean which lies three kilometres to the west. The view from the summit takes in fine views of Ben Nevis and the Aonachs.Strathblane
Strathblane (Scottish Gaelic: Strath Bhlàthain, pronounced [s̪t̪ɾahˈvl̪ˠaː.ɪɲ]) is a village and parish in the registration county of Stirlingshire, situated in the southwestern part of the Stirling council area, in central Scotland. It lies at the foothills of the Campsie Fells and the Kilpatrick Hills on the Blane Water, 12 miles (19 km) north of Glasgow, 14 miles (23 km) east-southeast of Dumbarton, and 20 miles (32 km) southwest of Stirling. Strathblane is a dormitory village for Greater Glasgow, and has a total resident population of 1,811.Historically, Strathblane was the name of a parish in Stirlingshire which comprised three villages: Edenkill, Netherton and Mugdock. Mugdock was the ancient seat of the Earls of Lennox, and to the east of Strathblane lies the town of Lennoxtown. Blanefield is a settlement contiguous with Strathblane's northwestern fringe. To the west is the volcanic plug Dumgoyne, Glengoyne Distillery and the Trossachs National Park. The West Highland Way—a long-distance trail—passes close to the village.
The Gaelic name Srath Bhlàthain translates to English as "the valley of the Blane", with reference to the Blane Water, a watercourse. The Blane Water (Uisge Bhlàthain) has also been referred to as Beul-abhainn (Scottish Gaelic pronunciation: [ˈpial̪ˠa.ɪɲ]) meaning "mouth-river" after the numerous burns merging. One of its tributaries, the Ballagan Burn passes over the waterfall the Spout of Ballagan which shows 192 alternate strata of coloured shales and limestone (including pure alabaster). The Blane flows into the Endrick, which, in its turn, flows westward to Loch Lomond.Three Lochs Way
The Three Lochs Way is a 55 kilometres (34 mi) long-distance path in Argyll and Bute in Scotland that links Balloch and Inveruglas.
The path crosses the Highland Boundary Fault, which divides the Scottish Highlands from the Lowlands, and is named for the three major lochs linked by the route: Loch Lomond, the Gare Loch and Loch Long. About 1,500 people use the path every year, of whom about 300 complete the entire route.The route was first conceived of in 1991 by Alan Day, secretary of the Helensburgh & District Access Trust. The trust began promoting the route in 2010, and have since undertaken work across the route to improve the signage and path conditions, leading to the route now being designated as one of Scotland's Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage. The Three Lochs Way links directly to the Cowal Way (also designated as one of the Great Trails), which shares the section along Glen Loin between Arrochar and Inveruglas. The Way crosses the route of a second Great Trail, the John Muir Way, either side of Helensburgh. The West Highland Way, Scotland's first officially designated long distance trail can also be linked to the Three Lochs Way via a ferry over Loch Lomond from the start/finish point of Inveruglas, joining the West Highland Way at Inversnaid. By combining sections of the three paths and the ferry, a circular walk around southern Loch Lomond is possible.In April 2018 an ultramarathon was due to be held along the route of the Three Lochs Way, but was cancelled with less than 24 hours notice due to the company organising the event going into administration. Around 60 of the 700 people entered in the event chose to complete the course despite the lack of any organised support.
(England and Wales)
|Scotland's Great Trails|