The West Highland (Half)Way: Crianlarich to Tyndrum (Day 1)

The West Highland Way is a beautiful and classic walk in the highlands of Scotland, and I would heartily recommend sections of it or the full 95 miles for a challenging and worthwhile trek. My friend and I walked the second (and arguably better) half of the West Highland Way in October 2018 over three and a half days.

This post is about our Day 1 walk from Crianlarich to Tyndrum. You can also check out the overview of our itinerary, accommodations, and food, and other notes on & photos of the walks from Tyndrum to Glencoe (Day 2), Glencoe to Kinlochleven (Day 3), and Kinlochleven to Fort William (Day 4).

Crianlarich to Tyndrum

This section of the walk was 7 miles long and took us 3 hours, including lots of stops to look at wild mushrooms and adjust our layers.

Friends, if you are into mushrooms, you will enjoy this section of the walk. [Image description: a little red-capped mushroom pokes through a carpet of green moss.]

Catching a 10:30 train from Glasgow, we arrived around 12:30 in Crianlarich where we dropped off some bags in the bike shed storage at Crianlarich Scottish Youth Hostel. (Leaving our bags here has to do with trip logistics unrelated to our walk, but it is worth mentioning that this is a thing you can do. The hostel were very happy to let us leave our bags for a few days in their locked bike shed for a donation.)

We bought sandwiches and crisps and drinks from the little convenience store near the hostel and ate them on a picnic bench outside before setting off on to the trail. 

We had a gentle kind of mist-turned-rain for most of the walk, but we were mostly in woodland and pretty covered. It was slow going at first as we determine the best layering combination for ourselves. Side note: I am very very pleased with my new hiking poles. We walked past St Fillan’s Priory ruin and graveyard and saw a farmer on a quad herding sheep with his sheep dog. 

Near St Fillan’s Priory and graveyard, we can see green hills and a nice gravel path ahead of us, plus lots of sheep!

This section of path from St Fillan’s Priory to Tyndrum is easy-going and a great warm up for us.  

The gravel path leads through scrubby, heathery terrain with a hilly backdrop near Tyndrum.

Our host Kate checked us into the lovely, cozy, and relatively modern Kilbride Lodge B&B! It was nice and warm so we could hang up our clothes to dry.

We changed clothes and headed for dinner a short walk away to the Real Food Café where I ordered fish and chips and my friend ordered venison sausage and we both had a bottle of beer (Innis & Gunn to be specific.) We did not expect my friend’s venison sausage to be battered and deep fried, but hey that’s the local custom. The mushy peas were very good and homemade.

The next day we made the much longer 18 mile trek from Tyndrum to Glencoe

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