The West Highland (Half)Way: Tyndrum to Glencoe (Day 2)

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

Tyndrum to Glencoe

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The walk from Tyndrum to Glencoe is 18 miles in all – a long one! – and the saving grace for us was some incredibly good weather. From Tyndrum to Bridge of Orchy it took us 2.5 hours, and from Bridge of Orchy to Glencoe Mountain Resort it took us 5.5 hours for a total of 8 hours.

We enjoyed a lovely breakfast cooked right in the lodge kitchen by Kate – scrambled eggs and salmon and real coffee in a French press! We both got a packed lunch with a cheese and pickle sandwich, fruit, crisps, snacks, and sweets.

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Walking out of Tyndrum on the West Highland Way towards Ben Dorainn on a miraculously dry day.
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View from the West Highland Way towards Ben Dorainn. This section of the path cross-cuts hill slopes and runs parallel with both motorway and railway.

What a day! Windy walking from Tyndrum to Bridge of Orchy, but no rain and incredible views. We stopped at Bridge of Orchy and had tea on a picnic table outside and used the washroom.

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A wee tea break in the sun at the Bridge of Orchy Hotel
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Looking back at the Bridge of Orchy & eponymous hotel.

Onward and upward through a woodland which opens up as you approach the top of the hill. It is pretty exposed although on this day we’re lucky with some blue sky above.

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Leaving Bridge of Orchy involves a bit of a hill climb.
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There is still some purple heather to be found on the moors this late in the season.

We emerge on the top of an extremely windy hill with a big cairn (probably everyone who comes up here adds a rock). What views!

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At the top of the hill between Bridge of Orchy and Inverornan there is a large cairn and on a clear day there are great views of Loch Tulla.

Has Scotland ever had weather this good?? Unlikely. We head down towards Inverornan Hotel.

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Inverornan Hotel is visible From the top of the hill.

Past Inverornan, we get onto the Roman road over Rannoch Moor. We have a quick stop for lunch sitting on the side of the road eating our sandwiches. The road over Rannoch Moor is long but the weather was so good we just enjoyed the views. We passed lots of mountain bikers on this section of the Way.

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Through Rannoch Moor, the West Highland Way is a hard-packed Roman road from which we enjoy sweeping viewsThrough Rannoch Moor, the West Highland Way is a hard-packed Roman road from which we enjoy sweeping views.

It’s so tundra-like and heather-y and wet in the low-lying parts of the moor.

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A panoramic view of Rannoch Moor near Ba Bridge.

We reached the summit and began what felt like a very long (albeit gentle) decent into Glencoe. Incredibly, we could see the whole valley and the mountain Buachille Etive Mor.

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Slow decent into Glencoe on gravel track (say goodbye to that nice straight, hard-packed Roman road, friends.)

We checked in to our tiny hobbit house pod at the Glencoe Mountain Resort.

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Hobbit house at Glencoe Mountain Resort. Cute, right?

Hard to beat the views from the hobbit house.

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View from one of the hobbit houses at Glencoe Mountain Resort at sunset.

We had another fried fish dinner at the lodge, and a beer, and then headed to bed.

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Very retro family-run ski hill vibes from the lodge at Glencoe Mountain Resort. [Image description: interior of a ski lodge with wood paneling, several sets of tables and chairs.]

Our worries that we would be cold at night were for nothing – in fact, neither of us slept particularly well because it was so steamy. I clawed my way out of my sleeping bag at some point in the night. The pods are well-insulated to say the least.

The next day we made the much longer 10 mile walk from Glencoe to Kinlochleven.


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