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.
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.
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.
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!
Has Scotland ever had weather this good?? Unlikely. We head down towards Inverornan Hotel.
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.
It’s so tundra-like and heather-y and wet in the low-lying parts of the moor.
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.
We checked in to our tiny hobbit house pod at the Glencoe Mountain Resort.
Hard to beat the views from the hobbit house.
We had another fried fish dinner at the lodge, and a beer, and then headed to bed.
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.