West Highland Way – Who's Done it??

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  • West Highland Way – Who's Done it??
  • Premier Icon NewRetroTom

    Did it as a 1 day trip from Fort William to the centre of Glasgow on a wet day a few years ago. Missed out Conic Hill as it was already late at night by the time we got to it.

    Expect the section along the side of Loch Lomond to be unrideable in fairly large chunks with ladders etc.

    Apart from that it’s a great outing!


    In five weeks time,weather and fitness permitting.
    North to South.

    Hopefully closer to 12 hours than 24 😯

    The snow roads Audax is the test ,if I cruise that,then it’s game on 😉

    Premier Icon Sanny

    Low path from Rowardennan to the Bothy on the way to Invesnaid will be complete next month according to the Forestry person I spoke to. Several km of shoreline trail that was previously a bit of a trauma…..post Invesnaid still guff though!

    Chipps did a good article in the current issue.


    Good news,the less time spent carrying/falling over ,the better.




    Use the baggage transfer service and book accommodation well in advance. Its great Enjoy!

    Premier Icon himupstairs

    as sanny said, there’s a decent story all about it in the current issue

    Looking at doing Fort William to Glasgow over 2 days.

    Any Photos/Advice?

    Calculate how long you think you’ll take to do the Loch Lomond stretch, then triple it. For your overnight stay use time rather than distance to work out where to be. Tyndrum probably isn’t a bad shout. But apart from conic hill a rather dull last day-that’s why I prefer south to north. Main thing though-Enjoy!

    Did it over two days last summer on the hottest days of the year.

    Day 1 we started at 8am, took it at a lesuirely pace, had a swim in Loch Lomond, had a long lunch. Then we got to the brutal shoreline section of Loch Lomond. It was at this stage we realised that we had been going way too slow.

    2 and a half hours of lugging the bike over rocks, up ladders, down gulleys. I’ve never been so exhausted in my life. You cannot ride any of this section. We got to the end of that section about sevenish then we had another two hours to Tyndrum. That night my body was aching and my mind was racing having nightmares about water bars.

    Day 2, we paced it properly. Not many stops, good cycling pace. It was much more enjoyable because you didn’t have to get off the bike. The Devil’s Staircase was very tough to push up due to the baking sun, but at the top the views were amazing and the downhill was a real test with techy rock gardens. The tarmaced road down next to the water pipes into Kinlochleven was great fun due to the speed you can get.

    The last section from Kinlochleven to Fort William was good as well.

    My tips:
    1.Take enough water + energy gel + bars
    2.Take appropriate clothing – it’s going to be pretty miserable in parts if it’s pouring down. You will be overheating if it’s sunny.
    3.Nurse your back tyre. Make sure you have several inner tubes each that fit your valve type.
    4.I’ve heard in the wet you need to change your brake pads. We didn’t have that issue.
    5.Pace yourself properly. Don’t stop for too long. Aim for an average 5mph due to climbs etc.
    6.We were lucky and didn’t have too many problems with midgies but take some spray with you like Smidge.
    7.If it’s sunny – remember to slap the sun cream on your legs – my calves were burnt to a crisp.
    8.Use a baggage transfer service. Carrying it yourself would just add to the torture.


    Did it 2012 in one day although it did take 16hours. Don’t be tempted to miss any parts of it out. It’s all good fun

    Premier Icon GHill

    Did it (cheated) a couple of years ago. Started in Inverness Saturday morning, rode the Great Glen Way and started the Westie, getting to Kinlochleven before the chippie shut. Sunday was then KLL to my house (at the time) in Glasgow.

    We got the ferry to miss out the carry. Looking at the total miles/day I don’t feel bad about that.


    Did it (with cheating) a few years back and (without cheating) last year in a day.

    Do whatever you can to avoid flats/mechanicals. Over 2 days this is less of an issue, but first attempt was thwarted by a mangled hub (had support that time so got a spare wheel) and punctures/despair at the walking by Loch Lomond. If you are prepared for it it’s not that bad, we found ourselves walking with bikes on our shoulders and overtaking a lot of walkers, over and done with in about 1.5 hours. The previous time one of the party ended up despairing and taking about double that over it, then giving up at Tyndrum after bonking.

    So yeah, eat plenty too.

    Second attempt had one other person with me and both of us had 50psi in our tyres. It felt a bit skittish especially on loose gravel, but we didn’t even have a puncture between us, well worth it.

    And don’t stop at the Kings House Hotel for about an hour having a pint of coke and chatting to people whose lovely days out in the hills are now finished, eat/drink/back on the bike if you want to keep timing reasonable.

    Premier Icon GavinB

    For those that have done it, is it actually worth doing for the riding or for the experience? I walked it years ago, and enjoyed it once I was clear of Loch Lomondside, but struggled to maintain interest before that. After Crianlarich it becomes much better.


    It’s good for both the riding and the experience. Northbound you know you’ve got the fun stuff coming up after the carry – from Beinglass onwards it’s pretty good. Southbound you know that once the carry is done you’ve got relatively easy riding to Milngavie.

    I’ve done it Northbound in a day, and Southbound over two – stop for the night was in the bothy, which was great as it was empty.

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