View Full Version : Trip to Scotland
Me and my girlfriend are planning a trip to Scotland this summer. And we are thinking about walking the "west highland way".
Anyone who has walked this trail?
What are the rules for what you can do and canīt do?
How is the water, drinkable or it enough to purify it with chlorine?
Any other good ideas of what to see or do when visiting Scotland (visiting a lot of pubs and trying the whiskey is already planned :-D )
NEVER spell scotch whisky with an 'e' in it - thats the best advice I can give!
The offical website is at http://www.west-highland-way.co.uk
If you go to google groups and look at the uk.rec.walking group you'll find lots of info about the WHW. If not done it myself so can't give you more than that, although I know that some people take it very easy with vans to carry their gear and B&B's to sleep in.
Summer time, expect lots of midges and don't be surprised at the weather, there's lots of i too....
Thanks for the advice Silas :-D
Justin Time, I have already checked their homepage but Iwanted more info about the trail.
All land is owned by someone. Technically, wild camping is illegal. In practice it is no problem up in the hills. Fires generally forbidden. Maps mark National Trust and Forestry Commission land - you can go where you want there.
Trespass is only a civil offence, not a criminal one. A landowner can ask you to leave his land. In practice, there is a strong tradition of free access to upland areas. Some restriction in deer season. Most of WHW is right of way or negotiated path anyway.
I often drink from upland (say over 2000 ft) burns (streams) without purifying, although chlorine would be safer. Giardia is not particularly common so you should be ok with chlorine.
WHW starts at Milnagavie (almost a suburb of Glasgow) Don't pronounce it Milnagavie. 'Mulguy' is about right (BTW: how do you pronounce 'Mora')
Midgies are a nightmare, but maybe no worse than Sweden?
The Green Welly Stop (stupid name) in Tyndrum does particularly good Cullen Skink (local delicacy - fish soup...seriously, its good)
In the bars, ask for 'Whisky' not 'Scotch'.
The best selling blended whisky in Scotland is (justifiably) Famous Grouse. (In the UK its Bells - the Englishmans choice...?) As far as malt goes, many aficionados rate Macallan the best. The bushcrafters choice has to be Laphroaig though - very peaty and smoky.
Thanks for the tips Doc. The Famous Grouse is very popular here too :-D
Yep, Lafrog, Bowmore or any of the Islay Malts are good. Very good.
I think Bowmore is a little bit too smoky(?)
Lafrog sounds interesting... I will have to stay an extra week just try out diffrent whisky :lol:
Have a look at http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/. They have lots of walking info. and a forum with lots of chat about routes etc.
Not much about whiskys though!
I haven't looked around it but seems like it's got address' of distillerys!
Thanks for the tips, have a lot of reading to do now :notworthy
Back to the WHW,
I did this around 3 years back, 5 days in January and 1 extra day to finish off with a summit trek on Ben Nevis.
In the 5 days walk I only came across 1 other walker, from Spain, we didnt decide who'd lost their marbles the most because by the time I caught him up at Kingshouse we were experiencing snow blizzards upto 3 ft.
You have to stay on registered campsites along the way, some are just farms but the WHW site lists them. I pitched camp througout and carried food, also getting hot meals most days in pubs on route.
Ask permission in Kingshouse pub they let me camp out back.
The first day was the most boring, but once you reach Balmaha and along Loch Lomond the scenery opens up and certainly by the time you get to Rannoch moor its wild.
My favourite is the sight of Buachaille Etive Mor before Glencoe.
152km all in, not including the day on the Ben.
Viking, You might also want to consider the Speyside Way http://www.moray.gov.uk/area/speyway/webpages/index.htm
The route takes you past many whisky distilleries including Glenfiddich. There is lots of guided visitor tours around the distilleries.
Doc, I beleve Cullen Skink (Cream of Smoked Haddock soup) would have been a local dish to Cullen, Moray Coast. which is about 10 Miles from Buckie where the Speyside way Starts. :wink:
Stu, you're absolutely right - I meant local with respect to Scotland. It is indeed 'local' to the North East, and not the Tyndrum/West Highland area.