Author Topic: A couple of questions about the West Highland Way.  (Read 806 times)

Pennine Way Virgin

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Hi all, long time forum lurker and first time poster here!


Next week I will be setting out on my first LDW, the Pennine Way (Which has been part of my bucket list for almost 20 years now).  Anyway, long story short it seems a shame to walk all the way to the Scottish border, only to turn back and head home upon arrival without first spending a little time to explore the highlands and experience the wild camping freedom granted by Scotland's Land Reform Act.  As such we have planned to extend our trip (at the last minute) and spend a couple of weeks in Scotland, during which time we would like to also attempt the West Highland Way.  Is anyone able to answer a couple of questions I have on the route?


1) Loch Lomond and camping
We are planning to wild camp the entire trail, but I understand that camping is prohibited along the east shores of Loch Lomond, where a lengthy section of the trail runs.  How far do these restrictions reach? Are the hills and forests east of the loch safe to camp?


2) Food and Provisions
Being on a strict budget, we plan to carry and cook our own food as often as possible, with visits to cafes, pubs and restaurants reserved for occasional treats. How many days worth of food does one typically carry with them on the West Highland Way?  Or rather how frequent (or few and far between) are opportunities to resupply?  I have done a little research and I know that there is a Spar and a Tesco at Milngavie, an Aldi at Jamestown just south of Loch Lomond (Although this one looks a good 10km off the trail, I am hoping we can possible catch a bus into town and back).  The next supply opportunities do not seem to be until the Tesco at Fort William, is there any where else in between that I have maybe overlooked?


Thanks in advance


Daniel

bricam2096

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Re: A couple of questions about the West Highland Way.
« Reply #1 on: 18:59:31, 08/06/18 »
can't really help you regarding the wild camping but as far as food and shops are concerned, maybe this page will help. It's from my website and lists places that might help regarding food. The only thing that's changed is that the Kinghouse Hotel is closed for refurbishment.

http://www.brians-walks.co.uk/west-highland-way-food.html
LDWs done - 25 in total including 11 National Trails and 3 C2C

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Pennine Way Virgin

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Re: A couple of questions about the West Highland Way.
« Reply #2 on: 19:22:03, 08/06/18 »
can't really help you regarding the wild camping but as far as food and shops are concerned, maybe this page will help. It's from my website and lists places that might help regarding food. The only thing that's changed is that the Kinghouse Hotel is closed for refurbishment.


That's perfect, helps fill in some of my gaps.  Thanks a lot!

Mick wmexile

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Re: A couple of questions about the West Highland Way.
« Reply #3 on: 19:46:37, 08/06/18 »
I'm 4 days into WHW at the moment, signs mentioning the wild camp ban go all up to Invernarnan. As I left Beinglas Farm this morning I saw that the ban was lifted from that point. Sorry can't help you any further, a man of my age needs his creature comforts, bed at night time, wake up to a ready made breakfast😀
I never get lost, just don't always know where I am!

vghikers

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Re: A couple of questions about the West Highland Way.
« Reply #4 on: 19:56:49, 08/06/18 »
When we walked the WHW years ago (in January) we restocked supplies at two points: the small grocery store in Tyndrum (open 7 - 6 every day) and the Co-op in Kinlochleven (open 8 - 8 Mon-Sat, 9 - 7 Sun).
Those times may have changed since of course.

Pennine Way Virgin

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Re: A couple of questions about the West Highland Way.
« Reply #5 on: 01:07:01, 09/06/18 »
I'm 4 days into WHW at the moment, signs mentioning the wild camp ban go all up to Invernarnan. As I left Beinglas Farm this morning I saw that the ban was lifted from that point. Sorry can't help you any further, a man of my age needs his creature comforts, bed at night time, wake up to a ready made breakfast😀

Thanks Mick.  I think it is probably going to end up easier just booking in to a campsite or B&B for that stretch of the walk, besides by the time we finally get there (after doing the PW), I am sure I will also be desperately missing my creature comforts  ;D .

When we walked the WHW years ago (in January) we restocked supplies at two points: the small grocery store in Tyndrum (open 7 - 6 every day) and the Co-op in Kinlochleven (open 8 - 8 Mon-Sat, 9 - 7 Sun).
Those times may have changed since of course.

That sounds good.  It seems that the trail has better access to supply points than I had anticipated.  A good job too, as I was not looking forward to trying to squeeze a weeks worth of food into my already bursting at the seams backpack!

Thanks guys much appreciated.
« Last Edit: 01:23:05, 09/06/18 by Pennine Way Virgin »

gunwharfman

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Re: A couple of questions about the West Highland Way.
« Reply #6 on: 09:54:23, 09/06/18 »
When I walked the WHW it took 5 days, I didn't consider it difficult terrain, not a casual stroll either. All I remember was that it was a very enjoyable way to spend a few days. The railway journey back to Glasgow was very nice as well. I don't remember having difficulty in finding shops, camp sites or wild camping places either. Bricams suggestion seems to cover it all. As for wild camping, if I want, or need to do it, I just do it. I take note of the local rules and guidelines and would try to walk through a particular area if possible, but if I'm stuck or in the wrong place by dusk I would just camp. I suspect that when restrictions are placed in such areas the authorities are I think not particulary worried about people like me, I would camp at dusk and I'm gone soon after dawn, what possible threat am I? I imagine the people that they might want to home in on are those that I've often walked past at 09.00hrs, who haven't left their tent yet, who take a long time to get organised and who want to perhaps eat heartily as well. People who are the very opposite of me in fact.

Kukkudrill

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Re: A couple of questions about the West Highland Way.
« Reply #7 on: 18:02:09, 09/06/18 »
Regarding camping at Loch Lomond, see this site:


http://www.lochlomond-trossachs.org/things-to-do/camping/campingbyelaws/
Make the most of the available light

Owen

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Re: A couple of questions about the West Highland Way.
« Reply #8 on: 19:07:36, 09/06/18 »
. I suspect that when restrictions are placed in such areas the authorities are I think not particulary worried about people like me, I would camp at dusk and I'm gone soon after dawn, what possible threat am I?


There's been a problem around the eastern side of Loch Lomond with anti-social behavior for years. Gangs of mainly young people getting drunk and/or taking drugs having a rave-up doing criminal damage and leaving a huge mess behind. All of which is already illegal but the law hasn't been enforced due to lack of police officers in what is really a rural area. So the National parks have decided in their infinite wisdom to persuade the Scottish Government to impose the new By-laws, banning all camping along the east shore of Loch Lomond and many other Lochs in the park except on organized sites. They were supposed to provide suitable camping sites for people doing the WHW but, as far as I know, the only site so far provided is unusable as it's a swamp.
There is still a shortage of police and park rangers, understandably, won't confront large groups of people who may well be drunk, high and possible violent. But they still need to show that they are doing something so they will go after any individual trying to quietly flout the law by getting their head down for a few hours.       

sparnel

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Re: A couple of questions about the West Highland Way.
« Reply #9 on: 20:13:46, 09/06/18 »
Don't think you will need to carry food...........there are plenty of shops, cafes, pubs along the Way.
Re-camping on L Lomondside; just walk off the path for 50 metres or so and find a quiet hollow, grove, etc and pitch up.
The rangers are only interested in stopping the groups who camp at the lochside and leave all their litter behind when they leave. You'll be fine!
King's House Hotel will be closed until next year by the look of it.  The new building is being erected.......long way to go!
Have a great time............... O0

dartmoorrambler

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Re: A couple of questions about the West Highland Way.
« Reply #10 on: 22:35:12, 09/06/18 »
How things have changed! As a teenagerI used to roam from Loch Lomond to Ben Lui  to Beinn Chabhair when my uncle ran Glen Falloch and my aunts ran Inverannan. The path from The Ben Glas Burn down to Ardleish was an untrodden wilderness. I don't think I saw any sign of anyone else walking through there.


scottk

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Re: A couple of questions about the West Highland Way.
« Reply #11 on: 23:56:12, 09/06/18 »
If you are concerned just get a permit. The campsite at Sallochy has a good toilet block near it in the car park where you can fill water bottles. There is also a youth hostel nearby. When I did it, I just walked all the way through in a day to avoid any issues.
« Last Edit: 10:19:50, 10/06/18 by scottk »

Kukkudrill

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Re: A couple of questions about the West Highland Way.
« Reply #12 on: 09:50:13, 10/06/18 »
When I did the WHW last year I camped at Sallochy. You can get a lochside pitch which is almost like wild camping.





But you'll need protection against the midges. They'll be out in force by now.
Make the most of the available light

Slogger

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Re: A couple of questions about the West Highland Way.
« Reply #13 on: 14:46:13, 11/06/18 »
Beware also wild camping behind the Kinghouse hotel on ranoch Moor at weekends. Rowdy all night drunken parties take place there with vehicles taking up camping places and bonfires etc.

richardh1905

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Re: A couple of questions about the West Highland Way.
« Reply #14 on: 15:01:28, 11/06/18 »

You could just keep going once you get to Kirk Yetholm - all the way to Cape Wrath.


https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/scottish-national-trail.shtml


Now that would be some walk!