If you’re a fan of scenic walks, then the West Highland Way in Scotland is a must-visit destination for you. This long-distance trail offers a spectacular journey through some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the country.
The West Highland Way stretches for 154 kilometers from Milngavie, just outside Glasgow, to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. We joined the trail at Balmaha, on the eastern side of Loch Lomond, and part of the Loch Lomond-Trossachs National Park.
This freshwater loch is the largest in Scotland and provided a stunning backdrop to our walk. Balmaha is a small village making the most of its location, with coves and small beaches dotting the West Highland Way. Millarochy Bay is just 2.1km along the shore, so an easy stretch. In March, the pathway was uneven in parts in the early stretch out of Balmaha, so a decent level of mobility is required.
It’s ideal for mindful walking, making you stop to watch low clouds skim across the mountains on the far side. The scenery changes in minutes, as the sun breaks through the clouds to cast a golden hue on the rolling hills. In Millarochy Bay, we happened across a guy recording himself playing the bagpipes. A bagpipe player on Loch Lomond is surely a cliché, but there he was!
Rowardennan is a small village situated further up along the eastern shores of Loch Lomond. It’s also the end of the public road, but another stop on the West Highland Way. As elsewhere in Scotland, the views of the loch are surrounding mountains are stunning.
In Rowardennan, you can take a hike up Ben Lomond, the most southerly of Scotland’s Munros (mountains over 3,000 feet). Apparently, the climb is steep but rewarding, with stunning views of Loch Lomond and the surrounding mountains from the summit. We didn’t do that!
We took a leisurely stroll along the loch shore, taking in the views and enjoying the peaceful surroundings. There are several marked trails in the area, ranging from short, easy walks to more challenging hikes.
If this is a taster to the West Highland Way, we’ll be back! Loch Lomond lives up to its billing, with the area a glimpse into some of Scotland’s most beautiful landscapes. This trail has something for everyone, with lapping waves along the shoreline, and scenery to make you pause.