Photo by Me!
I have been visiting the Scottish highlands since I turned 21 and have lived there twice since. I have always loved the tranquility, and the sparse, sometimes barren, sometimes foreboding, but eternally beautiful landscape. The green of ranging forests give way to the browns of heather and green/grey of hard rock and mountain grass. Dramatic mountain ranges plunge to deep, icy and utterly crystal clear lochs. It’s a mesmerising place, full of wonder and year round beauty.
OK, you’ve waxed lyrical about why you like the highlands. What are you going to do there?
Well, there is a walk called the West Highland Way (WHW) that Starts at Glasgow and trails through the highlands up to Fort William, which is where the tallest mountain in Scotland is, Beinn Nevis. Now, for someone that doesn’t walk that much at the moment, 100 miles through tough terrain is way, way too ambitious. But, a section of it, is a different kettle of fish.
I lived just round the corner from my favourite section of the WHW. It also happens to be where parts of Skyfall were filmed. Ever since I first clapped eyes on it and heard about the walk I wanted to walk the part near where I lived. Sadly I’ve never found the time or commitment to do it, that is, until now!
I plan to walk a 22 mile section from Tyndrum to Altnafeadh, which passes Glencoe, Rannoch Moor and Buachaille Etive Mor. Breaking the walk down over 2-3 days the walking sections would be 9 miles, 10 miles and 3 miles. You might wonder, at the small stint at the end, well, the first two sections are official sections of the WHW. The last is a small part of another section that finishes nicely at a parking spot before a heavy descent. So why the last 3… it’s because this take me past one of the most dramatic mountains of Glencoe, Buachaille Etive Mor (in the photo I took at the top of this page). For me this will round out an ambition I’ve had for the better part of 10 years.
I can walk 1-2 miles on flat even ground at the moment in about an hour, so this will need some training. On that basis I plan to do the walk summer 2022. Wish me luck!