My husband and I are planning a trip to England and Scotland in October of 2019. We are considering hiking either the Rob Roy Way or the West Highland Way (using a luggage transport service) for part of the time. If any of you have completed both, do you have a preference?
I only hiked part of the West Highland Way. It was ok, but not near as interesting as walking along Hadrian's Wall or some of the other locations you might choose.
I can only speak to the West Highland Way. We hiked it in Aug/Sept. this year and thoroughly enjoyed it. We booked with Contours which made all reservations along the way and arranged for luggage transport as well as taxis the few times that was needed. We walked 8 days, and had a rest day in the middle when we took a day trip by train. My thoughts, whichever route you decide, are to have good rain gear -- rain pants, jacket, boots and hat -- and be open to whatever the weather is. Ensure you have lunch, snacks and water as you may be in remote places with no where to purchase anything along the way (at least that is the case on the WHW). This was a great trip -- awesome scenery, interesting hikers from around the world and all age groups, friendliness of the Scots! I highly recommend a long distance hike in Scotland!
Thanks Carol. My husband loves history, and that sounds like a great suggestion. Now I have something else to look into, but planning the trip is half the fun.
Great tips, PAdams. We have most of the gear, but I do need to get rain pants.
We too can only speak to walking the West Highland Way, also having used the Contours Waking Holiday booking services. We were happy with both the WHW and Contours. The WHW is in my opinion the classic Scottish long distance walk.
We did the WHW in 8 walking days in May. As others note, expect the full range of weather from blue sky short sleeve days to wind driven rain. The 8 walking days version broke the Tyndrum to Kingshouse 10 miles into two days of walking to a 10 mile day and 9 mile day. We got to Kingshouse before our luggage and finished our day dry. The walkers who arrived at Kingshouse from Tyndrum were caught in the afternoon thunderstorm and arrived looking like something the cat dragged in.
The good news is that Kingshouse Hotel should be reoping in the Spring of 2019. These past couple of years walking tour operators had to arrange for shuttle transfer to get walkers to operating overnight accommodations.
Although we can not comment on the Rob Roy I would guess that you couldn't go wrong.
PS Contours information packet includes detailed advice as to services (if any) on each leg of the walk. Contour tour pack included:
• Copies of Guide - West Highland Way: HMSO (guide includes Harvey Map of
• Travel information
• Packing checklist
• Facilities along the trail
• Your holiday itinerary
• Luggage labels to attach to your luggage
Here's a web link to Contours' suggested walking holiday kit:
Waterproof map case is important. If (when) it rains, the map case allows you to consult the map without getting it soaked. Same win dry bag inside your pack if keeping anything dry is important.
Waterproof (breathable with vents) jacket with hood, waterproof rainpants and gaiters and of course boots with waterproof breathable lining (e.g. Goretex) will be appreciated.
We used our trakking poles for both steep ascents and steep descents.
Test your boots and socks out at home while training for the walk, then don't change anything if they work for you.
I've hiked both and would highly recommend either one but my preference is the West Highland Way! Both are of similar distance and have a diverse range of landscapes and terrain but for me there's just something a bit more special about the West Highland Way trek. There's quite a bit of walking on the Rob Roy Way on the road which takes away from the overall experience a little bit (although they're working on improving this).
With the West Highland Way there's a lot of accommodation options, eateries, breathtaking views and landscapes, I love it! I would say it's also challenging but not overly so. So, if you're decently fit you will enjoy the trek. Just make sure to get the right footwear.
Here's a guide that should answer most of your questions about the walk: https://discoveroutside.com/west-highland-way/
Have a great time :)