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West Highland Way in a day

Brian BBrian B Posts: 2,071
edited April 2015 in Routes
Looking for advice in regards to logistics to cycling the WHW in a day. I will be setting out from Glasgow and was wondering how long it will take and where/when to stay when I get to Fort Bill. Looking to do it in the middle of summer so to get as much daylight as possible.

I have good fitness on the road and can easily cycle 200 miles a day but never really been on a MTB for about 13 years but will get some practice in between now and then.
Brian B.


  • UH DHUH DH Posts: 4,160
    It's do-able, but take lights just in case. Most of it is a long way from roads, so if it gets dark you'll be in trouble, especially if you're in the northern sections of it.

    Start early.

    One of the earlier section is before Loch lomond, Conic Hill. You can either go up it or divert around it. There is also a section above Loch Lomond with a ladder. You'll have to lug the bike up it by hand.

    The other major section to watch out for is the Devils Staircase. It's shortly after passing the Kingshouse at Glencoe. It zigzags up a steep mountain. Then descends the other side. Not a great bit of fun after a long ride up to that point.

    For Fort William, there's a campsite right at the foot of Ben Nevis. The place is stuffed full of hotels and B&Bs, so just choose one. There's also a youth hostel next to the campsite.

    Plan your trip carefully. July should be fine, but check for major events. The World Cup is early June, so you'll miss fighting for places to stay. Also book in advance. Summer is busy for walkers, so get a booking in early.
    Check out my site -
    It's good for you.
  • lpretro1lpretro1 Posts: 237
    Longest days are end may beginning June and that is when the midges are at their least worse usually :)
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,674
    I know someone who's done it in a day on foot...

    ...but seriously, if you do it in midsummer you have about 20 hours of effective light. And not too many midges, on the whole they get worse as the summer goes on but they're rarely much of a problem as long as you keep moving, even a fast walking pace will keep you ahead of the cloud.
  • Brian BBrian B Posts: 2,071
    Thanks for all replies.

    Was planning it roughly mid June to get the most light and mid week to get it a bit quieter. Any other tips would be welcome as in regards to stay as I might get to Fort Bill late if I start from Glasgow at 2am.
    Brian B.
  • alansd1980alansd1980 Posts: 201
    If you haven't been on a mob in 13 years then I would be wary of trying this unsupported as there is a lot that can go wrong on so,e pretty remote terrain.

    You will find yourself pushing a lot and carrying a bit. If you have never ridden it before there is scope for navigation issues. Before considering it I would head to the top of loch lomond and ride up as far as rannochmoor. This is the easiest riding other than the very start and it wil give you an idea of your technical capabilities.

    I did it over 2 days and because of light and weather skipped the North of Loch Lomond and conic. Have got some serious unfinished business with it. There is a lot of accounts from endurance experts who all say how tough this is.
    Banstead in Surrey to Russell square and back
    FCN 4
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