Challenge level: 4 out of 5
|11 September - 19 September 2023||On Sale|
Join Dream Challenges and discover the incredible natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands, taste whisky fresh from a local distillery and enjoy an optional first-class ride on the world-famous Jacobite Steam Train, aka. the Hogwarts Express, on our unbeatable Scottish trekking adventure.
Setting off just outside Glasgow, we’ll trek on clear paths and trails alongside the magical Loch Lomond and fresh-water rivers to its north. We'll wind our way through forested hills, ancient woodland and the amazing Munro and Mamore mountains, with views of Ben Nevis, the Glenfinnan Viaduct and the Buchaille Mor Etive in the heart of Glen Coe.
Along the way, we’ll stop in traditional Highland settlements and camp amidst spectacular mountain scenery – the perfect escape after so long at home in lock-down!
Every step of the way, we can look out for local wildlife. In 2021, we were lucky enough to see a magnificent stag!
Crossing our finish line at the “outdoor capital” of Fort William, we end our adventure with an optional first-class ride on the Jacobite Steam Train, aka. the Hogwarts Express! Widely named one of the greatest rail journeys in the world, we’ll enjoy breath-taking scenes of lochs, mountains and valleys featured in the Harry Potter films.
You may also choose to stay an extra night in Fort William to give you more time to explore the town and its surroundings. We will send all participants details of how to book the optional train ride and extra night in Fort William closer to the event date.
Our adventure begins when we first meet as a group in Milngavie, just outside Glasgow. We’ll send you details of our comfortable accommodation once you register for the trek, and you’ll have all day to make your own way there.
Milngavie has fantastic transport links, including trains to Glasgow’s stunning city centre, so you may want to make the most of the opportunity to explore the city.
In the evening, we unite for our Welcome Dinner and a briefing from our Challenge Leader. Then, we retire for a good night’s rest before we commence our trek tomorrow.
Rise and shine to our first day trekking. We lace up our hiking boots after breakfast at the hotel and trek through the exquisite Celtic countryside. Make the most of today’s fairly flat terrain, as it’s tame compared to the hills we’ll face on the days ahead.
Winding our way through lush, green hills and valleys, past beautiful rivers and lochs, we eventually reach the world-class Glengoyne Highland Single Malt whisky distillery and tasting rooms. Here, we take a break from the hike with a fantastic tour of the distillery – and you can bet that we’ll taste its fine whiskies!
Trekking on, we refuel with a pub lunch and then we’re back on our feet to tackle the rest of the way to Drymen. At last, we approach the Trossachs National Park and Loch Lomond, where our accommodation and dinner awaits, just off the West Highland Way in Drymen.
We rise early to breakfast for a mighty day of trekking ahead. A gentle start leads us back onto the main West Highland Way and on to the foot of Conic Hill.
Here, the real hiking begins as we climb at a steady pace over the hill with expansive panoramas that reward us bountifully for the ache in our legs. Once we reach the top, we tuck into a packed lunch and enjoy the view across a patchwork of lush fields and the chain of islands connecting the lowlands and highlands of Scotland.
From here, we can also see the stunning Loch Lomond and we descend after lunch to enter the little village of Balmaha on its eastern shore. We continue north along the shores of the loch and look out for birds diving for fish.
Having conquered today’s toughest climb, we enjoy a tamer trek through a magical ancient oak woodland and finally reach Rowardennan. This small settlement enjoys the backdrop of the mighty Ben Lomond and yet more expansive views of the lake. We settle down at our accommodation for dinner.
We wake early today and leave our accommodation before breakfast, bringing a packed one with us instead, as we continue trekking north along the eastern shore of Loch Lomond
We follow clear footpaths through historic forests bursting with life, the bright variety of vegetation well-nourished from the neighbouring loch. It’s a long day of walking, but the scenery keeps us smiling and energised, with a picnic lunch along the way to revive us for the afternoon.
Reaching Inversnaid, we’re treated to a footbridge crossing that takes in a breath-taking 620ft-waterfall cascading down into Loch Lomond, a scene that puts into perspective the power of nature.
As we put more distance behind us, our path becomes rockier and we’re likely to encounter a few crags and boulders, which just make our adventure more exciting.
Our day’s walk ends when we enter the postcard-perfect Highland hamlet of Inverarnan at the top of Loch Lomond. Here, we find our accommodation and settle down for a delicious dinner at the famous Drover’s Inn, renowned for its hospitality.
Leaving our accommodation and views of Loch Lomond after breakfast, we spend the day following the River Falloch. The landscape opens to expansive views of soaring snow-capped mountains.
We undulate along tracks and old military roads over moderate hills, enjoying mainly smooth surfaces and vistas of the Munros, Highland mountains over 3,000ft/1,345m tall.
Nestled amidst this incredible natural scenery, we encounter the small, historic village of Crainlarich, an important transport link along the West Highland Trainline, the same line followed by the Jacobite Steam Train! We can’t be far behind the iconic steam train now, but you’ll get the awesome optional chance to ride it when we finish in Fort William, a few days from now.
From here, we push on alongside the River Fillan across the valley floor and pass the ancient ruins of St Fillan’s Priory. We now follow the River Cononish all the way to the village of Tyndrum. Here, we enjoy our well-deserved dinner and rest for the night.
Bidding Tyndrum goodbye, we prepare for two days of trekking with no sign of settlements. We follow the West Highland Way route along the line of the Jacobite Steam Train and admire the incredible engineering of the train track. Winding our way through the mountains, we skirt the magnificent Ben Odhar and see the pyramidal peaks of Beinn Dorain towering ahead of us over the Bridge of Orchy.
Before long, we reach the menacing boggy Rannoch Moor, the wildest and most remote part of the entire Highland Way. As such, we’re treated to yet more jaw-dropping panoramas over endless natural scenery – the perfect escape after so long stuck at home in lock-down!
We end our day at the awesome Buchaille Etive Mor (The Great Herdsman of Etive), recognisable from the James Bond Skyfall movie and perhaps the most photographed mountain in Scotland.
We’ve now reached the edge of the amazing Glen Coe, whose steep mountains, waterfalls and swooping valleys make it a top movie spot, featured in Rob Roy, Braveheart, Skyfall and Harry Potter. Tucked amidst this captivating natural scenery, we find our night's accommodation and enjoy a hearty dinner.
Starting our day with breakfast at our accommodation, we head further towards the main Glen Coe and then turn south to meet the Devil’s Staircase.
A moderate climb beckons and we zig-zag our way up to the highest point of the Highland Way, a whopping 550m! Needless to say, the panoramas at the top reward us well for our ascent. Here, we revel in the spectacular views of the Buchaille and the beautiful group of mountains known as the Mamores. From here, we should also be able to glimpse the handsome Loch Etive and Glen Etive.
Our trek now eases as we wind through remote hills and finally descend to the first settlement we’ve seen in two days: the picturesque village of Kinlochleven.
With only one day left now to trek, we settle down for dinner and a good night’s rest.
Rise and shine to our final day’s hike. We’ve saved the toughest trek until last, but with the spectacular finish point of Fort William ahead, we tackle it with joy.
Fuelling up with breakfast, we commence with a steep ascent out of Kinlochleven. The gruelling climb gives us bewitching views of the surrounding mountains, the best of which we get at the top. Looking back at the great distance we’ve covered, we gaze over Loch Leven and Kinlochleven tucked in the lush valley.
Ahead of us lies the great pass of Lairigmor, which takes us neatly through the mountains. Following a rough path, we skirt the foot of the Mamores and round them to see the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Standing proud at an impressive 1,345m, it makes a humbling view. We now descend through enchanting forestry plantations and trek our last stretch across Glen Nevis to our finish line in the heart of Fort William, said to be the Outdoor Capital of the UK.
Fatigued and filled with an unforgettable sense of achievement, we toast our success with drinks at a local pub and freshen up at our hotel before a fantastic celebration meal in the city.
Today after breakfast at our hotel, you are free to explore Fort William and make your own way home.
Alternatively, we are delighted to have organised an optional first-class ride on the world-famous Jacobite Steam Train, aka. the Hogwarts Express, complete with an afternoon tea!
Named one of the world’s greatest rail journeys, you’ll find the ride amazing. Few people get to experience the rustic feel of a steam train, let alone first-class seats and afternoon tea, and you’ll never forget the views across sparkling lochs and the surrounding mountains.
We’ll ride the same route featured in the Harry Potter films and gaze out over key movie scenes, including the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct, where Harry almost fell out of the flying Ford Anglia. What a way to end our Highland adventure!
As Fort William and the surrounding areas are too beautiful to leave straight away, you are also more than welcome to opt for an extra night at the hotel. We will send all participants the details of the optional train ride and extra night, including the times and prices, closer to the challenge.
*Please note, this itinerary is subject to change.
Pay the registration fee (£199) and challenge costs (£1,099).
Pay the balance
Pay the registration fee (£199) and fundraise £2,200 or more for your chosen charity.
Pay the balance
Your registration fee of £199 per person is used to administer the challenge and pay deposits to suppliers.
Your challenge costs of £1,099 cover:
*Please note that the first-class tickets for the famous Jacobite (Hogwarts Express) Steam Train and extra night in Fort William are purely optional and are not included in the challenge costs. We will email all participants more details and the prices closer the challenge date.
If you would like to take part in the optional train ride and/or extend your stay in Fort William, please get in touch with us to register your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our friendly team on 01590 646410 (Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm) at least 14 weeks before the challenge.
In addition to paying your registration fee (£199) and either self funding your challenge costs (£1,099) or fundraising the minimum sponsorship target, you will need to budget for your:
We will email all participants more details and the prices of the optional train ride and extra night in Fort William closer the challenge date. If you would like to take part, please get in touch with us to register your interest at email@example.com or call our friendly team on 01590 646410 (Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm) at least 14 weeks before the challenge.
You must wear comfortable hiking boots. We'll send all participants a full kit list ahead of the challenge.
All meals are provided, but you may want to bring any snacks you want to nibble on along the way.
This trek is no walk in the park, but certainly suitable for ramblers and anyone looking for a challenge this autumn. It's the perfect motivation to get fit, improve your own mental and physical health and support your favourite charity in a magical way.
We'll trek for seven days straight, covering distances ranging from 12 to 19 miles, so we recommend that you're used to walking long-distance and can keep up to the pace of 5km (3 miles) per hour, nine hours per day.
Once you register for the challenge, we'll send you a realistic training plan. This builds up gradually over time so you'll be ready and raring to go by the time we meet in Milngavie.
Please don't be! The majority of people will sign up on their own and our Dream Challenges are renowned for the amazing camaraderie and life-long friendships made as our groups take on these incredible feats together.
Once you've signed up for the challenge, we'll send you a link to a private Facebook group for everyone registered for The Scottish West Highland Way Trek.
Please feel free to use this space to swap questions, advice and updates with your fellow trekkers on your training and fundraising.
You may also want to reach out to the fellow participants in this group to see if there's anyone in your local area you can meet up to train and fundraise with.
Absolutely. We encourage solo trekkers and teams alike to join us for the challenge.
Our Dream Challenges are renowned for their camaraderie, so it's a fantastic opportunity to strengthen bonds between teammates and/or make new friends there.
Join us with your friends and family or take it on as a corporate challenge and show your commitment to corporate social responsibility while having the time of your life. You could even take this opportunity to raise funds for your charity of the year.
You can commit to a sponsorship target or choose to self fund with a personal donation or some optional fundraising.
Your luggage, food and water will be transported to our accommodation each day, so you will only need to carry a small day pack containing essential accessories and equipment.
We recommend carrying a small day bag with you as we walk, to keep your water bottle (ideally at least two litres) and phone/camera, along with any other personal items you want to hand.
We'll start our challenge at the Premier Inn in Milngavie. Please make your own way there and factor the travel expense into your budget.
Situated on the outskirts of Glasgow, the hotel has fantastic transport connections and is easily accessible by car. We first meet for our challenge briefing and dinner in the evening, so please make sure you arrive in time.
103 Main Street, Milngavie, Scotland
Sat Nav Directions: G62 6JQ
What 3 Words: ///spices.exchanges.pram
Situated on A81, close to Loch Lomond and the start of the West Highland Way.
From M8(J16) turn right at traffic lights follow signs to Milngavie (A879) for approx. 5 miles.
Pass Murray Park Training Ground. Turn left at the traffic lights.
Next to the West Highland Gate Beefeater which is on your right.
From the M5 - Take Junction 23 and follow signs to Glastonbury.
The nearest train station to our accommodation is the Milngavie Train Station, 0.5 miles from the hotel, with regular trains to/from Glasgow city centre.
For accurate train times and information, please visit the ScotRail website.
Before the challenge
We don't meet until the evening on Day 1, but if you'd like to stay in Glasgow the night before the challenge and spend the day exploring the city, there are loads of accommodation options ranging in price. See the top ten rated hotels on Booking.com here.
We advise that you look into what precautions they have in place to protect you from coronavirus before booking. This handy guide from Healthline will help inform your choice of accommodation.
After the challenge
Our challenge ends on the morning of Day 9, with an option to stay for an extra day and night for a first-class ride on the Jacobite Steam Train (not included in challenge costs). After this, please make your own way back home.
If you'd like to spend some extra time in this stunning part of the UK and/or take part in the optional train ride, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling us on 01590 646410 (Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm) to register your interest. We will send all participants the full details, including the prices, closer to the challenge date.
This challenge includes a whole mix of accommodation, including comfortable cabins, hotels and hostels. We arrange accommodation mostly on a twin-sharing basis. However, on some nights, we will have dormitory-style rooms, due to the remote locations.
You need to be 18 years old or over to take part in The Scottish West Highland Way Trek. There's no maximum age limit. One of the amazing things about this challenge is that it brings adults of all ages and from all walks of life together for one amazing event.
16 and 17-year olds may participate if given permission by the event organisers. Please get in touch with us to discuss this. Simply email email@example.com and we'll be happy to help.
Yes, if you'd like to fund your challenge through Sponsorship (whereby your chosen charity will pay for your challenge, provided you raise the minimum sponsorship target of £2,200 12 weeks before the trek) simply get in touch and we can arrange this for you.
Please note that not all charities are happy to commit to the minimum sponsorship option. If you choose this option, we contact the charity you want to support on your behalf. If they are not happy with the minimum sponsorship option, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.