Day 1: Milngavie to Lochan Maoil Dhuinne

Updated May 2019

The Start at Milngavie

Where Does It Start? 

The West Highland Way begins in the small town of Milngavie, which is a 40 minute train ride from the centre of Glasgow. There is a regular train and  to bus service to Milngavie, however the train is more convenient as it is a direct line. 

The Route

This Is Easy

As expected the first part of the West Highland Way is flat. From Milngavie to Drymen it is easy going and with or without a loaded pack you will be making good progress. After Drymen, the route shifts through a forest section before opening out onto Conic Hill. In the past this forest section can be tricky to pin point exactly where you are on the map, when all you see are trees as a reference point. sections of this woodland has since been cut down making it easier to track your progress, by having Loch Lomond and Conic Hill visible from afar.

Tiredness Sets In

It gets tougher at the 16 mile mark. After walking for 6 plus hours, even in straightforward conditions, you still will feel weary by the time you reach Conic hill. The day was exceptionally hot, meaning we were carrying a lot of water with us. I actually had ran out of water by the time we had reached Conic hill and I was cursing the fact that I should have bought a water filter.

Conic Hill

Descending Conic Hill
We should have really called it a day once we had reached Balmaha. We could have stopped in at a campsite a couple of miles outside of Balmaha. Instead we continued for a further 7 miles towards our campsite, which was just a mile outside of Rowardennan.

Crashing Out

We didn't make it to Lochan Maoil Dhuinne as planned, it was 10.30pm by the time we put up our tents in a scrap of land, just next to the WHW. I was able to have a quick wash in Loch Lomond before getting some sleep. We would find our actual campsite, the next day, less than 100m further down the track.


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