4. The West Highland Way
Easily Scotland’s most popular long-distance path and the flagship of its 29 Great Trails, the WHW usually scores highly in every survey of readers’ ambitions that CW compiles. It’s not hard to see why: starting just north of Glasgow, it runs for 96 miles through the heart of the Grampians (qv) up to Fort William. The three-day section along Loch Lomond divides opinion; it’s beautiful but there’s a lot of clambering across gnarly tree roots along the steep shoreline, with not much sight of the loch. But the northern end– across Rannoch Moor, up the Devil’s Staircase (above) and through Lairigmòr – is magical. It stays mainly low, but if you want big stuff there’s a high-level variant – just Google ‘Not the West Highland Way’. WALK IT: Check out the official website at www. westhighlandway.org; route is waymarked and on OS maps.