After a short while on a country lane this morning the West Highland Way followed an old railway bed for several miles. The going was flat and easy, the old railway line being shared with a huge pipe that takes water from Loch Lomond to Edinburgh. This was all through a typical British agricultural area, the Highlands were behind me now. After leaving the railway bed there was a steep climb over a ridge, the only proper climb on this warm day.
From then onwards the path goes through pleasant wooded areas and by some small lochs until it eventually emerges in the centre of Milngavie. The official start of the West Highland Way is marked by an obelisk. I met some mountain bikers there who were about to begin an attempt to cycle all the way to Fort William in 24 hours.
Leaving the West Highland Way was quite a sad moment. Yes, it had been tough work, but I'd thoroughly enjoyed my four and a half days walking it. The Highland scenery had been truly amazing, I knew it was going to be good but my expectectations were far exceeded, surely this is Britain's most beautiful unspoilt area. I'd been blessed with good weather during my time there too. At the moment I don't think any other part of my walk can possibly compete, I'm going to be on roads most of the way now. Surely when I finish it will be the Scottish mountains that provide the best memories of all.
Without stopping I'd covered the 11 miles to Milngavie by midday. After a rest there for lunch I pressed on towards Glasgow city centre. Beautiful sights like mountains, forests and lochs were now replaced by Asda, MacDonalds and Esso. As the city got closer I quickly passed through some unsightly rundown areas, eventually arriving at my hotel mid-afternoon.
I'm now around a third of the way through my walk. I still feel absolutely fine, no blisters or injuries to report so far, I'm as strong as ever mentally. I hope my good luck lasts. After walking the Great Glen Way and the West Highland Way back-to-back in good time I'm taking a self imposed rest day in Glasgow. I will resume walking on Saturday. My next target is England!
GPS data click here
Mileage today; 18.29 miles, walking time 4 hrs 37 mins, average walking speed 4.0 mph
Weather; sunny, max 21C
Cumulative mileage; 311.85 miles
|The official start of the West Highland Way in the centre of Milngavie|
|300+ miles and still going strong. I took this snap moments after arriving at my Glasgow hotel.|
|The old railway track south of Drymen|