According to Charlie Loram’s guide, the idea for the WHW was conceived in the 1960’s in response to enthusiasm brought about by the opening of the Pennine Way in England, which itself was inspired by the Appalachian Trail in the U.S. The WHW runs along old military roads and drovers (sheep herder’s) paths through the highlands and villages of northwest Scotland. Near the end, it runs through the largest uninhabited wilderness in Britain, and passes by Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the United Kingdom.
For this adventure, we asked our neighbors, Bo and Peggy, who we had been looking for opportunities to travel with, if they would consider coming along. Patty’s Camino had sparked their interest in the health benefits of hiking, and so we started planning and training together, targeting a trip to Scotland in the late spring.
As our plans developed, we decided to spend three days together in Edinburgh. Then Patty and I would take a train to Glasgow and stay there one night, and then another train to Milngavie (pronounced ‘mullguy’) the following morning, to the start of The WHW. Bo and Peggy would spend an extra day in Edinburgh, and then travel to meet us along the trail on our second day of hiking. After hiking at least two thirds of the trail, we would spend some time in Glencoe, and then another day touring the Isle of Skye, before returning home.