West Highland Way: Before you start

The West Highland Way is a legendary long-distance hiking trail that winds its way through the stunning landscapes of Scotland, offering adventurers a glimpse into the country’s wild and rugged beauty.

Stretching 96 miles (154 km) from Milngavie, near Glasgow, to Fort William, at the base of Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the British Isles, this iconic route traverses a diverse terrain of rolling hills, ancient woodlands, serene lochs, and dramatic mountain vistas.

Whether tackling the entire route in one go or exploring shorter sections at a leisurely pace, the West Highland Way promises an unforgettable adventure for outdoor enthusiasts of all levels.

Stormy skies over Glencoe, Scotland
  • Route overview
  • History of the whw

Route Overview of the WHW

Starting on the outskirts of Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow, the West Highland Way (WHW) starts by following rolling farmland towards Conic Hill and Loch Lomond, the largest loch in Scotland. Working it’s way across moorlands, along rivers and through glens, the trail nestles within the dramatic mountains of Glencoe– one of Scotlands most famous landscapes- before finishing off with steep trails and emerging at the foot of the largest mountain in the UK- Ben Nevis

Many People aim to complete the WHW within 5-8 days, however it is possible to do it over a shorter or longer period of time. 

Getting to the starting point

Glasgow is home to an international airport which has regular flights from mainland Europe as well as two train stations that offer regular train services from around the UK, making it an accessible location to get to the starting point of the WHW route. Glasgow is only an hour away by train from the Capital of Scotland- Edinburgh, and you can also catch a direct bus link which takes no longer than 90 minutes. 

At the end of the journey, you’ll be in the hub of the Scottish Highlands, Fort William, where there is a small train station with daily trains running back to Glasgow or Edinburgh, the capital city. If you are planning on exploring the Scottish Highlands further, there is a regular bus service from Citylink, running from Fort William to Inverness, the Highland Capital. 

Accommodation on the WHW

There are various comfort options for on your WHW journey, from being hardy and carrying all of your kit and Wild Camping the whole route, or, by luxuriating in one of the Hostels, B&B’s or Campsites along the way. If you are staying in an accommodation, I would recommend booking in advance, as beds get booked up quickly, especially in peak season between April and June and in early September. 

For more information about the Right to Roam Access Code and respecting the environment when wild camping, check out our blog here

Highland Cow on the West Highland Way route

  • Distance | 96 miles (154 km)
  • Duration | 5+ days
  • Start/End | Milngavie/Fort William (or vice versa)
  • Min Elevation | 23 ft / 7 m
  • Max Elevation | 1800 ft / 549 m
  • Total Ascent | 13189 ft /  4020 metres
  • Total Descent | 13379 ft / 4078 metres

History of the WHW

The WHW route was officially opened in 1980 after Mr Tom Hunter conceived the idea to prevent the area being damaged by future development projects. With help from geographer Fiona Rose, Hunter was granted approval in 1974 to develop the route. 

The route was first created by joining pre-existing roads and pathways that consisted of Drovers roads- which date back several hundreds of years and were use to move livestock herds across the country, Coaching Roads- used for horse drawn coaches to transport passengers and goods across long distances, as well as, military roads, which were constructed in the 18th century to link areas of the highlands during the time of the Jacobite uprising

In past 40 years, since the opening of the route, the WHW has seen thousands of people walking the route, or sections of it. It has since became the first trail in Europe to become part of the International Appalachian Trail

Black Rock Cottage, Glencoe | West Highland Way

Top Tips for planning your WHW adventure

Pack clothes for all weather

Scotland is known for it’s drastic weather changes, where you can sometimes get all four seasons in one day! Pack clothes for all weather types, and make sure you always have one set of ‘dry clothes’.

Break in your footwear

I can’t express how important it is to break in your footwear before your WHW adventure. This allows your shoe to mould to your foot, and helps prevent blisters- which is the last thing you want!

Buy Midgey (Scottish mosquitoes) Repellent

Scottish midgeys are no joke, they really can ruin your trip if you don’t use the correct repellant. The Highlands are perfect land for the Midgeys to congregate and will swarm in there thousands around you, there bites will leave you with small pimple-like itchy spots. 

Use a Midgey net and insect repellent to poorest yourself, we recommend Smidge!

Use a bag transfer service

Make your life a little easier on the WHW, by using a bag transfer service. This service will take your bag from wherever you start in the day, to where you plan to end your day, and saves you carrying an extra 20kg on your back. 

Here is some more information on how the bag transfer service works.

Use Dry Bags!

Dry bags are a life saver for your trip, in Scotland when it starts to rain it can last hours, or sometimes days! Dry bags will keep all of your equipment dry and organised in your backpack- a must buy for having a more enjoyable WHW experience. 

Intrepidus Outdoors is an adventure tours and outdoor experience providers, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, that specialises in private and open canyoningcoasteeringmountain biking and hill walking tours.

My Adventure Edinburgh (Part of the Intrepidus Group) is an outdoor tours provider that specialises in canyoning, coasteering, canoeing and hillwalking tours. As well as delivering these adventurous experiences across Scotland, My Adventure is also a provider of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Expeditions where we run bronze, silver and gold level awards for young people.

If you are looking for additional information about adventures from Edinburgh, we have published a number of blogs:

  • Open Coasteering guide here
  • Adventures in Edinburgh here
  • A guide to Wild Swimming in Scotland here
  • Eight Scottish Wonders- by Paul Lamarra here
  • High and Mighty- Bouldering in Scotland here
  • Top tips for backpacking Scotland here
  • 6 steps to being happy like a Scot here 
  • You’ll never get bored in Edinburgh here 
  • Best Budget Hotels and Hostels Edinburgh here 
  • Hen Party Adventures Edinburgh: here
  • Stag Party Outdoor Adventures Edinburgh Essentials: here

If you haven’t already seen it, check out the our Trip Advisor, Youtube channeland check us out on Visit Scotland.

Intrepidus Outdoors – Adventures Edinburgh, Scotland!

Intrepidus Outdoors is based in Edinburgh, Scotland and specialises in Outdoor Activities. We are an adventure tourism and outdoor education provider based in Edinburgh. However, we also operate out of Glasgow, East Lothian, Midlothian, Scottish Borders, Tweed ValleyPerth, Fort William, Cairngorm National Park, Pitlochry, Aberfeldy and Loch Tay.

We specialise in canyoning, coasteering, mountain biking and hill walking, and deliver these adventurous experiences across Scotland. The experiences that we provide take clients into some of the most exquisite, incredible and extreme environments the UK has to offer. Through our MY Adventure (Edinburgh) brand we are also a provider of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Expeditions where we run bronze, silver and gold level awards for young people. These expeditions are through the disciplines of hill walking as well as canoeing. 

Mission Statment :

To deliver the highest quality adventurous experiences to entertain, thrill and inspire.


Outdoor Activities: Edinburgh & Scotland

Our values reflect those of a business started by a small group of rock climbers and mountain bikers. The experiences that we have had adventuring, and our passion for the outdoors, has led us to choose a lifestyle dedicated to sharing our love for the outdoors with others. The approach that we take to the experiences that we provide, and the business that we run, is that of sustainability, and an unapologetic quest for quality.

For us at Intrepidus Outdoors, we recognise that our experiences kayaking in clean rivers, surfing on unpolluted beaches and climbing frozen waterfalls have contributed to who we are as people. Therefore, protecting the planet so that the next generation of adventurers can have their own experiences, is hugely important for us. We believe that for people, communities and businesses to make the choice to minimise their impact on our planet, they must first value the planet that we have. We feel that the best way for people to value our blue planet, is to have first hand quality experiences in nature. They can then see the beauty of a forest, feel the power of an ocean and learn to love what is outside our towns and cities, so that they then fight to protect them. We strive to through the products that we deliver make a small difference to peoples understanding of the impact that they have on our world.

Our experiences adventuring have made us who we are and Intrepidus Outdoors is a reflection of us. We provide real adventurous experience that we hope you will cherish.


Adventure Activities: Edinburgh & Scotland

There are cities where stuff is happening all year round and where you will never get bored. Edinburgh is undoubtedly one of these cities. It’s an extraordinary place, full of history, festivals, impressive architecture and plenty of attractions you won’t find anywhere else. Not to mention that we are located on the door step of so many amazing adventures and outdoor experiences.

We would like to introduce you to this extraordinary city, giving you a full range of possibilities that can be found north of the wall! Edinburgh has a huge dose of beautiful history, world-famous festivals, fantastic attractions, adrenaline fuled expereinces and great food. Edinburgh is calling you and you simply cannot refuse its invitation.

There are a many outdoor and adventurous experiences to be had in Edinburgh. If you are a thrill seeker visiting Edinburgh and interested in a canyoning, coasteering or mountain biking adventure in Scotland, Get In Touch!

Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is a fantastic destination with a rich history, stunning architecture, and a vibrant cultural scene. Here are 11 reasons why Edinburgh is a great city to visit with friends:

  1. Historic Architecture: Edinburgh is known for its historic and impressive architecture. Explore the medieval Old Town, with its narrow alleys and the iconic Edinburgh Castle perched on Castle Rock. The contrasting Georgian New Town offers elegant streets and squares.

  2. Edinburgh Castle: Dominating the city’s skyline, Edinburgh Castle is a must-visit. Explore the various sections of the castle, learn about its history, and enjoy panoramic views of the city from its vantage points.

  3. Royal Mile: The Royal Mile is the main street of the Old Town, running from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. It’s lined with shops, pubs, and street performers, making it a lively and entertaining stroll.

  4. Festivals: Edinburgh is famous for its festivals, including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival. If you visit during August, you’ll be treated to a vibrant atmosphere with countless performances, events, and shows.

  5. Scenic Views: Climb Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano located in Holyrood Park, for breathtaking panoramic views of the city and its surroundings. It’s a great place for a hike or a picnic with friends.

  6. Cultural Museums: Edinburgh boasts several excellent museums, including the National Museum of Scotland, the Museum of Edinburgh, and the Scottish National Gallery. These institutions offer a diverse range of exhibits, from art and history to science and technology.

  7. Whisky Tasting: Scotland is renowned for its whisky, and Edinburgh is a great place to sample some of the finest Scotch whiskies. Explore local pubs and whisky bars to experience the rich and varied world of Scottish spirits.

  8. Haunted History: Edinburgh is known for its haunted history, and there are various ghost tours that take you through the city’s spookiest spots. It’s a fun and eerie way to learn about the darker side of Edinburgh’s past.

  9. Dynamic Arts Scene: The city has a vibrant arts scene, with numerous theaters, galleries, and performance spaces. Whether you’re into traditional or contemporary arts, you’re likely to find something that suits your tastes.

  10. Friendly Atmosphere: Scots are known for their friendliness, and you’ll likely find the welcoming atmosphere extends to the city itself. The friendly locals and the convivial ambiance of Edinburgh make it an excellent destination for a memorable trip with friends.

  11. Outdoor Activities on your Doorstep: Edinburgh is on the edge of the Pentland Hills, Ochil Hills, East Lothian, the East Neuk of Fife and a hour and a half drive from the Cairngorm National Park. We deliver outdoor adventures, activities and exciting pursuits to all of these amazing locations. 

Outdoor Adventures Scotland.

We operate out of Edinburgh, Glasgow, East Lothian, Midlothian, Scottish Borders, Tweed ValleyPerth, Fort William, Cairngorm National Park, Pitlochry, Aberfeldy and Loch Tay.

It’s no secret that Scotland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. From the rural coastlines to vast mountain ranges, we have it all. Whatever kind of experience you’re after you’re sure to find it here, so we’ve put together an adventurer’s guide to Scotland to help get you started. Our guide breaks down all the outdoor activities Edinburgh has to offer and many more adventures to keep you entertained on your holiday.

Scotland’s allure for outdoor adventures is rooted in its unparalleled natural beauty and diverse landscapes. From the rugged peaks of the Scottish Highlands to the tranquil shores of its countless lochs, the country provides a stunning backdrop for a myriad of outdoor activities. Hikers can traverse historic trails like the West Highland Way, while mountaineers are drawn to the challenge of scaling iconic peaks such as Ben Nevis. The expansive coastline and intricate network of rivers offer opportunities for water enthusiasts, from thrilling white-water rafting to peaceful kayaking. Scotland’s commitment to preserving its wilderness allows for accessible exploration, inviting both seasoned adventurers and casual nature lovers alike. With a rich cultural heritage woven into its landscapes, including ancient castles and historic sites, Scotland stands as an exceptional destination for those seeking not just outdoor excitement, but a profound connection with the untamed beauty of the natural world.

Moreover, Scotland’s outdoor appeal extends to its diverse range of activities, accommodating adventurers with varying interests and skill levels. Cyclists can navigate scenic routes, taking in the breathtaking views of rolling hills and coastal panoramas. As winter blankets the land, the Cairngorms and Glencoe transform into playgrounds for skiers and snowboarders, offering a thrilling winter sports experience. Wildlife enthusiasts find solace in the country’s natural habitats, where red deer roam freely, eagles soar overhead, and seals bask along the rugged shoreline. The proximity of Edinburgh, the capital city, further enhances the Scottish adventure, providing a seamless transition from urban exploration to the untamed wonders that lie just beyond its borders. In every season, Scotland’s outdoor wonders beckon, promising a tapestry of experiences that blend natural splendor with a rich tapestry of history and culture.

MY Adventure and Intrepidus Outdoors are adventure tours and outdoor experience providers, both based in Edinburgh, Scotland. We specialise in private and open canyoningcoasteeringmountain biking and hill walking tours, and deliver these adventurous experiences across Scotland. We are also a provider of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Expeditions where we run bronze, silver and gold level awards for young people.

If you are looking for additional information about adventures from Edinburgh, we have published a number of blogs:

  • Welcome to Edinburgh- A guide to the Scottish Capital: here
  • 6 steps to being happy like a Scot: here 
  • Adventures guide to Scotland: here
  • You’ll never get bored in Edinburgh: here 
  • Best Budget Hotels and Hostels Edinburgh: here 
  • Hen Party Adventures Edinburgh: here
  • Stag Party Outdoor Adventures Edinburgh Essentials: here
  • Best Restaurants in Edinburgh: here

If you haven’t already seen it, check out the our  Trip AdvisorYoutube channelVisit Scotland page and blog to hear about how others found their outdoor adventures with us! Equally, if there is any gear that you would like us to review, drop us a DM.

Here is a list of our Frequently Asked Questions about Outdoor Adventures from Edinburgh!

What are the best outdoor activities in and around Edinburgh?

Canyoning, Coasteering, Mountain Biking, Hiking, Canoeing and Rock Climbing!

Is Edinburgh a good venue for adventures?

Edinburgh is on the doorstep of incredible locations for outdoor adventures. Only a short minibus ride and you are in world class venues for coasteering, canyoning, mountain biking and hiking.

Are your adventures suitable for beginners?

Yes. Our outdoor adventures are great for everyone!

Do you provide all the equipment?

We provide all technical equipment for your outdoor adventures with us. This includes canyoning and coasteering boots!

Is Edinburgh good to visit?

Yes. Edinburgh is a fantastic city to visit, offering a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty.

Is Edinburgh expensive?

If you live in the south of England, No. If you live in the Midlands or the North of England, Yes.

How much is a pint in Edinburgh?

Between £4 and £6

Do you collect us from our hotel for adventure tours?

Yes. On our private adventure tours we collect clients from their hotels.

Where do you collect open group tours from?

Edinburgh Waverley Train Station – The Market Street Entrance.

What is the age range of your adventures?

Open groups 14+. Private groups all ages!

How extreme are your outdoor adventure tours?

Canyoning and coasteering has jumps up to 10meters and the canyoning has waterfall abseiling uptimes 17 meters. So you tell us?!

How much are your adventure tours?

Days trips from £95 per person including transport.

What is the most popular outdoor adventure from Edinburgh?

Canyoning. People LOVE canyoning. We also love canyoning!

Do you take pictures?

Yes. All instructors will take pictures with their iPhones and GoPro’s. They will send them to you after the adventure.

What is your favourite outdoor activity?

Our team like lots of different adventures! Some like the extreme trips like canoeing while others like the more mellow tours like canoeing.

How are your trip advisor review so good?

We aim the exceed the expectations of our clients on all our outdoor adventure tours from Edinburgh!

Where do you run adventure tours from?

We operate out of Edinburgh, Glasgow, East Lothian, Midlothian, Scottish Borders, Tweed Valley, Perth, Fort William, Bruar, Dollar, Alva, Cairngorm National Park, Pitlochry, Aberfeldy and Loch Tay.  .

What are your group sizes for private outdoor adventure tours?

Between 8 and 80!

Do you provide transport for your outdoors experiences?

Yes! We have a National Operators License to operate our own fleet of 17 seater minibuses.

Who is the best adventure tour provider in Edinburgh?

With over 350 5star TripAdvisor reviews the Intrepidus team aims to exceed our customers expectations in every trip!

What provider runs the best outdoor experiences in Scotland?

Intrepidus Outdoors run canyoning, coasteering and hiking almost every day and we have over 350 5star TripAdvisor reviews!


Unit 2/2
Edlin Industrial Estate
Edgefield Road
EH20 9QX


Phone: 0131 357 1990
Email: info@intrepidusoutdoors.co.uk

Opening hours

Mon - Fri
8:00 to 18:30
Sat & Sun
8.30 to 19.30