Walking the West Highland Way to Complete Your Camino Experience

Walking the West Highland Way to Complete Your Camino Experience

If you’ve recently finished the Camino de Santiago and find yourself missing the rhythmic pace of your daily hikes through breathtaking landscapes, the West Highland Way in Scotland offers a thrilling continuation to your walking adventure. The route promises not only a physical challenge but also a feast for the senses, showcasing some of Scotland’s most awe-inspiring natural scenery.

Why Hike the West Highland Way?

Engulfed in Natural Beauty;

The West Highland Way stretches 154 km (96 miles) from Milngavie to Fort William, taking you through the heart of the Scottish Highlands. As you traverse this historic path, you’ll encounter rolling hills, serene lochs, and rugged mountains. The trail provides panoramic views of Loch Lomond, the largest inland stretch of water in Great Britain, followed by the stark, majestic beauty of Rannoch Moor and the imposing presence of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest peak.

A Seamless Transition from the Camino:

For many, the Camino de Santiago is more than just a hike; it’s a spiritual journey. Walking the West Highland Way offers a similar blend of introspection and physical endeavour. The tranquillity of the Scottish Highlands, with its isolated paths and quiet, picturesque villages, parallels the peaceful, reflective stretches of the Camino.

Cultural Richness:

Just as the Camino winds through historic Spanish villages, the West Highland Way passes through areas rich in Scottish history. You’ll wander past ancient ruins, old battlefields, and historic pubs, where you can stop for a hearty meal and maybe even enjoy some local folklore over a pint.

The Landscape That Embraces Hikers:

The West Highland Way is renowned for its diverse and changing landscapes. One day, you might be walking through lush woodland and the next, you could be navigating the open expanse of the Scottish moors. This variety not only keeps the journey interesting but also tests your hiking prowess in different terrains – much like the varying landscapes of the Camino de Santiago. 

Moreover, each step along the West Highland Way offers a new perspective on Scotland’s natural beauty. The path frequently offers spots that are perfect for reflective pauses, much like the introspective moments provided by the meseta of the Camino.

Want to Embrace Ireland? Consider the Kerry Way:

Walking the Kerry Way offers an unforgettable journey through Ireland’s largest peninsula, showcasing lush landscapes and rich history. Spanning about 214 km, this trail takes you through rugged mountains, serene lakes, and quaint villages. The path, well-marked and relatively gentle, makes it accessible for moderately experienced hikers. The Kerry Way loops around the Iveragh Peninsula, providing spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and the chance to explore Ireland’s natural beauty and cultural heritage. Remember to pack rain gear, as the weather can be quite variable, and take your time to truly absorb the enchanting scenery.

In essence, both the West Highland Way and Kerry Way offer an excellent way to extend your Camino de Santiago experience. It promises a similar rhythm of walking, opportunities for reflection, and a deep engagement with the landscape. Whether you’re looking for a new challenge or wishing to continue the spiritual journey of the Camino, the West Highland Way beckons with open arms, ready to offer its own unique and unforgettable experiences.