After the Walk

The breakfasts here at Guischan House are exceptionally good. Afterwards, Peter and I walked into town to see the local museum. It was well worth it, we learned a lot about Scottish history and the local clans.

We all take the noon train to Malliag, a fishing village on the coast, and stayed at Shalimar B&B. Chris, Naomi and Braylon took a six hour ferry through four nearby islands, Eigg, Muck, Rhum and Canna, then met Peter and I for dinner at Cornerstone restaurant. Outstanding was the mussels in wine/cream/garlic broth, oven baked haddock, Red McGregor Ale from Orkney and the best yet hot sticky toffee pudding.

Island of Eigg from Malliag

Next morning, five hour train ride back to Glasgow passing many places we recognize. We are booked into Victorian House B&B, near the center of town. On a nearby pedestrian street, we saw musicians playing some nice African rythyms. The gang will stay an extra day in Glasgow to tour the Art School and an art museum. I will leave tomorrow morning to spend two days walking Hadrian’s Wall, but that’s a story for another day.

"Glaska" street music

Final Thoughts

Inevitably, the WHW is compared with other walks I have done in the UK. It is certainly the easiest except for the Dales Way which is shorter with less elevation gain. Consequently I had little need for pain pills. The scenery was not disappointing, very spectacular except for the first day. However, I wouldn’t be tempted to walk it again, but would like to come back to Glencoe and Ben Nevis.

The food in the pubs was surprisingly good, creative, fresh and tasty. Much of it was seafood and locally sourced. Of course having my family with me put a spark on everything and made mealtimes more enjoyable.

The biggest disappointment was lack of grassy paths and the abundance of tarmac and hard, rocky paths. But this was more of an afterthought than anything I thought much about during the walk and certainly preferable to the harder limestone paths on the Pennine Way.

The 800 lb tiger on the walk was my grandson, 14 lb Braylon. Chris and Naomi did a splendid job of providing for him and keeping him fed and happy. Having him along changed the whole tenor of the walk and made it more unique in terms of contacts and exchanges that would not have happened otherwise. It was a once in a lifetime experience.

I enjoyed starting out in Glasgow and finishing in Fort William. Glasgow is a very accessible walking city with many interests and good shopping. I loved making the acquaintance of Charles Rennie McIntosh and his works.

Fort William is a delightful little town to ease off the path. The tradition of climbing Ben Nevis the day after puts a great cap on a relatively short LDP. I didn’t make it to the top this time, but I vow to come back with my wife and climb to the summit, hopefully, under a clear sky.

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