WHW - Day 4 - Inverarnan to Inveroran
Argyll and Bute Walk
County/Area - Argyll and Bute
Author - Peter Smyly
Length - 21.0 miles / 34.1 km
Ascent - nominal or unknown
Time - 10 hours 30 minutes Grade - moderate
|Ordnance Survey Explorer 377
|Anquet OS Explorer 377
Walk Route Description
Click image to visit gallery of 3 images.
Despite the length of it, this was the pick of the six days, from a scenic point of view. 21 miles is the longest stretch out of the six days and, with another 19 to follow tomorrow this adds up to a huge 40 miles in just 2 days. One way of trying to shorten the distance is to break the journey at Tyndrum (12 miles) which appears to be what most WHW walkers do from Inverarnan. 21 miles seems a lot more ambitious, but the important thing is to set out with the right mindset, knowing that this is the distance to be covered and pacing yourself accordingly. The route follows the valley of Glen Falloch for the first few miles with the mini cascades of the Falloch Falls apparent. This stage is one of a few points on the WHW where the route, the railway line and the main road all follow the main course of a valley. When the path reaches the road, it's time to mind your head when using the underpass. The track then follows an Old Military Road along a bleak stretch as the WHW nears it is half way point. Crianlarich may appeal as an off-route digression, should food supplies be running short, but a "there and back" would add extra distance to an already lengthy day. The path reaches a waymarked T junction (Tyndrum left, Crianlarich right). The Tyndrum-bound path leads uphill to wind its way through a forest. After a brief rain shower, the sun came out and steam could be seen rising above heather at one point. After crossing a couple of streams, the track eventually leaves the forest to pass under the railway line at a viaduct.
The route crosses the A82 and a bridge over the River Fillan to lead to a change in the scenery as open farmland is reached and the Crianlarich hills are clearly, and impressively, seen to the right beyond a pastoral scene of grazing sheep. Although I describe them as "hills", several of them are Munros (over 3,000 feet high). On this occasion it was very apparent that they had patches of snow on them even though it was June, in common with many other peaks on the route. A shop that serves tea, a rarity on this route, is passed at Strathcarron Wigwams as Ben Lui looked alpine to the west with its partly snow-covered slopes.
The route crosses the A82 again before heading for Tyndrum, with its Green Welly Stop (shop). The village is in a pretty setting and as the route passes the "By the Way Hostel" on the approach to Tyndrum, a stream in the foreground gives the view ahead a picture postcard look. Once Tyndrum is passed, it is another seven miles to Bridge of Orchy along a very remote stretch in company with the railway line and the main road. A highlight of this section of the WHW was seeing, from different angles, the Munro, Beinn Dorain, and it's neighbouring peaks which are especially pleasant when seen in evening sunlight. Between Tyndrum and Bridge of Orchy, other walkers were very few, perhaps no more than five in total and all walking in the opposite direction. Given the general absence of people on this part of the route, this seemed to confirm the impression that most other WHW walkers setting off from Inverarnan earlier in the day had already decided Tyndrum was far enough for today. From the WHW, Beinn Dorain appears very steep and pathless. However, a relatively easy way up is revealed at Bridge of Orchy, a path leading up via a bealach to reach its summit area by way of gentler slopes. After crossing the very busy main road with care and passing the Bridge of Orchy Hotel, the views from the bridge over the river are one of today's more scenic spots. One minor inconvenience of today's "leg" is that, having already covered 19 miles, the next bit is uphill. A path leads through a forest before emerging onto open fell side and over the brow of a hill. The day's destination is soon in sight with the Inveroran Hotel nestling below to the left of the picturesque Loch Tulla with a backdrop of peaks. Seen in evening sunlight, the lake presented a picturesque scene, looking royal blue and a deer appeared on the fellside below, apparently wavering for about half a minute before disappearing.
Other walks nearby
|Ben Vorlich from Ardlui
|Ben More and Stob Binnein
|Inverlochlarig, Beinn a'Chroin & Beinn Chabhair
|Ben Arthur ("The Cobbler")
|WHW - Day 3 - Rowardennan to Inverarnan
|Beinn an Dothaidh & Beinn Dorain
|Ben Venue from Loch Achray
Recommended Books & eBooks
The West Highland Way
Guidebook to walking the West Highland Way National Trail, a 95 mile Scottish long-distance route from Milngavie near Glasgow to Fort William, passing Loch Lomond and crossing Rannoch Moor. Suggested itineraries over 6 to 9 days. Includes accommodation guide and pull-out 1:25K OS map booklet.
West Highland Way Map Booklet
This compact booklet of maps shows the full route of the 95 mile West Highland Way Scottish Long Distance Route, via Loch Lomond and Rannoch Moor. This booklet is included with the Cicerone guidebook to the trail, and shows the full route on Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 maps.