logo Walking Britain

Highland Walk
WHW - Day 6 - Kinlocheven to Fort William

County/Area - Highland - Fort William Lochaber

Author - Peter Smyly

Length - 15.0 miles / 24.4 km    Ascent - 2200 feet / 667 metres

Time - 9 hours 40 minutes    Grade - moderate

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer 392Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer 392Digital Map1:25kBUY

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - WHW - Day 6 - Kinlocheven to Fort William
Click image to visit gallery of 3 images.

The houses of Kinlochleven nestle in a valley at the end of the loch with tree-clad slopes above, overlooked by the soaring peaks of the Mamores range.

Although this final stage (day 6 out of 6) passes along a valley amid the mountains of the impressive Mamores range, this is not the most scenic stretch of the WHW overall, The finish is also something of an anti-climax as it goes along the busy High Street in Fort William which is out of character with the majority of the route.

After a path up through woodland from Kinlochleven, a view opens out looking down on the village, Loch Leven, and across to the thimble-like prominence of the Pap of Glencoe. A little later on, the jagged ridge of the Aonach Eagach comes into view. It was an overcast but bright day with wisps of cloud drifting across the tops. However, the next stretch can seem interminably long as the path follows a bleak and remote valley for a few miles, passing a derelict building at one point with warning signs that it is not safe to go inside. On approaching what, in 2006, was an evergreen forest, in 2014, it was a scene of desolation after widespread tree-felling activities had left it a wasteland and an eyesore. Some petrified trees added to the sense of desolation. A remote lake is pleasing to the eye as the route leads off towards Glen Nevis. A mixture of forestry trails, open countryside and some up and downhill stretches with a couple of streams to cross leads within sight of the Glen Nevis valley via a downhill forestry trail. As is often the case, Ben Nevis was cloaked in swathes of cloud down as far as around the Half Way Lochan, revealing only the Red Burn (stream) and the meeting of the two paths going up, one from Achintee, and the other from Glen Nevis Youth Hostel, the reddish-brown building of the latter clearly seen in the valley below.

Once you hit the main road, the last couple of miles is a dull trudge along the main road to Fort William Unfortunately the sign next to the roundabout is for the original end of the WHW. How many WHW walkers have spotted this sign from a distance and thought initially, perhaps wishfully, that they were reading "the official end"? A nearby café offers refreshment options for those who need to find some extra energy to complete the final bit (a few fellow walkers did, by the look of it). The new end is about a mile further along via Fort William High Street where a statue of a seated walker makes a popular photo stop for those celebrating completion of the route.

Other walks nearby

Walk 3106 Binnein Mor from Kinlochlevenhard10.2 miles
Walk 1039 Am Bodach and Stob Coire a' Chairn from Kinlochlevenmod/hard9.5 miles
Walk 1094 Blackwater Reservoir from Kinlochlevenmoderate11.5 miles
Walk 2554 The Lost Valley, Glen Coeeasy/mod4.2 miles
Walk 3251 Bidean nam Bian via Stob Coire nan Lochan, Glencoehard5.0 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

West Highland Way Map Booklet

West Highland Way Map BookletThis 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.
More information

Ben Nevis and Glen Coe

Ben Nevis and Glen CoeGuidebook to walking in Scotland's Ben Nevis and Glen Coe region, featuring 100 graded walks of 2 to 21 miles. The routes range from gentle walks to bothy treks and cover 43 Munro summits and 3 scrambles. The routes include walking near Kinlochleven, Fort William, the Grey Corries, the Mamores, the Black Mount and Ben Cruachan.
More information

Outdoor Photography

Outdoor PhotographyThis practical handbook covers digital outdoor photography and the whole range of outdoor activities including walking, running, cycling, water sports (in and on the water), as participant or spectator. Covers basic concepts, equipment and processing and optimising your images back at base.
More information

Further Information

Walk Location Map

Walk location map

Walking in Highland

Highland is an administrative area which contains most of the Scottish Highalnds. It is sparsely populated and contains some of the finest scenery in the British Isles. High Mountains, deep glens and lochs contain many great walks. The area includes Ben Nevis the highest mountain in the UK. The area also includes part of the Cairngorm National Park, an area of high mountains, and glorious Isle of Skye.

Walk grading - Learn how each walk is assessed and select a walk to suit your ability and experience by going to Walk Grading Details.

Accommodation Nearby

Fort William
9.1 miles / 14.5 km away
Bank Street Lodge
Fort William
9.3 miles / 14.9 km away
Highland Lodges
Spean Bridge
23.6 miles / 37.7 km away

Self Catering & Cottage Holidays - Properties throughout the UK & Europe

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news. Facebook Twitter

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.