I’ve been doing some research and have come up with my dream route. Unfortunately I don’t have enough time to do all of, but I might keep it in mind and if I can go away for long enough, and/or walk fast enough, then maybe I can get through it all. (Actually, this is not really my “dream” route, but more my “semi-practical, best case, what I’d really like to do” route. I’m pretty sure my dream route would be way longer and more continuous, with more tourism type stops on the way. But this is what I’d really like to try to squeeze into the time I might be able to get).
Here is a terrible map (sorry about the quality!) of where I’m thinking of going.
Starting in Glasgow, heading north along the black line:
1. West Highland Way. Milngavie (pronounced “mull-guy”!!, 17km from Glasgow, bus or train) to Fort William. 151km in total. Suggested to do in 8 days. I’ll probably stick to 8 days, but with a side trip up Buachaillie Etive Mor (a big hill).
2. NE along the green line. Great Glen Way. Fort William to Inverness, 117km. Suggested 6 days. Probably do in 4 or 5.
3. North along the orange line. After taking a bus from Inverness to Ullapool, or nearby, I’m planning to walk up to Cape Wrath, via Quinag and hopefully a few other hills on the way (Ben Stack and Arkle, and either Stac Pollaidh and Suilven OR Breabag – these are a long way apart on the same northing so are kind of exclusive if I don’t want to add a LOT of extra distance in). This is the “serious” part of my hiking. No actual track, all relying on my own navigation and mostly in remote terrain with very few towns along the way. As there is no track, I don’t have an exact route and therefore no exact distance but I estimate about 100km. I’ve ‘budgetted’ 10 days for this section.
4. SW along the blue line. Rob Roy Way. After taking a bus back to Inverness then down to Pitlochry, this walk is from Pitlochry to Drymen (on the West Highland Way, 19km from my starting point at Milngavie). 128km, maybe 5-6 days (hilly but all tracks etc so easy walking).
The first and third walk are pretty much definites. The second (Great Glen) and fourth (Rob Roy) are optional. The last especially, I may not have time for.
Anyway, this is a total of 500km of walking and would require ~35 days, excluding flying time but including 2 days off before, after and between each walk. Friends, family, colleagues, dog sitters, voices of reason . . . let me know what you think!
On a side note, I did set my tent up the other day. Inside, because it was wet outside and I need to get seam-sealer to make it waterproof before I bother getting it wet. First impression . . . . I am sooooo scared of damaging it!! It is so thin and light, and slippery! And, I need new tent pegs! Here are a couple of pictures of it. The first is just the inner (yellow). The second is with the fly on. Bear in mind that this is completely un-pegged, so it will look a bit better when taut. No dog for scale as I’m too worried he’ll touch it and put a hole in it! Please note, in the second photo, the bundle of pegs next to it. I have pulled one of the pegs out so you can see it individually. I’d heard the Terra Nova pegs described as toothpicks, and now I must concur. 1g each but I can’t see how they’re going to hold the tent up!!