UKH

West Highland Way 4: Inverarnan - Bridge of Orchy Walking

A long stage of the trail, which can be broken into two short days if need be. It's gentle underfoot and stays in the main glens shadowing the railway and A82 for much of the time (but not really spoiled by them). Several classic Southern Highland mountains are passed en route, any of which make a worthwhile detour. Despite the proximity of the hills, this stretch of the WHW is fairly tame with easy access to shops, accommodation and public transport. Major highlights include the Falls of Falloch, the iconic cone of Beinn Dorain and Tyndrum's world famous Green Welly shop (only kidding).

Beinn Dorain at dawn  © Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com
Beinn Dorain at dawn
Fetching Map

Detailed description

1
NN3214918628 Take a gravel track north along Glen Falloch, shadowing the River Falloch through nice open woods and pasture. The Falls of Falloch are best seen when the surrounding trees aren’t in full leaf (watch your footing!). From here the trail follows a pylon line for a while, plus the road and railway - but it's still pretty scenic. Beyond the buildings at Derrydaroch, cross the river. Soon the path ducks through an underpass beneath the railway, then follows a very short stretch of disused tarmac road before passing under the A82. As Glen Falloch widens, climb gradually away from the road on a stretch of track that started life as a military road. This leads through open country with cracking hill views, eventually climbing into forestry. Beyond a gate in a deer fence is the right-hand turnoff for Crianlarich, which is a short detour from the official WHW.

2
NN3757425014 The WHW continues as a gravel footpath weaving through the dense pine woods for several kilometres, with only occasional views of Strath Fillan and the skyline of the Crianlarich hills. After reaching a modest high point the route gradually descends to the glen, passing under the railway before crossing the A82. Cross a bridge over the River Fillan, then follow a tarmac farm track to reach a graveyard and ruined priory at Kirkton Farm. The next farm is Auchtertyre, where there's camping, 'wigwam' accommodation and a basic shop. Cross back over to the west side of the A82, and pass a pool and cascade on the River Cononish beneath an old stone bridge. Follow the waymarked route across the mouth of the Cononish glen, with a view to the magnificent Ben Lui, soon entering Tyndrum Community Woodland, an area of re-planted native trees covering a hillocky patch of old moraines. Beyond some old lead mine workings, a riverside section leads to Tyndrum (shops, cafes etc).

3
NN3280230626 Climb steadily out of the village, where the trail again follows the course of the old military road. The WHW, A82 and railway are all squeezed into a narrow pass below Beinn Odhar - but not for too long, and the traffic noise is soon left behind as the glen opens out ahead to reveal the classic view of Beinn Dorain, a steep symmetrical cone. Pass under the railway and descend the track to the broad flat pastures in the mouth of the Auch glen, beneath Beinn Dorain's looming mass.

4
NN3270035700 From here the route continues for several kilometres under the uniform slopes of Beinn Dorain’s western flank, crossing and re-crossing the railway to eventually reach Bridge of Orchy with its excellent hotel bar (and bunkhouse; and free camping just over the River Orchy).

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