History and hiking collide on this nine-day Scotland trip that includes three days of trekking on the West Highland Way. Explore Glasgow, then take a train to beautiful Loch Lomond for an equine adventure and time in nature. From there, journey north to Oban for island exploration and history lessons, then make your way to Fort William. Here you'll begin the West Highland Way, hiking Scotland's most scenic long-distance walk for three challenging days before returning to Glasgow.


  • Hike part of the West Highland Way, Scotland's scenic long-distance walk
  • Explore the islands of Mull, Iona, and Staffa on a full-day adventure
  • Go pony trekking around the shores of Loch Lomond 
  • Visit the Dunollie Museum and its castle ruins, home to Clan MacDougall

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Glasgow, Pollok Country Park Glasgow
Day 2 Train to Loch Lomond, Pony Trekking, Free Time Loch Lomond
Day 3 Train to Oban, Visit Dunollie Museum, Castle & Grounds Oban
Day 4 Full-Day Mull, Iona & Staffa Islands Adventure Oban
Day 5 Bus to Fort William, Visit Corpach Wreck & Loch Eil Fort William
Day 6 Hike the West Highland Way: Fort William to Kinlochleven Kinlochleven
Day 7 Hike the West Highland Way: Kinlochleven to Glencoe Glencoe
Day 8 Hike the West Highland Way: Glencoe to Bridge of Orchy Bridge of Orchy
Day 9 Train to Glasgow, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Glasgow, Pollok Country Park

In 2008 Pollok Country Park was named the best park in Europe
In 2008, Pollok Country Park was named the best park in Europe

Welcome to Scotland! You've landed in Glasgow, Scotland's largest and most buzzing city, renowned for its world-class museums, galleries, and red sandstone Victorian buildings that line its squares and crescents. On arrival, take a taxi to your hotel. Drop your bags, refresh, and set out to explore the city. Visit the Gallery of Modern Art and the People's Palace. Marvel at the city's most celebrated son, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, then explore the boutiques of West End or go for a walk along the picturesque River Clyde.

This afternoon, venture out of the city limits to Pollok Country Park. The largest park in Glasgow, this green oasis offers over 360 acres (146 ha) of woodland and garden. Admire the Georgian beauty of Pollok House, see Highland cattle, and even visit a "magical" Fairy Garden. While you can simply get lost within the big park, you might like to follow one of the official routes: the Highland Cattle Walk (red markers), the Pond Walk (blue markers), or the Burrell Walk (yellow markers).

Day 2: Train to Loch Lomond, Pony Trekking, Free Time

The tranquil beauty of Loch Lomond is unbeatable

Today you'll be immersed in the captivating beauty of Scotland's first national park: Loch Lomond and The Trossachs. This wild destination is packed with lush landscapes, sprawling glens, rocky peaks, and expansive lochs. A fault line that runs through the park divides the Highlands from the Lowlands, creating an endlessly varied landscape. Take a 50-minute train from Glasgow to Balloch, on the shores of Loch Lomond. On arrival, you'll meet an equine guide for a special pony trekking adventure.

Jump into the saddle for a leisurely trek through the tranquil Loch Lomond countryside and into the more rugged terrain of the surrounding moorland. After your hourlong ride, continue exploring on foot. You could stroll through the historic villages, hire kayaks and paddle across the tranquil waters, or join a boat cruise and experience beauty from the loch.

Day 3: Train to Oban, Visit Dunollie Museum, Castle & Grounds

Oban, West coast of Scotland
Life in the small fishing village of Oban changed in 1794 when the Oban Distillery opened

After breakfast, take a 2.5-hour train northwest. You're headed to Oban, the main gateway to many of the Hebrides islands. This waterfront town is set on a delightful bay with sweeping views to Kerrera and Mull. It's peaceful in winter, but in summer, the town center is crowded with holidaymakers and travelers headed for the archipelago. Naturally, Oban is a great destination to enjoy Scotland's brilliant seafood, and there's no better spot than by the water, especially as the sun sets.

This afternoon you'll visit the Dunollie Museum, an internationally recognized center for Scottish culture and heritage and home of Clan MacDougall. Its castle ruin overlooks Oban Bay and the Isles, and within the Laird's House, you'll find the 1745 House Museum, home to a significant collection of Highland social history as well as Clan MacDougall material and archives. Make time to explore Dunollie's beautiful historic woodland grounds that surround the 1745 House and castle ruin. Then, return to Oban for an evening by the harbor with fresh seafood.

Day 4: Full-Day Mull, Iona & Staffa Islands Adventure

Looking over to Ben More with evening light on the Isle of Mull
Looking over to Ben More with evening light on the Isle of Mull

Today, you'll set sail on a full-day boating adventure to explore the islands of Mull, Iona, and Staffa. Starting in Oban, you'll board the ferry for the Isle of Mull, the second-largest Island of the Inner Hebrides, where dramatic and unspoiled scenery created by volcanic activity awaits. On arrival in Craignure, you'll board a coach for a tour of the island. You'll reach the far side of Mull, where you'll board ferries in Fionnphort destined for Iona and Staffa.

The sacred Island of Iona is where Saint Columba came in 563 CE to preach Christianity. Visit the Iona Abbey and learn about the history of this tranquil center of Gaelic Monasticism. Then, journey to Staffa, which lies around 6 miles (10 km) west of the Isle of Mull. The tiny island is famed for Fingal's Cave and the puffins that nest here. Return to Fionnphort, board the coach for Craignure, and finally return to Oban by ferry. Expect to arrive late in the evening.

Day 5: Bus to Fort William, Visit Corpach Wreck & Loch Eil

Corpach Boat Wreck
The Old Boat of Caol is one of the most popular sites to photograph in this area
Plan your trip to Scotland
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Today's journey ends in Fort William, a 90-minute drive away. Enjoy a slow morning in Oban, then board a bus for the journey north. From Fort William, take a taxi to the nearby loch-side village of Corpach for lunch. Set on the shores of Loch Eil, this cute spot is known for mussel farming—so enjoy a bowl of fresh mussels, then set off for a scenic loch walk. You can walk a path along the Caledonian Canal that brings you to the lovely village of Banavie and the outstanding Neptune's Staircase, which lifts boats 50 feet (15 m) through its eight locks.

Stop to photograph the famous Old Boat of Caol, which sits proudly on a stony beach with a backdrop of Ben Nevis, Scotland's highest peak. After, return to nearby Fort William, the "adventure capital of the UK." This loch-side town sits between crystal clear lakes and snowcapped mountains, drawing outdoor enthusiasts from all over the world. Check into your guesthouse and rest up ahead of tomorrow's grand trekking adventure. If you have time, you could pop into the Ben Nevis Distillery, which has been crafting Scottish whisky at the foot of Britain's highest mountain since 1825.

Day 6: Hike the West Highland Way: Fort William to Kinlochleven

Trekking Scotland
Begin the first stretch of the West Highland Way with a steep ascent

Stretching 96 miles (154 km) from Fort William to Milngavie, the West Highland Way traverses an incredible range of Scottish scenery, from countryside parks to lochs and open moorlands to steep mountains. The route is usually completed south to north, as the southern part is flatter and easier—but you'll be starting from the north, so set off ready to hike some challenging terrain. Your first day on the trails takes you to Kinlochleven. Take a photo with the bronze statue of a walker at Gordon Square, then set off to complete today's 14-mile (23 km) journey.

You'll start with an ascent, and if you're making good time, you should make a short detour and see the remains of Dun Deardail, an Iron Age fort in Glen Nevis. Then wander through woodland and forestry plantations and watch as Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, comes into full view. Soon you'll cross the great pass of Lairigmor, a special path that follows the glen, making the trek between steep mountains easy. Finally, the incredible views of Kinlochleven will appear. Make the steep descent down to your lodge for the night, where your bags will be waiting for you (luggage will be transferred ahead throughout the trek). You've made it! 

Day 7: Hike the West Highland Way: Kinlochleven to Glencoe

Hiking trail in Scotland
Expect some challenging trails and terrain on today's hike

Hopefully, you'll wake up with plenty of energy, ready to tackle your second day on the trail. From the secluded village of Kinlochleven, your resting place on the pristine shores of Loch Leven, you'll make your way across a moorland before a big ascent. Today, you'll climb 1,797 feet (548 m), rewarding yourself with sweeping views over Glen Coe, Ben Nevis, and the Mamores mountain range. The well-named Devil's Staircase leads to the highest point on the West Highland Way.

From there, it's a zigzag downhill hike. You'll walk toward Altnafeadh while admiring the imposing Buachaille Etive Mòr, one of Scotland's most famous munros (peaks). Finally, you'll reach Kingshouse, one of Scotland's oldest inns, and your base for the night. Rest your feet and celebrate today's walking distance of 10 miles (16 km).

Day 8: Hike the West Highland Way: Glencoe to Bridge of Orchy 

Experience the beauty of Glen Coe, with some of the most dramatic scenery in the country
Your final day on the West Highland Way takes you across Glen Coe, home to some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in the United Kingdom. Here the deep valley and towering mountains were carved out by icy glaciers and volcanic explosions. Pass by the impressive Buachaille Etive Mòr, and follow the trail through the beautiful Rannoch Moor, a wild and remote section of Scotland. Eventually, you'll reach the Bridge of Orchy, where your three days on the West Highland Way come to an end. Today's total walking distance is 13 miles (21 km) and will take around 4.5 hours. 

Day 9: Train to Glasgow, Depart

Wave goodbye to the Scottish wilderness and the Bridge of Orchy

It's the final day of your nine-day Scotland adventure. Board a train at the Bridge of Orchy for the 2.5-hour journey to Glasgow. From here, a private driver will collect you for a transfer to the airport ahead of your flight home or onward. Safe travels!

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Map of Scotland Highlights & West Highland Way - 9 Days
Map of Scotland Highlights & West Highland Way - 9 Days