West Highland Way recognised as one of world’s top treks
IT IS firmly established as one of Scotland’s favourite walks - and now the West Highland Way has been recognised as one of the world’s best treks by National Geographic magazine.
National Geographic included the route, which runs from Milngavie north of Glasgow all the way to Fort William in the Highlands, in a list which it calls the “holy grail of trails”.
Around 85,000 walkers use the route every year, with approximately 30,000 completing it in its 96-mile entirety.
The route boasts some of Scotland’s most breathtaking scenery, taking in sights like Loch Lomond, Rannoch Moor and Glen Coe
Most of those who take on the challenge can complete the West Highland Way in around seven days, although there is an annual ultramarathon where the fastest runners finish the route in around 17 hours.
Writing for National Geographic about the list of 20 ‘epic trails’, American writer Doug Schnitzspahn explained the choices.
“A truly great trail winds into the essence of a place, so when assembling this list of the world’s great hikes we kept an eye on more than the footpath. We looked for walks that travel deeper into a location’s history and culture.”
Of the West Highland Way, Schnitzspahn writes: “It cuts through the Highlands that kept out the Romans in ancient times and have helped the Scots retain their national character throughout history.
“The trail can feel big and windswept at times, taking in the rocky peaks and rolling grasses of Glen Coe and climbing the Devil’s Staircase path on the Aonach Eagach ridge. But the route also takes in more subtle beauty, including the bogs of Rannoch Moor and the shores of bucolic Loch Lomond.”
VisitScotland now hope to capitalise on the international exposure to attract even more visitors to the route.
Other global trails to be included in National Geographic’s list include the Great Himalaya Trek, Cinque Terre in Italy, the International Appalachian Trail in North America and the Yoshida Trail in Japan.
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