The West Highland Way: Crianlarich to Ardlui

This is a straight-forward walk along the West Highland Way from Crianlarich to Ardlui. For aficionados of the WHW, it’s good to be looking in the opposite direction for once, since most people walk towards Crianlarich. Your views will be down the Falloch Glen towards Ben and Loch Lomond.  And although you won’t think this at the time, apart from the climb up through the woodlands at the start, you are gently going downhill all the way!!!

If you are eating at The Ardlui Hotel afterwards, you will probably get permission to park at the car park on the left-hand side of the A82 at Ardlui Hotel NOT in the hotel car park. To get there, take the A82, Great Western Road, as usual, (Boulevard, Dumbarton, up Loch Lomondside). Make sure that you follow the A82 round to the right at Tarbet, rather than going straight on up the A83. Along this often twisting narrow road, note Ardlui Station on your left, the marina on your right, Ardlui Hotel on your right and a large layby on the left. If this is full, there is a large car park next left. Both of these areas belong to the Hotel and are not for public use.  There is a shop opposite the layby selling sandwiches and drinks etc. There are excellent toilets at Firkin Point and Tarbet and you would be best to use these. There are toilets on the train but you only have one stop! There are toilets at Crianlarich but they are slightly off your route.

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Begin by walking back down the road from the car park at Ardlui towards the station. There is an excellent off-road path for walkers although crossing to the station is awkward. The journey lasts 16 minutes and you get out at Crianlarich. A set of steps leads directly on to the road and the WHW is signposted to the left. You begin with a climb up on to the path since the WHW officially by-passes Crianlarich. Take this very gently: the path is good and there are no steep climbs but it does go on a bit. At the top, take the WHW towards Glasgow (NOT Tyndrum!). Then follows an idyllic seven miles on an excellent track looking up at Ben More, across to the Old Caledonian Forest and down the Falloch Glen. At one point there is a sharp turn to the left, taking you steeply down to an underpass underneath the A72. There follows some really pretty bits along the river although you hear rather than see the Falls. Derrydoch Bridge is delightful! The path is universally good underfoot, varied but busy. Simply follow all the WHW signs.

At Beinglass you might want to stop for a drink, ice-cream whatever, along with about 3,946 others!!!! If you want to leave here, you could take the bus. The bus is either No. 914/915/916 and runs from the Drover’s Inn to Ardlui Hotel (about 5 minutes) at 14.40 15.40; and 16.40.

Otherwise you plough on for another two miles, making 9 miles in total. The last two miles are quite tough!

At the ferry at Ardleish, the fun begins!!! You need to hoist the orange buoy! The sail across Loch Lomond is lovely! The fare is currently £4 per person. Remember to lower the buoy before you cross. You arrive back at the Ardlui Hotel.

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