If you want your Bed & Breakfast, Campsite, or Hostel listed here with photo, phone no, email, and website link please fill the form on the contact page – it is a free listing for all providers of accommodation for walkers.
There is a fair choice of places to stay along the West Highland Way. The type of accommodation that you choose (or want to spend on), will to a great extent decide what you will need to carry.
If you are staying in a Bed & Breakfast or Hotel you will be carrying the least, at the other end if you are camping you will need to carry more, see what to pack page for all details.
Camping is only allowed in particular designated areas. Wild camping is not allowed, though some walkers do. Camping in good weather (i.e. not raining) is wonderful, it adds to the walk a calmness that comes being closer to nature. However in the rain or cold weather, I would rather be inside and dry. The advantages of camping are: no need to book accommodation in advance, much cheaper, more flexibility allowing you to change plans along the way. The main disadvantage is carrying more weight, a problem if you are not used to long distance walking. The camping page list all the sites and facilities at each, they vary a great deal.
Bothies are basic, as basic as it gets for indoor accommodation. They are bare huts with generally only a fire. If you are camping they can make a change from having to pitch your tent every night, also if it is raining it is a better option. They can become quiet crowded during the busy season, ear plugs are a good extra.
This is the bothy code
Respect Other Users. Please leave the bothy clean, tidy and with dry kindling for the next visitors. Respect the Bothy. Guard against fire risk and don’t cause vandalism or graffiti. Please take out all rubbish which you don’t burn. Avoid burying rubbish: this pollutes the environment. Please don’t leave perishable food, this encourages mice and rats.
Respect The Surroundings
Human waste must be buried carefully out of sight. Please use the spade provided. For health reasons never use the vicinity of the bothy as a toilet. Keep well away from the water supply. Conserve fuel. Never cut live wood.
Bothies are available for short stays only. Permission should be obtained for longer visits. Unless the safety of the group requires the use of shelter in bad weather, bothies are not available for groups of 6 or more because of overcrowding and the lack of facilities such as toilets. For the same reasons groups are asked not to camp outside bothies. Groups wishing to use a bothy should seek permission from the estate.
Finally, please ensure the fire is out and the door properly closed when you leave.
Bothies are used at your own risk
www.hostel-scotland.co.uk privately owned hostels
www.syha.org.uk Scottish youth hostel association
There are enough hostels in Scotland and along the west highland way to make it a viable option to stay in them all the way along the route. See my route guide. Most are friendly, have cooking facilities, and are significantly cheaper than bed and breakfasts. Check out the web site for each. It is recommended that you book in advance, especially during any of the busy times.
Bed and breakfast.
Check Scottish tourist board webs site. Bed and Breakfast used to be a room in someone’s home for the night. It used to be nearly as cheap as hostelling, but alas no more. Most bed and breakfast establishments are run on a full time commercial basis. Some are still good value, very welcoming, and provide a great breakfast before starting out on a days walking. There is a huge range of them, from those that are still in family homes to the higher end, this of course is reflected in the cost. If you can book directly with the bed and breakfast, the Scottish tourist board take ten percent of any booking, hence the b&B earn less. One result of this is that it can often be cheaper to book directly and not use a third party such as the Scottish Tourist Board.
Hotels and Pubs.
This is the top end, and a bit more anonymous than the rest. These places will do B&B, personally I prefer the B&B, but everyone to their own.