West Highland Way: Accommodation in Bunkhouses and Hostels

Self catering bunkhouses & hostels
Kinghouse Hotel Bunkhouse on the west highland way

The West Highland way is Scotland’s oldest long distance walk and is scattered with hostels and bunkhouses where you can experience Highland hospitality. The 96 miles route follows drovers trails, scrambles along remote loch sides and passes over high moorland. The Way starts in Milngavie just north of Glasgow follows Loch Lomand and passes over Rannoch moor by Glencoe to finish in Fort William in the Scottish highlands. The bunkhouses and hostels along route provide low cost self catering accommodation so you do not have to carry camping equipment. Some have private rooms and in others you can sleep in shared rooms.

West Highland Way Accommodation
Click markers to view hostels and bunkhouses

  • Profile picture of Smiddy Bunkhouse

    Smiddy Bunkhouse

    Find a friendly welcome at this warm & comfortable hostel for your group or family. Enjoy the loch-side location overlooking the Caledonian Canal, 4 miles from Fort William & Ben Nevis, with the meeting of the West Highland Way and Great Glen Way on your doorstep. Perfect for the outdoor enthusiast with advice/instruction/guiding from resident instructors for walking/climbing, river, loch and sea kayaking & dinghy sailing. Equipment hire available. AALS licensed & DofE approved for activity expeditions.

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  • Profile picture of Tartan Lodge

    Tartan Lodge

    On Alexandra Parade, near Denistoun and 20 minutes’ walk from Glasgow city centre, Tartan Lodge, is set within a former 19th century church and Masonic Lodge. You will find affordable accommodation for budget and business travellers with a selection of double and twin en suite bedrooms and shared dormitories with family facilities. Towels can be hired.

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  • Profile picture of Coorie Doon

    Coorie Doon

    Ideally situated next to the road to the Isles, the Caledonian Canal (route of the Great Glen Way) and close to the West Highland Way, Nevis Range and the Glencoe Mountain Resort, this stylish cabin offers easy access to world-class hiking, climbing, skiing, mountain biking, or simply enjoying the amazing view. Es, the owner and a mountaineer, is happy to offer advice. After a day of adventures return to the luxury of a drying room, underfloor heating and hot showers!

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  • Profile picture of Fort William Backpackers

    Fort William Backpackers

    Surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery, Fort William is a mecca for those with a spirit of adventure. You can start (or end) the West Highland Way in Fort William, hike or bike along mountain trails, go for a boat trip on the sea loch or just take it easy amidst the wonderful scenery. Even in winter Fort William stays busy with skiing, snow-boarding, mountaineering and ice-climbing. Set on a hillside above the town, with wonderful views, this cosy hostel provides all you'll need after a day in the hills.

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  • Profile picture of By the Way Hostel and Campsite

    By the Way Hostel and Campsite

    By The Way Hostel & Campsite lies in the Loch Lomond National Park, between Arrochar's peaks & Glencoe. There's excellent walking, climbing and white water rafting. The accommodation includes camping, various huts: hobbit houses, posh pods, glamping & trekker huts, camping cabins & a purpose built 4* hostel with twin, double & dormitory rooms, with great self-catering facilities. For more comfort still there are 2 chalets; one with three bedrooms, one with two.

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  • Profile picture of Euro Hostel Glasgow

    Euro Hostel Glasgow

    Your smarter alternative to a hotel in the city, just five mins’ walk from Central Station, with friendly staff, a lively bar and clean comfortable private & shared en suite rooms. Perfect for clubbing, shopping and discovering the city’s cultural heritage and live music scene. Or for visiting family, coast to coast cycle rides/city cultural walks, sporting events, or shopping & good nights out. The VIP suites are ideal for all types of groups.

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  • Profile picture of Kingshouse Bunkhouse

    Kingshouse Bunkhouse

    Within the grounds of the famous Kingshouse Hotel, this brand new, purpose built bunkhouse is right on the West Highland Way amid spectacular Scottish mountain scenery. With 32 beds across 10 rooms there is ample storage for your bags and each bunk has a locker, reading light, power socket, linen and towels. Ideal for travellers needing a stopping point or as a base to explore all that Glencoe has to offer and beyond. You'll find skiing, walking and mountain biking on the doorstep. The Way Inn café also offers all day dining and packed lunches. Open from 7am to 11pm daily.

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  • Profile picture of Blythswood House

    Blythswood House

    In the heart of Glasgow city centre. Blythswood House is the perfect base from which to explore everything the city has to offer. The single rooms are grouped in flats of 2,6,7 or 8 so perfect for individuals or groups wanting to visit Glasgow in the summer. All rooms are en suite and each flat has self-catering facilities. Easily accessible from the city's train and bus stations Blythswood House welcomes walkers and cyclists.

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  • Profile picture of Bank Street Lodge

    Bank Street Lodge

    Bank Street Lodge is 100 metres from Fort William High Street with its shops, pubs & restaurants. There is a fully equipped kitchen with cooker, fridge, microwave, cutlery and crockery. The common room lounge has a TV, it also provides tables and chairs for meals and a snack vending machine. All bedding is provided. Some rooms are en-suite (twins, doubles and family). Some of the en-suite rooms have recently been refurbished. WiFi is also available in the lounge/TV room. 3 Star STB rating.

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  • Profile picture of Balmaha Bunkhouse / Hostel

    Balmaha Bunkhouse / Hostel

    On the banks of Loch Lomond on the West Highland Way, Balmaha Bunkhouse offers quality accommodation. Continental breakfast, bedding, WiFi, tea & coffee are included. Ideal for hen, stag and family get-togethers. Plus a private self-catering chalet (The Roost) sleeps 4 and B&B (en suite) in the main house. Kayaks and Canadian canoes can be hired on site.

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Accommodation along the West Highland Way.

The West Highland Way is generally walked from South to North, starting just north of Glasgow at  Milngavie and finishing in Fort William in the highland.   The details of bunkhouses and hostels providing self caterng accommodation along the route are shown in this order in the list below. .

BALMAHA BUNKHOUSE / HOSTEL: On at Balmaha.  BY THE WAY HOSTEL AND CAMPSITE : On the West Highland Way at Tyndrum.  KINGS HOUSE BUNKHOUSE :  On the Way at Kings House Hotel in Glencoe. GLENCOE INDEPENDENT HOSTEL :  Glencoe, 20 mins drive from West Highland Way.  SMIDDY BUNKHOUSE :  Corpach, 3km from WHW. COORIE DOON:  Banavie, Fort William. BANK STREET LODGE, FORT WILLIAM BACKPACKERS : Fort William, at the end of the West Highland Way.  You can see the location of other hostels in this area on our Scottish Map.

Mike Emmett has told us the story of his walk along the West Highland Way and this is included below.  Mike bought a package that organised his weeks walking trip, booking accommodation in hotels and transporting luggage. However it is possible to walk using a light backpack and staying in a mixture of hostels and other accommodation.

Here is Mike’s story

Eight of us, aged 66 to 72 decided this year’s Scottish adventure would be the West Highland Way.

Day 1 West Highland Way Milngavie to Drymen, 12 miles

We started at the official West Highland Way  obelisk in Milngavie. The first part of the walk was on old railway line, cleverly converted. We went off track a short distance to visit the ruined Mugdock Castle.

West Highland Way Milngavie to Mugdock Castle
West Highland Way Milngavie to Mugdock Castle

In spite of the rain, heavy at times, we trudged on the 12 miles to Drymen along woodland paths, more railway and finally a few miles on road, which can be hard walking.

Day  2 West Highland Way Drymen to Rowardennan, 15 miles

A better day, only showers. Woodland and moorland  for the first half with many a short up and down. We climbed Conic Hill, local beauty spot and magnet for short distance walkers, to get a great view of Loch Lomond below us. Tea and cakes in Balmaha where we walked past Balmaha Bunkhouse which provides accommodation for walkers. Then onward along the path beside the loch to Rowardennen where we spent the night. (A party of Danes could not understand our accents, most of us being from Tyneside !).

west highland way Loch Lomand from Conic Hill

Day 3 West Highland Way  Rowardennen to Beinglas Farm, 13 miles.

For me this was the hardest day. The path was initially good to Inversnaid hotel. After that a narrow path close to the shore of Loch Lomond. It was very rocky in places, care being needed and some short scrambles too. Final section across fields to Beinglas where we stayed the night. We visited the ancient pub “The Drovers  Inn”, dating back to Rob Roy. It had not been decorated since he was there.

Day 4 West Highland Way Beinglas to Tyndrum, 14 miles

The first half, to Crianlarich was a mixture of moorland, woodland and muddy tracks. It rained a bit too. We went off the West Highland Way for tea at Criuanlarich railway station. The second half of the day took us through several miles of coniferous plantation, which can be boring but this one was not too bad.  Out of the forest we passed St Fillans abbey (ruined). The Lochan of the Sword where Robert the Bruce, according to myth, threw his sword after defeat in battle.  Finally a footpath brought us to Tyndrum where we spent the night.  Tyndrum  is the location of the By the Way Hostel which provides accommodation and a campsite for walkers right by the West Highland Way.

West Highland Way The Way goes ever on

Day 5  West Highland Way Tyndrum to Inveroran Hotel, 10 miles

Getting deeper into the highlands the walk was getting more interesting. After 7 miles we stopped at the Bridge of Orchy hotel for tea and scones (honest).  Moving on over moorland we came in sight of the isolated Inveroran hotel, quite isolated (No wifi!!) but in a beautiful setting below the Black  Mount and close to Loch Tulla. It suited us, sitting in the sunshine enjoying a quiet pint and watching other walkers come down the hill to the hotel. (Dorothy Wordsworth, travelling with William, was not as impressed apparently).

West Highland Way Lunchtime Buchaile

Day  6 West Highland Way, Inveroran to Kings House, 10 miles

Sadly the day started with a slight thunderstorm and rain, which ensured the mountains were all but invisible. As morning progressed the cloud lifted and we walked on a good track built by Thomas Telford in 1803. We walked across part of Rannoch Moor, a desolate uninhabited land of bog and lochan. But the views were unbeatable, as we left the Black Mount the mountains of Glen Coe appeared in all there glory. A really magnificent area. We stayed at the Kingshouse Hotel close to the head of Glen Coe. Kings House Hotel has a bunkhouse KINGS HOUSE BUNKHOUSE. In the evening a herd of deer, females with their young, came very close to the hotel.

Day 7 West Highland Way Kingshouse to Kinlochleven, 8 miles

A short walk parallel to the road that goes down Glen Coe before heading up “The Devil’s Staircase” a steep zig zag path that is also an old military road. It reaches 1789 feet, the highest point on the WHW and is another popular short walk, up to the shoulder and down again!   The view from the top was well worth the effort(which wasn’t too bad). A grand panorama of the Mamores to the north and looking back the mountains that line Glen Coe.It seemed a long walk down to Kinlochleven. In spite of the old aluminum smelter and hydro power station Kinlochleven is quite a pretty place. One of the old buildings has been converted to Britain’s ice climbing centre micro brewery.

West Highland Way Mamores from Devils Staircase
West Highland Way Mamores from Devils Staircase

Day 8  West Highland Way Kinlochleven to Fort William, 16 miles

After a short steep climb through woodland we reached another old /military road that contoured nearly all the way to Glen Nevis.  Ben Nevis appeared, initially covered in cloud but that slowly burned off. It was possible to see the steady stream of walkers plodding up the tourist route to the summit of  Ben Nevis. We walked down through woodland to Glen Nevis. Sadly, the last couple of miles of the WHW are on a road. We had to walk the length of the high street to get to the official finish and then, surprisingly, we went to the nearest pub to celebrate.

west highland way Day 6 and the end of the walk

Officially the walk is 96 miles, we clocked up a few extra.   One of the pleasures of the walk is the camaraderie. Not just between the eight of us. We often walked in pairs, sometimes alone. But everyday we met groups of people also doing the West Highland Way. Most of them were Europeans, some Americans, some Canadians. We always exchanged greetings and enquiries as to how was it going etc. Some people, mostly young, were doing the walk carrying full packs, tents sleeping bags etc. Ouch.  It was a great experience, looking back I enjoyed every step in its own way and much to my surprise, I didn’t even get one blister.