Inveroran to Inverarnan – The West Highland Way – Day 3. 21 miles from Inveroran via Bridge of Orchy to Tyndrum and on to the Drovers Hotel at Inverarnan.
In May, Lady Lynne, our friend Jen and I completed the 96 miles (154Km) West Highland Way walk North to South from Fort William to Milngavie in 6 days. This is our day by day recap of that walk.
Inveroran to Inverarnan was our third day walking The West Highland Way. Make sure you’ve caught up on the previous 2 days first :-
I do love a good hearty breakfast when I’m hiking. I’d had a memorable breakfast here at The Inveroran Hotel a few years ago when celebrating my 40th birthday. That time I had smoked haddock. This time I had smoked salmon and again I wasn’t disappointed. It was a perfect start to the day.
The weather forecast for this day’s walk from to Inveroran to Inverarnan was again for it to be dry until later in the day. Then after it would rain. How accurate would the forecast be this time we wondered?
Once again based on the weather forecast and also the fact we would be covering the largest distance today, we had an early start.
The plan for the second day running was to get the majority of the day’s walk completed before the worst of the rain. We hoped to arrive at The Drovers Hotel at about 6.00pm.
Inveroran to Inverarnan – Day 3
We rejoined The West Highland Way path just outside the front of the hotel. Our third day’s walk south starts with a short climb up the hill, Mam Carraigh.
I say “short climb” but it still meant we were taking our jackets and fleece’s off before reaching the top. There was no wind to cool us down!
From the top of the hill are spectacular views behind us across Loch Tulla and the peaks of the Black Mount Estate. Those peaks still retaining some of their winter snow.
On our descent from the hill and facing us were equally spectacular views of the Beinn Dorain range (above).
Beinn Dorain is one of the most recognisable Munros in the southern Highlands. Its shape being a huge conical peak. It makes for an amazing day’s climb too!
The outline of the West Highland Railway that we traveled up to Fort William on Monday can also be seen snaking down the glen.
After leaving the moorland there’s a short zig-zag descent through forestry. On reaching a second gate the famous Bridge of Orchy Hotel comes into view before we rejoin the Old Military Road.
We stopped briefly at the hotel for a comfort break. The last place a comfort break is available before the 6 mile trek alongside the railway line to Tyndrum.
The West Highland Way then crosses the busy and fast A82 main road. We headed up towards the Bridge of Orchy railway station and took the passageway under the railway track from where the path then turns right.
And it was at that exact spot, from where the path turns right that we met a couple of friends!
Actually we knew we would probably meet Joe and Davie (Davie took this photograph) at some point. They were doing the walk the other way from us, from South to North, at roughly the same time as ourselves. We just didn’t know where we might meet up.
We stopped for a short while to share stories of our injuries. Mainly blisters and sore feet. I’ll spare you the details of Davie’s toes. You can also thank me to for not going into specifics about the video he had made on that subject and shared with us when we met!
Also, as is customery when you meet friends on hikes like this, we shared the whisky around. Ours being an “emergency” hip flask of Talisker single malt I was carrying. 😄
The 6 mile trek to Tyndrum is almost exclusively all on the Old Military Road.
Cattle and sheep graze by the route on the rough moorland. It’s still a pretty harsh environment here so no crops are grown.
At this time there were plenty of calves and lambs to be seen. All of them as curious about us as we were of them!
We cross and go under the West Highland Railway a number of times on the way down. I managed to capture a short video of a train passing underneath us here with the driver waving.
I hope to put together a short video of all the snippets I filmed and post here in due course.
The railway line desends the glen to the station at Upper Tyndrum before descending again and joining the line from Oban back to Glasgow Queen Street station.
We took a short lunch stop on the outskirts of the busy village of Tyndrum before continuing on our way.
This part of the route from Inveroran to Inverarnan goes through the attractive Tyndrum Community Woodland. Depicted on the information board that we passed by, above.
There are excellent views of the surrounding mountains on this easy part of the route following the West Highland Way south from the village alongside the River Fillan.
The path passes by several areas of historical interest on this section.
Firstly there’s a lochan where legend has it that Robert the Bruce and his army threw their weapons into. They did this after they were beaten at the battle of Dalrigh. They did this to try to hasten their escape.
Then there’s a stone seat commemorating the site of the battle of Dalrigh where Robert’s army were all but destroyed.
After the Tyndrum Community Woodland section the path crosses to the North side of the A82 and goes through the Strathfillan Wigwams site. The area around the site is also a working farm, Auchtertyre Farm.
I stayed at the Strathfillan Wigwams last time I did the West Highland Way. The wigwam accommodation was excellent. This time when planning our route we decided that we wanted to try out The Drovers so that meant we had a longer walk today.
After Kirkton farm we cross the main A82 road again to go southwards. Then on entering Ewich forestry we pass under the stone viaduct of the Oban railway line before the path climbs through the forest for the next hour.
It was at that point we began to experience heavy rain showers. This time the forecast was exactly right though, as it was just after 3pm!
At the picnic bench at the top there are great views back towards Ben More, Stob Binnein and Cruach Ardrain. Then the path drops downwards from where a path to Crianlarich can be taken if required.
After leaving the forest, the path follows through open countryside. That section is quite open to the elements. The next few miles were wet and the path was very muddy in places. There were cattle that refused to move off the path too which necessitated a deviation uphill in order to get round them!
After descending to the floor of the glen we go through a tunnel to get to the other side of the A82 road.
There’s another riverside section which also follows part of the old main road and passes under the railway line.
Heavy rain showers, blue skies and sunny spells, typical Scottish “4 seasons in a day” (except there was no snow thankfully) weather are the course for the rest of the day as we steadily descend southwards.
By this time we’re feeling pretty tired, especially when it reaches 6pm and we had it in our heads that we should have been at our destination by now!
Eventually though we get to the Beinglas campsite. From there its a short walk over a bridge to head left along the A82 road before arriving finally at our destination. Just before 7pm!
Our accommodation for the night was The Drovers at Inverarnan.
The Drovers is over 300 years old and is an amazing place. Walking inside is like stepping back in time. There is just so much history that took place there.
Naturally, and is now custom at the end of each day, we dropped our baggage in our room to head to the bar. Once we had all showered, dinner was a bit later that evening, closer to 9pm. That was fine though as the meals are served late. Perfect for walkers who were still arriving and checking in!
The ladies were also able to get their Wi-Fi back too and reconnect with Facebook. 😉
Then it was off to bed absolutely shattered. Next day’s walk although shorter at 14 miles and along the side of Loch Lomond was still particularly challenging with rough terrain to get through.
So folks that ends Day 3, Inveroran to Inverarnan check back soon for Inverarnan to Rowardennan, Day 4. or better still subscribe by following the instructions below!
If you enjoyed reading this then you might also be interested in reading about our other walking adventures. Check out our 84 miles coast to coast Hadrian’s Wall Path walk across Britain.
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