Boats, Boots and 7.5 miles of the West Highland Way
The WHW Rambler Cruise is the perfect way to experience a stretch of the famous West Highland Way, Britain's longest Footpath. As its only 7.5 miles, its perfect for a half day or for the more leisurely(!) a full day’s walk.
Departing from the pier at Tarbet, Loch Lomond at either 8.45am, 10.00am or 11.30am you can sit back and enjoy the cruise to the eastern shore of the Loch.
*There is also the option to do the walk the opposite way, from Rowardennan to Inversnaid. Times of cruises at foot of this blog*
The Inversnaid Hotel, which boasts some of the best views of Loch Lomond, was commissioned by the Duke of Montrose in 1820 and was originally used as a hunting lodge but tourism was booming and it was soon converted into a hotel. The area itself is a historically important location and has hosted clan warfare, Jacobite rebels and Highland clearances. The most infamous of locals was the cattle reiver and outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor who lived in nearby Glengyle!
Once off the boat at Inversnaid, take a turn to the right hand side of the Hotel and climb the steep steps to the top of the Arklet Falls. A lovely place to stop and take photos looking out over the Loch and to the Haggis factory on the hill opposite….
Setting out on the 7.5 mile path you will walk through ancient oak woodland and scramble among boulders above remote Loch inlets.
This area is home to a wide range of wildlife, including the rare feral goat which roams the surrounding hillside. There are also a wide variety of rare birds in the area including Black Grouse, Pie Flycatcher, Redstart, Twite, Wood Warbler, Red Kite and the majestic Ospreys.
It wouldn't be the Bonnie Banks if we didn't have a High Road and a Low Road and you are given the option a couple of miles into your walk. At Ptarmigan Lodge you can either take the higher forestry road or you have the option to take the low Loch side road. Both beautiful routes but with possibly more Loch side picnic spots and views we tend to favour the low road.
If you are feeling a bit peckish on your walk some enterprising folk along the way have set up a wee Honesty Stop. With homemade tablet, energy bars, slices of orange its a great place to take a breather and if you have kids with you, to entice them on with treats!
There are a number of little beaches where you can take your time to stop for a picnic. With no rubbish collection at this point of the Loch just remember to take everything with you when leaving.
The return ferry back to Tarbet departs from the Rowardennan Lodge Youth Hostel . The Youth Hostel offers snacks, ice lollies, cold and hot drinks throughout the day. If you have a bit more time to relax after your walk then the Rowardennan Hotel offers lunch options. This is a 15 minute walk from the jetty at the hostel so just remember to leave plenty of time for your walk back.
Our boat departs at the Rowardennan Youth Hostel jetty at 4.45pm, arriving in Tarbet at 5.30pm.
For further information and to book your cruise go to:
T: 01301 702 356
Ticket prices : £15.00 per adult , Child £9.00, Family £43.00
*Tarbet to Rowardennan — departs at 8.45am
*Return boat from Inversnaid to Tarbet — 2.15pm, 4.00pm and 4.30pm
Sturdy boots are recommended and please keep dogs under control.
A complimentary coffee / tea on outward journey and a beer, wine or soft drink awaits you on your return leg.
This walk is family friendly (recommended for children aged 8+ who are able to walk 7.5 miles).