NOT the West Highland Way

paperback: 174 x 117mm also available as ebook at same price
full colour pictures and sketch maps
Cicerone 2007: 13: ISBN 978 1 85284 530 8

The West Highland Way is one of the finest, if not the finest, of Britain's long-distance paths. It passes through six separate mountain ranges, from the tall elegant cone of Ben Lomond and the crag towers of grim Glen Coe, to the seductive Mamores whose very name has (in Gaelic) a sexual connotation. But does it go onto those enticing Stobs and Bens? It does not. It runs along Glens Falloch and Finnan, close to the reassuring rumble of the Highlands' second busiest main road and the West Highland Railway. Confronted with Scotland's biggest patch of peaty moorland, it skirts around the edge. It may be Scotland's best long distance path: but this book intends to do better.
      So here they are: the mountains alongside the way. When the sun shines, and the twitter of the skylarks is somehow more appealing than the rumble of the A82, here are Ben Lomond and Beinn Dorain, the charming Campsie Fells, and the mighty Mamores; and the best pub-to-pub in these islands, the crossing of the Black Mount from Inveroran to Glen Coe. Here too are the more radical departures: the Dumbarton start, the damp little path along Loch Etive, the bleak peaty ways through the heart of Rannoch Moor, the wooded riversides at the back of Ben Nevis.
      The West Highland Way, with its well made path, its centuries of history, its mountain surroundings, is the best long path in Scotland. But when the best is just not good enough, here is the Not the West Highland Way.

•       Mountain alternatives to all but one of the WH Way stages
•       One-day hill circuits from Rowardennan, Inverarnan, Crianlarich, Inveroran and Fort William
•       Trip tips for beginner backpackers
•       Two two-day journeys each ideal as a first trip with the tent
•       Loch Lomond to Fort William away from the West Highland Way
•       A Winter Not the West Highland Way

extracts, sample route or two, contents listing and some pictures on the
Cicerone Press website


A quirky title of alternative routes above and alongside the popular West Highland Way. They include mountain day-circuits and 'first timer' backpacking routes, plus diversions over neighbouring hills and passes. Highly inventive and enjoyable.   Walk (journal of
The Ramblers )

What really lifts this great walking book up to the very summit of the hundreds of rival books out there is Ron Turnbull's colourful and knowledgeable style.
       There are just enough adjectives, anecdotes and asides to make this a readable book in its own right. I started skimming the pages for the review then found myself engrossed and two hours later I was still reading his tips for camping out in the wild and planning my next adventure.
       So 'Not the West Highland Way' is a mainly collection of practical highland walks ranging from a few hours to several days but it is also packed with other information and observations about walking, not just in Scotland, but anywhere. It's lovely stuff.
  Kitmaster www.thetraveleditor.com (read full review here )

Ronald Turnbull's ... books are always of a high standard, being both serious and amusing. For those who enjoy a challenge this book is well-recommended.   Les Maple Strider (journal of the Long Distance Walkers' Association )

Overview Map 2: the WH Way (pink) and some of the book's off-route routes over the central section



The High Road and the Low

When to go

Safety in the mountains


How to use this book

A Winter Not the West Highland Way

PART ONE: the high road and the low

Milngavie to Drymen

1. Hill Option: the Campsie Fells

Drymen to Rowardennan

Rowardennan to Inversnaid

2. Rowardennan Outing: Ben Lomond

3. Hill Crossing: Ben Lomond to Inversnaid

Inversnaid to Inverarnan

4. Hill crossing: Beinn a' Choin

5. Inverarnan outing: Beinn Chabhair

Inverarnan to Tyndrum

6. Hill crossing: Ben Lui

7. Crianlarich outing: An Caisteal and Beinn a' Chroin

Tyndrum to Inveroran

8. Hill crossing: the back of Beinn Dorain

9. Inveroran outing: Ben Inverveigh and Meall Tairbh

Inveroran to Kings House

10. Hill crossing: Black Mount

Kings House to Kinlochleven

11. Hill crossing: Beinn a' Chrulaiste and the Blackwater

Kinlochleven to Fort William

12. Hill crossing: Mamores

13. Hill crossing: More Mamores

14. Fort William outing: Ben Nevis by the CMD Arete

PART TWO: Beginnerish backpacking

The excitement is in tents

Midges are unpleasant

May is the Month

Shoulder-strengthening short trips

The off-route food-fetching formula

Stuff, stuffsacks, and throwing it all away.

Attention to tents: tent captions

15. A mostly gentle two-day: the Back of Ben Nevis

16. A wilder two-day: Taynuilt to Bridge of Orchy

PART 3: Away from the Way

17. Dumbarton Start

18. Wrong side of the Loch: the Arrochar Alps

19. The Etive Trek

20. Blackwater and the Lairig Leacach

21. Routes of Rannoch

Roads to the Deep North

22. Corrour to Dalwhinnie

Onwards and eastwards

23. Fort William to Inverie

24. Spean Bridge to Cluanie and even Cape Wrath

Appendix A: access

Appendix B: reference section


Public Transport

Accommodation (general)

Accommodation and shops (West Highland Way)

Tourist Information Centres

Appendix C: Further reading