At the end of the West Highland Way

Published 21 October 2012

At the end!

Apologies for the lack of A Sunday Picture last week. Technical issues or something…

Until recently you could probably have described the end of the West Highland Way as the most disappointing terminus of any long distance walk. You’d be wrong because that honour is actually held by the Cumbria Way, but it wasn’t far off.

See, until 2010 the West Highland Way ended on the edge of Fort William, and next to a busy roundabout.

There was a rather lacklustre sign and a bench for you to sit on. Not that the bench had much to do with the walk as the plaque on it boldly proclaimed it was placed there to celebrate the renewal of Fort William’s water mains.

To make everything the whole ending even more appealing, you had to walk for a mile and a half down a busy road to actually get there. Given the West Highland Way is a walking route full of stunning scenery, with amazing views and sights, well it was all a bit of a let down.

Compared with the start in Milngavie which has a large granite obelisk, lots of West Highland Way branded benches and a massive sign at the start point, and it felt like Fort William just didn’t care.

But in 2010 everything changed. Although actually the ending of the West Highland Way is still a bit of a let-down, but they’ve made it less bad by extending it in to the town centre.

The Original End of the West Highland Way

The original sign post is still there, just with a new message on it. And then the weary walker heads in to the town centre.

Past lots of shops (apparently this move has been excellent for the economy) and up to the other side of the town where there’s a statue.

The New End of the West Highland Way

Rather old fashioned in its styling (I mean, where’s the Gore-tex?) but at least its better than it was. Although the statue was being climbed over by small children during our visit in the summer of 2012.

Still those walking now who get there will, I’m sure, be eternally glad to no longer be celebrating at a busy road junction.

If you’d like to see a video of the new ending, well you’re in luck!.

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