Bridge of Orchy to Kingshouse, Rannoch Moor
Key information: Bridge of Orchy to Kingshouse, Rannoch Moor
- This fine stretch of the West Highland Way crosses the fringes of the remarkable Rannoch Moor, which is outstanding by any standards.
- A wonderful walk (on a good day!)
- Walkopedia rating86.5
- Natural interest16
- Human interest8
- Negative points1
- Total rating86.5
- Note: Neg: Likely bad weather
- Length: 19+ km, 12miles
- 3.5-5 hrs
- Level of Difficulty: Strenuous
This fine stretch of the West Highland Way crosses the fringes of the remarkable Rannoch Moor, which is outstanding by any standards: a high empty plateau of hill and moorland and bog, with grand highland mountains in the background, riven by burns and littered by delightful little lochs. The valley of the River Ba, at its heart, is meltingly beautiful on a good day, and sinisterly so on a bad one. One of the finest days on the West Highland Way.
Beginning at Bridge of Orchy on the busy A82 road just below where Loch Tulla empties into to the river Orchy, you cross the river on a fine old military bridge, and have the choice of rounding the ridge ahead on a minor road (for slackers), or of climbing steadily through pretty woodland to emerge onto a grassy hillside and climb pretty painlessly to a really beautiful viewpoint on a ridge of Ben Ivereigh, with wide views of the nearby mountains and across Loch Tulla towards Rannoch Moor, then descending to meet the road again at Inveroran. (You can start your walk here if time is short.)
A pretty stretch of the little road around the boggy head of the loch, with lovely views west up two wide glens with gorgeous grassy, craggy hills to each side, gets you to the beginning of a long stretch of rough-cobbled old road, which was built under Telford to replace the deteriorating older military road. This involves 2 + hours of gentle climbing and crossing undulating lake-sprinkled moorland. The first hour or so is interesting and attractive enough, albeit in or by pine woodland; the visual fireworks begin as the views open up over Rannoch Moor as you get higher: on a good day you can can gaze eastward for miles and miles across moorland, bog and lakelet to distant blue ridges. To your west is the thrilling hole that is Coire Ba, surrounded by cliffs and grassy hillsides. Marvellous.
You eventually reach a ridge-top and descend steadily down the flanks of steep Meall a'Bhuirdh, approaching the scarring of a minor ski establishment. Across the main road, a 20-minute trudge gets you to Kings House Hotel, which is not a beauty, but is amazingly sited and actually extremely pleasant to stay in.
A very good day's walking.
WILLIAM MACKESY'S ACCOUNT
of this walk
We walked this fine stretch of the West Highland Way on a hot and clear August day.
Beginning at Bridge of Orchy on the busy A82 road just below where Loch Tulla empties into to the river Orchy, we crossed the river on a fine old military bridge, and struch off from minor road, climbing steadily through pretty woodland to emerge onto a grassy hillside and climb pretty painlessly to a really beautiful viewpoint on a ridge of Ben Ivereigh, with wide views of the nearby mountains and across Loch Tulla towards Rannoch Moor.
A steady descent to meet the road again at Inveroran.....READ MORE
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