The Way

I’m back in London today after a week of walking the West Highland Way in Scotland.

If you haven’t heard of it, the WHW is Scotland’s first long distance path officially opened in 1980 although farmers, missionaries and soldiers have been using sections of it for far longer than that. It runs from a station in an unassuming suburb of Glasgow to a roundabout just on the edge of Fort William 95 miles later. But it’s the bits in between that make it special.

As well as the scenery there are some great places for eating and drinking. The Drovers Inn must be in the running for ‘best pub in the UK when it’s raining’. A perfect place to sit sipping a single malt with your clothes steaming and toes toasting by open fires. The bizarre stuffed wildlife in the lobby and some of the locals (who look like they’ve been there since the place opened in 1705) add to the ambience.

On a more painful note, I now know where Michael Chrichton got the inspiration for the swarms of self-organising nanobots in Prey. He must have visited Scotland in the summer and witnessed the midgies. My arms look like somebody has been practicing voodoo on them.

While it took me seven days, and that’s what most people reckon to do it in, the record is a bewildering 16 hours 26 mins. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

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