End of the West Highland Way

 
Start of the West Highland Way

 

End of the West Highland Way?  the new end, I mean.  For those who have walked the West Highland Way, they will know that it ends in Fort William but today marks a the official opening of a new end of the walk.  The 95-mile route has been extended by one mile and where it once ended at a roundabout in the town, the new point has sculptures and a seating area.

Gordon Forrester, West Highland Way manager said: “Walkers completing the route felt a great sense of anticlimax after completing what was an inspirational walk.  There was no great sense of arrival, finishing beside a glorified road sign.  The new end has a Caithness stone map of the route, benches to sit on and a sculpture to have your picture taken with. The backdrop is now of Loch Linnhe and Ardnamurchan rather than traffic.”

The West Highland Way is a long distance footpath, beginning in Milngavie, north of Glasgow and travelling over many ancient roads, including drover’s roads, old coaching roads and military roads, with the final destination being Fort William.  The trail was opened on October 6, 1980, after 6 years of development.  Traversing through scenic glens and crossing hills and ridges, as many as 70,000 walkers take the route each year.

Ben Nevis

 So, today is party day.  For those of you who live in Scotland, this may be a typical celebration, however I will be sorry to miss this because it sounds like a lot of  fun.  Here’s the line-up:

1pm – 1.30pm Walkers to gather at the Ben Nevis Woollen Mill car park to walk the ‘last mile’ accompanied by Edinburgh Postal and Lochaber pipe bands.
1.30pm – 2pm Last mile walk along Belford Road to the West End of the High Street West End – Gordon Square
2.05pm Official welcome and opening of the West Highland Way finish point
2.20pm Highland Dancing
2.30pm Meur Lochaber Ceilidh band
2.50pm Country dancing
3.00pm Ceilidh band / Pipe bands
4.15pm Final Stramash ! 

I particularly like the part where they invite everyone “to join the Ceilidh fun at 2.30pm but if you are intending to bring your instrument along to take part please gather at the gable end opposite Gordon Square at 2.15pm”.

I have taken the information and photos from the following websites: 

http://www.walkinginscotland.org/, http://www.west-highland-way.co.uk/, http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/highlandsandislands/hi/people_and_places/newsid_8973000/8973631.stm.

Just a note on the West Highland Way and my involvement in the walking of it.  It’s not that I haven’t considered it but it just hasn’t been in my visiting-Scotland itinerary up to this point.  Some day I would like to walk at least part of it.    oh and I looked up Stramash (see above at 4:15 p.m.) and it says it’s a chiefly Scottish word for racket, disturbance, crash, smashup (origin 1803) … should be quite the ending to a fun-filled day.

Conic Hill

 

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