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Ramblings
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Ramblings
Fridays 15:00-15:30
Clare Balding explores favourite British walks
Clare Balding - iconic walks
Clare BaldingIn celebration of Clare Balding's 100th edition of Ramblings (23rd March), this new series is devoted to exploring the iconic walks of the United Kingdom.
The West Highland Way
9 March 2007
Bridge of Orchy and Beinn Dorain
This week Clare and Scottish folk singer Jimmie Macgregor explore a section of the 95 mile long West Highland Way
There can be very few places where the wonder and wildness of nature is more evident than along the West Highland Way. The 95 mile long route of the Way opened in 1980, the first of Scotland's designated long distance routes. Starting from Milngavie, outside Glasgow, it ends at Fort William. It's usually walked from south to north, allowing fitness to build in time to meet the more demanding terrain.

Clare walks one of the wilder sections, from Bridge of Orchy to Forest Lodge. Her walking companion is Scottish folk singer, Jimmie Macgregor, who along with Robin Hall was a regular guest on BBC’s Tonight programme in the sixties and seventies. Jimmie became acquainted with the route as a boy and he's walked the length of it several times since it opened.

Map: OS Explorer 377 Loch Etive & Glen Orchy. East sheet
Start: Bridge of Orchy
Start Grid Ref: NN298395
End: Forest Lodge
End Grid Ref: NN270424
Distance: 2-3 miles
Terrain: Footpath and single track road
Suitable for: all.

The Route:
Start on the old bridge (behind the Bridge of Orchy Hotel) which was built by the English militia in 1751.
Shortly beyond the bridge the West Highland Way strikes uphill, but because of the poor weather conditions and the muddiness of path we kept on the single track road which circles the hill. Even from the road there are excellent views of Ben Starav, Stob Ghabhar and Stob Coir an Albannaich and then over to the east of Beinn Achaldadair and behind Beinn Dorain and the Crianlarich hills.

The route skirts the edge of Loch Tulla. Then drops down to the Inveroran Hotel, which vies with Kinghouse Hotel on Rannoch Moor as the oldest inn site in Scotland. It's where Dorothy Wordsworth complained that her boiled eggs were too hard! Travel on another mile or so to Forest Lodge.

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