3. West Highland Way – Inverarnan to Bridge of Orchy

Inveranan to Bridge of Orchy West Highland Way sign

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West Highland Way Day Three Low Down

Day 3: Inverarnan to Bridge of Orchy: The Day of Doom, West Highland Way
Miles: 19
Time: 09:30 – 18:00
Weather: Grey, dull and rainy
Accommodation: Stance Cottage (£70 double room / £50 or £55 single / Bridge of Orchy Hotel £100 – £160)

Inverarnan to Bridge of Orchy

I honestly cannot think about this day of the West Highland Way without grimacing. I have never felt pain like it. All was well as we (day three team, Helen, Lee, and myself) left The Drover’s Inn, walking over bridges, up hills and over cow pats.

Inverarnan to Bridge of Orchy West Highland Way

We chatted away about life in America (where Lee lives) and with good pace headed towards Crianlarich. The weather took a turn (raincoat fail – see packing guide) and hammered down as we walked through a fairy-like forest.

Legs were heavy and Crianlarich was never coming. We spoke with some workmen who told us Crianlarich was a few miles off the route and they offered us a lift, which we declined with yesterday in mind! We decided to bypass lunch in Crianlarich and keep muddling through.

Stathfillan campsite offered us a bench, toilets and a wee shop to buy a Kit Kat from (there are limited, but some food options) which was respite but for me, the damage had been done.

The Day of Doom

Soon after, the back of my heels became excruciatingly painful and I couldn’t have anything touching them. At points, I thought I was going to be sick with pain (I’ve never broken anything, only a twisted ankle when I was 14 trying to impress the P.E student teacher, so this was new for me).

I somehow managed to make it to Tyndrum for late lunch at The Green Welly, Bridge of Orchy, using the walking sticks (saviour) as crutches and with the support from an ankle sock. I put it down to my walking boots.

I had purchased new boots with high ankle support as I had previously started to feel my ankle niggle a little – rookie mistake. Most of WHW is farm tracks, you could even do a lot of it in your trainers. But I did the unthinkable and did not fully break them in. This is what I should have done.

The owner of Stance Cottage (for where we stayed every night, see here) commented on me hobbling in (a sight he sees often) and reassured me this was the best stage to need help as there was a bus that drove through, straight to Glencoe (the bus that the day four girls would get getting from Glasgow).

I received a text from my cousin David (an avid walker) who told that it was acceptable to sit out and that I would do more damage if I didn’t, this made me feel better. Dinner was next door at The Bridge of Orchy Hotel and I put my feet up…

Bridge of Orchy Hotel West Highland Way

Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate. 

Although day 3 of the West Highland Way was not the longest in miles, it dragged on caused by the rain and my pain!

  • Day by dayday 4
  • Packing list: here
  • Accommodation guide: here

Have you ever been ill or injured on the road?

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