Rannoch to Kingshouse

A classic one way walk following an old droving route across the wilds of Rannoch Moor.

Although not technically difficult and not requiring much uphill work, this is a serious walk and should only be undertaken if you are properly equipped for hill walking and are  confident of your ability to complete the walk. There are no escape routes on the walk. Navigation is not difficult but you should carry a map and compass with you and know how to use them.

Although a lot of the route is on landrover track at either end, the section of the walk in the middle is on rough boggy  moorland path. Boots and gaiters are essential.

Some transport planning will be required in order to undertake the walk as the start and end points are on opposite sides of the moor with no road access between them. The West Highland Line provides a train service between Bridge of Orchy in the west and Rannoch in the east, and Citylink operate buses on the A82 between Bridge of Orchy and Kingshouse. Local taxi companies are also available for the road section between Bridge of Orchy and Kingshouse.

Distance:  20.5 km / 13 miles

Ascent: 300 m / 1000 feet

Start: Rannoch Station

Finish: Kingshouse (Glencoe)

Facilities: tea room, toilets and parking at Rannoch Station, Kingshouse Hotel currently closed (2018), cafe, toilets and parking at Glencoe Ski Resort, hotel at Bridge of Orchy.

From the car park at Rannoch Station a convenient sign post points to the start of the route (Glencoe via Loch Laidon) across a level crossing. The first 5 – 6 km of the route are through forestry on a landrover / forest track with restricted views. There are a couple of junctions where you need to keep right, away from the lochside but there are marker posts at these points in you are in any doubt. After almost 5km the forest starts to thin out and the views across Loch Laidon open up to your left.

As you reach the end of the forestry area the landrover track comes to an abrupt end and a path continues. After a gate you reach the open moorland. The path now all but disappears in places although it is still there on the wet ground. Navigation is simplified by being able to follow electricity lines all the way to Glencoe so if you lose the path just keep following the power line and you won’t go wrong. Ahead of you the mountains of Glencoe become visible and to your left is the boggy expanse of Rannoch Moor. This section of the walk is only about 3.5km but allow plenty of time for it as it is wet and rough in places.

The next landmark is the start of the landrover track at grid ref NN 341 548 leading down to Black Corries Lodge. Depending upon whether or not you like hard surface walking this may or may not be a relief. For 5km this track twists and turns its way across the bleak moorland towards Black Corries Lodge (visible by its conifer plantation). Ignore a couple of tracks leading off to your right until you reach the perimeter fence of the lodge grounds. At this point signs point you to the right to walk around the outside of the fence on softer ground.

Once back on to the main track in front of the lodge it’s now another 4.5km downhill on the estate road to reach the Kingshouse. The land around you is now less wild and livestock may be grazing in adjoining fields. A gate is reached at the back of the Kingshouse Hotel where you turn left across a bridge into the hotel grounds on the West Highland Way. The Kingshouse Hotel is currently (2018) a building site but the West Highland Way path is still open. Follow the path for about 1.2km to reach the main road (it is not currently possible to use the access road into the Kingshouse to reach the main road).

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View / download this route from Ordnance Survey.

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