Scotland vacation: I have 4 days to kill between work events in London and Glasgow, and I'm considering walking part of the
by myself. Is this a reasonable plan, or do you have a better suggestion of how to use this time (ie other long distance walks or other plans entirely)?
I'm heading to London later this week for work events, with my work commitment ending at the end of the evening on Saturday. I don't have to be in Glasgow for further work events until start-of-day Thursday, and I'm trying to figure out how best to use those vacation days, given my limited planning time. Reading previous mefi threads planted the idea in my head that it would be fun to take the sleeper train
from London on Sunday night, arrive in Fort William Monday morning, and then hike the West Highland Way north to south for three days, returning to Glasglow by train late Wednesday night.
describes a 5 day trek for fitter walkers, so I thought it might be a reasonable estimate to do legs 5 (14 mi), 4 (20 mi), and a variation on 3 (13 mi). An initial googling suggested Inverarnan didn't have a train station, so I thought ending day 3 at Crianlarich (13 mi) would work.
I'll have business attire and laptop/electronics from the work part of the trip, so I'd be using a bag drop service for all but my daypack. I don't have any solo camping experience, so I'd by staying in hostel/hotel type accommodations.
So, is this a dumb idea, or something attainable and fun? Are the chunks of miles between days described above attainable? I'm a late-20s woman traveling by myself. I'm in good shape - I'm a long distance runner/marathoner and I love hiking, but hikingwise, I've always done shorter distances with lots of elevation change, rather than long distances like this. But I've run 20 miles in one go plenty of times, including in the last two months. How does a walk like this compare to my Northern California hiking sensibilities/skills?
Is this in general a good use of these vacation days, or should I save it for a time I can complete a whole long-distance walk? If you suggest scrapping this for other plans, any suggestions? I've combed past threads and guidebooks re: Scotland, but other suggestions never hurt. Things I like besides hiking: music (will be getting plenty of this via work on this trip), interesting food/cooking (i'm veg), bourbon/pre-prohibition era cocktails (i know little about Scotch whisky, though), cities, trains, feeling like I've completed something (however arbitrary - either completing a hike or sampling the 10 best macaron shops in Paris and documenting), photography, and art museums. I've been to London a few times so I'm not super interested in spending time there. I'll have one free day in Edinburgh at the end of my trip. I also have the opportunity to head back to the UK with boyfriend next summer, so I may save distilleries for that trip. Past Europe travels have included Berlin, Amsterdam (LOVE), Paris, England, Ireland, and Vienna.
Thanks for your feedback! Everything I've read on Thorn Tree suggests I need to book WHW accommodations far in advance, and I usually have more time/thoughtfulness when I plan my travel, so thanks in advance for help alleviating my travel worries/stress.