Mark Walks LEJOG Day 53 – Bridge of Orchy to Kinlochleven

Hullo. How are you? I hope you are having a good day. I’m Mark and I’m walking from Land’s End to John O’Groats…

At 21 miles, today’s walk was one of the longest on my LEJOG trip and promised to be one of the most dramatic as I headed through and over some really impressive mountains.

I left the hotel to immediately rejoin the West Highland Way, which first took me through woods, skirting around Loch Tulla and up onto Black Mount, where the trail again made use of the centuries old network of military roads.

A few of the mountain tops still sport a patchwork of snow and a hint of the skiing Glen Coe is famous for.

I was soon leaving Argyll and Bute and crossing the border into Highland, which is a vast Scottish council area. In fact, even though I have hundreds of miles remaining of my walk, this is the last one I’ll add to my list because I remain in Highland all the way to John O’Groats.

It was then a steady climb up Meall a’ Bhùiridh, this highest of the Black Mount, and on to the Glen Coe ski resort, which was busy with visitors.

From here, an easy section of path takes the walker to the Kingshouse and suddenly the trail was packed with hikers of all ages and all nationalities, heading enthusiastically towards the Devil’s Staircase, a zig-zagging impediment rising steeply up Beinn Bheag.

As ever with such steep climbs, what had been an orderly queue of hikers along the lower path became a fluid affair as people rested at different intervals and found boosts of energy.

The reward for climbing the Devil’s Staircase is an amazing 360 degree panorama and the knowledge of having reached the highest point of the day. The next five miles was a mountain walk followed by a steep descent into Kinlochleven.

Dropping down towards the village, the path joins a track used by cyclists and, for today and tomorrow as part of a competition, a heck of a lot of motorcyclists.

The track passes into forests and takes on a totally different feel, with some steep slopes and loose gravel making the last few miles a challenge for the knees!

Arriving into Kinlochleven, I found it as busy as ever, with hikers, climbers, bikers, and day visitors filling its shops and bars.

Today was a fairly long and demanding walk, but also an almost perfect day. I absolutely loved it. And to top it all off, when I arrived at the B&B, I found my room included a couple of Tunnocks and a jar of Tablet 😋

The Day 53 Vlog

Fundraising for MacMillan Cancer Support

As I walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats, I am hoping to raise £10,000 for MacMillan Cancer Support, who do such a wonderful job of supporting families through the most difficult times. If you are able to spare any amount and would like to donate to MacMillan, please do so through my Just Giving Page.






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