Beinn Dorain, Bridge of Orchy, Argyll & Bute, Scotland

Beinn Dorain, Bridge of Orchy, Argyll & Bute, Scotland

Don't expect peace and quiet when getting through the pass immediately north of Tyndrum. You may be lucky and find a quiet time but traffic noise from the A82 is assured at busy times, a consequence of passing through a narrow opening between steep sided hills like Beinn Bheag and Meall Buidhe. With the din, it can be reminiscent of passing through a tunnel.

Once you get beyond it though, views like that which you see above open out before you as if to compensate; you soon enough get away from the traffic too. The hills of the Black Mount lie in the distance with the unmistakeable upturned cone of Beinn Dorain hiding behind a lower incline of Beinn Odhar. Both of these are so steep sided that you wonder if there really is a way to their summits. With Scottish hills, it might be hard to see how to reach their tops but there's nearly always a way, even if it uses another approach.

Those hills of the Black Mount may seem distant in the vista show here but they come soon enough and, at this stage in the journey, they are heralds announcing that the best part of the West Highland Way that is now within reach. Personally, I see see the trail as a journey from urbane walker to hill country hiker and, if you manage to reach Bridge of Orchy, you are on the cusp of the its climax. This is the kind of countryside that I especially enjoy and there's plenty of this about with side journeys on offer for a plethora of return visits to the area.

See more photos from: West Highland Way, Scotland