A pensioner has refused to let significant sight loss stop her from conquering the West Highland Way in just nine days.

In 2014, Noreen Smith lost most of her sight in her right eye before her left eye also became severely limited three years later, despite injections for macular degeneration.

Now in her 70s, it would have been easy for the keen hillwalker to avoid major challenges, but thanks to the help of walking poles to gauge the paths, a magnifying glass for directions and a trusty set of binoculars to read signs, she has continued to climb and ramble her way around Scotland.

That can-do spirit was particularly evident this year when she took on the famous 96-mile trek from Milngavie in the outskirts of Glasgow to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands, negotiating its steep ascents and even seeing some wild goats along the way.

Noreen, from Paisley, told the Glasgow Times: “It was really difficult from Inversnaid to Inverarnan.

“That part of the West Highland Way has a lot of big rocks and scrambling.

“It was the biggest challenge because of the rocks and my eyesight.

“Trying to stick to the paths was difficult because people make their own wee routes.

“At that point I was walking about one mile an hour.”

The first leg of the 77-year-old’s journey started in picturesque Drymen before a trek up the shores of Loch Lomond through Balmaha, Rowardennan and Inversnaid, then on to Inverarnan.

Noreen didn’t reach The Drovers Inn at Inverarnan until 8.30pm after starting out at 8am that morning and was “so tired she didn’t feel like eating”, but it was here that she came across those surprise fellow explorers.

She explained: “There were wild goats.

“Normally you don’t see them but they were out on the trek grazing.

“We were told that in Rob Roy MacGregor’s day, goats lay in front of a cave he was hiding in nearby and the soldiers had walked on by, so now they’re protected.”

From Inverarnan she took in Crianlarich, Tyndrum, Bridge of Orchy, Glencoe and Kinlochleven before finally arriving at Fort William.

As well as the goats, other highlights included the climb up the Devil’s Staircase with “terrific” views out over Glencoe.

Not one to rest on her laurels, however, she now has more treks in the pipeline.

“I try and go out every weekend,” said Noreen.

“If things work out next year, I may try and do the Rob Roy Way from Drymen to Pitlochry. It’s about 80 miles.”

Over recent years, Noreen, who was an army nurse in the 70s, has been supported by Sight Scotland Veterans, which has a Renfrewshire hub – The Hawkhead Centre in Paisley.

The charity has provided equipment to aid Noreen on her walks as well as assistance with planning.

She says: “Sight Scotland has been very good.

“They gave me binoculars which I used along the way. They were excellent and helped me to pick out some of the paths. They were also good for looking at the signs along the way.

“They help with planning and give me some good trails to do with the directions set out in block capitals.

“They also gave me two magnifiers for reading. There’s a small one that’s good for looking at maps.”