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Scotland

Hiking in Scotland

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From the rolling green Lowlands to the staggering peaks of the Highlands, Scotland’s walks have got to be some of the best in the world. This is a country of breathtaking beauty and extreme wilderness where each peak is accompanied by a sweeping valley. The coastline is so rugged you’d need a lifetime to walk its 6,000 mile (9,600 km) length and we haven’t even got to the islands yet. 

Mainland Scotland has more than enough trails around lochs, over mountains and through valleys to keep you busy but its islands are also a hiker’s paradise. With many easily accessible, hikes on Scotland’s islands give you multiple landscapes all in one go. 

There are endless walks for every type of hiker and there’s little the country can’t provide. Is it summits you want to reach? Does the idea of exploring dense woodland filled with birdsong spike your curiosity? How about skimming stones across the water with your toes digging into sand? And all, of course, while keeping a stash of shortbread in your jacket pocket. 

Scotland’s got it all, you just need to begin.


Top 20 best walks and hikes in Scotland

    1
    Difficult
    08:20
    11.1 mi
    1.3 mph
    4,350 ft
    4,350 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    2
    Intermediate
    02:42
    4.21 mi
    1.6 mph
    900 ft
    900 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
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  • 3
    Intermediate
    01:49
    3.03 mi
    1.7 mph
    1,000 ft
    1,025 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    4
    Difficult
    04:46
    7.39 mi
    1.6 mph
    2,975 ft
    2,975 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    5
    Difficult
    04:45
    7.52 mi
    1.6 mph
    2,975 ft
    3,000 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    6
    Intermediate
    02:31
    5.06 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,025 ft
    1,025 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    7
    Intermediate
    02:12
    4.07 mi
    1.9 mph
    750 ft
    750 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    8
    Intermediate
    04:49
    8.00 mi
    1.7 mph
    2,950 ft
    2,950 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    9
    Intermediate
    01:18
    2.67 mi
    2.1 mph
    250 ft
    250 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Great for any fitness level. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    10
    Intermediate
    04:02
    7.58 mi
    1.9 mph
    1,775 ft
    1,775 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    11
    Intermediate
    01:50
    3.51 mi
    1.9 mph
    675 ft
    675 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Great for any fitness level. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    12
    Difficult
    05:39
    9.70 mi
    1.7 mph
    2,700 ft
    2,700 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    13
    Easy
    01:40
    3.50 mi
    2.1 mph
    575 ft
    575 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    14
    Intermediate
    02:16
    4.03 mi
    1.8 mph
    1,100 ft
    1,100 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    15
    Intermediate
    02:13
    3.87 mi
    1.8 mph
    1,100 ft
    1,100 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    16
    Difficult
    05:05
    6.91 mi
    1.4 mph
    3,450 ft
    3,450 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    17
    Difficult
    05:12
    9.06 mi
    1.7 mph
    2,375 ft
    2,350 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    18
    Easy
    01:24
    3.38 mi
    2.4 mph
    100 ft
    100 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    19
    Difficult
    01:36
    2.27 mi
    1.4 mph
    825 ft
    825 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Great for any fitness level. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.
    View
    20
    Difficult
    05:41
    11.4 mi
    2.0 mph
    2,050 ft
    2,050 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View

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The dramatic scenery of Scotland

Scotland is famed for its wild and dramatic scenery, particularly in the Highlands where ancient castles overlook vast lochs and the UK’s highest mountains stand as a backdrop. The glens are deep valleys which sweep between peaks with single lane roads cutting through the dramatic landscape. Hikes in Scotland’s north west can be so remote you might not see others for days, leaving you free to experience the magical landscape all by yourself. In such isolation, remember to plan ahead with a first aid kit, a means of communication and appropriate clothing. 

The Lowlands, while not a designated region, are roughly the portion below Edinburgh and Glasgow. Woodlands and rolling hills dominate the landscape in much of the Lowlands providing some of the best hiking trails in Scotland. Just north of the huge Galloway Forest Park is Dalmellington, a fantastic place to stargaze as it is one of the darkest places in Europe. If you’re camping on your hiking trip, you can expect to be illuminated by nothing but starlight on a clear night. Wild camping is permitted across much of Scotland too, giving you ultimate freedom to create your own adventure. 

Scotland doesn’t end with its fantastic mountains, abyssal lochs and bountiful woodlands, it also has a coastline to fall in love with. Its western islands provide some of the country’s most incredible landscapes whether you’re on them or looking at them across the water. Scotland’s walks around the Isle of Skye are amongst the most well-known and you can climb the Old Man of Storr, amble in the Fairy Glen and go for a chilly swim in the sea if you’re feeling brave. 

Wildlife on land, in the air and in the water

Scotland’s wildlife mirrors its landscape; beautiful, bold and breathtaking. On land you can see the country’s vast population of deer. The red deer are perhaps the most famous but if you’ve got a keen eye, you can see roe, sika and fallow deer too. 

Red squirrels are rare in the UK, only surviving in small enclaves mostly on islands. The Scottish Highlands is home to an established stronghold though so look upwards into the trees in places like Gight Wood and Loch Ard Forest. 

Red kites, osprey, golden eagles and the wonderful puffins are all resident in Scotland, making its skies as impressive as its land. In the water, otters, dolphins, seals and basking sharks can be spotted if you’re on the right coastal path at the right time. 

Walking in Scotland offers surprises around every corner, no matter where in the country you are. From relaxed woodland strolls to summiting Ben Nevis, this country has everything and more.

Scotland's best walks and hikes on the map

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