Scotland is a walker’s paradise. From hiking in the Scottish Highlands to walking alongside the tranquil waters of an inland loch to climbing beside the tumbling falls of a wild mountain river.
You will also find a more unassuming side to Scotland’s trails too, with quiet valleys and accessible foothills, making it the perfect walking retreat for all abilities and families.
Glencoe Lochan, Highland ©Getty
Here is our pick of the best day walks and hiking routes in Scotland.
Click on your favourite walk for full details of the route, including instructions and a map.
Climb through the peaks of The Quiraing, Isle of Skye ©Getty
A two-mile hike to the peak of the unique and breathtakingly dramatic Quiraing on the Isle of Skye.
Glen Finnan – looking north ©Jake Graham
Seek refuge from the cold inside one of Scotland’s most majestic churches, then venture into the Highlands past the wizards’ railway to a lonely mountain pass.
Dunnottar Castle, Aberdeenshire ©Alamy
Perched high on a rocky peninsula, with sheer cliffs rising up from the crashing North Sea on all its sides but one, Dunnottar is perhaps the most dramatically located castle in the entire British Isles.
Take a hike to the summit of Ben Lomond, the most climb Munro in Scotland ©Getty
A seven-mile walk to the summit of Ben Lomond, the most climbed peak of the Scottish Munros.
Handa’s western beaches offer an ideal landing spot for visitors to the island © Jake Graham
Wrapped by brutish Atlantic swells and biting winds, this remote island off the west coast of Scotland makes for harsh living. But in spring, enduring these forces is one of north-west Europe’s largest seabird colonies.
Hikers walking through Glen Nevis ©Jake Graham
A spectacular two-mile walk up Glen Nevis through gorges and meadows to the epic Steall Falls.
The rushing water of Black Linn Fall’s crashes deep into the foaming pools below ©Getty
Follow the white water of Scotland’s River Braan through a fabled woodland of giant Douglas firs, fairy-tale bridges and an ancient oak immortalised by Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
Follow a pathway along a Stirlingshire loch beside steep cliffs and wooded islands ©Getty
Enjoy a tranquil five-mile stroll around a Scottish loch in the beautiful Loch Lomond and the Trossacks National Park.
Step deep into the Pass of Glen Coe, Highland ©Getty
A beautiful 4.5-mile mountain walk tucked away in the glorious glens of the Scottish Highlands.
Basalt rock at the isle of Staffa, Inner hebrides, Scotland, UK ©Getty
A remote walk on the remarkable Staffa – a island of basalt rockforms, puffins and blissful isolation. This one-mile ramble is perfect for artists, nature lovers and those with a strong sea belly.
Walk through the meadows and mountains of Glen Affric, Highland ©Getty
An 11-mile hike around the shores of Glen Affric, the Highland’s most beautiful glen.
Loch Morlich lies beside the starting point of this magnificent walk through the Cairngorm National Park ©Getty
A beautiful six-mile walk through the Cairngorms National Park, perfect for wildlife spotting and amazing Highland views.
Beautiful Sandalwood Bay, Sutherland, Scotland ©Getty
Explore glorious Sandwood Bay in Sutherland on this 12-mile hike across wild moors and through mighty dunes.
Mersehead Sands, Dumfries and Galloway
Enjoy the ups and downs of Solway Firth coast in Dumfries and Galloway ©Getty
The town of Tobermory – built as a fishing port in 1788 – accounts for one third of Mull’s population ©Alamy
Revel in the festive shops, illuminated streets and charming harbour of a small island town in the Inner Hebrides before taking a walk to the sandy shores of Calgary Bay.
Hidden within Abernethy Forest in the lowlands of the Cairngorms National Park is Loch Garten ©Alamy
Take a walk on the banks of Loch Garten – one of Scotland’s most beautiful nature reserves – in search of ancient trees, tottering wood-ant nests, grazing deer and soaring ospreys.
Part of the Blue route around Mabie Forest, Dumfries, Scotland ©Alamy
Forestry and Land Scotland’s Mabie Forest lies just outside the town of Dumfries in south-west Scotland and is managed in association with Butterfly Conservation Scotland, whose reserve – their largest – occupies 100 hectares in the middle of the forest. Ancient oak woodland, wetlands and grassland are all here, offering ideal conditions not just for butterflies, but also bats, red squirrels, roe deer and dragonflies.
A walker takes in the fascinating frozen landscape of Grey’s Mare Tail waterfall in winter ©Getty
Walk high into the Scottish hills and explore a valley that becomes a snow-clad wonderland in winter, complete with an frozen waterfall cleaving through its middle.
Ramble along the clifftops of St Abb’s Head, Berwickshire ©Getty
Enjoy a four-mile walk on the coastal cliffs of southern Scotland, spotting thousands of nesting seabirds, splashes of pink thrift and maybe even otters.
Hiker beneath Ben Nevis, Scotland ©Jake Graham
Climb to the crest of the Highlands with the 11-mile hike to the summit of Ben Nevis.
Suilven, Scotland ©Alamy
Steep, wild and remote, this Scottish giant is one of Britain’s most striking peaks – reaching its summit is difficult, but with spectacular views stretching out across the Highlands, it’s well worth the climb.
Glen Sligachan on a moody day ©Getty
This rugged wilderness trail in Scotland guides intrepid walkers into the nucleus of the Cuillin Mountains, past gushing burns and striding ridges to a dramatic, sea-kissed bay.
Birds of Aberfeldy – The gorge was once known as the Den of Moness ©Getty
Experience a jaw-dropping gorge path that inspired Scotland’s national bard, ending the walk with a pub dinner at a local inn.
Looking north across Loch Scridain to the towering basalt terraces of the Ardmeanach Peninsula. Encased at the foot of the 170m-high cliffs is the Fossil Tree ©Alamy
Take a hike on Scotland’s Isle of Mull and discover towering cliffs, wild waters and the fossilised remains of a 50-million-year-old tree.
Ben More, Isle of Mull, Scotland ©Getty
Hike to the summit of this Hebridean giant and gaze out over island-strewn sea lochs and beach-straddled peninsulas – a fitting reward for conquering one of Scotland’s finest peaks.