Scotland’s best walks

Explore the Highlands, Scottish Isles, Borders and more with our guide on the best walks in Scotland. Whether you're looking for long-distance Highland hikes, coastal treks or short river walks and loch-side strolls we have walking routes for all abilities.

Mountains and sunshine

Scotland is a walker’s paradise. One day you could be hiking in the Scottish Highlands, the next walking along the white sands of a remote beach.

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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
Glencoe Lochan, Highland ©Getty

Here is our pick of the best day walks and hiking routes in Scotland, including the Scottish Borders, Highlands and Scottish Isles.

Hiker sitting enjoying the view on a hillside

The Quiraing, Isle of Skye

Dark clouds and beautiful colors over the Quiraing on the Isle of Skye in Scotland - UK
Climb through the peaks of The Quiraing, Isle of Skye ©Getty

The Old Man of Storr is kept company by other rock spires, collectively called the Sanctuary. These pinnacles and their brothers on the Quiraing were formed as the result of landslips that occurred on the 19-mile long escarpment. Gravity caused the immense weight of the upper volcanic layers of the Trotternish ridge to dislodge the weaker underlying sedimentary rock layers.

Now the entire escarpment can be walked as part of a very long outing, but most walkers might find it easier to explore the broad ridge on a shorter ramble.A two-mile hike to the peak of the unique and breathtakingly dramatic Quiraing on the Isle of Skye.

The route

  • 3.4km/2.1 miles
  • 1.5 hours
  • Moderate

Quiraing walking route and map

Quiraing walking map

Glenfinnan, Highland

Glen Finnan - looking north
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.

The route

  • 17km/10.6 miles
  • 6 hours
  • Challenging

Glenfinnan walking route and map

Glenfinnan, Scotland map

Dunnottar Caste, Aberdeenshire

Dunnottar Castle, Aberdeenshire
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.

The route

  • 8.3km/5.1 miles
  • 3 hours
  • Moderate

Dunnottar walking route and map

Dunnottar map

Ben Lomond, Argyll and Bute

A mature caucasian hiker with backpack on the slope of Ben Lomond by Loch Lomond, Scotland, on a summer day.
Take a hike to the summit of Ben Lomond, the most climb Munro in Scotland ©Getty

A 12.3km walk to the summit of Ben Lomond, the most climbed peak of the Scottish Munros.

The route

  • 12.3km/7.6 miles
  • 4.5 hours
  • Moderate-challenging

Ben Lomond walking route and map

Ben Lomond map

Handa Island, Sutherland

Handa's western beaches offer an ideal landing spot for visitors to the island © Jake Graham
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.

The route

  • 6.4km/4 miles
  • 2.5 hours
  • Easy-moderate

Handa Island walking route and map

Handa Island map

Steall Falls and the Nevis Gorge, Highland

Hikers walking through Glen Nevis
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 route

  • 3.2km/1.9 miles
  • 1.5 hours
  • Moderate

Glen Nevis walking route and map

Glen Nevis map

River Braan, Perthshire

The river Braan, with its dark foaming pool and the spectacular Black Linn waterfall
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.

The route

  • 9.6km/6 miles
  • 4 hours
  • Moderate

River Braan walking route and map

River Braan walking route and map

Loch Katrine, Stirlingshire

Follow a pathway along a Stirlingshire loch beside steep cliffs and wooded islands
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.

The route

  • 8.3km/5.2 miles
  • 3.5 hours
  • Easy-moderate

Loch Katrine walking route and map

Loch Katrine map

Beginner’s guide to wild camping in the UK: law, essential kit and places to camp

One of the great joys of wild camping is the chance to sleep under the stars in beautiful rural locations. Our essential beginner’s guide shares expert tips on how to camp safely, kit to take and the best places to wild camp legally in Britain. 

How to go wild camping in the UK

 

 

Tent on hillside

Glen Coe, Argyll and Bute

Glen Coe, Scottish highlands
Step deep into the Pass of Glen Coe, Highland ©Getty

A beautiful 4.1-mile mountain walk tucked away in the glorious glens of the Scottish Highlands.

The route

  • 6.6km/4.1 miles
  • 2.5 hours
  • Moderate-challenging

Glen Coe walking route and map

 

Glen Coe map

Glen Affric, Highland

Scots Pine above Loch Affric provides the foreground to the great Peaks of Mam Sodhail and Carn Eige in the North West Highlands of Scotland.
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.

The route

  • 17km/11 miles
  • 5-6 hours
  • Moderate

Glen Affric walking route and map

Glen Affric map

Glenmore Forest Park, Cairngorms, Highland

Loch Morlich, which is situated in the Cairngorm National Park, Scotland
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.

The route

  • 8.6km/5.3 miles
  • 3 hours
  • Moderte

Glenmore Forest Park walking route and map

Glenmore Forest Park map

Sandwood Bay, Sutherland

Sandwood Bay, Highland Region, Scotland, UK, Europe
Sandwood Bay in north-west Scotland ©Getty

Explore glorious Sandwood Bay in Sutherland on this 12-mile hike across wild moors and through mighty dunes.

The route

  • 20.8km/12.9 miles
  • 8 hours
  • Challenging

Sandwood Bay walking route and map

Sandwood Bay map

Calgary Bay, Isle of Mull

Calgary Bay, Isle of Mull, Scotland
View across Calgary Bay, Isle of Mull, Scotland ©Getty

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.

The route

  • 3.1km/1.9 miles
  • 1.5 hours
  • Easy

Calgary Bay walking route and map

Calgary Bay map

Loch Garten, Highland

Loch Garten
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.

The route

  • 3.8km/2.7 miles
  • 2 hours
  • Easy

Loch Garten walking route and map

Loch Garten map

Mabie Forest, Dumfries and Galloway

Mabie Forest, Dumfries, Scotland
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.

The route

  • 7.1km/4.4 miles
  • 2.5 hours
  • Moderate

Mabie Forest walking route and map

Mabie Forest map

St Abb’s Head, Berwickshire

coast landscape with cliffs & sea at St. Abbs Head
Ramble along the clifftops of St Abb’s Head, Berwickshire ©Getty

Enjoy a 5.4km walk on the coastal cliffs of southern Scotland, spotting thousands of nesting seabirds, splashes of pink thrift and maybe even otters.

The route

  • 5.4km/3.3 miles
  • 2 hours
  • Moderate

St Abb’s Head walking route and map

St Abb's Head map

Suilven, Sutherland

Suilven, Scotland ©Alamy
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.

The route

  • 8.8km/5.4 miles
  • 4-5 hours
  • Challenging

Suilven walking route and map

Suilven Map

Glen Sligachan, Isle of Skye

Dark skies over moody mountains
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.

The route

  • 17.1km /10.6 miles
  • 6-8 hours
  • Challenging

Glen Sligachan walking route and map

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Birks of Aberfeldy, Perthshire

Birds of Aberfeldy – The gorge was once known as the Den of Moness ©Getty
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.

The route

  • 4.3km/2.6 miles
  • 1.5 hours
  • Moderate

Birks of Aberfeldy walking route and map

Birks of Aberfeldy map

Ardmeanach, Mull, Inner Hebrides

Looking north across Loch Scridain to the towering basalt terraces of the Ardmeanach Peninsula ©Alamy
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
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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.

The route

  • 18km/11.2 miles
  • 6 hours
  • Challenging

Ardmeanach walkign route and map

Ardmeanach, Isle of Mull map

Ben More, Isle of Mull, Argyll and Bute

Ben More, Isle of Mull, Scotland
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.

The route

  • 8.9km / 5.5 miles
  • 5 hours
  • Challenging

Ben More walking route and map

Ben More Mull map

Crail to Anstruther, Fife