Scotland's best walks

From long-distance Highland hikes and coastal treks to short river walks and loch-side strolls, here is your guide to the best walks in Scotland

14th June 2018
Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Take a trek through the Scottish Highlands where red deer and wildcats roam. Experience the thriving fishing industries, pretty villages and tight-knit coastal communities of the north-east coast or the remote, sickle-shaped beaches of the Outer Hebrides. Pull on your boots and walk alongside the tranquil waters of an inland loch to an isolated bothy or climb beside the tumbling falls of a wild mountain river.

You will find a more unassuming side to Scotland's trails too, of quiet valleys and accessible foothills, making it the perfect walking retreat for all abilities. 

Click on your favourite walk for full details of the route, including instructions and a map. 

The Quiraing, Isle of Skye

A two-mile hike to the peak of the unique and breathtakingly dramatic Quiraing on the Isle of Skye. Map and route.

The Quiraing, Isle of Skye
Climb through the peaks of The Quiraing, Isle of Skye
Ben Lomond, Argyll and Bute

A seven-mile walk to the summit of Ben Lomond, the most climbed peak of the Scottish Munros. Map and route.

Ben Lomond
Take a hike to the summit of Ben Lomond, the most climb Munro in Scotland
Handa Island, Sutherland

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. Route and map.

Hands Island Jake Graham
Handa's western beaches offer an ideal landing spot for visitors to the island © Jake Graham Photography
Steall Falls and the Nevis Gorge, Highland

A spectacular two-mile walk up Glen Nevis through gorges and meadows to the epic Steall Falls. Map and route.

Hikers walking through Glen Nevis
Hikers walking through Glen Nevis ©Jake Graham
River Braan, Perthshire

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. Route and map.

Black Linn Falls
The rushing water of Black Linn Fall's crashes deep into the foaming pools below ©Getty 
Glen Coe, Argyll and Bute

A beautiful 4.5-mile mountain walk tucked away in the glorious glens of the Scottish Highlands. Map and route.

Pass of Glen Coe, Highland
Step deep into the Pass of Glen Coe, Highland
Isle of Staffa, Argyll and Bute

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. Map and Route.

Staffa, Argyll and Bute, Scotland
Explore the Isle of Staffa, Argyll and Bute, Scotland
Glen Affric, Highland

An 11-mile hike around the shores of Glen Affric, the Highland's most beautiful glen. Map and route.

Glen Affric, Highland
Walk through the meadows and mountains of Glen Affric, Highland
Glenmore Forest Park, Cairngorms, Highland

A beautiful six-mile walk through the Cairngorms National Park, perfect for wildlife spotting and amazing Highland views. Map and Route.

Loch Morlich lies beside the starting point of this magnificent walk through the Cairngorm National Park,
Loch Morlich lies beside the starting point of this magnificent walk through the Cairngorm National Park
Sandwood Bay, Sutherland

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

Beautiful Sandalwood Bay, Sutherland, Scotland
Beautiful Sandalwood Bay, Sutherland, Scotland
Mersehead Sands, Dumfries and Galloway

This rugged clifftop walk from a pretty village to a beautiful beach is the jewel in the crown of the astonishing Dumfries and Galloway coast. Map and route.

Solway Firth, Dumfries and Galloway coast
Enjoy the ups and downs of Solway Firth coast in Dumfries and Galloway 
Tobermory, Isle of Mull

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. Map and route.

Tobermory Scotland
The town of Tobermory – built as a fishing port in 1788 – accounts for one third of Mull’s population ©Alamy
Loch Garten, Highland

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. Map and Route.

Loch Garten
Hidden within Abernethy Forest in the lowlands of the Cairngorms National Park is Loch Garten ©Alamy
Cruachan Valley, Argyll and Bute

This 2.5-mile ramble takes you underground into an astonishing subterranean power station and then emerges topside for a walk to the reservoir that feeds it. Map and route.

Cruachan Valley, Argyl and Bute
Cruachan Valley, Argyll and Bute
Grey Mare's Tail, Dumfries and Galloway

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. Map and route.

A walker takes in the fascinating frozen landscape of Grey’s Mare Tail waterfall in winter
A walker takes in the fascinating frozen landscape of Grey’s Mare Tail waterfall in winter
Bridge of Allan to Dunblane, Stirlingshire

The earthy scent of mosses, ferns and wild garlic are heavenly on this exquisite three-mile riverside ramble, where fish leap, herons stalk and weirs rumble. Map and route.

Allan Water
Walk along the Allan Water from Bridge of Orchy to Dunblane
St Abb's Head, Berwickshire

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. Map and route.

St Abb's Head, Berwickshire
Ramble along the clifftops of St Abb's Head, Berwickshire 
Ben Nevis, Highland

Climb to the crest of the Highlands with the 11-mile hike to the summit of Ben Nevis. Map and route.

Hiker beneath Ben Nevis, Scotland
Hiker beneath Ben Nevis, Scotland ©Jake Graham
Suilven, Sutherland
Suilven, Scotland
Amid the watery wilderness of Assynt rises Suilven, here viewed from the south. Its highest point, Caisteal Liath, stands at 731m. Its second highest point, the flat-summited Meall Meadhonach, lies east of the ridge ©Getty

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. Map and route.

Glen Sligachan, Isle of Skye
Cuillin mountains
A sullen sky over the Cuillin Range ©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. Map and route.

Creel Path, Scottish Borders

Walk the Creel Path, a ruggedly beautiful stretch of coastal path trodden by centuries of fishermen and holy men. Map and route.

St Abbs village on the Creel Path, Scottish Borders
St Abbs village on the Creel Path, Scottish Borders

Images, unless stated otherwise: Getty

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