March 18, 2013
Scotland is home to some of the most jaw-dropping scenery and natural beauty in the UK, and these walks within the Highlands (and Lowlands) will get nature-lovers out amongst the very best of it”¦
5 – 7 hours
Walk up to the summit of Beinn Alligin, one of the giants of Torridon. Although one of the easiest ascents of the Munros in the area, a ramble up the “˜Mountain of Beauty’ affords fantastic views of the Isle of Skye, Liathach and Loch a Bhealaich.
1 – 4 days
The remote north westerly corner of Scotland – almost untouched by civilisation and yet less than two hours from Inverness – is home to the wildly beautiful mountains of the North West Highlands. Walks here include a visit to Sandwood Bay and the opportunity to see the majestic peaks of Quinag, Suliven and Stac Pollaidh.
6 – 7 days
This long distance walk, which follows in the footsteps of the legendary Highland clansman Rob Roy MacGregor, begins near the shores of Loch Lomond and ends in Pitlochry – a total of 92 miles. Along the way is a visit to Balquhidder, where Rob Roy lived and rests.
5 – 8 days
Starting at North Queensferry, just north of the Tay Bridge in Edinburgh, the Fife Coastal Path continues northwards around the stunning coastline, through small fishing villages and sandy beaches, prehistoric caves and castles. Highlights include the ancient town of St Andrews and fish suppers in Anstruther.
7 – 10 days
Probably the best known Highland walk, the West Highland Way covers 96 miles (154 km) from Milngavie (outside Glasgow) to Fort William, where ramblers walk on the banks of Loch Lomond, climb the tough “˜Devil’s Staircase’ and visit the famous Drovers Inn. Rugged landscape and panoramic views make this some of West Scotland’s most impressive walking territory.
2 ½ – 4 hours
Open hill paths, forests and the remains of a Pictish fort can be expected on the Black Wood and Dun da Lamh circuit route. With extensive views of the Spey valley, this short walk midway between Fort William and Braemar is perfect for beginners.
2 ½ – 3 hours
Deep within the Galloway Forest Park, Loch Trool is a sight to behold, and this trail – which makes a complete circuit around it – will ensure you see it from every angle. Make a short detour and you’ll also see Bruce’s Stone – erected to commemorate the battle fought and won nearby by Robert the Bruce.
From 4 nights
Six miles from the Scottish mainland, the 70 islands and skerries of Orkney are a wonderful walking destination, with sheer-sided cliffs, archaeological sights (including a 5000 year old stone village from the Neolithic period) and fantastic wildlife to spot.
5 – 7 days
The Speyside Way is one of the classic Highland long distance walks, covering 65 miles through the heart of Malt Whisky country and the Cairngorms National Park. Loosely following the River Spey to Aviemore, this is a brilliant way to visit some of Scotland’s best distilleries, as well as enjoy open coastlands and Caledonian forests.
The Foinaven (White Mountain), Arkle (Peak of the Chest) and Meall Horn (Hill of the Eagle) route is one of the best hill walks in Scotland, with glacial corries, all-encompassing views and wonderful ridge-walking.
Header photo © Bruno LévÃªque