20 Best Walks in Scotland

Discover long-distance trails, coastal rambles & scenic hikes

Posted on 10-05-24, updated on 05-07-24By: Sarah R. | 16 minute read

View from the summit of Ben A'an in the Trossachs, Scotland, UK

View from the summit of Ben A'an in the Trossachs

Why Scotland is a Hiker's Paradise

With its diverse landscapes and varied terrains, Scotland is a hiking haven! From the majestic peaks of Ben Nevis to the mysterious beauty of the Isle of Skye, every corner of this country holds a new adventure waiting to be uncovered. The well-maintained trails, breathtaking views and friendly locals make walking in Scotland an unforgettable experience. Whether you're seeking solitude in the wilderness or craving a sense of achievement at the summit of a Munro, Scotland has it all. In this blog, we'll explore a range of different walks in Scotland, including short rambles, long-distance hikes, coastal paths, lochside trails and winter strolls. So, strap on your backpack, lace up your hiking boots and step into our list of the best walks in Scotland.

Looking for somewhere to rest your tired feet after an invigorating day of walking? We have a range of Scotland holiday parks and lodges where you can do just that!

Best Coastal Walks in Scotland

Girvan Harbour, Ayrshire Coastal Path, Ayrshire, Scotland, UK

Girvan Harbour on the Ayrshire Coastal Path, Ayrshire

1. Ayrshire Coastal Path, Glenapp to Skelmorlie

This 106-mile scenic route through the ancient county of Ayrshire provides the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in nature and experience the beauty of the rugged Scottish coastline. Follow the path for a breathtaking journey along the stunning Scottish shoreline, with rugged cliffs, sandy beaches and charming fishing villages.

Tip: Check tide times in advance, as certain sections of the path may be impassable at high tide

Postcode: KA26 0NY - this takes you to Glenapp Estate, which is generally considered the starting point, however, there is limited parking, so walkers are encouraged to park in Ballantrae and take public transport to Glenapp
Distance: 106 miles from Glenapp to Skelmorlie - the route is broken down into 12 main sections
Difficulty: Easy, moderate and difficult depending on which section(s) you walk. The route between Glenapp and Ayr is moderate, and the route between Ayr and Largs is considered easy. More difficult sections include those between Girvan and Turnberry, Culzean and Dunure, Dunure and Ayr, where there are rocky shorelines and tide times may make it difficult to pass certain parts

Find the perfect place to stay with our holiday parks and lodges in Ayrshire.

Seafield Tower near Kirkcaldy, Fife Coastal Path, Fife, Scotland, UK

Seafield Tower near Kirkcaldy on the Fife Coastal Path, Fife

2. Fife Coastal Path, Kincardine to Newburgh

This 117-mile long trail takes you along the scenic coast of Fife, offering breathtaking views of the North Sea, sandy beaches and historic ruins. Highlights include the three bridges which span the River Forth, the historic village of Culross and the fishing villages of Fife's East Neuk. Perfect for those looking for a mix of relaxation and adventure.

Tip: Check tide times in advance, as certain sections of the path are only available at low tide

Postcode: FK10 4NB - this takes you to the starting point in Kincardine
Distance: 117 miles from Kincardine to Newburgh - the route is broken down into 8 sections
Difficulty: Moderate, depending on which section(s) you walk. It is generally considered a good route for first-time long-distance walkers, with a mix of level paths and more demanding rocky beaches

Find your home away from home at one of our holiday parks and lodges in Fife.

St Abb's Head near Eyemouth, Berwickshire Coastal Path, Scottish Borders, Scotland, UK

St Abb's Head near Eyemouth on the Berwickshire Coastal Path, Scottish Borders

3. Berwickshire Coastal Path, Cockburnspath to Berwick

Located in the Scottish Borders, this walk takes you along a spectacular stretch of Berwickshire coastline, past towering cliffs, vibrant seabird colonies, colourful wildflowers and stunning landscapes. A must-visit for nature lovers and birdwatchers.

Postcode: TD13 5YG - this takes you to the starting point in Cockburnspath
Distance: 28 miles from Cockburnspath to Berwick-upon-Tweed - the route is broken down into 4 main sections
Difficulty: Moderate. The route is well waymarked, however some walkers may find the undulating cliffs quite challenging. Most people attempting the full route take 3-4 days

Reward yourself at the finish line with one of our lodges and holiday parks in Berwick-upon-Tweed!

Lochranza, Arran Coastal Way, Isle of Arran, Scotland, UK

Views of the village of Lochranza on the Arran Coastal Way, Isle of Arran

4. Arran Coastal Way, Isle of Arran

This is a stunning walking route that spans 65 miles around the beautiful Isle of Arran, nicknamed "Scotland in miniature" because it has so much to offer, from ancient standing stones and fairytale castles to whisky distilleries and sandy beaches. This picturesque island trail is a walker's paradise, taking you past rugged mountains, quaint villages and beautiful beaches, and offering fantastic views of the surrounding landscape.

Postcode: KA27 8AY - this takes you to the ferry port in Brodick, the capital of Arran, which is generally considered the starting point, although the route is circular so you could join at any point in the loop
Distance: 65-mile circular route all around the Isle of Arran - there are 8 main sections
Difficulty: Easy to moderate, depending on which section(s) you walk. Although it is one of the shorter walking trails out of Scotland's Great Trails, there are some challenging parts, particularly where there's rocky terrain or steep climbs

Explore this beautiful Scottish island from the comfort of our Isle of Arran cottages.

Tarbert Castle, Kintyre Way, Argyll & Bute, Scotland, UK

Tarbert Castle on the Kintyre Way, Argyll & Bute

5. Kintyre Way, Tarbert to Southend

Experience the rugged beauty of Scotland's west coast by exploring the Kintyre Way in Argyll & Bute, following the 100-mile route as you crisscross the Kintyre Peninsula from Tarbert in the north to Southend in the south. This stunning long-distance trail takes you through charming villages, along dramatic cliffs and past peaceful lochs, providing a truly immersive experience of the Scottish countryside and coast.

Tip: Keep an eye out for seals basking on the rocks between Clachan and Tayinloan.

Postcode: PA29 6UJ - this takes you to Tarbert Harbour, generally considered the starting point of the route
Distance: 100-mile route from Tarbert to Southend - there are 7 main sections
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult, depending on which section(s) you walk. The 16-mile section between Machrihanish and Southend is particularly challenging with steep gradients, boggy patches and no facilities

Stay close to the trail at one of our holiday parks and lodges in Argyll & Bute.

Best Short Walks in Scotland

Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Inner Hebrides, Scotland, UK

Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye, Inner Hebrides

1. Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye

This enchanting walk takes you through a series of crystal-clear pools and waterfalls, surrounded by stunning scenery. The Fairy Pools are a must-visit for anyone exploring the Isle of Skye, offering a magical and serene experience in the north of the Inner Hebrides.

Tip: Bring your wetsuit if you fancy going wild swimming - the waters are beautiful but rarely warm!

Postcode: IV47 8TA
Distance: 1.5-mile round trip from the car park to the first main waterfall and pool
Difficulty: Easy to moderate. The well-marked route is suitable for dogs on leads and families with young children, just be aware there are some cliff edges along certain parts of the path

Plan your Scottish island escape to one of our Isle of Skye holiday cottages.

Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Views over the city of Edinburgh from Arthur's Seat

2. Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh

For a breathtaking view of the city of Edinburgh, a hike up Arthur's Seat is a must. This ancient volcanic peak offers panoramic views of the city, as well as the surrounding hills and countryside. It's a relatively easy walk that can be enjoyed by hikers of all abilities.

Postcode: EH8 8HG
Distance: 2.3-mile round trip following the 'main path' (red trail) from Holyrood Park
Difficulty: Easy to moderate. The walk is relatively short and straightforward, however it does get steep in parts

Book your city break with our choice of Edinburgh lodges and holiday parks.

Glenfinnan Viaduct & Loch Shiel, Highlands, Scotland, UK

Views of Glenfinnan Viaduct & Loch Shiel in the Scottish Highlands

3. Glenfinnan Viaduct, Highlands

Known for its appearances in the Harry Potter films, the Glenfinnan Viaduct carries the iconic Jacobite Steam Train (aka the "Hogwarts Express") and offers a picturesque walk through the Scottish Highlands. The viaduct is surrounded by stunning scenery, including forests, mountains and the glistening Loch Shiel, making it a must-visit for film buffs and nature lovers alike.

Tip: Check the train timetable in advance and you might be able to time your visit for when the Jacobite Steam Train passes!

Postcode: PH37 4LT
Distance: 2.4-mile circular trail that takes you past the Viaduct Viewpoint and the Glenfinnan Monument
Difficulty: Easy. The walk is considered an easy route and takes around an hour to complete at a leisurely pace

Steall Falls, Glen Nevis, Highlands, Scotland, UK

Views of Steall Falls in Glen Nevis Valley

4. Steall Falls, Glen Nevis

This short but stunning walk takes you through the beautiful Glen Nevis Valley to the majestic Steall Falls. The waterfall is one of the highest in Scotland, cascading down the rocky Nevis Gorge surrounded by lush greenery. It's a truly magical spot that is well worth the visit.

Postcode: PH33 6SY
Distance: 2-mile round trip from the Upper Car Park to the waterfalls
Difficulty: Easy to moderate. The trail is relatively short and not too steep, but is uphill for most of the way and the rocky track can become slippery when it has been raining

Ben A'an & Loch Katrine, Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park, Scotland, UK

Views of Ben A'an & Loch Katrine in Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park

5. Ben A'an, the Trossachs

For those looking for a bit more of a challenge, the hike up Ben A'an in the Trossachs is a fantastic option. The relatively short, but steep, walk offers stunning views of Loch Katrine and the surrounding mountains. It's a rewarding climb that is sure to leave you feeling invigorated and inspired by the natural beauty of Scotland.

Postcode: FK17 8HY
Distance: 2.5-mile round trip from the car park to the 454m summit
Difficulty: Moderate. Whilst Ben A'an is known as the "mountain in miniature" and is a relatively short climb, the path to the top can be steep and quite strenuous in parts

Best Long Walks in Scotland

Conic Hill, Balmaha, West Highland Way, Scotland, UK

Conic Hill in Balmaha on the West Highland Way

1. West Highland Way, Milngavie to Fort William

The West Highland Way is a classic long-distance trail that spans 96 miles from Milngavie near Glasgow to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. This iconic walk, which is traditionally done from south to north, takes you through breathtaking scenery, including rolling hills, shimmering lochs, and dramatic mountains like Ben Nevis. The route is well-marked and offers a range of accommodation options, making it a popular choice for hikers of all levels.

Postcode: G62 8PG - this takes you to Milngavie train station which is generally considered the starting point of the route
Distance: 96 miles from Milngavie to Fort William - check out these suggested itineraries on the West Highland Way website
Difficulty: Moderate, depending on which section you choose and how far you walk

Finish your invigorating walk with a well-deserved stay at one of our Fort William lodges and holiday parks.

Neptune's Staircase, Caledonian Canal, Great Glen Way, Scotland, UK

Aerial view of Neptune's Staircase on the Caledonian Canal, along the Great Glen Way

2. Great Glen Way, Fort William to Inverness

The Great Glen Way is a stunning 73-mile walk that follows the Great Glen Fault from Fort William to Inverness. This scenic route takes you along the banks of Loch Ness, past historic castles and through picturesque villages. With relatively gentle terrain and plenty of amenities along the way, the Great Glen Way is a great option for those looking for a less challenging but still rewarding long-distance hike.

Postcode: PH33 6FF - this takes you to the usual starting point in Fort William
Distance: 73 miles from Fort William to Inverness
Difficulty: Moderate, depending on the length of walk you choose. The path is well marked and the ascents are moderate

Check out our Inverness lodges and holiday parks for a memorable stay at the finish line!

Views of the village of Portpatrick on the Rhins of Galloway, along the Southern Upland Way

Portpatrick, Rhins of Galloway, Southern Upland Way

3. Southern Upland Way, Portpatrick to Cockburnspath

The Southern Upland Way is Scotland's longest walking route, spanning 214 miles from the west to the east coast. This epic trek takes you through remote and wild landscapes, including rugged moorland, ancient forests and picturesque valleys. With challenging terrain and long distances between towns, the Southern Upland Way is a true test of endurance for experienced hikers seeking a remote and rewarding adventure.

Postcode: DG9 8TZ - this takes you to the usual starting point in Portpatrick
Distance: 214 miles from Portpatrick to Cockburnspath - the route is divided into 12 main sections
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult, depending on which section(s) you choose to walk. This is mainly due to the long distances between each section and the often minimal facilities. Crossing the high moorland is particularly strenuous

Telford Bridge, Craigellachie, Speyside Way, Scotland, UK

View of the Telford Bridge on the River Spey in Craigellachie, along the Speyside Way

4. Speyside Way, Buckie to Aviemore

The Speyside Way is a 65-mile walk that follows the banks of the River Spey from the Moray Firth coast to the Cairngorms Mountains. This scenic route takes you through lush forests, rolling farmland and charming whisky distilleries. With a mix of easy walking and more challenging sections, the Speyside Way offers something for hikers of all abilities, as well as the chance to sample some of Scotland's finest single malts along the way!

Postcode: AB56 1HA - this takes you to the usual starting point in Buckie
Distance: 65 miles from Buckie to Aviemore
Difficulty: Easy to moderate, depending on which section(s) you walk. The route consists of generally clear and well waymarked trails, so is often considered suitable for beginners

Find accommodation near the walk's starting point at one of our Buckie holiday parks.

Forth Bridges at Queensferry on the John Muir Way, Scotland, UK

View of the Forth Bridges at Queensferry on the John Muir Way

5. John Muir Way, Helensburgh to Dunbar

The John Muir Way is a breathtaking walking trail that spans across Scotland, stretching 134 miles from Helensburgh in the west to Dunbar in the east. Named after the famous Scottish-American naturalist John Muir, it takes you through diverse landscapes including tranquil woodlands, picturesque coastal paths and bustling towns.

Postcode: G84 8SQ - this takes you to the usual starting point in Helensburgh
Distance: 134 miles from Helensburgh to Dunbar
Difficulty: Easy to moderate, depending on the length of walk you choose to do. The route is well marked and generally flat

Best Loch Walks in Scotland

Urquhart Castle by Loch Ness on the Loch Ness 360° Trail, Highlands, Scotland, UK

Urquhart Castle by Loch Ness on the Loch Ness 360° Trail in the Scottish Highlands

1. Loch Ness, Loch Ness 360° Trail

Embark on a scenic walk around the famous Loch Ness and keep your eyes peeled for the legendary Loch Ness Monster. Whether you choose to attempt the full 80-mile loop, which generally takes around six days, or prefer to hike shorter sections, this picturesque walk offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the chance to explore charming villages along the way.

Postcode: IV2 3EG - this takes you to the usual starting point at Inverness Castle, although as the route is circular, you can join at any point in the loop
Distance: 80 miles if you want to do the complete Loch Ness 360° Trail - alternatively, it is split into 6 main sections
Difficulty: Moderate, depending on which section(s) you choose to walk

Browse our Loch Ness holiday parks to find accommodation for your exciting expedition!

The banks of Loch Lomond in Balmaha, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, Scotland, UK

The banks of Loch Lomond in Balmaha, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park

2. Loch Lomond, Balmaha to Mallarochy

Explore the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond on a leisurely walk that showcases Scotland's natural beauty at its finest. With rugged mountains, tranquil waters and lush forests, Loch Lomond is a popular destination for hikers and nature lovers alike. There are numerous walks you can do take in spectacular views of the loch, including the hike up Conic Hill or Ben Lomond. For a beautiful lochside walk along the eastern shoreline, join part of the West Highland Way for an easy stroll from Balmaha to Mallarochy Bay.

Postcode: G63 0JQ - this takes you to the Balmaha Visitor Centre where you can begin a lochside walk
Distance: 1.5 miles from Balmaha to Mallarochy Bay
Difficulty: Easy. This short and scenic walk is ideal for dogs and families with young children

Views over Loch Maree in Slattadale, Wester Ross, Scotland, UK

Views over Loch Maree in Slattadale, Wester Ross

3. Loch Maree, Slattadale to Poolewe

Discover the remote beauty of Loch Maree with a peaceful walk along its shores. This tranquil loch is surrounded by ancient woodlands and is home to a variety of wildlife, making it the perfect spot for a relaxing stroll in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. One of the best walks here is from Slattadale to Poolewe, which takes you through pine woodland and open moorland.

Tip: Keep your eyes peeled for black throated divers and white tailed eagles!

Postcode: IV22 2HW - this takes you to the starting point for the Tollie path in Slattadale
Distance: 5 miles from Slattadale to Poolewe
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate. There are some steep sections and wet patches along the route

The shores of Loch Tay in Killin, Perthshire, Scotland, UK

The shores of Loch Tay in Killin, Perthshire

4. Loch Tay, Killin to Dochart

Take a stroll along the shores of Loch Tay and immerse yourself in the stunning scenery of the Perthshire countryside. With panoramic views of the loch and the surrounding hills, this walk is sure to take your breath away and leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. There are several routes you can take, including this one from Killin which follows the old railway line downstream beside the River Lochay to the shores of Loch Tay and onto the banks of the River Dochart.

Postcode: FK21 8TA - this takes you to the old station car park in Killin
Distance: 2.75-mile round trip from Killin to Dochart
Difficulty: Easy. The route is level and well signposted, however some parts may be boggy after wet weather

Loch Katrine, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, Scotland, UK

Views of Loch Katrine in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park

5. Loch Katrine, Brenachoile Trail

Embark on a scenic walk around Loch Katrine and be enchanted by its serene beauty and peaceful surroundings. Famous for being the setting of Sir Walter Scott's poem "The Lady of the Lake", Loch Katrine offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, making it the perfect destination for a relaxing day out in the Scottish countryside. The Brenachoile Trail follows the shores of Loch Katrine to Brenachoile Point, a moderate route with incredible views.

Postcode: FK17 8HZ - this takes you to the Loch Katrine car park, which is the usual starting point of the trail
Distance: 4.5-mile round trip from Loch Katrine car park to Brenachoile Point
Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Best Winter Walks in Scotland

Snowcapped mountains in Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve, Highlands, Scotland, UK

Snowcapped mountains in Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve

1. Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve, Highlands

Nestled in the stunning Scottish Highlands, Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve is a winter wonderland waiting to be explored. With snow-capped peaks and frost-kissed forests, this reserve offers a picturesque backdrop for a brisk winter walk. In addition to the high-level routes that summit the mountain, there are also several less strenuous, low-level, self-guided walks which the whole family can enjoy.

Postcode: FK21 8TY - this takes you to the car park where the most popular routes begin
Distance: 1-mile trails include the Morenish Woodland Trail, and the Edramucky and Kiltyrie Hidden History Trails
Difficulty: All of these trails are easy to moderate, with some uneven ground

Glencoe Lochan in winter in the Scottish Highlands, Scotland, UK

Glencoe Lochan in winter in the Scottish Highlands

2. Glencoe Lochan Trails, Highlands

Known for its dramatic beauty, with towering peaks, deep valleys and frozen waterfalls, Glencoe is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts looking to immerse themselves in Scotland's wild winter landscapes. There is a huge range of walks in this scenic Highland glen, from short rambles to more strenuous hikes. Highlights include the "Lost Valley" or "Hidden Valley", and the "Three Sisters" - a trio of bumpy peaks. Some of the most popular walks include the Glencoe Lochan Trails, three woodland walking routes that range from easy to more challenging.

Postcode: PH49 4HT - this takes you to the car park for Glencoe Lochan
Distance: 1-mile trails include the Lochan Trail, the Woodland Trail and the Mountain Trail
Difficulty: The Lochan Trail is an easy route suitable for all abilities, while the Woodland and Mountain Trails are more strenuous with steep climbs and uneven paths

Frosty morning at Loch Ard, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, Scotland, UK

Frosty morning at Loch Ard in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park

3. Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park

Offering a mix of forested trails, rugged hills and tranquil lochs, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park is a dream destination for winter walkers. From leisurely strolls along the loch shore to strenuous hikes and mountain summits, there is a walk here for every level of fitness and experience. Whilst only experienced hikers should attempt to summit the mighty Ben Lomond, there are countless other winter walks to suite a range of abilities. An easy and family-friendly walk is the Loch Ard Sculpture Trail, which takes you through the enchanting Loch Ard Forest.

Postcode: FK8 3TF - this takes you to Loch Ard Forest
Distance: The Loch Ard Sculpture Trail is a 4-mile walk
Difficulty: There is a huge choice of walks of varying difficulty - the Loch Ard Sculpture Trail is easy to moderate

Views of Loch Morlich in winter, Cairngorms National Park, Highlands, Scotland, UK

Views of Loch Morlich in winter, Cairngorms National Park, Highlands

4. Cairngorms National Park, Highlands

Home to some of Scotland's highest mountains and most diverse wildlife, the Cairngorms National Park is a winter wonderland waiting to be explored. With well-maintained trails, sweeping vistas and the chance to spot rare wildlife like red deer and ptarmigan, a winter walk in this park is an unforgettable experience. One of the best winter walks is the Loch Morlich Loop, where you can take in pine forests, mountains and sandy shores all at once! It's even featured on our list of the best beaches in Scotland, despite being nowhere near the coast.

Postcode: PH22 1QU - this takes you to Loch Morlich car park
Distance: The Loch Morlich Loop is 3.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy. The walk follows a flat, clearly marked path, which is ideal for both dogs and children, although extra care should be taken in winter when parts may be icy

Winter views of Ben Nevis covered in snow, Lochaber, Fort William, Scotland, UK

Winter views of Ben Nevis covered in snow, Lochaber, Fort William

5. Ben Nevis, Lochaber, Fort William

For those seeking a real challenge, a winter ascent of Ben Nevis, the UK's highest peak, is an exhilarating adventure, but not one to be attemped lightly! With snow-capped peaks, frozen waterfalls and breathtaking views stretching as far as the eye can see, this iconic mountain offers a true test of endurance and a chance to experience the raw beauty of Scotland's winter wilderness.

Postcode: PH33 6ST - this takes you to the Ben Nevis Visitor Centre
Distance: 10-mile round trip from the Visitor Centre to the summit - usually 7-8 hours
Difficulty: Difficult, so only experienced hikers should attempt this and with proper equipment

Plan your Scotland Walking Holiday

Start planning your walking holiday in Scotland today and prepare to immerse yourself in the unparalleled beauty that this enchanting land has to offer. Whether it's a solo trek, a group expedition or a romantic getaway, the endless beauty of Scotland awaits to captivate and inspire you on your next UK break. Discover some of these stunning walks on your next UK break.

Bringing your dog and the kids along on your Scottish walking adventure? Explore our Scotland caravan holidays for great budget-friendly options.

Looking for that extra "wow" factor? Choose one of our lodges with hot tubs in Scotland and find the perfect place to soak those aching muscles after a long hike in the hills.

View of Loch Lomond from the West Highland Way, Scotland, UK

View of Loch Lomond from the West Highland Way

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