Scotland is renowned for its abundant cultural heritage, stunning archaeological sites and plentiful hiking and walking experiences.
This extensive travel guide will tell you everything there is to know about the best Scotland walking experiences you can enjoy.
East Highland Way
The East Highland Way walking trail will take you through some of the most spectacular and unspoiled scenery in Scotland.
The 136.5-km (85 miles) trail will take you approximately six days to complete, but the enduring hike will be entirely worth the stunning scenery you’ll be surrounded by. The route will take you through the likes of the Highland Glens (Spean, Banchor and Badenoch) as well as to the banks of numerous rivers and lochs.
It’s a trail that’s suitable for hikers of all levels of fitness as you’ll pass through various terrains and inclines. From the largest freshwater beach in Europe (Loch Laggan), to the quaint village of Kincraig and the ‘Island Castle’, the East Highland Way provides travellers with a unique perspective of seeing the Scottish Highlands.
Arran Coastal Way
This elaborate walk circles around the perimeter of the captivating island of Arran. This is a densely populated island that’s teeming with the very best of Scottish scenery.
With rugged mountains, granite peaks in the north of the island, and low-lying woodland and farmland to the south, the Arran Coastal Way walk is nothing short of extraordinary.
Arran is an island that accommodates hikers of all levels and abilities, and despite the occasional steep incline and rocky pathway, the trail takes you primarily around the low-level circumference of the island. Combining an intriguing mix of forest trails, seaside paths and rolling hills, the Arran Coastal Way offers a wonderful walking experience in Scotland.
Great Glen Way
Stretching all the way from Fort William at the foot of the imposing Ben Nevis, to the Scottish Highland capital of Inverness, the Great Glen Way is a walking experience in Scotland that’s on many hikers’ travel bucket lists.
Despite the occasional challenging section of the hike where you’ll have to climb up the likes of Neptune’s Staircase, the Great Glen Way accommodates walkers of all skill levels.
Walk along the historic Caledonian Canal, traverse the spectacular beauties of Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and the wold-famous Loch Ness and make your way towards the iconic Scottish villages of Drumnadrochit and Fort Augustus.
This hiking trail is one of the most historically turbulent in the entirety of Scotland as it’s home to a plethora of castles and forts that were the breeding ground for some of Scotland’s deadliest battles.
Isle of Skye Spectacular
This 94-km (58.5 miles) five-day walking trail is very aptly named the Isle of Skye Spectacular. Appropriately named as such, the walk encompasses a magical route through the Isle of Skye that’s sure to leave a long-lasting impression on you.
Often cited as one of the best islands in Britain, the Isle of Skye is home to a collection of enigmatic historic sites, picture-perfect landscapes and ancient, archaeological ruins.
It’s here you’ll find the dinosaur footprints in the rocks at Staffin Bay, the Neolithic stone circles that seem to have been randomly placed around the countryside, as well as the remote Sleat, complete with its very own lighthouse and sandy bay.
A lengthy 105-km (65 miles) walk will see you traversing along the Speyside Way. It’s a great introduction to hiking in Scotland as despite its length, it provides walkers with a relaxed, low-lying and heavily signposted route.
You’ll begin this walk in the fishing village of Buckie and then travel west towards Spey Bay, before venturing south where you’ll follow the River Spey across worn-out railway tracks and forests. Along your route, you’ll encounter several whisky distilleries, including Craigellachie and Aberlour, where you’ll get to sample some of the finest Scottish creations in the region.
One of the most stand-out aspects of this Scotland walking experience is its abundance of wildlife species; from vast amounts of seabirds, to buzzards and eagles, to the many varieties of plants and flowers that will punctuate your scenic route.
The Speyside Way is an excellent walking experience to endure if you’re a beginner hiker, but still want the opportunity to challenge yourself as you traverse across the bountiful Scottish landscapes.
Conclusion – Scotland Walking Experience
Scotland is one of the best places in Britain to indulge in a walking experience. Home to dozens of ornately carved-out paths and trails, Scotland can cater for everyone; from beginner hikers, to those who could tramp these trails in their sleep.
If you’re looking for a beginner trail to try out, make sure you give the Speyside Way a go. For the more experienced travellers and walkers, the Great Glen Way and East Highland Way are better suited to your abilities.