Top 10 Walkways in Scotland

Walks in Scotland

Scotland’s walking routes are some of the best in the world. They are fantastic for experienced hikers and beginners who wish to explore the scenic wonders of the country on foot. The trails are all well-marked, traffic free and with all visitor amenities on the way. Whether you opt for a day tour or a multi-day hike, these unmissable walking routes will allow you to explore the wealth of culture and history of Scotland.

Arran Coastal Way

(Beaches, Boulder fields, Wildlife)

Average hiking distance: 13-15km

Average hiking time: 3-5 hrs/day

Arran Coastal Way, near Lamlash.

For a challenging, but rewarding, 65 mile circular hike around the lovely town of Arran, sheltered by the Firth of Clyde, the Arran Coastal Way is said to be one of Scotland’s greatest walking trails. As a result, the paths are off-road and have a high standard of signage  with each path at least 25 miles in length.

The route begins and ends at Brodick and can be covered in six days of leisurely walking. Mostly low level, occasional rock scrambling is involved. As a part of the walk visit Brodick Castle and the Arran Distillery.

Embarking on this adventure with a trusted provider such as www.mickledore.co.uk will ensure a hassle free and fun walking holiday.

Fife Coastal Path

(Beaches, Castles, Seabirds)

Average hiking distance: 13-16km/day

Average hiking time: 4-5 hrs/day

Fife Coastal Path

The Fife Coastal Path is 117 miles long stretching from the southern town of  Firth of Forth to Firth of Tay at the northern end. The route passes through former fishing villages and the gulf town of St Andrews, while in between one will encounter miles and miles of pristine beaches and nature preserves.

Wildlife spotted on the way can include seals, dolphins, red squirrels and a variety of seabirds like puffins, terns, oyster catchers and eider ducks. History, too, can be found everywhere from former coal yards to abandoned castles and prehistoric drawings of the Wemyss caves. Alongside these stunning bits of natural beauty, the local cuisine of Fife can also be enjoyed. 

Great Glen Way

(Seas & Coasts)

Average hiking distance: 15-17km/day

Average hiking time: 4-6hrs/day

Great Glen Way MTB

Connecting the towns of Fort William with Inverness, the popular but challenging hike provides some stunning scenery along the 79 miles long geological fault of the Great Glen.The walk can be undertaken in stages, but the preferred starting points are from any of the villages of Gairlochy, Fort Augustus, Laggan, Drumnadrochit or Invermoriston.

Along the walk, visitors can make a stop at Loch Lochy, forests around Loch Ness and the towpath leading to the Caledonian Canal over which a major part of the trail is located.

Rob Roy Way

( Roman ruins, Stone circles)

Average hiking distance:12-15km/day

Average hiking time: 3-5 hrs/day

On The Rob Roy Way (down to loch tay)

Named after Rob Roy MacGregor and starting at Drymen, located on the West Highland Way, the Rob Roy Way meanders across the southern highlands of Scotland and goes all the way to Pitlochry in the northeast. All along the 79 mile long route the path leads through fine glens, rivers and stunning lochs.

History buffs can have their fill of Roman forts, viaducts and stone circles left behind by settlers thousands of years ago. The route was established by John Henderson and Jacquetta Margarry and was listed as one of Scotland’s Great Trails in 2012.

Speyside Way

(Coastline, Moors, Mountains)

Average hiking distance: 18-25km/day

Average hiking time: 5-6 hrs/day

River Spey & Cairngorms

Of the four listed long distance routes in Scotland, the Speyside Way was established in 1981. It initially ran from Buckie on Spey Bay to Ballindalloch and later extended to Aviemore in 2000. There is a spur at the 15 mile mark at Tomintoul after which the path follows the edge of the Cairngorm Mountains for another 50 miles. Walkers pass through a number of quaint villages and plenty of whisky distilleries for which this region is especially famous for. 

St. Cuthbert’s Way

(Scottish border countryside)

Average hiking distance:21-28km/day

Average hiking time: 7-8 hrs/day

st cuthbert's way 386

One of Scotland’s Great Trails, the St Cuthbert’s Way, named after the 7th century saint, covers some of the most spectacular, long distance and varied countryside in the country. This inspiring 62.5 mile cross-border route lies at the intersection of the boundaries of Scotland and England. Sturdy walking shoes are a must to navigate this terrain.

It links Melrose Abbey with Holy Island of Lindisfarne on the Northumberland coast. The route has something for all hikers, both of historical and cultural interest as it stretches along the mighty Tweed River, past Cessford Castle and the lovely Kirk Yetholm village before reaching the Holy Island causeway and the ruins of the abbey.

 West Highland Way

(Towns and Villages)

Average hiking distance:12-15km/day

Average hiking time: 3-5 hrs/day

West Highland Way 2015 Scotland

This popular 96 mile long-distance walk begins at Milngavie and ends in Fort William town at Gordon Square. The West Highland Way traverses some of the most inspiring landscapes in Scotland. Some of the iconic attractions on the walk Include Loch Lomond, Rannoch Moor, Devil’s Staircase, Glen Nevis and many more. It unfolds a diverse landscape and some remote views anyone can enjoy in the Scottish Highlands. On an average, hikers take 6-8 days to do the trip.

Cateran Trail

(Farmlands, Forests, Moors)

Average hiking distance: 17-25km/day

Average hiking time: 6-7hrs/day

Foot bridge, River Isla

Straddling the border between Angus and Perthshire, the Cateran Trail is a circular 64 mile. The trail is divided into five stages, and officially has no beginning or end, though it normally begins and ends at Blairgowrie. Cateran were fearsome thieves, who raided these areas in the middle ages, after whom the Trail is named. There are gates all along the route for better access for hikers as well as for landowners. 

The Whithorn Way

(Pilgrimage route, Coastal)

Average hiking distance: 13-15km/day

Average hiking time: 5-6 hrs/day

Isle of Whithorn Castle (1)

This newly mapped 143 mile walking route follows a westerly route which used to be taken by pilgrims traveling to Whithorn to worship Saint St Ninian in the 1500’s. The walk covers the rambling back roads and beautiful beach walks of Glasgow to the Ayrshire coast at the town of Irvine, past the undulating Machar Peninsula finally ending at Whithorn Priory. There are 12 sections on this route, all with walking instructions.

John Muir Way

(Coast to Coast)

Average hiking distance: 14-16km/day

Average hiking time: 4-5 hrs/day

Rosalie Lake - John Muir Trail

Traversing through the heart of Scotland, the John Muir Way provides a unique trek through the cultural, natural and industrial heritage of the country. Named after John Muir, founder of America’s National Parks, it begins at Helensburgh on the Firth of Clyde to Dunbar. On the way it takes in national parks, historic canals and the vibrant capital of Edinburgh. The scenery features farmlands, beaches, cliff tops on the east coast and views of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Consider setting an extra day aside to explore Edinburgh and the historic town of Linlithgow.

So this was our pick of best walkways in Scotland. Tell us yours in comments below.

I live in the movies (in my parallel world). I travel in search of stories. So I explore- experience- express my trysts with people, places, food, culture and their stories!

One Comment

  1. Amit Sahi

    Lovely Pictures, Scotland is nature’s paradise. I have always wanted to visit Scotland. It would be the first place I visit after getting vaccinated.

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