hikes in Scotland
Best Walks in Scotland
Scotland is home to exceptional walking trails, winding through stunning green pastures, craggy mountain peaks, the billowy highlands and even charming villages. One of the best parts of walking in Scotland? An adventure is never far away and you don’t need to set out for hours to take in the natural beauty of the country.
Be sure to grab the whole family to enjoy walking in Scotland, with plenty for the little ones to see, like livestock roaming the fields, gushing waterfalls flowing from staggering heights, and for backpackers going it alone--they’ll find plenty of friendly locals and affordable, cosy inns to rest between walks.
But if you’re going to go walking in Scotland, then a trip to Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park should be a priority. Loch Lomond and the Trossachs is a great place for walking, thanks in part to the beautiful scenery, friendly locals and easy trails. Although it’s a relatively new National Park (Opened in 2002), Scotland’s Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park has been wowing visitors for a very long time. Similarly, Cairngorms National Park is a can’t miss destination. Home to some of Scotland’s most loved--and endangered animals-- you’re guaranteed some spectacular wildlife spotting. From the tranquil beaches of Loch Morlich to the rugged mountain range of Tolmount, the scenery will leave you marvelling at the beauty of this beloved national park.
10 Greatest Walks in Scotland
It might feel like you need to learn a new language when you’re walking in Scotland, so let us help you out. There are Lochs (lakes), Munros (mountains over 3,000 ft), and Bens (mountain peaks); however, there is one thing that is universally understood about this area: the outstanding beauty of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.
The sweet, soft, rolling hills, the little bogs and, enchanting forests make you feel like you’re in a charming children’s story. Some of the best walks in this region are easy for a young family, but that doesn’t mean a couple Bens and Munros won’t give you a run for your money!
- The Great Trossachs Path 1: The Great Trossachs Path is a fantastic walk that is ideal for a weekend trip or a long summer day (for fit walkers). The TGTP provides instant access to the wonderful wilds of Scotland. From the bonny banks of Loch Lomond to Trossachs Pier at the head of Loch Katrine this is the first section of the Great Trossachs Path, the whole of which can be walked comfortably in two days.
- The Great Trossachs Path 2: The Great Trossachs Path is best experienced as a 2-day trip. TGTP is a long-distance path that can be reached easily from Edinburgh and Glasgow, and this is a great option for a quick fix of the wild! The second section takes you walking from Trossachs Pier to Callander and can be done as a day walk or as part of the exceptional Great Trossachs Path.
- Lochan Spling: Lochan Spling is a great Scottish walk for the whole family. Although just a short distance from the busy tourist town of Aberfoyle, you will find yourself in a calm and quiet spot surrounded by spectacular Scottish scenery.
- Ben Venue from Loch Achray: The walk to Ben Venue from Loch Achray is an absolutely exceptional hike. If you get lucky with the weather, the views across Loch Katrine, Ben Lomond and beyond are outstanding. The climb is steady going with several steeper sections where you need your hands, but this is one of our all-time favorite walks in the UK.
- Cashel Forest: The Cashel Forest walk is a short walk with a quick ascent. This route offers some superb views across Loch Lomond. There are several marked route options from the start point, with this option being the middle length.
- Callander Crags: The Callander Crags walk is a great walk for those staying in or around Callander. This short loop climbs quickly to provide far-reaching views over Callander and the Trossachs beyond. There is an option to extend your walk and visit Bracklinn Falls as well as the Jubilee Cairn.
- Ben Lomond: This hike up Ben Lomond goes up an extremely popular mountain, but it is well worth joining the masses for the superb views down to Loch Lomond and the surrounding hills. Opting for the Ptarmigan ridge on the descent makes for a quieter and more interesting return from the summit.
- Conic Hill: The Conic Hill walk is a short but steep hike from Balmaha, which takes you to the summit of Conic Hill. From the top the views out across Loch Lomond and its many islands are truly incredible. This is a great walk especially if looking for something a little bit shorter.
- Loch Venachar: Loch Venachar is a longish, low-level hike that walks you around the perimeter of Loch Venachar. There are super views of the Loch and surrounding mountains throughout. Make use of all the wonderful spots to stop and enjoy the countryside on this pretty walk.
- Ben A’an: The walk up Ben A’an is a fun walk up what is commonly referred to as a mini mountain in Scotland. This walk offers superb views, a steep climb and a picture perfect (mini) mountain. Views from the top are sensational due to its central position within the Trossachs.
When is the Best Time to Hike in Scotland
Those who prefer milder temperatures and sunny days will love Scotland during the springtime. In recent years, April and May has boasted some of the best weather across the U.K. and makes for pleasant hiking days. July and August tend to be the sunniest months and can also be beautiful for hiking, though you do have to prepare for some rainstorms that can come through on muggy days.
Best Regions to Hike in Scotland
Scotland is famed for its natural, rugged beauty and there is certainly no shortage of stunning regions to hike across the country. Loch Lomond And The Trossachs National Park are a local favourite, nestled on the cusp of the Scottish Highlands. Here, you’ll find taller peaks, glistening lakes and rolling, verdant hills - a hiker's dream and our favourite hiking destination in Scotland. And at Scotland's other national park, Cairngorms National Park, you’ll discover paths made for a steep, fun climb or gentler, rolling paths perfect for a quick jaunt. The park is massive and if you spend extensive time here, you’ll pass varying landscapes of lochs, mountains, rivers...and even a distillery or two.
Other Activities in Scotland
Scotland is a popular destination for hiking and backpacking, but it’s also an amazing country for cyclists. From graded paths passing through quaint, quiet villages to mountains that prove a true challenge to conquer, Scotland is one of the most scenic countries to hop on two wheels. You’ll also find a cyclist pub culture here, with groups of locals biking from one pub to the next for a fun afternoon.
Scotland's Adventure Tours
For a once in a lifetime walking or cycling tour, look no further than the 10Adventures collection of Scotland tours. Check out the capital city of Edinburgh for a blend of culture and urban sightings or explore the stunning highlands on foot for an epic walking adventure. Whether you’re interested in a quick day trip or a multi-week excursion, 10Adventures Tours has got you covered.
How to Plan a Trip to Scotland
Already packing your bags for a walking holiday in Scotland? We don’t blame you! We’ve curated a comprehensive guide to exploring the best of Scotland to take the guesswork out of planning your trip. Whether you’re planning on visiting Loch Lomond And the Trossachs National Park or Walking to the Highlands, we’ve got the 4-1-1.Read More