Walks in The Highlands of Scotland
Feel the ghosts of legends, traditions, bloody clan clashes, and stories harking back centuries while walking in the Highlands. Seriously—there's no better way to immerse in the incredible scenery sweeping Scotland's north. Whether you're summiting Ben Nevis, several Munros in one go, or exploring mystical gorges, the folklore imagery will transport you to some time in the past, where legends dictated ways of life and non-fiction happenings survive as often-told tales today. The best part is that you don't need to be an advanced hillwalker to experience the phenomenal scenery the Highlands has to offer. Almost all ages will find trails leading to castles, viewpoints, summits, through glens that give glimpses of the great yore of the Highlands.
The 10 Greatest Walks in the Highlands
Sift through the list of epic walks in the Highlands below, choose your favourites, lace up your boots and off you go! Pack a range of walks into your visit to the Highlands: gloomy and misty gorge meanders speckled with glistening waterfalls, seaside strolls, moderate to intense hill walks for an unveiling of magical scenery, bagging Munros (sometimes several in one adventure) to reach incredible viewpoints, family-friendly walks leading to castles, forest and moorland explorations, and trails hugging fairytale lochs…
What we're trying to say is that the wild landscapes never cease to amaze or end! When you’re out and about, be sure to look out for wild Highland cows, the Scottish wildcat often confused with a lost house cat, golden eagles, humpback whale, puffins, the rare red squirrel, dolphins, and red deer.
Not sure where to start? Take a look at some of the best walks in the Highlands below!
- Ben Nevis Mountain Path Walk - Tackle the most straightforward path leading to the ever-so rewarding summit of Ben Nevis! We suggest taking on a few other hillwalks before attempting this unforgettable, bucket-list worthy adventure—come prepared for snow as well, even in the summer.
- Old Man of Storr Walk - Revel in the fascinating rock formations making up the Old Man of Storr on this epic, short adventure! We've ranked the Old Man of Storr Walk as best for older children only due to some steep sections and rockfall potential on rainier days. Nevertheless, this is one of the best walks to do when visiting the Isle of Skye.
- Stac Pollaidh Walk - Are you looking for an easy adventure? Skip this one. The Stac Pollaidh Walk may be short, but it's definitely not for the faint of heart! After a steep elevation gain, bask in views of Assynt, Summer Isles, and Loch Veyatie. Get ready for a highlight reel of vistas jam-packed into a few kilometres.
- Buachaille Etive Mòr Walk - Bag two Munros on the Buachaille Etive Mòr Walk (Stob Dearg and Stob na Bròige)! But that's not all! The Buachaille Etive Mòr ridge boasts four summits, and guess what? You'll tackle all four on this unruly, intense, and enriching adventure, where a sightline filled with staggering peaks awaits!
- Sandwood Bay Walk - Gather your family and head out to one of—if not the—best beaches in Scotland, the pristine Sandwood Bay. Drop your jaw at the untouched golden sand illuminated by the glistening seascape, cliffs, and sea stack! Maybe you'll even spot a marine animal or two.
- Suilven Walk - Wishing to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life for a full day? The Suilven Walk will grant you this wish! Enjoy an unveiling of mystical views as you ascend Suilven (731 m). Be prepared to take on some minor scrambling and steep climbs—it’ll all be worth it in the end!
- Steall Falls and the Nevis Gorge Walk - Fall in love with the dramatic imagery coating Nevis Gorge as you make your way to the tumbling Steall Falls! This short walk makes for a fun and memorable adventure for the entire family!
- Quiraing Circuit Walk - The Quiraing Circuit Walk may seem relaxing, but your heart will shoot up along this hill loop! Thankfully, the folklore-like, mystical, supernatural scenery will divert your attention from any huffs and puffs. Walk by Needle, Prison, and various Highland natural wonders on this bang-for-your-buck adventure. Older children will enjoy this one!
- Neist Point Walk - The Neist Point Walk is another must-do adventure on the Isle of Skye. Follow a path surrounded by cliffs dropping into the swirling sea below as you head towards a lighthouse harking back to 1909. This walk is family-friendly, but keep your kids close and don’t stray off the path!
- Pap of Glencoe Walk - Gain a significant elevation in a short distance to reach 360-views of Loch Leven nestled in front of the Mamroes range on the Pap of Glencoe Walk. This walk is definitely a Highlands highlight!
When Is The Best Time To Walk in the Highlands?
While you can do most walks year-round, we suggest tackling most routes between May and October when there’s a higher chance of drier and clear conditions. However, some routes may still hold snow deep into the summer, making it essential to always research conditions before you go and come prepared. It’s also common to experience windy conditions. Pack layers to stay warm on hillwalks with a lot of exposure!
Best Regions for Walking in the Highlands
The Highlands boasts several incredible regions! To start, we suggest going to Fort William, Inverness, or the Isle of Skye, where amazing adventures await.
Other Outdoor Activities in the Highlands
While walking through the forest, moorland, alongside lochs and coastlines, bagging a Munro, and summiting hills sit atop the list of adventures in the Highlands; you'll also find a collection of other things to do! Go sea swimming and birdwatching in Assynt, check out Loch Ness and the Urquhart Castle near Inverness, go mountain biking and road biking in and around Fort William and Inverness (to start, anyway), and kayak riveting sea waters around Shetland, Orkney, and the Outer Hebrides. Honestly, the list of things to do in the Highlands is endless!
Adventure Tours in the Highlands
Not in the mood to plan your own adventure? We’ve got you covered! Check out our list of adventure tours in the Highlands and take a look at these tours If you’re interested in taking on the West Highland Way.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Scottish Highlands known for?
Other than holding unforgettable legends and fables, the Highlands have set the scene for other stories to come to life, such as Harry Potter and Outlander. The Highlands is also known for producing whisky!
Where do the Highlands start?
Starting from Fort William, the Highlands continue by Skye, bending around North Coast 500 to the far north towards Durness and John O’Groats, then past Inverness and Elgin in the east.
Can you go wild camping in the Highlands?
Wild camping is allowed throughout Scotland, but due to heavy traffic, some areas are subject to more rules or may require you to book a campsite. Learn more about wild camping in Scotland here.
Are most trails dog-friendly in the Highlands?
Yes! However, some routes may not be suitable or safe for dogs, so be sure to check out this information before you take your furry friend along on your adventures.
Find other amazing walking regions in the UK:
Best Hikes in The Highlands
Ness Walk offers the chance for a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This short loop makes for a great adventure if you’re looking for something scenic and straightforward. While this makes for a fantastic walking loop, several also use it for trail running. Nothing beats running or walking alongside the hum of the River Ness!
Ben Bhraggie Circular Walk
The Ben Bhraggie Circular Walk packs a punch when it comes to scenery and monuments! Revel in views overlooking bright blue waters brushing along the coastline and the charming town of Golspie, visit the 30 m Sutherland monument, walk across a bridge backed by fairytale-like imagery and look down at Big Burn falls.
Oldshoremore Bay Circuit
The Oldshoremore Bay Circuit takes you to three stunning sandy bays with headland traverses in between each and a small scramble after Oldshoremore beach. This walk seamlessly fuses adventure with stunning, remote coastline imagery!
Whin Park Loop Walk
The Whin Park Loop makes for a fantastic family-friendly adventure, especially if you’re thinking of something more mellow compared to most of the other explorations taking you deep into the Highlands.
Binnein Mòr and Na Gruagaichean Walk
Looking for the ultimate walking adventure in the Highlands? Experienced hillwalkers will definitely want to look into the incredibly challenging Binnein Mòr and Na Gruagaichean Walk, where dumbfounding views flank narrow ridges and feel all the more rewarding after climbing two Munros.
Cul Mor Walk
The Cul Mor Walk has you climbing a mostly easy-to-follow path leading up a Corbett, a mountain just not big enough to be a Munro, but it still makes for a challenging adventure. Revel in views of Assynt, Coigach, and the sea from the top!
Eas a’ Chual Aluinn Walk
The Eas a' Chual Aluinn Walk takes you on an out-and-back adventure to the tallest waterfall in Britain! Venture deep into Assynt, where rugged terrain and unreal scenery will keep you well-entertained (and alert). The views unravelling along this route only work to elevate the Eas a' Chual Aluinn Walk from incredible to epic.
Sgurr na Stri Walk
The Sgurr na Stri Walk climbs to incredible views overlooking the sea, Loch Coruisk, and the Cuillin. It’s safe to say that this walk does not disappoint, but, let’s be honest, disappointing adventures are hard to come by when exploring the Isle of Skye.
Stob Ghabhar and Stob a’Choire Odhair Walk
Confident and experienced hillwalkers should only attempt the Stob Ghabhar and Stob a'Choire Odhair Walk due to the elevation gain, scrambly descent in one section, and narrow ridges with steep drops. However, the views from both Munros open up to unreal views of the rugged, vast Highland landscape stretching into the horizon.
Brother’s Point Walk
The Brother’s Point Walk takes you along the coast, unveiling magical views of the otherworldly sea scenery stretching into the horizon. Watch out for some narrow sections along the cliffs, making it essential you tackle this route when the weather is clear, and the path is visible.
Craig Phadrig Circular Walk
The Craig Phadrig Circular Walk may sit close to Inverness, but it has a magical way of immersing you in nature and creating a lovely outdoorsy escapade! Follow the easy-to-follow paths as you meander through the forest, catching views of an archaeological site and Beauty of Firth en route.
Inchree Falls Circular Walk
Explore a collection of waterfalls along the family-friendly Inchree Falls Circular Walk! The track follows an old military road, making this walk easy to follow. There is a decent amount of uphill walking, but nothing too intense.
Meall Fuar Mhonaidh Walk
The Meall Fuar Mhonaidh Walk follows a straightforward path atop Meall Fuar Mhonaidh, the lofty summit soaring above Loch Ness. While the path is generally easy-to-follow, expect some rugged, boggy sections near the top, where phenomenal views await!
Craig Dunain Walk
The Craig Dunain Walk winds along a secluded path below a canopy of trees! The serene setting makes for an ideal getaway from the hustle and bustle of daily life. However, be prepared to navigate some steep sections, despite the short length.
Culloden Woods Walk
The Culloden Woods Walk circumnavigates the battlefield where the Battle of Culloden occurred. Discover remnants of the battle as you circle the area, such as the Prisoner’s Stone. You can also turn this short, family-friendly lollipop route into a longer walk if you so desire!
Dog Falls Walk
The Dog Falls Walk boasts a lovely, serene setting, punctuated by a waterfall, River Affric, and a stunning view of Loch Beinn a Mheadhoin. Expect an easy-to-follow walk with minor steep sections, making this an excellent workout for the entire family.
Duncraig Castle from Innes Street Walk
The Duncraig Castle from Innes Street Walk is a fun, easy-going adventure tailor-made for the whole family! Cut through a path carved through lovely woodland with the occasional view along Loch Carron, to reach the expansive Duncraig Castle, constructed in 1866.
The Saddle, Forcan Ridge and Sgùrr na Sgìne Walk
The Saddle, Forcan Ridge and Sgùrr na Sgìne Walk is a rugged adventure that boasts a thrilling challenge while unveiling quintessential views of the Scottish Highlands. There is one scramble section, but it can be avoided!
Kyle of Durness Circular Walk
The Kyle of Durness Circular Walk packs a punch when it comes to the scenery! Gaze out into the coastline, pass a crumbling old school, and check out views of a quaint loch. At times, the path hugs close to the edges of cliffs, so take care along these sections.
Foyers Falls Walk
The Foyers Falls Walk may be short, but it does not compromise on scenery. Wander the brief, easy-to-follow path to the falls dropping down a flora-covered rock face into a dark pool of water below!
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