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
Hermit’s Castle Walk
The Hermit's Castle Walk is a fun, family-friendly adventure that reveals shimmering bright blue coastal scenery while leading you to a peculiar-looking stony castle overlooking the stunning seascape.
Ord Hill Walk
If you still have some gas left in the tank or have a day between activities in the Highlands and need something to do, we can’t help but suggest the Ord Hill Walk! This adventure will get your blood pumping while immersing you in a forest setting as it leads towards a lovely view of Inverness below.
Essential Tools for Any Adventure
This page may include affiliate links. We may get a small commission for the purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you.
We only recommend tools we personally think are great.