Hiking in Scotland: 13 Insanely Beautiful Walks

Inverness – Fun Things To Do In Scotland – A World to Travel

Discover Scotland’s best hiking trails, including Aonach Eagach and the Great Glen Way, for stunning views and historical landmarks.

Scotland is one of the best places in the world to go hiking, thanks to its incredible nature, scenery that takes your breath away, and great history you can learn about while passing by the historical landmarks. Hiking in Scotland is an exciting experience, and you can choose from several trails.


We have selected the best ones for you to consider before heading to this magnificent country.

1. The Great Glen Way

The Great Glen Way is a stunning hike suitable for long-distance walkers. It’s a fault line that gives you the chance to take in the splendor of three lovely Lochs. The 117 km-long track passes through Scotland’s stunning highland ranges as it travels from one coast to the other.

Read also: Hiking Guide to UK’s 15 National Parks

You will start your hike at Ben Nevis, and end it at Inverness. You’ll enjoy spectacular views of lochs, including Loch Oich, Loch Lochy, and Loch Ness, throughout the journey. If your dream is to elope in Scotland and have a majestic photoshoot, any Scotland elopement photographer will recommend this walk.

2. The West Highland Way

One of Scotland’s most well-known walking routes is The West Highland Way. If you are choosing the first trail for hiking in Scotland, this one might be a good start. The walk leads you to Fort William, which is situated in the shadow of Ben Nevis, away from the bustle of Milngavie town.

This trail is well marked and even if you are not an experienced hiker you can follow the signs and won’t get lost. The best time to go on this hike is from spring to autumn when the weather is warmer. The trail is 154 km long, so get ready for a long-distance walk.

3. Old Man of Hoy

If history is your thing, then hiking in Orkney is for you. You’ll need to board a ferry to get to the Old Man of Hoy. This route is located on a stunning island with numerous archipelagoes. It is located on Scotland’s northeastern coast.

Here, you can stroll along the coastal cliffs while admiring the stunning surroundings. It rises to around 450 feet and is simple to follow. A three-hour walk from Rackwick and back is required. Be aware of the wind which can be very strong here, so even in summer time wear appropriate clothing.

4. Stac Pollaidh

Some of the most memorable views can be found at this location. The mountain Stac Pollaidh is not very tall. It’s among Scotland’s tiniest, just a little over 600 meters high, and is situated in Scotland’s northwest. This mountain’s summit is rocky. It also features numerous pinnacles and steep slopes. 

The walk takes three hours. You’ll ascend a challenging, winding path. You will encounter magnificent vistas at the highest point of the hills that are unmatched in Scotland. You should spend some time at the summit admiring the scenery, which includes views of Cul Mor and Mt. Suilven. 

5. Loch an Eilein

The Loch an Eilein, situated right in the middle of Rothiemurchus woodland, is the ideal destination if you have a hiking-inclined family. Hiking in Scotland can take you among different landscapes and this one is unique because it is located in a woodland and is surrounded by Caledonian pine trees. 

It also provides a wonderful view of the island’s 13th-century castle. Families will love the easy route around the lake. However, you must keep an eye out for animals, such as red squirrels and Scottish crossbills. This is an ideal place for a picnic with your loved ones.

Related read: Rookie family travel mistakes to avoid

6. Devil’s Pulpit

The Devil’s Pulpit in Scotland is a steep gorge that attracts many hikers. Through a narrow valley in the sandstone, a river can be seen flowing below. Be careful since it can be fairly difficult to descend to the bottom. The descent to the bottom is known as the Devil’s Steps or Jacob’s Ladder, although either name serves as a warning that they can be treacherous, therefore, this trek should only be undertaken on dry days and with excellent footwear. 

Only about 300 meters separate the parking lot and the gorge, making the hike itself fairly short. Take it easy, though, as there is a very slick rock staircase and a couple of places with ropes to hang onto. Once there, take a few minutes off your shoes before heading to Devil’s Pulpit, located just around a creek bend. Here, many people swim, so it’s worthwhile to sit and take it all in. 

7. Fairy Pools

The Fairy Pools, stunning pools of crystalline blue water on the River Brittle, are located close to Glen Brittle at the base of the Black Cuillins. These well-known pools draw tourists from all over the world because they offer fantastic Wild Swimming for those who are willing to plunge into the chilly water. For those who are less daring, these enchanted Fairy Pools make for amazing pictures and some of the most scenic routes for hiking in Scotland.

Less than 7 kilometers long, the trail may be finished in under 3 hours. While moving around the pools, you get an amazing and soothing view of them. The experience is made more thrilling by the fact that the trail takes you far from the crowds.

8. Glenfinnan Viaduct

Hiking in Scotland for any Harry Potter fan must include a visit to Glenfinnan Viaduct. This trail is not very long. However, it is well-known and reputable. People travel far and wide to see its breathtaking views. You should be aware that the walk does get rather steep at times.

The stroll is 4 kilometers long. Depending on your level of fitness and readiness, this should take between one and two hours. You can spend a day in nature and observe great views if you go on this hike. Also, you can bring snacks and have a picnic along the way.

9. The Coffin Roads

Choose this hike if you want to be close to the sea and spend some time on one of Scotland’s most beautiful beaches. However, many people find this name scary. This very interesting name comes from history. Some people transported corpses to Harris along Coffin Road. The bodies would be buried there far below the surface.

The hike starts at Leac a Li and Bealach Eorabhat is where it ends. Eagles are something you need to watch out for while hiking. Some of the stunning beaches you will see along the way are Luskentyre and Seilebost.

10. Beinn a’Chrulaiste

One more hike for beginners, Beinn a’Chrulaiste is well-known in the area. However, because of its hefty outline, hikers and tourists frequently overlook it. A spectacular panorama is waiting for you at the top of the highland, where you can walk. It starts at the ridge on the west side and ends at the Kingshouse. 

It’s crucial to note that the ground is somewhat uneven and rocky. Wearing sturdy shoes is important because there are some hill climbs to handle. Before embarking on this walk, be sure to check the weather. The route is around 7 km long and it is a perfect day hike.

Read also: A comprehensive hiking guide for beginners

11. The Cape Wrath Trail

The Cape Wrath Trail, which takes us to the very top of the mainland, is one of the best hikes in Scotland. The Cape Wrath trail, which covers 240 miles and is frequently referred to as the toughest long-distance hiking trail in the UK, begins in Fort William and ends at Cape Wrath. It can take 15-20 days to complete it.

On the journey to the most northwestern part of the mainland, you’ll go through the solitary wildernesses of Assynt and Knoydart, where you won’t run into anybody else for several weeks. Additionally, many of your nights will be spent in bothies. This is a challenging but rewarding hike you will never forget.

12. The Aonach Eagach Ridgeline

The Aonach Eagach is the narrowest ridge walk in Scotland and on the UK mainland, and it can be found in the renownedly beautiful Glen Coe. A thrilling scramble and vistas of the other Glen Coe peaks await experienced climbers.

This climb is risky because it is full of dangerous rocks and trails that are frequently damp and slippery. It’s not something to attempt without experience or in poor circumstances. However, as the images above and below demonstrate, it is undoubtedly one of the most amazing mountain climbs.

13. The Southern Upland Way

The Southern Upland Way is the country’s first recognized coast-to-coast path. From Portpatrick on the southwest coast to Cockburnspath on the east, it is a distance of 344 kilometers. This is a challenging multi-day walk that often takes up to 16 days to complete. You’ll climb more than 80 peaks that are higher than 600 meters, but never higher than 900 meters, and you’ll truly appreciate the splendor of the Scottish borderlands.

Although it is frequently disregarded by Scottish hikers, the region is rather stunning. Make no mistake, even for seasoned walkers, this is difficult. But if you want to explore the nation in a less well-known fashion, this is one of the best routes hiking in Scotland can offer you.

Wrapping up: Hiking in Scotland

In conclusion, Scotland offers some of the most unforgettable hiking experiences in the world. With breathtaking views, incredible nature, and rich history, each trail is unique and full of cultural significance.

Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner, there is a short or long trail to suit every level of fitness and every taste. So, pack your bags, put on your hiking boots, and hit the trails to explore Scotland’s magnificent wilderness and historical landmarks.

Alysa Tarrant runs Voyaging Herbivore

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