7 Best Walks in Scotland

Scotland is a walker’s paradise! With its dramatic scenery and landscapes that change with every season, walking through Scotland is a rewarding activity. So, whether you are looking for hard hikes in the Highlands, lovely strolls around lochs or rambles alongside rivers, here are some of the best walks in Scotland that take in the sweeping scenery.

7 Scenic Walks in Scotland

1. The Lost Valley, Glen Coe, Scottish Highlands

This 2.5-mile (4km) walk will take 2-3 hours to complete. The breathtakingly scenic verdant valley and Three Sisters mountains are simply cinematic. Once you set eyes on the view you’ll realise why many movies were filmed here, for instance, James Bond: Skyfall and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. On this walk, you’ll be surrounded by the beautiful landscape for which the Highlands is famous including heather-covered slopes and a gorge carved by the River Coe.

2. Glenfinnan Viaduct Trail, Lochaber, Scottish Highlands

Another iconic spot in Scotland which you may recognise from the big screen is the Glenfinnan Viaduct. This is the railway bridge from the Harry Potter films. The Glenfinnan Viaduct Trail is 2.5 miles (4km) long and takes in stunning views of Loch Shiel and the Glenfinnan Monument which dates from 1815 and is dedicated to Jacobite clansmen.

3. The Quiraing, Isle of Skye

Famed for its dramatic landscapes, picturesque fishing villages and medieval castles, the Isle of Skye has some wonderful walking routes. One of the most scenic is the 4.2-mile (6.8km) Quiraing looped route. Start in the village of Staffin or Uig which are joined by a single track road. At the highest point of this track, you’ll find the car park. From here the walk is already impressive with views looking north at the high cliffs and the ‘Prison’ rock formation. Bring your camera, and wear sturdy footwear.

best walks in scotland

4. Arthur’s Seat

For sweeping, panoramic views of Edinburgh city, make your way to Holyrood Park and walk up the extinct volcano. Arthur’s Seat is its highest point. The looped route takes about 2 hours to complete. At the top, have a rest and take in the terrific views before making your way over to the well-preserved fort that is around 2,000 years ago. This city centre walk is great for those who like a side order of history with their hikes.

best walks in scotland

5. West Highland Way

This long-distance walk covers some 96 miles (154km) and takes in everything from wide-open moors, steep mountainsides, countryside parks and lochs. You’ll also pass some incredible landmarks like Loch Lomond, Glen Falloch, Strathfillan and Rannoch Moor. The route runs from Milngavie to Gordon Square in the town of Fort William. On average, it takes 6-8 days to complete the route from start to finish.

west highland way

6. Fife Coastal Path

Fife is a historic fishing village on the east coast of Scotland. The Fife Coastal Path runs from Kincardine in the south of Fife to Newburgh up on the banks of the River Tay. That’s 117 miles (188km) in total. This long-distance walk takes one week to 10 days to complete but there are lovely smaller sections that you can enjoy if you are short on time and energy. One such route is the 14-mile (22.5km) Burntisland to Buckhaven walk that takes 5-6 hours. This route takes you past beautiful historic landmarks, parks and gardens, and areas rich in wildlife.

best walks in scotland

7. The Hermitage, Perthshire

For a wonderful walk in the woods, head to Perthshire, which is ‘Big Tree Country”. The Hermitage is a tranquil forest that is home to some of the tallest trees in Scotland. The 4-mile (6.5km) Hermitage woodland walk follows the River Braan and you’ll pass by the charming Ossian’s Hall, which is an 18th-century folly overlooking the Black Linn Falls. Further along is Ossian’s Cave and the Rumbling Bridge. Visit in autumn for stunning fall foliage as well as a chance to see salmon leaping up the falls.

best walks in scotland

Melanie May

Melanie is an intrepid solo traveller, endlessly curious about people, places and food. She is a fan of slow travel and loves exploring the world by mouth, discovering a culture through its food. Having backpacked her way around the world she turned her wanderlust into a career and is now a full-time travel writer.

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