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15 Amazing Hiking Trails In Scotland

15 Amazing Hiking Trails In Scotland

The Scottish Highlands is one of Scotland’s most beautiful regions, known for its dramatic landscapes, picturesque lochs, and variety of wildlife. One of the best ways to explore this area is by hiking as you’ll get to appreciate the magnificent scenery. Here are 15 amazing hiking trails in the Scottish Highlands that you will love!

The Great Trossachs Path

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The Great Trossachs Path is a 28-mile (45 km) route that runs between Callander and Inversnaid, taking you through Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. The hike takes between 2-3 days and is suitable for beginners. Steep sections are fairly limited and the route is pretty easy to follow.

The Moray Coast Trail

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The Moray Coast Trail is another great option for beginners, as the route is well-waymarked and generally level. This 45-mile hike (72 km) runs between Forres and Cullen and takes between 3-5 days to complete. Along the way, you’ll admire epic coastal landscapes as well as wildlife, including the Moray Firth dolphins!

The Cateran Trail

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The Cateran Trail is a circular route, which typically starts and ends in Blairgowrie. The trail covers a distance of 64 miles (103 km) and takes between 4-5 days. This trail is suitable for a range of abilities. However, you’ll require map and compass skills in some sections.

Ben Nevis

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If you’re after a day hike, why not tackle the UK’s highest mountain? Ben Nevis stands at 4,413 feet (1,345 meters) tall and there are two main routes; the Mountain Track and Carn Mor Dearg Arête. The Mountain Track is best for less-experienced hikers but it’s still challenging and you’ll need plenty of endurance.

The West Highland Way

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Another of Scotland’s Great Walks, the West Highland Way offers a fantastic adventure. Stretching for around 95 miles (154 km) this route starts in Milngavie (just north of Glasgow) and ends in Fort William. It takes between 5-8 days. The West Highland Way is well-waymarked and isn’t technically demanding. This makes it great for beginners, especially as you can easily split the route into sections.

The Great Glen Way

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The Great Glen Way is a gorgeous hike that will take you past three major lochs; Loch Lochy, Loch Oich, and Loch Ness. It runs from Fort William to Inverness, covering a distance of 77 miles (125 km), and takes 5-7 days. Although a good chunk of the route is flat, there are some challenging sections, especially if you opt for the High Route.

The Old Man of Storr

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The Old Man of Storr is a popular day hike located on the Isle of Skye. It’s a huge rock formation that offers striking views of the Trotternish area and is famous with photographers. The hike is around 2.3 miles (3.8 km) long and generally takes less than 1.5 hours to complete. It’s popular with families.

Fife Coastal Path

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The Fife Coastal Path offers breathtaking scenery and passes through the popular city of St. Andrews. The hike runs between Kincardine-on-Forth and Newburgh, covering a distance of 116 miles (187 km). It takes between 8-10 days to complete and is a great option for long-distance beginners, as the route can be easily split into sections.

The Loch Ness 360° Trail

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The Loch Ness 360° Trail connects the South Loch Ness Trail and Great Glen Way, making a new long-distance route. The trail can be split into six sections, but the full route is a circular hike that starts and ends in Inverness. It takes around 6 days to complete this 80-mile (128 km) trail, and there are some challenging sections to tackle.

Ben Lomond

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Ben Lomond is a popular Munroe, standing at 3,196 feet (974 meters) tall. From the top, you’ll get breathtaking views of Loch Lomond. This day hike takes approximately 4.5-5.5 hours and will see you cover a distance of 6.8 miles (11 km). Although strenuous in parts, the hike is certainly achievable for beginners.

The John o’Groats Trail

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The John o’Groats Trail is a fantastic coastal walking route. It runs from Inverness to John o’Groats, covering a distance of 147 miles (236 km), and can easily be split into sections. Alternatively, you can hike the full route in 9-14 days. Now, The John o’Groats Trail isn’t as established as others in this guide, so it comes with challenges, such as boulder scrambling and barbed wire fence crossings.

The Glencoe Lochan Trail

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Glencoe Lochan is a family-friendly destination located in Glencoe Valley. There are three hiking routes here; the Lochan Trail, Woodland Trail, and Mountain Trail. Each one is 1 mile (1.6 km) long and takes 30-45 minutes. Alternatively, you can combine all three trails for a longer hike.

Loch Sligachan

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Loch Sligachan is located on the Isle of Skye, and the route here starts from the Sligachan Hotel. You’ll cover a distance of around 6.8 miles (11 km) and get fantastic views of the Cuillins mountain range. The trail typically takes between 4-6 hours depending on your fitness levels, and is considered a moderate hike.

The Speyside Way

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The Speyside Way runs between Buckie and Newtonmore and is one of Scotland’s Great Walks. It’s a source-to-sea route that will take you through the Cairngorms National Park, so offers fantastic wildlife-watching opportunities. It covers a distance of 85 miles (137 km) and takes between 6-9 days. The Speyside Way is generally suitable for beginners too.

The Ring of Steall

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The Ring of Steall is a classic route that combines four different Munros; An Gearanach, Stob Choire a Chàirn, Am Bodach, and Sgùrr a’Mhaim. The route covers 10 miles (16 km) and takes between 9-12 hours. It’s a very challenging route so isn’t recommended for beginners.

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Emese Maczko is a travel blogger behind Eco Lodges Anywhere. Having explored several destinations around Europe, the US, Indonesia, and Australia, and resided in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Luxembourg, Emese possesses a keen understanding of diverse cultures and an appreciation for the beauty of each destination she visits. She advocates for sustainable travel and ecotourism.