Scotland is an intriguingly beautiful nation, with its rich history, beautiful landscapes, and innumerable tourist attractions. The country also has a string of exciting walking routes, some of which are considered to be the finest in the world. There are trails, which have been properly waymarked and are great for anyone who wishes to discover the nation by bike, on foot, or even in a canoe. However, if you love walking, there is nothing like that as these are mostly off-road, as well as, traffic-free, with an array of services for the walkers along the way. Enjoy these trails the way you like to – alone or with your family and friends going for a day or an afternoon trip, or you may even plan a walk for multiple days. From one-day to multi-day walks, here’s a rundown of the best walks in Scotland. So, take out your walking shoes and get going.
1. Mull Of Galloway Trail
The Mull of Galloway Trail is a fabulous 40 km (24.85 mi) long trail. The walk begins from a quaint lighthouse located at Scotland’s southernmost tip to a town called Stranraer. A major part of the walk follows the coastline of a remote peninsula called the Rhins of Galloway. You will also cross some tranquil villages and sandy beaches on your way, before reaching the cross-country stretch, which is the final lap of your journey. The route is frequently in proximity to roads but also covers shoreline paths in between, making it an extremely attractive walk.
2. West Island Way
Stretching for about 48.28 km (30 mi), you can walk over West Island Way within four half-days or two full-day walks. The path opened in 2000 and is considered to be the very first on any Scottish island. It constitutes some of the best walking routes on the Isle of Bute. On your way, you will cross diverse landscapes, moorland, seashore, wood, and farmland – all of them offering a changing image of Bute. The walk also offers excellent chances to catch sight of wildlife such as a Red Deer, a Basking Shark, or even an Osprey. The Way also passes through many iconic attractions, including the ancient St Blane’s Chapel.
3. Fife Coastal Path
The Fife Coastal Path is 183 km (113.71 mi) long and connects the country’s Forth and Tay Estuaries. The path will enable you to catch glimpses of the different types of landscapes of Fife. Also, this walking route connects some of the most scenic former fishing hamlets of Scotland. You will cross the seaside town of St. Andrews, along with its renowned University of St Andrews. There will be several miles of beautiful forests, nature reserves, and golden sea beaches on your way. The route will also take you across industrial towns like Leven and Kirkcaldy.
4. Rob Roy Way
This long-distance footpath in Scotland starts from Drymen and ends in Perth & Kinross. Rob Roy Way was opened in 2002 and got its name from the famous folk hero of Scotland, Rob Roy MacGregor. It happens to be a multi-day walking trail – around 7 days to be precise – and includes some of the most gorgeous countryside views. The walk covers the same paths and tracks that Rob Roy MacGregor used in the 17th and 18th centuries. You will walk past lochs, mountains, and rivers while soaking up some of the greatest scenery of Scotland.
5. Great Trossachs Path
The Great Trossachs Path connects Loch Lomond with the Trossachs and passes through places such as Stronachlachar, the Loch Katrine, and Brig o’ Turk. The path also links the West Highland Way with the Rob Roy Way, You can enjoy fantastic views of the Loch Katrine, ancient forests, and captivating villages on your way. The route covers a distance of about 48 km (30 mi) and also includes history, wildlife, and hill slopes. It is an ideal walk for long-distance walkers in Scotland.
6. West Highland Way
Spanning over 154 km (96 mi), the West Highland Walk links Fort William with Milngavie. The West Highland Way can be divided into manageable portions if you are unable to complete the path from end to end. Walkers can enjoy a wide variety of breathtaking scenery, as well as, loch shores, countryside parks, steep hills, and open rugged moorlands while walking. A majority of people usually take between five to eight days to walk over the entire path, though some do it in fewer days.
7. Speyside Way
The Speyside Way covers a total distance of 107 km (66.48 mi) and most walkers complete the entire route within five to eight days. This walk has the distinction of being one of the country’s official Long Distance Routes. Your journey will start close to the mouth of the River Spey and will feature captivating scenery as you follow the river banks. Elsewhere, you will come across unused railway trackbeds and open moorland. Along the path, you will also pass through many whiskey distilleries and charming villages.
8. River Ayr Way
You can catch a glimpse of diverse landscapes while traversing the River Ayr Way. Your walk will begin in wild moorland, which is famous for its industrial and natural history, and continue as the river flows downstream, driving mills and rocky sandstone gorges. The final lap of your walk will follow this river through estates and open farmland that finally ends at the historic town called Ayr. The route will also take you across some of the most scenic villages of Ayrshire, such as Stair and Sorn. The entire stretch of walk that covers 66 km (41 mi) can be completed within three to four days.
9. Romans and Reivers Route
The route crosses ancient Roman roads, open lands, and forest tracks while passing through the middle of Reivers county. The Romans and Reivers Route are one of the most enjoyable walks through the Southern Uplands and you will also come across many horse riders and cyclers on your way. The path has been specifically developed for multi-use and also features self-closing gates. The entire route covers a distance of 84 km (52 mi) and can be completed within three to five days.
10. Borders Abbeys Way
This circular route spans a distance of about 107 km (66 mi), and is one of the best walks in Scotland. The Borders Abbeys Way has five phases in total and each of them ends at a lovely town. The walk can be undertaken in an anti-clock or clockwise direction, thus beginning and ending at any of the towns located at the border. There are some long stretches along the River Teviot and River Tweed that are famous for salmon fishing. This self-guided walk will offer you an opportunity to explore and discover the historic remnants of four border abbey of Scotland.
By Pala Sen