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6 perfectly scenic summer walks in Scotland

Miriam Brand-Spencer - View Comments

The long hours of daylight during Scotland’s summer months provide the perfect opportunity to explore the outdoors – and whether you’re looking for a short afternoon stroll in the country or a mountaineering holiday, we’ve got you covered:

1. Tarbat Ness Circuit

Photo by Leathanach via Flickr | Creative Commons

Perfect for: coastal walks
Distance and time: 8.75 miles (14 km), allow 3.5 – 5 hours
Difficulty: lightly harder walk (according to WalkHighland’s grading)

Linking two former fishing villages, passing Ballone Castle and using Tarbat Ness Lighthouse as a mid-way point, this circular walk from Portmahomack in Easter Ross comes with exceptional viewpoints. Have a well-earned break by the cliffs near the lighthouse at the tip of the Tarbat Ness Peninsula as you admire the view. See if you can spot seabirds, the Moray Firth pod of dolphins and seals along the way.

2. Glencoe Lochan


Perfect for: pleasant loch views
Distance and time: all trails are 1 mile (1.6 km), allow 30-45 minutes.
Difficulty: easy – strenuous (according to the Forestry Commission grading)

At this Forestry Commission site in Glen Coe there are three short walks to choose from. There’s an accessible route around the lochan, where on a calm summer’s day you’ll see enchantingly clear reflections in the water. Then there is the rocky woodland walk through pine-scented North American conifers, and a more strenuous mountain trail which boasts views across to Loch Leven and the hills of Morvern.

3. Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’Chroin

Photo by Calypso Orchid via Flickr | Creative Commons

Perfect for: Munro bagging
Distance and time: 8.5 miles (13.5 km), allow 7 – 8 hours
Difficulty: harder hillwalk (according to WalkHighland’s grading)

Bag two Munros in a day in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, starting with a hill walk up Ben Vorlich before a harder scramble to the summit of Stuc a’Chroin. The promise of breathtaking views of the surrounding Trossachs and on to the Highlands will surely spur you up to the peaks. Make sure you’ve taken a look at our mountaineering tips before you go.

4. Crossford to New Lanark


Perfect for: river walks
Distance and time: 8 miles (13 km), 3 – 4 hours
Difficulty: Easy walk (according to WalkHighland’s grading)

Spanning 40 miles (65 km) between Partick and New Lanark, the Clyde Walkway is a long distance river walk. The final leg from Crossford through to New Lanark takes in the Falls of Clyde Nature Reserve and the fascinating mill village of New Lanark, with waterfalls and points of interest along the way. You’ll also see where William Wallace is said to have first drawn his sword in defence of Scotland in 1297.

5. Southern Upland Way – St Mary’s Loch to Traquair

Photo by Billy Dickens via Instagram

Perfect for: long distance walking
Distance and time: 11.75 miles (18.75 km), 6 – 8 hours
Difficulty: slightly harder walk (according to WalkHighland’s grading)

The Southern Upland Way is one of Scotland’s Great Trails and traverses the south of Scotland from coast to coast, and you’ll be certain to come across stunning views of lush countryside on your way. Catch your breath and admire how far you’ve come at vantage points between St Mary’s Loch and Traquair in the Scottish Borders.

6. Loch Stroan


Perfect for: countryside walks
Distance and time: 1.5 miles (2.3 km), allow 1 hour
Difficulty: strenuous (according to the Forestry Commission grading)

Stop by Loch Stroan on the Raiders’ Road Forest Drive in Galloway Forest Park for a short hike through Norway Spruce and Corsican Pine. The forest drive is part of the Galloway Kite Trail, so keep an eye out for red kites and buzzards as you walk. For a full day out, the anglers amongst your group might be interested to know that permits for fishing the loch are available to purchase from April to September.

Take a hike! See more tips about walking in Scotland or read our blog on 12 stunning pub walks.

Join the conversation with us on our FacebookTwitter and Instagram channels by using #ScotSpirit, and see what walks are popular over on the iKnow Scotland Community.