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10 Stunning Scottish Towns with Walking Routes

Clifftop Trail, Dunbar, East Lothian

Is it about time you and your favourite travel buddy, Mother Nature, got together again for a revitalising reunion away from it all? If so, Scotland awaits!

Whichever corner of our wee country you choose, you’ll land on both feet with a stay in some of these Scottish towns. In the shadows of some of Scotland’s finest landscapes, these special spots are the perfect escapes – offering amazing walking trails and long-lasting memories to boot.

1. Gatehouse of Fleet, Dumfries & Galloway

Cairn Holy Chambered Cairns, near Gatehouse of Fleet

Gatehouse of Fleet – a town which used to be known in the past as the ‘Glasgow of the South’, with textile mills, ship building and a bustling port in the 18th and 19th centuries. Locals love Gatehouse for the beaches and ice cream at Cream o’ Galloway, and you’ll enjoy coastal, hill and clifftop walks too. The town is right beside the beautiful Solway Coast, and just ten minutes’ drive from Kirkcudbright, the Artists’ Town.

Find places to stay in Gatehouse of Fleet, including the Cally Palace Hotel and Laggan Sea View Snugs.

Here are some of the area’s spellbinding walks:

2. Tomintoul, Highlands

Still, a sculpture by Angus Ritchie and Daniel Taylor, near Tomintoul

Tomintoul is a cosy mountain village sitting on the northern slopes of the Cairngorm Mountains. The highest village in the Highlands, it has Victorian charm in abundance and is part of Scotland’s second International Dark Sky Park. A stay in Tomintoul (pronounced Tom-int-owl) will promise amazing sights all year round, with short snowy strolls and star-studded skies in the winter and longer summer saunters through the glorious scenery, all in one of the prettiest corners of Scotland.

Find places to stay in Tomintoul, including The Smugglers Hostel or Wester Fodderletter Eco Farmhouse.

Enjoy some of the most scenic parts of Scotland along these amazing walks near the village.

3. Arbroath, Angus

Arbroath Abbey

The signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320 and the delicious smoked haddock dish the ‘Arbroath Smokie’ are two of the things that make Arbroath famous. The third is the walking – the beautiful surrounding Angus countryside is a lovely place to spend a few days, with a handful of Munros to conquer and the Angus Glens all yours to explore.

Find places to stay in Arbroath, including the Brucefield Boutique B&B and Harbour Haven apartments.

Make sure you check out some of these sensational strolls:

4. Pitlochry, Perthshire

Black Spout Waterfall, near Pitlochry

Pitlochry is perfect for a peaceful retreat. Visit in autumn to see the town and surrounding area in its red, orange and golden finery. Follow one of the many walks which all start in and around Pitlochry, with trees, burns, rivers, lochs, and hills waiting for you as you explore a region filled with adventure. There’s also a theatre, distilleries and even a salmon ladder to check out when your feet need a rest!

Find places to stay in Pitlochry, such as Saorsa 1875 and Fonab Castle Hotel & Spa.

Try some of these wonderful wanders:

5. Torridon, Highlands

The Torridon Hills at Upper Loch Torridon

Torridon offers brilliant access to hill and coastal walks, with its far-flung north westerly position nestled beneath mountain peaks. A small village on the shores of Loch Torridon, the name also applies to the Torridon Hills and surrounding Glen Torridon. Remote and away from it all, an escape here is a thrilling Highland adventure, with walks to suit every level of explorer.

Find places to stay in Torridon, including the Torridon Hotel and Kinlochewe Lodge.

Please note that some of these walks are strenuous and for experienced walkers only.

6. Dunoon, Argyll

Kilmun Arboretum, Dunoon

The charming Victorian resort town of Dunoon on the Cowal Peninsula is amazingly easy to reach from the Central Belt of Scotland. Its position on the cusp on Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, Argyll Forest Park and Benmore Botanic Garden, make it a dream for those of us that love a pretty stroll in nature!

Find places to stay in Dunoon including the Abbots Brae Hotel and the St Ives Guest House.

Discover this magical corner of Scotland along these walks:

7. Tarbert, Isle of Harris, Outer Hebrides

Tarbert Harbour, Isle of Harris

As you arrive in Tarbert, you’ll be met with some seriously dramatic scenery. Tarbert is the Norse word for portage, where Vikings used to carry their boats overland from one body of water to another. The main ferry port for connecting the Outer Hebrides with Uig on Skye, the town is right in the middle of the north and south Harris, with surrounding mountains and famous beaches such as Luskentyre and Scarista that are out of this world. These are some of Scotland’s most amazing scenes, so take it in and enjoy!

Don’t miss a visit to the Isle of Harris Distillery, the first on Harris, for a taste of some of the unique spirits.

Find places to stay in Tarbert including The Harris Hotel and Hotel Hebrides.

See it all along some of these fantastic wanders:

8. Lanark, Clyde Valley

Falls of Clyde, near Lanark

One of the oldest royal burghs in Scotland, Lanark certainly has a story or two to share. Did you know it was home to the first Scottish Parliament in the year 978, and the local church is the proud owner of one of the oldest church bells in the world? With great transport connections from Glasgow, you’ll love the town’s high street and lovely shops. It’s just beside the UNESCO World Heritage Site New Lanark, an 18th century cotton mill village, which has been restored and is now a fascinating attraction to visit.

Find places to stay in Lanark including Oakwood B&B and Muirhall Holiday Cottages.

You can enjoy these walks near Lanark:

9. Dunbar, East Lothian

The ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ at Belhaven Bay, near Dunbar

A gem of the south easterly coastline is East Lothian, an area as equally well known amongst golfers as it is with surfers. Dunbar is the perfect choice if you like pretty beaches, seafood and quirky shops and galleries. Don’t forget to try some of Dunbar’s excellent beverages, including Thistly Cross cider or beers from Belhaven Brewery.

Find places to stay in Dunbar including Harvest Moon Holidays and Bayswell Park Hotel.

Get to know East Lothian along some of these trails:

10. Callander, near Stirling

Blacklinn Falls, Callander

The pretty, colourful town of Callander lies just south of the Highland Boundary Fault which is historically a meeting point between the Highlands and the Lowlands. Spend some hours browsing quaint shops and grabbing a cosy coffee in one of the quirky cafés.

Find places to stay in Callander including Trossachs Yurts and Westerton B&B.

Explore the surrounding area along these walks:

Discover more: