With its dramatic scenery and everchanging landscapes, it's time to put on your walking boots and experience the most scenic walks in Scotland.
These seven walking wonders each provide a unique glimpse into Scotland's natural heritage and offer spectacular walks with views. From city summits and mountain peaks to coastal paths and even a hidden gem or two along the way. Take your next adventure to new heights and discover the best walks in Scotland.
1. Glenfinnan Viaduct Trail
The Glenfinnan Viaduct and Loch Shiel. Image © VisitScotland / Airborne Lens, all rights reserved.
Perhaps you only stopped for a quick snap of the majestic viaduct, or to appease the kids by taking them to see the railway bridge from the Harry Potter films, but if the weather is in your favour and you’ve got the right footwear, why not stay a while and take in the fresh air on a 1 to 2 hour walk?
The Glenfinnan Viaduct Trail is 2.5 miles (4 km) in length and offers sweet rewards, such as views of Loch Shiel and a visit to the poignant Glenfinnan Monument too, which is a tribute to Jacobite clansmen and was erected in 1815.
2. Arthur’s Seat
Situated within Holyrood Park, this extinct volcano stands tall above the city of Edinburgh. There are a number of routes to the top, making for an easy, pleasant 3 mile (4.75km) hill walk with a bit of a rocky scramble to the summit, which is well worth it for the views of the city.
Edinburgh is a rather hilly city, and Arthur’s Seat is just one of its seven iconic hills – the others are Calton Hill, Castle Hill, Corstorphine Hill, Craiglockhart Hill, Blackford Hill and the Braid Hills – and they all take well under two hours to complete. So put some comfy shoes on and get walking in Edinburgh.
3. West Highland Way
Snaid Burn near Inversnaid
An excellent challenge that spans 96 miles (154 km) between Milngavie and Fort William, the West Highland Way, can be broken into achievable chunks if time (or energy!) doesn’t allow for you to tackle the route from end-to-end.
The seven mile (11.2 km) stretch from Inverarnan to Tyndrum in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park takes roughly seven hours to complete and is hard graft – it’s considered to be the toughest part of the way and you’ll certainly feel like a well-deserved rest at the end of the day!
4. Ben Nevis
Lovingly known by locals as 'The Ben', Ben Nevis stands at 4,411 ft (1345 m), close to the small town of Fort William in Lochaber. The main track to the summit is followed by thousands of visitors every year. The walk is often described as slow but steady and takes between six and seven hours to complete on average, along with many glugs of water and a few sit downs along the way.
As it's the UK's tallest mountain it's pretty likely that you'll come across some snow on your way up, even in summer. The best time of year for most is between June - October, but whenever you go, make sure you put safety first and heed advice about navigation on Ben Nevis.
5. Coire Gabhail
Famed for its atmospheric peaks, bloody history and taking a star turn in a little-known film about a spy called James Bond (ever heard of him?!), Glen Coe in the west Highlands is also a gateway to a myriad of stunning walks.
Step into the hidden world of Coire Gabhail, known as the Lost Valley, for a two to three hour rough and ready hike through 2.5 miles (4 km) of stunning mountain scenery. It's not just a pretty place for a picture either - it's got an interesting history too, and is said to be where the Macdonald clan used to hide the cattle that they had rustled from their neighbours!
6. Fife Coastal Path
Yes, this glorious historic fishing village is on Scotland’s east coast! The Fife Coastal Path runs 117 miles (188 km) from Kincardine in the south of Fife to Newburgh up on the banks of the River Tay, so why not pick a section, such as the 14 mile (22.5 km) Burntisland to Buckhaven route, for a great day out? Don’t miss the fascinating Coastal Centre at the Harbourmaster’s House in Dysart, on the outskirts of Kirkcaldy, where you can explore the history of the harbour and discover information about the Fife Coastal Path. Look out for the 13th century St Serf’s Tower and the pretty Pan Ha’ cottages in Dysart too.
7. Coastal: Tobermory Bay to Aros Park
Tobermory, Isle of Mull
Stretch your legs on this two hour walk which ascends up round the edge of Tobermory Bay on the Isle of Mull and peek through the leaves of trees and bushes to admire views of the colourful buildings on the seafront and beyond. Picnic spots and viewpoints are dotted along this 3 mile (5.5km) coastal route, which reaches Aros Park and the wee Loch a'Ghurrabain which you can stroll around before your return.
Another walk at the other end of the high street will take you to Tobermory Lighthouse, a picturesque point where you can see over to the mainland.