UK's highest mountain
Ben Nevis grabs the headlines as the highest mountain in the UK, but there are hundreds of other peaks worthy of your best boots. Scotland's next five highest peaks are in the Cairngorms, a huge area of upland with the pulsing outdoor hub of Aviemore at its heart. Experienced walkers' hearts will flutter when they see the Cuillin ridge in Skye. This magnificent alpine-style route is unlike anything else in the UK, with a continuous 12 km ridge crest demanding concentration on every step. There are also formidable Munros at Lochnagar, Glen Affric and the wilds of Knoydart.
Although 'the Scottish Highlands' are in the north of the country, if you head south past the central lowlands, you'll enter a whole new world of character-packed hills. In Dumfries & Galloway is the mighty Merrick, which stands just shy of Munro status. Towards the east are the seductive rolling summits of the Moorfoot and Lammermuir ranges. Winding all the way through this adventurer's playground is the Southern Upland Way, a long distance trail that stretches for 212 miles (341 km) from coast to coast.
Small but beautiful
Sometimes the best things do come in small packages. Stac Pollaidh is one of Scotland's most distinctive hills and from start to finish an utter joy to climb. The path starts off steadily, rising in gentle circuit of the hill's shoulders. For the final summit push you'll need your hands, feet and all your wits in a thrilling scramble. From the top, the views of the scattered peaks and surrounding loch-strewn wilds are astonishing.
Who says you have to go up the hills to enjoy them? Walk through Glencoe or Glen Shiel and you can enjoy the soaring ridges and huge buttresses from a gentle riverside path. In the Trossachs you can picnic by a loch and admire the crumpled rocky peaks that inspired Sir Walter Scott to write his classic novel Rob Roy.
You don't even have to leave the city to enjoy Scotland's hills - Edinburgh has a mini-mountain right in its midst! Arthur's Seat is a rugged ancient volcano surrounded by open parkland. You can explore three lochs, hidden glens, spectacular cliffs and meet some surprising wildlife. You can also climb to the hill's summit in just half an hour for the best possible views of Scotland's capital city.
Sir Hugh Munro could never have guessed what he was starting when he compiled his list of Scotland's 3,000 ft hills in 1891. Climbing the 282 Munros is now an iconic achievement for keen hillwalkers. If you complete a 'round' you will also have explored some of the most beautiful and remote landscapes in Europe. Ben Lomond, just north of Glasgow, is many people's first Munro. The Isle of Skye has 12 Munros, all very challenging.
The Munros certainly make up a magical list, but hillwalkers who ignore Scotland's Corbetts are missing out on some amazing days out. Classic Corbetts include The Cobbler, Ben Ledi and Arkle.
If you're new to hillwalking or simply fancy a gentle walk in the country, you'll find the Grahams offer some wonderful days of adventure. Try Tinto Hill in the Borders, Marsco on Skye and Suilven in the far north.
There wouldn't be any hills without glens to separate the summits! Take time to enjoy these scenic valleys and you'll be surprised by emerald lochs, fairy pools, historic battle sites, and Harry Potter's steam train.