Often referred to as one of the last remaining wildernesses in Europe, Rannoch Moor is a beautiful outdoor space in the very heart of Scotland. Touching on the world-famous Glen Coe at its western side, and the beautiful towns and villages of rural Perthshire – such as Pitlochry and Blair Atholl – on its eastern side, it is a mecca for walkers, hillwalkers, anglers, wildlife enthusiasts and anyone looking for wilderness and open spaces.
Occupying roughly 150 square miles, this challenging stretch of land is composed of blanket peat bog, lochans, rivers, heather hillocks and rocky outcrops, all of it more than 1,000 ft (305 m) above sea level. Despite its harsh conditions, the land still supports varieties of flora and fauna, with a wealth of plants, insects, bird and animal life thriving here, ranging from curlews and grouse to roe and red deer.
But perhaps the most striking thing about the moor is its remoteness. The best way to get a feel for this unique area is to venture on a journey – hop onboard Britain’s most scenic train route, the West Highland Railway line, which crosses the moorland for 23 miles and rises to over 1,300 ft.. Stretching from Glasgow to Fort William, and then on to the coastal town of Mallaig, the line passes through some jaw-dropping landscapes and allows you to soak in true Highland scenery. If you’re visiting in winter, make sure you take a trip to witness an incredible Scottish winter wonderland.
There is plenty of challenging and exhilarating walks in the remote hills and cycling routes. High mountains are also a feature of the moor although these are best left to experienced hillwalkers with excellent navigation skills. Lower level paths from the Rannoch Station area include a 9-mile linear tramp through to Corrour and Loch Ossian and also a 7-mile circuit of Loch Ossain.