7 Easy Hill Walks With Amazing Views
We don’t all have the energy or time to scale the great peaks of the Highlands. Fortunately, you don’t need to walk to great heights to enjoy fantastic views. Many of Scotland’s smaller hills offer scenery which is just as spectacular, with the added attraction of being much more accessible.
Here are some Scotland's smaller sized hills you can fit into a day or afternoon, all measuring approximately 500 m and under.
Distance: 4 km
Height: 161 m
Time: 1 hour 45 mins
A labyrinth of hill paths leads high above the leafy suburbs to the west of Edinburgh. As you climb higher, you’ll reach the outskirts of a golf course which reveals sweeping views of the capital. Continue along the high metal boundary of Edinburgh Zoo while keeping your ears and eyes peeled for cries and glimpses of the zoo’s exotic creatures. The Rest and Be Thankful viewpoint bench marks the end of the trail. The view below is the same which features in Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Kidnapped.
Distance: 4 km
Time: 4 hours
The Edwardian Hill of Tarvit Mansion is closed in the winter, but you can still enjoy the three looped pathways on its estate, including Hilltop Walk. Follow the signs for Woodland Walk and at the junction next to the wrought iron garden gate, turn right to start walking uphill. After reaching end of the woods, head up a grassy slope to the summit of Hill of Tarvit (Wemyss Hill) with a monument topped with a spire, surrounded by views of the Lammermuirs and beyond to the Cairngorms.Key facilities
- Pets Welcome
- Accessible Parking Or Drop-off Point
- Cafe or Restaurant
Distance: 5.8 km
Height: 229 m
Time: 2 hours
Cnoc Nan Gabhar means ‘Rock of the Goat’ in Gaelic, but this wee hill set on a peninsula is better known as Deer Hill. True to its name, deer of all kinds are seen darting among the trees and glades including red, roe, fallow, and sika. Simply follow the red waymarkers and hug the edge of the woodland which makes up part of the Kintyre Way. As the path climbs, catch glimpses across the Kilbrannan Sound to the Isle of Arran and the peak of Ailsa Craig through the gaps in the trees. The route eventually gives way to open moorland, then a short track to the summit with its majestic view of Kintyre’s east coast.
Distance: 9.7 km
Height: 525 m
Time: 3.5 hours
Bennachie is one of Aberdeenshire’s smaller hills but the views from the top are nothing short of breathtaking. It’s a range comprising seven summits, the highest of which are Bennachie, Oxen Craig and the dramatic Mither Tap. Follow the circular route through the lush Bennachie forest which leads up to all three peaks. It’s a bracing but popular climb which is particularly splendid during autumn as the foliage changes colours.
Distance: 7 km
Height: 222 m
Time: 2 hours
Kinnoull Hill rises from the River Tay on the outskirts of Perth and is easily accessible on foot from the city centre. Follow the atmospheric forested route to the summit crowned by Kinnoull Tower, a fairy-tale folly built by Lord Grey of Kinfauns in 1829. Take in a breathtaking backdrop overlooking the Tay. On clear days you can see as far as Dundee and the outline of the Tay Bridge.
Distance: 8.75 km
Height: 170 m
Time: 1.5 hours
Don’t be put off by the spooky-sounding name. This hill above the town of Moffat is an idyllic spot with outstanding views and abundant wildlife. The hill and its surrounds are part of a community funded rewilding project to restore the woodlands. Look for golden eagles soaring overhead while foraging for seasonal wild berries.
Distance: 3.9 km
Height: 316 m
Time: 1 hour
Not quite ready to scale a Munro? This small hill is ideal for those who want to pace themselves without having to forgo spectacular scenery. Depending on your level of fitness you can reach the top easily in less than an hour. If the weather’s nice, bring a picnic and take in views across greater Glasgow, the gleaming Loch Lomond, and the Trossachs.
Planning a trip to the hills? Choose a route that's suited to your fitness level and experience, no matter the distance or elevation. Remember to take care to wear suitable clothing and footwear, and bring the basic safety equipment.
For more information on how to be prepared when hill walking in Scotland, visit our Munro Bagging page.
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