Your Guide to Hiking in Scotland!
- Your Guide to Hiking in Scotland!
Whether you’re searching for some of the best long distance hikes in scotland or even best family hikes in scotland, this article should help you decide where is best to head up North!
Unlike Hiking in the South of the UK, Hiking in Scotland you are truly spoilt for choice.
They have some truly spectacular scenery and choosing a location to Hike is an easy once, because they’re all equally as beautiful.
Below is a quick table illustrating which scotland hikes we have chosen to include in this article. We start with Ben Nevis as it’s the most famous across the globe, but there are also some hikes in this list that you may not have heard of. So sit back, grab a coffee and check out our list of some of the best hikes in scotland.
|Best Hikes in Scotland||Length of Hike||Estimated Duration|
|Ben Nevis||17.1 km||7 hours|
|Iona||8.5km||2.5 - 3 hours|
|Dun da Lamh||8.5km / 5.25 miles||2.5 - 4 Hours|
|Sandwood Bay||13km / 8 miles||4-5 Hours|
|Beinn Alligin||10km / 6.25 miles||6-7 Hours|
|Quinag||14km / 8.75 miles||7.5 - 8.5 Hours|
|Carn Loch nan Amhaichean||17.3km||4 Hours|
|Portmahomack||14km / 8.75 miles||4-5 Hours|
|Lairig Ghru||30.5km / 19 miles||8-10 Hours|
|Arthur's Seat||4.75km / 3 miles||2-3 Hours|
1. Ben Nevis
Does our Number 1 need any introduction? Standing at a grand old height of 4,411 feet, it’s officially the highest mountain in the United Kingdom / British Isles.
Ben Nevis attracts over 100,000 per year attempting the various trails.
According to many, it’s considering one of the best hikes in Scotland.
The one we recommend is The 1883 Pony Track to the Summit, sometimes referred to as the “Tourist Route”. It is the simplest route to the top. While it is still regarded as the simplest trail, it’s by no means an easy feat, and can be relatively exhausting on the knees while descending. Make sure to apply some WD-40 to your knees joints before attempting this Mountain! 😉
Iona is a small Island off the West Coast of Scotland, mainly known for Iona Abbey; however this small Island has become famous for it’s beautiful & picturesque hiking trails in recent times.
The best one in our opinion is the Iona Pilgrimage Route, on this route you will get to encounter St Martin’s Cross, the Nunnery, Reservoir, The Marble Quarry and of course Columba’s Bay, all very photogenic, and surely something to post on Facebook & Instagram! 🙂
3. Dun da Lamh
Dun da Lamh is a Pictish Hill Fort near Laggan, up in the Scottish Highlands, and is almost unheard of, despite being breathtakingly beautiful.
Some of the sights you will see around this trail will certainly remind you of various places in Canada, with the views seeming to go on forever and ever. Occasionally the weather can get bad like many of our Top 10 locations in Scotland, in which case, we really do recommend our best selling product: ArcticDry Waterproof Socks.
The route we recommend is the Black Wood and Dun da-Lamh Fort route used by most hikers, which is approximately 8km with a 484km ascent, taking 2 hours for a well seasoned hiker.
4. Sandwood Bay
Sandwood Bay is located on the far north west coast of Scotland in Sutherland. A lot of the photos you will see of this place will encompass it’s most famous sight, the 1 mile stretch of beach – Am Buachaille. Shockingly picturesque, it’s no surprise people flock from all over Scotland to pay this place a visit.
We recommend the bleak moorland track to enjoy this Hike to it’s fullest. It’s safe to say this is one of the most beautiful places on our Top 10 list.
5. Beinn Alligin
Beinn Alligin is one of the most notorious mountains in the Torridon region, and considered one of the best hikes in Scotland. Famed for it’s steep climbs and beautiful scenery to boot.
Spanning 9.8km, it’s certainly a challenging hike, but still considered one of the easier climbs in the Torridon region. It makes a solid number 5 on our list, due to those Instagram-able mountain ranges and breathtaking views.
Quinag, located in Sutherland up in the Scottish Highlands consists of three undulating summits: Sàil Ghorm, Sàil Gharbh, and Spidean Coinich. Sàil Gharbh is the highest of the 3 Corbett Summits, and not for the feint hearted!
Just as beautiful as many of the others in our Top 10, this is definitely one you should have on your bucket list!
7. Carn Loch nan Amhaichean
Located in the Ullapool region, Carn Loch nan Amhaichean is a simply beautiful Hike. You can find out more about this Hike by heading over to Walking Highlands.
Portmahomack is a small village in Easter Ross, Scotland. It is full of old buildings and Pictish Monasteries, and makes for a really interesting trip.
We recommend the Tarbat Ness circuit as you pass some fantastic sights, such as a lighthouse and two older fishing villages. The sights you will see here are unforgettable, and it is definitely worth the journey up North to go and explore this area.
9. Lairig Ghru
Lairig Ghru is one of many mountain passes through the Cairngorms of Scotland, a very remote and intimidating terrain with an altitude of 835 metres.
Like many of the locations on our list of best hikes in Scotland, this one is equally as beautiful and picturesque, so make sure to charge your camera!
10. Arthur’s Seat
Arthur’s Seat is located in Edinburgh, not too far from the City, and in fact once climbed gives you a fantastic panoramic view. It is relatively easy to climb and extremely popular with locals and tourists alike.
There we have it, our list of the Top 10 Best Hikes in Scotland, from Ben Nevis to Arthur’s Seat. We hope we have offered you enough beautiful places to go and google and then go explore! If you’re interested in Hiking around the UK, please check out our other article on the best hikes in the UK
What are the best long distance hikes in scotland?
Regarding the best long distance hikes in Scotland, there are many! However, our recommendation is the Southern Upland Way, which is a phenomenal 341km (212m). A somewhat gruelling, yet beautiful trail to follow if you’re in Scotland and looking for a challenge.
It’s actually Britain’s first coast to coast long distance hiking path. It starts in Portpatrick, and ends in Cockburnspath. It’s a monster of a trail to take on, but if you can do it, it is well worth it.
What are the best family hikes in scotland?
As always with Scotland, there are many options to choose from. But here are a few great places you can take your family and soak in the beautiful scenery, while also getting some exercise in!:
The Birks of Aberfeldy – Length: 3.5 km / 2.25 miles, Time: 1 – 2 hours
Falls of Bruar – Length: 2.5 km km / 1.5 miles, Time: 1 – 1.5 hours
The Hermitage – Length: 6.5 km / 4 miles, Time: 2 hours
The Old Man of Storr – Length: 4.5 km / 2.75 miles, Time: 1.5 – 2 hours
Fife Coastal Path – Length: Choose from 1 to 187 km! (1 – 116 miles), Time:Upto you!
What are the best hikes near Aberdeen Scotland?
Hiking in Aberdeenshire is maybe not as rich in places to go as others, but there’s plenty of options to choose from, including the following choices:
Crynoch Burn – Length: 4.5 km, Time: 1hr 20 Mins
Donmouth and Persley Circular – Length: 11.1 km, Time: 3hr 5 Mins
What are the best hiking boots for scotland?
This is more of a general question and something that should be more like “What are the best hiking boots for the UK), as the terrain will be more or less similar on some of the more hilly trails across the UK.
If you’re interested in general regarding hiking boots, please check out one of our recent articles on the best hiking boots uk