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Scotland is a hikers' paradise! But which hiking trails in Scotland are the best and how should you include them in your itinerary? This blog is a guide to some of the best long-distance hiking holidays in Scotland. Everything you need to know about the best hikes in the Scottish Highlands, the islands, the central lowlands, and the Southern Uplands in the south of Scotland. Put on your hiking boots and let's go!

Would you like to go on a hiking holiday in Scotland? Check all our offers here!

The best long distance walks in Scotland


1. West Highland Way (96 miles / 154 kilometers)


This trek is generally from south to north and is the ultimate destination for your walking holiday in the Scottish Highlands. The West Highland Way starts in Milngavie near Glasgow and ends in Fort William, and takes about 7-8 days to complete. This trail runs through Loch Lomond National Park, the wilderness of Rannoch Moor, and ends near Ben Navis Mountain. You can climb both Ben Lomond and Ben Navis if you like and enjoy the spectacular views from the top.

It's a well-marked, popular route that usually attracts a lot of people, so you won't be walking it alone. There are many hostels and B&Bs along the route, but you can also stay in different bunkhouses, wigwams, or hotels if you want a more luxurious experience. But feel free to pack your tent and go for a real experience in the wilderness.

If you need help planning your West Highland Way trip, you can find all our packages here.


2. Rob Roy Way (79 miles / 128 kilometers)


It starts in Drymen, near Loch Lomond, and ends in Pitlochry. It takes about 6-8 days to complete and the trail passes Trossachs, Aberfoyle, Lubnaig, Earn, and Callander among others. The Rob Roy Way was opened in 2002. The trail crosses the fault line that separates the Highlands from the Lowlands. The route follows old tracks along rivers and lakes and climbs over a number of passes that provide beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.

Rob Roy MacGregor is Scotland's most famous villain. He was a cattle thief and cattle trader who, through no fault of his own, went bankrupt and was subsequently declared an outlaw. Roy was liked to be told that he was a crook, but a good one: he would usually share his booty with the less fortunate and never wrongly hurt anyone. He is seen as the Scottish Robin Hood. You usually walk on asphalt, and there are many hilly stretches that can be quite steep, but there are plenty of beautiful sights, such as the railway heritage, the Glen Ogle viaduct, and the stone circle in the Fonab-forest.

There are plenty of places to stay along the way, except Strathyre and Ardtalnaig, so keep that in mind when planning your route.


If you need help planning your Rob Roy Way trip, you can find all our packages here.




3. Great Glen Way (73 miles / 127 kilometers)


This is a lighter, slightly easier walking route, which goes from Fort William to Inverness. If you really feel like it, you can do both the West Highland Way and the Great Glen Way in one go, although we do recommend you rest in between.

The trail starts at the Old Fort and goes along the Caledonian Canal, and along the way, you'll pass Loch Lochy, Loch Oich, and Loch Ness. The route ends at Inverness Castle. Since you start near Ben Navis mountain you might want to consider climbing it first. Another highlight is climbing the stairs of Neptune on the Caledonian Canal.

The first part of the road is quite easy, but once you're halfway, you'll have to climb some steep slopes and walk through the woods, so be prepared. You should have no problem finding good accommodation along the whole route.

If you need help planning your Great Glen Way trip, you can find all our packages here.



4. Speyside Way (65 miles / 116 kilometers)


The Speyside Way starts at Buckie and ends at Aviemore, but can be extended to Newtonmore or Tomintoul. Without the extension it will take about a week to complete this hiking holiday. The view from the Spey-valley is sublime. The trail starts at the mouth of the River Spey and goes upstream.

Along the way you can visit the distilleries of Aberlour and Glenlivet, or the Loch Garten Osprey Centre in Abernethy. This route is also called the Speysie Way Whiskey Trail. You will also be able to see many wild animals! Deer, red squirrels and wild cats all roam the highlands, so bring your camera! For the most part, the well-marked trail offers easy and level hiking, often on former railways, an old military road and forest tracks.



The best season for your Scottish Walking holiday


As the old Scottish saying goes, 'bad weather doesn't exist, just the wrong clothes!' However beautiful Scotland is, the island's turbulent climate can be difficult to predict. January and February are generally the coldest months in Scotland when daytime temperatures average between 5 °C and 7 °C. July and August are normally the warmest months in Scotland, with an average temperature of around 19 °C.

The combination of mountainous landscapes and sustained winds from the Atlantic Ocean make the West Highlands one of the wettest and most windy places in all of Europe. Or, as we like to call it, atmospheric!

This is in contrast to the east of the country, from Inverness aside to Aberdeenshire and down to Angus, Fife, and the Lothians, where there is about as much (or less) rainfall as in New York, Barcelona, Rome, and even Rabat in Morocco.

Conclusion: Generally speaking, summer is the best time for your walking holiday in Scotland, but bring your raincoat with you just in case!



Your accommodation along the hiking trails


Perhaps the best thing about multi-day walking in Ireland is the fact that each stop is a village or small town, with the right accommodation for weary hikers. Depending on the route, this ranges from full-service hotels in cities like Glasgow to self-catering pubs, inns, and bed-and-breakfasts in the more remote areas. Availability of meals and other essentials follows a similar pattern: routes with many developed stops like the West Highland Way have more than enough options in store for you. But if you're going further off the beaten track, it's advisable to stock up on snacks and other essentials.

Do you need help finding the right accommodation for you? Here you can find all our trekking options for Scotland with accommodation included!

Tips for what should I bring with me when I go walking in Scotland?


Only you know exactly what to bring for your hiking style. Still, we have a number of tips on what you should take with you when you go hiking in Scotland.

Equipment: Investing in trekking poles or a walking stick is a good idea, and make sure you bring a compass and a durable backpack. For long-distance walks, we recommend a 60-liter backpack or a decent backpack. You'll need something big enough to carry your food and drink essentials and your extra layers of clothing and rain gear.

Clothing: A good pair of trekking shoes is mandatory (preferably in leather), as is clothing for cold weather (even if you travel in spring, autumn or summer) to protect you from stormy weather. As mentioned above, plan for rain. Make sure as much of your gear as possible is waterproof, and invest in a waterproof jacket and pants. Your waterproof clothing should be breathable and make sure the jacket has a good hood and neck collar.

Maps: If you travel on your own, you can get hiking maps from the tourist offices in the specific province of your route.



Can I book my hiking tours in Scotland with Bookatrekking.com?


Yes, you can book your walking holidays in Scotland right here at Bookatrekking.com! We have packages for The West Highland Way, The Great Glen Way, and the Rob Roy Way. Contact our Trekking Experts today for free advice!


Did you know that you can also go on a walking holiday to other parts of the United Kingdom? Think about Ireland, England, and Wales. Check the following blogs and look ahead to your next adventure!


- Hiking in England
- Hiking holidays Ireland
- Hiking in Wales

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