The best hikes in Scotland
Scotland is always spoken of as the wildest country in the United Kingdom, and if you take a look at the countryside, that description seem accurate enough. Scotland’s landscape can be craggy, harsh and beautiful in an inhospitable way, and yet people manage to live there just fine and to build some of the most picturesque villages, towns and cities in the isles. Scotland’s highlands, lochs and islands are its most emblematic features, but the country is very diverse and there’s always something surprising about it, no matter how often you visit it. For a hiker, Scotland offers endless opportunities, one more exciting than the other. Here are some of the best hikes in Scotland, for travelers who like active holidays.
West Highland Way
West Highland Way is one of the most famous long distance paths in Scotland, spanning over more than 90 miles through the Scottish Highlands. The trail starts in Milngavie and ends at Fort William, but if you don’t have too much time at your disposal, you can hike a day or two through the most interesting sections. The West Highland Way gives you a sampling of all the best parts of Scotland, like moors, lochs and mountains. The most challenging part of the hike is called the Devil’s Staircase, a rocky ridge near Glen Coe.
East Highland Way
The East Highland Way starts where the West Highland Way ends, at Fort William, and continues to the mountain resort of Aviemore in the eastern parts of the Highland. The trail is very new, and very well developed so as to showcase the natural beauty of Scotland. If you follow the trail, you will pass by stunning castles, lochs, and broadleaf forestes, marshlands and the remnants of the ancient Caledonian forest of Inshriach.
Great Glen Way
The Great Glen Way is probably the most famous of Scotland’s long distance hiking trails. The trail starts at Fort William, the outdoor capital of Scotland, and ends in picturesque Inverness. You will pass through lush forests, and near the most impressive lochs in Scotland, including Loch Ness – in fact, it takes about two days to cross the section of the trail on the shores of Loch Ness, so keep an eye out for Nessie the monster!
The Clyde Walkway starts in Glasgow and ends in New Lanark, a charming village that was designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Most of the trail follows closely the River Clyde, and the hike will allow you to see several natural attractions. However, the various historical landmarks make Clyde Walkway really interesting: Bothwell Castle, Craighead Viaduc, Craignethan Castle.
Rob Roy Way
This interesting hiking trail gets its name for Rob Roy, the famous Scottish folk hero. The trail links e of the scenic village of Drymen to the Victorian burgh of Pitlochry, and it offers spectacular views of several large lochs. The old paths and trail used by Rob Roy in the 18th century will take your through glens, burns, and stunning mountain scenery – as expected from one of the best hikes in Scotland.