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Walking and Hiking in Scotland

One of the most interesting and enjoyable aspects of Scotland is how amenable it is to walking. Yes, walking. From sea side pathways to river side roadways to highland trails, there's no shortage of places to walk and enjoy an "up close and personal" Scotland experience. Whether you are an experienced hiker looking for a challenging outing or a casual walker looking for a lovely stroll, you're sure to find exactly what you're looking for in Scotland.

An assortment of walking opportunities

Because the outdoors have always been a big part of Scotland and its heritage it should come as no surprise that the people of Scotland have done a terrific job of prioritising the need and importance of providing a variety of walking choices. From the rugged countryside to the paved city pathway, you can choose from nearly any kind of walking experience you might want.

Fife Coastal Path - This is an extensive walk that stretches northward 150 km from Royal Burgh of Culross all the way to Tay Bridge. Visitors can choose to walk the entire path, which takes approximately five to seven days depending on your speed, or choose to walk just small sections of the path in as little as an hour or so. It is rugged and challenging in some places yet easy and quite level in other places. All along the path there are lovely places to stop if you want to rest, want to shop, need something to eat, or simply want to explore your surroundings.

Southern Upland Way - This is the National Coast to Coast Trail of Scotland, a dramatic and beautiful route stretching over 400 km in all. It is divided into approximately ten sections, each of which features unique landscapes, challenges, and attractions along the way. Visitors can choose to walk as much or as little of the route as they like, but can also ride mountain bikes, go horseback riding, or casually roll along on traditional bicycles.

The Rob Roy Way - This is a 127 km stretch from Drymen to Pitlochory, bringing together many of the historic locations and areas where Rob Roy MacGregor lived in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. While many other extended walkways in Scotland came about thanks to official government support, this route came about thanks to grassroots efforts of landowners, walking enthusiasts, and hiking groups. There are not consistent signs or markers along the way, but there are a number of excellent guidebooks available with very clear and precise directions for you to follow.

The Cateran Trail - This is a lovely circular trail that is 103 km in length, starting and ending in Blairgowrie, Perthshire. It takes you through the glens of Angus and Perthshire, with close proximity to villages and other places to find a variety of attractions and services along the way. Most visitors who choose to walk the entire route can do so in about five days or so, which is reasonable for most people thanks to the relatively moderate terrain it follows.

West Highland Way - This is a long distance walking route (152 km) stretching from Glasgow to Fort William. Many Scotland residents consider this to be the best hill walking route in the country, making it a popular vacation destination for mountain lovers across the country and indeed across the world as well. It extends the entire length of Loch Lomond and includes some challenging terrain going across Glen Coe and over the rugged feature known as Devil's Staircase.

Speyside Way - This is one of the four official Long Distance Routes (LDRs) in Scotland, extending approximately 96 km from Buckie on the Moray Firth to Aviemore at Strathspey. Because it follows the River Spey for most of its route, visitors are able to experience some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. It covers a variety of terrain as well, including moorlands, forested paths, rivers, and mountains of various heights.

Walking in Scotland (Lonely Planet Walking Guide) - This guide to Scotland shows readers how to discover the whole Scottish experience on two feet, including city strolls, coastal ambles and mountain hikes. It explores Scotland's flora and fauna as well as the myths and mysteries, the castles and crags and the malts en route.
Scotlands 100 Best Walks - This is a guide to Scotland's best walks. From mountain, glen, drove road and seashore each walk is graded for length and difficulty. It is an essential guide for anyone who enjoys walking and for anyone with an interest in rural Scotland.
Scottish Outdoor Access Code - Statutory access rights and the Scottish Outdoor Access Code are now in effect. They came into effect on February 9th 2005.
SNH - Scottish Natural Heritage - SNH, together with partners, is working to restore and rejuvenate Scotland‘s native pinewoods.