Scotland offers some of the best and most expansive walking trails across Europe. Whether you’re looking for a suitable location to simply try out your new pair of walking boots or you want to challenge yourself with a hike across undulating and rugged terrain, there’s a trail for all occasions.

While Scotland might not provide the mildest of climates, especially during the winter months, the dramatic landscapes, rugged coastlines and mountainous backdrops more than makeup for the somewhat unpredictable weather.

If you’re searching for the ideal Scottish trail, then these top three suggestions are sure to make an impression, whatever time of year you venture to the Highlands.

The Glenfinnan Viaduct Trail

Glenfinnan is a small hamlet in Lochaber, around half an hour’s drive from Fort William. This circular trail provides a fairly short but scenic walk past Loch Shiel with outstanding views of the viaduct, part of the West Highland Railway. This is a particularly great trail to explore if you have children in tow as you can impress them with the knowledge that the viaduct was used in the Harry Potter films!

The trail path is rather steep at times, but the dramatic views of the Loch and the surrounding mountains make it worth the climb. Explore the history of the railway further by visiting the Glenfinnan Station Museum.

Ben Lomond 

Ben Lomond is a 974m mountain located on the shores of the famous Loch Lomond. This mountain trail is around eight miles long and features some rocky terrain, although the main path is generally fairly clear. Even so, it’s wise to dress in appropriate hiking gear and plan ahead for any adverse weather conditions.

The expansive views are stunning and show Scotland’s scenery at its best, offering photo opportunities aplenty. Once at the top, you can choose to descend the same way or brave the alternative path, which is steeper and more challenging.

There are plenty of places to stay in and around the Loch Lomond area if you’re planning on combining your walk with an extended break.

Rackwick to Old Man of Hoy

If you’re venturing further north to the Orkney Islands, then the trail from Rackwick to Old Man of Hoy is a must. The coastal path offers incredible views of Orkney and the 137 m sea stack that’s eroded from the cliff.

This trail is around six miles in total and should take about three hours to complete, on average. The path is clear but there can be some rocky parts in places.

Wherever you choose to take your walking adventure in Scotland, you’re sure to discover places steeped in history and legend as well as endless breathtaking landscapes.


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