Top 8 Hiking And Trekking Spots In Scotland - Updated 2024

hiking in scotland
| 4 min read

Going to Scotland means that you will get a chance to explore the beautiful mountains, cross through numerous forests, see the coasts, and wander around the beautiful city. This country is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the UK, as it covers a third of Great Britain’s north island. It is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean towards the northern and western sides of the country. Consisting about 790 islands, this place offers many breathtaking views to those who love to explore new places. If you are looking forward to visiting Scotland, then check out these top hiking and trekking spots in Scotland, UK and add them to your travel bucket list.

1. Old Man of Hoy

Old Man of Hoy
Source: Photo by user Paul Stephenson used under CC BY 2.0

About 449 feet (137 m) above the sea is the Old Man of Hoy, an island that is located on the northern coast of Scotland. It is an essential part of Orkney and is also known as one of the tallest stacks within the UK. It is made from red sandstone and is a popular destination for climbers. If you are visiting this 100-year-old place, make sure you are ready to face tough winds that pass through at the speed of 8 m/s (18 mph). Known as one of the most challenging hiking trails, the Old Man also faces high-energy waves that hit the walls of the mountain. You can start from Rackwick Bay Beach, and it takes nearly three hours to reach the top of the hill.

Old Man of Hoy

Address: West Coast of Hoy, Orkney, Scotland, UK

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2. Loch an Eilein

Loch an Eilein
Source: Photo by user Nick Bramhall used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Small and shaped irregularly, Loch an Eilein is one of the most famous destinations in Scotland, UK, attracting many hikers and tourists from different parts of the world. You can view the freshwater Ioch from the top of the mountain. It is also known as Loch of the Island by the Scottish. There are many good footpaths where you can walk around while exploring the beauty of the place. Start from the Eilein car park and from there just follow the marked path to reach the top. It will take you about two hours, and it is said to be a fairly smooth hike.

Loch an Eilein

Address: Rothiemurchus Forest, Cairngorms National Park, Aviemore PH22 1QT, Scotland, United Kingdom

Opening hours: 9am - 4pm (daily)

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3. Ben Nevis (from USD 128.0)

One of the highest mountains in the UK, Ben Nevis offers a great hiking experience to all. You will pass through many rugged trails before reaching the peak. You can also explore the geology of the place, as this place is quite famous across the world for it. Start from Fort William, where you will get some spectacular views of the surrounding lakes, valleys, and forests. Though it is rated as moderately dangerous amongst hikers, this place is open to all. Do note that you need to be fit enough to climb the mountain, as it will take six to eight hours to reach the top.

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Group Walk up Ben Nevis from Fort William

Duration: 7 to 9 hours

98 reviews

4. Kintyre Way

East Loch Tarbert from the Kintyre Way. - - 558973
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Johnny Durnan used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Kintyre Way is another famous spot amongst hikers visiting Scotland. If you want to see this place, then you can start your journey either from the village of Machrihanish or Tarbert from the northern side of Kintyre. The height of the mountain is estimated to be around 161 km (100 mi), and it takes about 9 to 10 hours to reach the peak. This is a Scottish Natural Heritage that is known to be a bit difficult to climb, however, there are many rewarding views waiting at the top.

Kintyre Way

Address: Kintyre Peninsula, PA28 6HA, West Coast of Scotland, United Kingdom

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5. The West Highland Way (from USD 69.0)

The West Highland Way offers many gorgeous sceneries from the top. From this spot, you can view the expansive Loch Lomond, deep glens, beautiful valleys, and rolling hills. If you want to check it out, you can start your journey from Balloch, as it takes about two hours to reach this place. You can also explore the beauty of Trossachs National Park once you have arrived. Because it passes through dense forests, trekking here might be more challenging. However, the result will be worth it when you crest the top.

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Loch Lomond National Park Tour with 2 Walks Starting Balloch

Duration: 8 hours

97 reviews

6. The Spear (Slioch)

Slioch from Loch Maree
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mick Knapton used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Spear, locally known as Slioch, is one of the tallest mountains in Scotland. It is spread out about 8 km (5 mi) towards the northern side of Kinlochewe village. The height of the mountain is estimated to be around 981 m (3,219 ft) and is said to be a difficult hiking trail. Once you have reached the top of the mountain, you will get an unrivaled view of the countryside and even see some wild goats roaming the grass. It will take about six to seven hours for a fit person to reach the top, but after the climb, you will see some fantastic views from the edge of the cliff.

The Spear (Slioch)

Address: Wester Ross, Northwest Highlands, Scotland, United Kingdom

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7. The Cateran Trail

Stile on Cateran Trail - - 246951
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Lis Burke used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Located between the borders of Perthshire and Angus, the Cateran Trail is also one of the most ideal destinations for hikers. You can explore the neglected corners of Scotland along the journey and once you reach the top. Previous hikers have rated it a moderate climbing experience, as there were some difficulties due to the sloppy pathways. Located about 104 km (65 mi) away from the city, this place has mixed pathways and short sections that need to be crossed. You can start from Blairgowrie and Rattray, about 24 km (14 mi) away from the place, as there is no fixed start and end point for the trail.

The Cateran Trail

Address: Perth & Kinross and Angus, Scotland, United Kingdom

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8. Stac Pollaidh (from USD 18.0)

Another popular hiking spot is Stac Pollaidh, a hill that is located in the highlands of Northwest Scotland. You can climb to the top of the mountain in about three hours to admire the beauty of the surroundings. The hill is made up of sandstones and has many rocky pinnacles that you will have to overcome while climbing. It is said to be an easy to moderate climbing experience, so even inexperienced hikers can see the beauty of the Atlantic. Also, you will get a view of Inverpolly Forest from the top, as well as Suilven Mountain. Start your journey from Ullapool or the Stac Pollaidh car park to reach the top. If you are planning to visit this place, then winter is the best time for you to book your tickets.

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Ben Lomond Hike departing from Tarbet.

Duration: 1 to 5 hours

Enjoy hiking in Scotland

When you are visiting a place like Scotland, push your boundaries and explore the natural beauty of the country. Though remember that it is equally important for you to stay safe and take good care of yourself on a hike. If you are not fit enough to climb the more challenging trails, there are other options where you can capture some spectacular views.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Hi, I am Anurag Paul Gummadi, residing in Bangalore, India.

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