Taking a walking holiday in Scotland immerses you in the very fabric of this wild country. Experience the friendly people, the wide open, rugged beauty and the locally sourced, mouthwatering cuisine. You can hike the classic West Highland Way, the most popular walking trip in the UK or get off the beaten track and explore the beautiful solitude of the Glen Affric Trail.
We have carefully selected and researched our favourite walking holidays in Scotland, so whatever your interests, from Scottish islands to discovering the Great Glen Way, we can arrange walking holidays in Scotland that will linger long in the memory.
The Scottish capital Edinburgh is a beautiful city with interesting architecture, in the medieval old town surrounding the Royal Mile, and a stunning Georgian New Town. Edinburgh is famous for culture and comedy, hosting the Edinburgh Fringe Festival which is one of the largest festivals in the world.
Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city, located on the west coast on the banks of the River Clyde. Glasgow’s long and proud history stems from the industrial era, having made its name for shipbuilding and trade. Today, Glasgow is the cultural hub of Scotland, hosting the Scottish national opera, ballet and theatre companies. Glasgow is a UNESCO city of music and it is famed for being a city that knows how to enjoy itself. Glasgow is also the start of the world famous West Highland Way, Scotland's greatest walking adventure.
Isle of Skye
Skye is one of the best-known islands in Scotland and a hugely popular Scottish tourist destination. The island of Skye is dominated by the foreboding Cuillin mountains, and going walking in Skye reveals areas you cannot access by road. Check out our walking holidays in Skye for more information.
The infamous Loch Ness is formed by a fault line along Scotland's Great Glen. Most famous for the Loch Ness Monster, of course, it is well worth a visit to the area to do some monster spotting! You can also walk the Great Glen Way which takes you along the banks of Loch Ness, finishing at Inverness Castle.
Cairngorms National Park
The Cairngorms National Park is a rugged, mountainous area full of Caledonian Pine trees and some of the greatest walking trails in Scotland. The whole area is totally geared towards the outdoors, whether you want to ski or snowboard in winter, get in some amazing climbing or just explore the Cairngorms on foot. It is also home to several amazing whisky distilleries, so, you know.....why not combine the two?
The official languages of Scotland are English, Gaelic and Scots. While you will almost always hear English spoken, there will be words and sayings you may not understand. Generally, this is Scots, blended with English. Gaelic is mainly spoken on the Hebridean islands though you may see many signs in Gaelic on the mainland.
Whisky is the Water of Life. No really! The Gaelic 'uisge beathe' from where the name whisky comes, translates as 'water of life.' It also contributes £125 per second to the Scottish economy, so it is an essential component of Scottish life in more ways than one. Our Whisky and Walking tours are a great way to get acquainted with a wee dram.
Scotland has it's own Parliament. While Scotland is still part of the UK and is ruled by Westminster, many areas of Government are devolved. The Parliament building in Edinburgh is modern and progressive and definitely worth a visit.
Scotland is a small nation that punches above its weight. Despite being a small nation, Scotland has invented Tarmac, bikes, canals, modern aircraft, the steam engine, wave power generator, the telephone, radar, art galleries, modern economics, geology and sociology, tv, fridges....the list goes on. You are welcome!
Scotland is passionate about sport. While on the field Scotland are not always a great success, the fans are often the highlight. St Andrews in the Kingdom of Fife is the home of golf and another invention to come from Scotland. If you have a chance to go and see the national football team play at Hampden Park in Glasgow, take it. The football may be mediocre, but the experience is amazing.
Expect four seasons in one day. This is not just a cliché, be warned. You can start walking in the bright sunshine and then be walking in torrential rain an hour later. We always recommend packing layers and a good set of waterproofs.
The dreaded midge! Small biting insects are a source of great annoyance to those who love the outdoors in Scotland. Always buy good repellent before walking in Scotland, but don't worry, they cant fly as fast as you walk, it is only when you stop they start to annoy.
Take a pair of binoculars. Scotland has a plentiful supply of wildlife and it is well worth keeping a small pair of binoculars in your day pack. From dolphins and whales in the seas to majestic stags, golden eagles and osprey, Scotland is a haven for fauna. Check our walking and wildlife tours for more inspiration on where to see the best of Scottish wildlife.
Bring something to sit on. Keeping your rear end dry while walking is relatively easy until you come to a halt. As mentioned above, even though it may be sunny when you want a seat, chances are it was raining earlier, so something waterproof to sit on is always recommended.
Visit the local pub. For a genuine flavour of Scottish life head to the local pub. In more rural locations it is the focal point of the community, so you will meet friendly locals and be supporting the local economy. Oh, and there is great local beer and whisky to whet your whistle. Everything in moderation though! You have to get up and walk in the morning!
Walking in Scotland FAQs
Q: What is the currency in Scotland?
A: Scotland currently uses the Pound Sterling as its currency. Scotland has its own banknotes but Bank of England notes are accepted everywhere.
Q: Is there good mobile/cell phone coverage?
A: In the main towns and cities the coverage is excellent. Much of Scotland is rural and wild, but even there the signal can be strong. Wifi is widely available in hotels/cafes/bars.
Q: Can I drink the water?
A: With its abundance of rain, Scotland is blessed with some of the best drinking water in the world. Tap water is not only safe, it is generally delicious. From rivers and streams, high in the mountains, the water is exceptional, but for safety's sake, it is always prudent to sterilise it before drinking.
Q: Is the public transport good in Scotland?
A: There is an excellent bus, train and plane network in Scotland. In more rural areas you may find services are less frequent, but generally, it is excellent. Travelline Scotland is the best resource for public transport in Scotland.
Q: What food can I expect in Scotland?
A: Scottish cuisine is varied and multicultural and you can get just about anything you would like to eat. Many places will happily cater for various food intolerances and vegetarian/vegan diets. Haggis is the national dish and is well worth a try. Also, if you have a sweet tooth, Tablet and shortbread are well worth packing in your rucksack for the days walk.
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