1) The West Highland Way | 154 km / 96 miles | From Easy-Moderate to Moderate-Strenuous
In 2020 Wanderlust magazine ranked the West Highland Way among the world's top 20 best walks. So what are you waiting for? Get out on the trail and experience Scotland's most renowned long-distance footpaths for yourself! Leave the bustling city of Glasgow behind for the dramatic Scottish Highlands, all on well-signposted trails with great accommodations along the way. The trail ends in Fort William, Scotland's self-styled 'outdoor capital', at the base of the UK's highest mountain, Ben Nevis.
2) The Great Glen Way | 125 km / 78 miles | From Easy-Moderate to Moderate
The perfect route for your first walking holiday, the Great Glen Way is more easy-going than its well-known counterpart above. Connect the two iconic Highland towns of Fort William and Inverness via the scenic Great Glen, following the Caledonian Canal, forested trails and mountain paths overlooking Loch Ness.
3) St Cuthbert's Way | 100 km / 62 miles | From Easy-Moderate to Moderate
Scotland's very own historic pilgrimage route! Begin in Melrose, a charming town in the Scottish Borders complete with an abbey founded in 1136 by Cistercian monks, and finish in Northumberland, England's most northerly county (home of Earl Grey tea and the country's largest concentration of castles). A variety of itineraries mean that you can make hiking in this gentling rolling terrain as easy, or as challenging, as you like by lengthening the distances you'll walk each day.
4) Fife Coastal Path | 187 km /116 miles | From Easy-Moderate to Moderate-Strenuous
Hug the coastline of The Kingdom of Fife as you walk north from near Edinburgh, Scotland's capital city, to the mouth of the River Tay. Follow this well signposted trail through East Neuk's fishing villages with deep harbours and quaint cottages, along dramatic coastal paths and beaches (both beautiful and sandy to more challenging rocky affairs). Walking through the town of St Andrew's is a highlight of the trip; the town is home to the oldest golf course in the world (the aptly named Old Course) and is also the site of Scotland's oldest university, founded in 1413.
5) Speyside Way | 107 km / 67 miles | Easy to Moderate
A relaxed route following the River Spey upstream from the shores of the North Sea as it meanders inland towards the town of Aviemore, an outdoor-hub, in the Cairngorm National Park (Scotland's largest). Perfect for first-time walkers this trip is easy-going, and detouring to Speyside's famed whisky distilleries (Glenfiddich and Ballindalloch to name a couple) provides welcome punctuation along the peaceful forest paths.
6) Arran Coastal Way | 107 km / 67 miles | Moderate
The Arran Coastal Way is a fantastic lesser-known trail perfect for an off-the-beaten-path experience. Although a signed coastal trail, an optional detour up Goat Fell (the island's highest peak at 874 m), and sections of rocky coastal terrain mean the trail is not to be underestimated. Your efforts will be rewarded with unrivaled views of the mainland, and you can be assured of great variety along the route - the island as known as "Scotland in miniature".
7) Rob Roy Way | 127 km /79 miles | From Easy-Moderate to Moderate
Follow in the footsteps of Scottish folk hero and outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor as you walk north from Drymen, near Loch Lomond, through the Trossachs National Park to the town of Pitlochry in Perthshire. The trail largely follows forest trails and hill paths. En route you'll walk from MacGregor's homelands and discover sites along the way significant in cementing his legendary status - ideal for history buffs!
8) John Muir Way | 215 km / 134 miles | Moderate
The longest of the Great Trails, yet the gentle gradients and well-spaced overnight stops (with just the odd longer day), mean that it's still a good option for first-timers. Opened in 2014 and dedicated to John Muir, the founder of America's National Parks. The trail traverses the breadth of Scotland taking in natural, cultural and historical highlights. From the coastal town of Helensburgh in the west walk through the Trossachs National Park (Scotland's first), passing Linlithgow Palace, and taking you through Edinburgh to reach Dunbar, John Muir's birthplace, on the east coast.