Read our Peace of Mind Guarantee

 

Scottish Islands Walking Tours

Scotland, a country encircled dramatic coastline and surrounded by 790 islands, only 90 of which are inhabited. Delve into these microcosms of Scottish culture and landscape as rich and varied as the mainland; from long white-sand beaches, wildflower-strewn dunes, jagged mountain ridges and lush glens. Is any trip to Scotland truly complete without a visit to the islands?

Take to the coast on foot, the best way to explore the Scottish islands, and explore their beautiful scenery and turbulent history. Discover the Scottish islands purely on foot, or on our Drive & Hike and Rail & Hike trips for a more laid-back experience. 

Walk the length of Skye on A Long Walk on The Isle of Skye, or encircle Arran's coastline on the Arran Coastal Way. Alternatively, head to the far-flung and beautiful Hebridean archipelago, or visit Orkney in the far north east, an island rich in Viking history and birdlife.

Discover Scottish Islands

  • Choosing The Right Island Getaway
    Choosing The Right Island Getaway

    With just under 800 islands off the Scottish mainland it could be difficult to choose the island experience that's right for you. Although only 90 of those are inhabited you may still be struggling to pick the right trip for you, so we have put together a brief round-up to help you along. 

    Best for ...

    • Adventure

    For experienced hikers seeking adventure and an off-the-beaten path experience our trips on Skye taking in the best of the Skye Trail are a great choice. Alternatively, the Arran Coastal Path is another less-traveled route, and a proper journey that encircles the entire island.  

    • An island hopping experience

    If you're looking for the flexibility of a drive & hike trip, and to squeeze in as much as you can, then an island hopping experience is the one for you. Check out our Outer Hebrides Island Hopscotch and Highlands & Islands Discovery trips. 

    • Historical interest

    Orkney is an island shrouded in legends, and peppered with enough archaeological sites and historical points of interest to keep any history-buff interested. Not only does the island abound with cultural highlights, but the back-drop of breathtaking clifftops and beaches combined with easy-going walking should keep everyone happy. 

    • An off-grid holiday ... or, as close as you can get to an in comfort off-grid experience as you can get in Scotland.

    The Outer Hebrides, in their far-flung location off Scotland's north west, are the perfect place to step-back from your daily commitments, relax and adjust to the more leisurely pace of island life. Lose yourself in the wild island landscape, and stroll long stretches of white-sand beaches bordered by flower-strewn dunes. 

    • Wildlife

    All of the Scottish islands are blessed with great wildlife watching opportunities, so depending on your interests we recommend a little prior research to maximize your chances of a sighting. Most islands offer boat tours taking you out to sea in the hope of spotting whales, dolphins, basking sharks, and seals. Additionally, the islands are also a haven for nesting sea bird colonies so keep a look out, and bring your binoculars to make the most of any clifftop walks in case you spot any diving gannets, nesting puffins, or razorbills bobbing on the waves.  

  • Facts About The Scottish Islands
    Facts About The Scottish Islands

    To help you get inspired here are some things you might not know about Scotland's storied isles ...

    Skye

    • Home to the oldest inhabited castle - Dunvegan Castle has been occupied by the MacLeod clan for over 800 years. The castle itself has sections dating from as early as the 1200s, but it's most recent reincarnation is the result of restoration in the mid 1800s. 
    • You can find dinosaur footprints on the island's north east coastline at Staffin. 
    • The Cuillin Ridge on Skye has the greatest number of island Munro's (Scottish mountains over 3000 ft). 
    • Ian Fleming created the character of James Bond on the island, which also featured in the Skyfall film. 

    Islay

    • Islay has more whisky distilleries than all the other Scottish islands combined!  

    Jura

    • This remote island, neighbour to Islay, is home to more red deer (5000) than people (200)!
    • George Orwell traveled here for solitude so he could complete his world-famous novel 1984

    Lewis (Outer Hebrides)

    • Home to the Callanish Standing Stone Circle, even older than England's Stonehenge, at 5000 years old. Why it was constructed remains a mystery.  

    Arran

    • Arran is often referred to as 'Scotland in miniature', and with two castles, a distillery and mini mountain range who could disagree?

    Orkney

    • A couple of small islands near Orkney are linked by the shortest commercial flight in the world, normally it takes 1.5 minutes, but the record is set at 50 seconds!
    • Home to a tiny Italian chapel built by Italian POWs, turned allies, from WWII in 1943. Of course the island is also home to the Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae and is dripping in Norse legends. 

    Mull

    • The colourful village of Tobermory on Mull's east coast was the inspiration behind the popular children's TV show Balamory. 
    • The little tidal island of Erraid off Mull's coast is said to be Robert Louis Stevenson's inspiration for his renowned novel Kidnapped.

    Iona

    • The site of the Iona Abbey is where St Columba arrived in Scotland 563 AD, and has been a site of religious importance since.

  • A Long Walk on the Isle of Skye

    A Long Walk on the Isle of Skye takes you from the bottom of the island to the very top, through unique landscapes and unforgettable places. Join Ewan as he takes you on this magical journey.

  • Rail & Hike to Skye

    Caroline takes a Rail & Hike trip to the Isle of Skye, enjoying the Jacobite railway and walking on the hiker's paradise of Skye. Watch her video to as she experiences the Scottish Highlands by train and on foot, taking in some of the best scenic rail journeys in the world.

Blog Articles