1) The West Highland Way | 154 km / 96 miles | From Easy-Moderate to Moderate-Strenuous
Scotland's most renowned long-distance trail and in 2020 Wanderlust magazine ranked in the top 20 of the world's best walks. Leave the bustling city of Glasgow behind for the remote Scottish Highlands, all on well-signposted trails with great accommodations along the way. Arrive 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 along the dramatic 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 at near the site of Melrose 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 the 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 Cairngorms 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 this trip the route can be varied to take in Goat Fell (the island's highest peak at 874 m), offering unrivaled views of the mainland, and some of the coastal terrain is rocky which an be slower going than a straightforward path so it should not be underestimated. However, you are well rewarded with wonderful views and the island is one of Scotland's sunnier west coast locations.
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 is largely through forests and on 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 and yet the gentle gradients and generally well-spaced overnight stops, with just the odd longer day, mean that its still a good option for first-timers. Opened in 2014 and dedicated to John Muir, the founded of America's National Parks. The trail traverses the breadth of Scotland taking in its natural, cultural and historic highlights. From the coastal town of Helensburgh in the west walk through the Trossachs National Park (Scotland's first), passing the castle of Linlithgow, taking you through Edinburgh to reach Dunbar, John Muir's birthplace, on the east coast.