Whether you are planning a holiday with your friends or a family escape, if you and your squad love outdoor adventure, you should consider adding Scotland to your must-visit list. This charming European country is filled with incredible hiking paths, welcoming all walking enthusiasts with its breathtaking views, interesting activities, and great historical sites.
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Walking in Scotland brings adventurers the chance to conquer forest trails, coastal paths, imposing mountains, as well as unforgettable city routes. So, if this is what you dream of, continue reading and find out more about some of Scotland’s best walking routes.
The East Highland Way
The Scottish Highlands offer their visitors some of the most beautiful views and dramatic scenery in the British Islands. There is no wonder this area is so popular among passionate walkers from all over the world. But if you want to avoid the amalgam of visitors, the East Highlands way will satisfy your desire.
Devised by Kevin Langan, this long-distance walking route connects Fort William with the ski and mountain resort of Aviemore, giving nature lovers the chance to explore some of the quieter areas of the region, while still admiring the Cairngorms and Ben Nevis range and passing through the ancient Caledonian forests of Inshriach.
The walk is 82 miles (132 km) long, and it is relatively easy. So, you don’t have to be a hiking expert to enjoy it. And if you’re a newbie in the area, you can take advantage of one of the many trail guides available. Langan’s “East Highland Way” is a great choice that presents you with an illustrated route description, giving useful details about accommodation options, wildlife, as well as historical attractions.
Isle of Skye Spectacular
The largest and most northerly big island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, the Isle of Skye is definitely a walkers’ paradise. With fascinating wildlife and a mesmerising landscape presented by the Black Cuillin mountain range and the lovely coastline of peninsulas and bays, the Isle of Skye welcomes all kinds of curious travellers who are ready to let the beauty of nature amaze and inspire them.
There are hundreds of remarkable paths that vary in both difficulty and terrain, so whether you are planning to explore the Isle of Skye with kids or your group of experienced hikers, you will feel welcome.
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The Isle of Skye Spectacular route begins at Ardvasar and is 58.5 miles (94 km) long, giving walkers the chance to have a diversity of experiences, like seeing dinosaur footprints in the rocks at Staffin Bay or the Neolithic chambered cairns and stone circles found in the countryside.
On the way, there are also a couple of touristic attractions that cannot be missed, such as a visit to the Talisker Distillery at Carbost or the blue water of the Fairy Pools on the River Brittle, as well as unforgettable remote areas that promise spectacular views.
First opened in 1981, the Speyside Way is one of the four official long-distance routes in Scotland, managed by the three access authorities along the route – the Moray Council, the Highland Council and the Cairngorms National Park Authority.
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It is 66 miles (107 km) long and begins in Aviemore, following the River Spey through the dramatic scenery of Banffshire, Morayshire and Inverness-shire, and ending in Buckie. However, there are many walkers who prefer to walk the route from Buckie to Aviemore.
The Speyside Way offers nature lovers the opportunity to admire the views of the moors and of the mountains while exploring the coastline of Spey Bay, as well as the birchwoods and pastures of the lower Spey.
If you are passionate about wildlife, prepare yourself for great encounters with diverse species such as dolphins, ospreys and wildcats.
Image credit: Caron Brown @ Flickr
Cultural aficionados have the chance to get a first glimpse of the way of living in the Scottish villages of this area, while those who love whiskey can visit some of the many distilleries that make Speyside so well known.
And if you want to be adventurous and walk this route without a guide, the possibility to get lost is low, since it is well waymarked and follows clear paths and tracks.
These are three of the best walking routes in Scotland. But this fascinating country is filled with such amazing trails. Whether you are adventurous enough to explore the Scottish natural beauty without a guide, or you are more into organised walks, Scotland promises to offer memorable walking experiences.
However, if trips organised by a company aren't your cup of tea, make sure you are well informed about the weather, route difficulty, things to do and see on the way, as well as the necessary equipment before you begin your adventure.
Scotland is so famous for its walking experiences that there are many guide books, as well as a plethora of websites and apps available, so finding useful info and tips is far from hard.