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Scotland Walking Holidays

Lace up your walking boots....

From day-long Highland hikes through evergreen hills and taking on the mighty Great Glen Way, to family-friendly river walks and loch-side ambles, Scotland has an abundance of walking routes for all abilities and preferences. So, lace up your comfiest walking boots and get ready to immerse yourself in nature and some of the most dramatic scenery you will ever have witnessed. Even if you aren’t a keen walker or naturally inclined towards strenuous exercise, experiencing Scotland’s spectacular landscape by foot may well blossom a new love for hillwalking and long-distance trails. It’s also a truly unforgettable way to experience the diverse landscapes of Scotland.

Here are our favourite walks in Scotland:

1. BEN NEVIS - approximately 9 hours.

If you have a thirst for adventure and your idea of a good walk is something more mountainous, then the 4,406ft Ben Nevis is the Munro for you. Stemming from the historic town of Fort William, those who take on the challenge are rewarded with sensational views which stretch as far as Northern Ireland. Choose from two main walking routes to reach to the summit; the Pony Track or the aptly named ‘Tourist Track’ is the popular choice for most walkers and begins at the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre. Following in a zig zag path up a stone staircase, you will eventually reach the half-way lochan, and will instantly be faced with breath-taking views of the Great Glen. As you continue towards the summit the terrain makes a beautiful transition from grassy slopes to rocky alpine. Those more experienced mountaineers who aren’t afraid of a challenge, may opt for the Carn Mor Dearg Arête route, which offers a more challenging climb and can take between 10-11 hours with scrambles across boulders.

Whichever route you choose to embark on, celebrate reaching the summit with a dram of whisky to toast your efforts! We recommend winding up your trip in the Ben Nevis Inn upon returning to Fort William. This charming establishment at the foot of Ben Nevis serves a range of wholesome food, real ale and a bustling vibe from the victors of Ben Nevis. We recommend trying the succulent Ben Nevis Beef Burger with a basket of thick cut chips to share!

2. GREAT GLEN WAY - 5-6 days for entire stretch.

Whether you decide to complete the full 73 miles of the Great Glen Way or are happy completing a section of it, this iconic walk provides the perfect chance to witness the inky waters of some of Scotland’s most beautiful lochs (Lochy, Oich and Ness!) before finishing in the capital of the Highlands – Inverness. Many of the areas it runs through are sanctuaries for an abundance of wildlife and there is incredible scenery at every step; including lochs, hills and forests. There are also plenty of historic and natural heritage sites waiting to be discovered along the way. If your ambitions stretch to completing the whole route, you should set aside 5-6 days. Although mostly low-level there are some challenging parts, like Neptune’s Staircase, immediately after Fort William which then leads onto the Caledonian Canal, but most of the walk follows canal tow-paths and loch shores.

Need somewhere to rest your legs along the way? Our Canalside Cottages, provide the perfect place to recharge your batteries and toast your toes in front of a roaring fire after a long days walking. For those who would like to experience the Great Glen Way without committing to completing the whole stretch, we recommend instead following the route from Fort William to Gairlochy, which is still a good 3 hour walk but can be completed with the whole family.

3. CAIRNGORMS NATIONAL PARK, Glenmormore Forest Park– 2-3 hours.

A walk-through Glenmore Forest Park in the Cairngorms National Park is perfect for wildlife spotting and witnessing some extraordinary Highland views. Starting the walk at the Glenmore Visitor car park, walkers should follow the forest track which is a route packed with native flora and fauna (keep your eyes peeled for red deer, red squirrel and if you’re lucky, the illusive Scottish wildcat). The route is also peppered with Scots Pine Trees, some of which are over 300 years old!

We recommend a pit stop at Ryvoan Bothy.  This lovely little spot is maintained as a refuge for walkers and the door is always open to passers-by. After this the landscape transforms into a wilder landscape of rocky hills and untamed moor. From here, you can retrace your steps back to An Lochan Uaine. Celebrate your walk completion in the Mountain Café  in Aviemore. Serving an impressive selection of cakes, hearty soups and generously stuffed sandwiches, it’s perfect for those who have worked up an appetite.

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