8 of the Best Long Distance Walks in Scotland

Scotland has a multitude of fantastic long distance walks to choose from. In this guide we’ve picked out 8 of the best that were sure you’re going to love. 

From the relatively easy going adventure through the Great Glen Way to the rugged and wild tracks of the Cape Wrath Trail there’s a walk in this list for every type and level of hiker. 

We’ve given you all the details (and hopefully inspiration) you need to choose one of them and go on an escapade of a lifetime! Enjoy the guide!

Hike
Distance
Days
Difficulty
More Info
Rob Roy Way
79 miles / 127km
6 – 8
3.2/5
Cape Wrath Trail
233 miles / 375km
13 – 15
4.5/5
Great Glen Way
73 miles / 117km
4 – 6
4.4/5
The Hebridean Way
155 miles / 249km
10 – 12
4.4/5
Speyside Way
73 miles / 117km
5 – 7
4.2/5
West Highland Way
96 miles / 154km
5 – 8
4.1/5
The Skye Trail
79 miles / 127km
6 – 8
4/5
Affric Kintail Way
44.5 miles / 71km
3 – 4
3.8/5

Rob Roy Way

Start: Drymen

79 miles

6 - 8 Days

3.2/5

Difficulty

For: Beginners +

Image credit: Neil Williamson

Anyone with Scottish blood in their veins knows the story of infamous Jacobite outlaw Robert Roy MacGregor. 

This trail traces the steps of Robert MacGregor as it meanders by several Lochs, through the atmospheric forests of the Trossachs and passes a series of stunning glens and quaint villages.

This is a real trek through time, taking you through the landscapes where Rob Roy was active and also offering a wealth of archaeological sites along the route.

Jump into this wild Highland scenery, and find your own outlaw spirit as you retrace the steps of this timeless renegade. 

Day Breakdown

Day
Start
End
Distance
Ascent
Train / Bus
#1
Drymen
Aberfoyle
11 miles / 17.5km
227m
No / Yes
#2
Aberfoyle
Callander
9.5 miles / 15km
256m
No / Yes
#3
Callander
Strathyre
9.5 miles / 15km
155m
No / Yes
#4
Strathyre
Killin
13.5 miles / 21.5km
341m
No / Yes
#5
Killin
Ardtalnaig
12 miles / 19km
521m
No / Yes
#6
Ardtalnaig
Aberfeldy
15 miles / 24km
561m
No / Yes
#7
Aberfeldy
Pitlochry
9.5 miles / 15km
322m
Yes / Yes
Walk Details
  • Start: Drymen
  • End: Pitlochry
  • 79 miles / 127km
  • Total Ascent: 2383m
  • Wild Camping Allowed
Highlights
  • Highland Scenery
  • Glen Ogle Viaduct
  • Falls of Dochart
  • Birks o’ Aberfeldy
  • Fonab Stone Circle
Terrain
  • Tarmac stretch
  • Forest Trails
  • Open glens
  • Hill trails
  • Riverside paths

Gallery

Cape Wrath Trail

Start: Fort William

233 miles

13 - 15 Days

4.5/5

Difficulty

For: Experienced

Image credit: Kees Waterlander

The Cape Wrath Trail, often called Britain’s hardest walk, is a challenging but rewarding expedition that takes you through some of the wildest and most beautiful parts of Scotland. 

Pioneered by photographer David Paterson, the trail is unmarked and requires good navigational skills and hiking experience. Definitely not for beginners.

It offers everything you could hope for – stunning woodland, glens, mountains, rivers, sea cliffs and even more.  

So if you’re looking for a challenge of epic proportions, look no further. 

Day Breakdown

Day
Start
End
Distance
Ascent
Train / Bus
#1
Fort William
Glenfinnan
21 miles / 34km
610m
Yes / Yes
#2
Glenfinnan
A’Chuil
12 miles / 19km
598m
No / No
#3
A’Chuil
Barrisdale Bay
16 miles / 25km
878m
No / No
#4
Barrisdale Bay
Morvich
21 miles / 33km
1417m
No / Yes
#5
Morvich
Maol Bhuidhe
14 miles / 22.5km
1113m
No / No
#6
Maol Bhuidhe
Craig
15 miles / 24km
633m
Yes / No
#7
Craig
Kinlochewe
10 miles / 16.5km
461m
No / Yes
#8
Kinlochewe
Shenavall
17 miles / 27.5km
657m
No / No
#9
Shenavall
Inverlael
11.5 miles / 18.5km
740m
No / Yes
#10
Inverlael
Oykel Bridge
21.5 miles / 34.5km
769m
Yes / Yes
#11
Oykel Bridge
Inchnadamph
20 miles / 31.5km
564m
No / Yes
#12
Inchnadamph
Kylestrome
17 miles / 27.5km
1092m
No / Yes
#13
Kylestrome
Rhiconich
18.5 miles / 30km
752m
No / Yes
#14
Rhiconich
Sandwood Bay
12 miles / 19km
319m
No / No
#15
Sandwood Bay
Cape Wrath
8 miles / 12.5km
421m
No / Yes
Walk Details
  • Start: Fort William
  • End: Cape Wrath
  • 233 miles / 375km
  • Total Ascent: 11024m
  • Wild Camping Allowed
Highlights
  • Remote Highland Scenery
  • Eas a Chual Aluinn Waterfall
  • Sandwood Bay
  • Torridon Mountain Range
  • Stunning Wilderness
Terrain
  • Forest Trails
  • Open glens
  • Riverside paths
  • Hill trails
  • Mountain trails

Gallery

Great Glen Way

Start: Fort William

73 miles

4 - 6 Days

2.6/5

Difficulty

For: Beginners +

Image credit: Guiseppe Milo

If you’re looking for a good introduction to long distance walking you can’t go wrong with the Great Glen Way. 

Stretching 117km from coast to coast, this low level trail takes you down woodland tracks, past lochs, rivers and over hill paths with stunning scenery. 

The trail passes Loch Ness via some very enjoyable trails.

Maybe you’ll get lucky and see Nessie? 

Regardless of whether you spot a mythical creature, the walk is not only a great introduction to the Scottish Highlands but is a lot of fun and takes you through some beautiful parts of the country. 

Day Breakdown

Day
Start
End
Distance
Ascent
Train / Bus
#1
Fort William
Gairlochy
11 miles / 17km
40m
Yes / Yes
#2
Gairlochy
Laggan
12 miles / 19km
85m
No / No
#3
Laggan
Fort Augustus
11 miles / 17km
10m
No / Yes
#4
Fort Augustus
Invermoriston
7.5 miles / 12km
120m
No / Yes
#5
Invermoriston
Drumnadrochit
15 miles / 23.5km
495m
No / Yes
#6
Drumnadrochit
Inverness
18 miles / 29km
480m
Yes / Yes
Walk Details
  • Start: Fort William
  • End: Inverness
  • 73 miles / 117.5km
  • Total Ascent: 1230m
  • Wild Camping Allowed
Highlights
  • Neptune's Staircase
  • Views of Ben Nevis
  • Achnacarry House
  • Urquhart Castle
  • Loch Ness trail
Terrain
  • Lochside paths
  • Forest trails
  • Hill trails
  • Flat paths
  • Some steep paths

Gallery

The Hebridean Way

Start: Vatersay

155 miles

10 - 12 Days

3.1/5

Difficulty

For: Beginners +

Image credit: Chris Combe

Steeped in Gaelic history and culture, and passing through some of the most spectacular landscapes in Scotland the Hebridean Way is a relative newcomer but more than holds its own with other long established walks. 

Stretching the length of the Outer Hebrides the route passes 10 Islands via a series of causeways and ferries. 

For those who love the coastline, stunning beaches and dazzling ocean views then this surely is the walk for you. 

For more information check out an in depth guide to the walk by Watch Me See. She also made the map on the right. 

Day Breakdown

Day
Start
End
Distance
Ascent
Bus
#1
Vatersay
Northbay
13miles / 24km
798m
Yes
#2
Northbay
Daliburgh
11 miles / 18km
134m
Yes
#3
Daliburgh
Howmore
11.5 miles / 19km
36m
Yes
#4
Howmore
Lionacleit
16 miles / 26km
111m
Yes
#5
Lionacleit
Grimsay
13.5 miles / 22km
188m
Yes
#6
Grimsay
Lochmaddy
13 miles / 21km
246m
Yes
#7
Lochmaddy
Berneray
10 miles / 18km
301m
Yes
#8
Berneray
Seilebost
13 miles / 21km
590m
Yes
#9
Seilebost
Tarbert
14.5 miles / 23km
664m
Yes
#10
Tarbert
Scaladale
9 miles / 14.5km
457m
Yes
#11
Scaladal
Balallan
13 miles / 21km
415m
Yes
#12
Balallan
Stornoway
17.5 miles / 28km
531m
Yes
Walk Details
  • Start: Vatersay
  • End: Stornoway
  • 155 miles / 249km
  • Total Ascent: 4471m
  • Wild Camping Allowed
Highlights
  • Seeing Gaelic culture
  • Calanais Standing Stones
  • Stunning beaches
  • Turquoise seascapes
  • Unique Archaeology
Terrain
  • Tarmac Stretches
  • Beachside paths
  • Open glens
  • Mountain trails
  • Lochside paths

Gallery

Image credits: Chris Combe

Speyside Way

Start: Buckie

73 miles

5 - 7 Days

3.1/5

Difficulty

For: Beginners +

Image credit: Graham Norrie

If you’re not only a fan of hiking but of whisky then this is the trail for you.

Passing through whisky country, walkers have the opportunity to visit the Glenlivet and Glenfiddich distilleries.

You also get the chance to go to the amazing Ballindalloch Castle dubbed the “Pearl of the North”.

With only a few steep gradients along the way this a fairly straightforward walk that is suitable for hikers of any level. 

So whether you’re a beginner or an expert hiker, if you’re looking for a thoroughly enjoyable walk with a little taste of Scotland added in you’ll love this trail.

Day Breakdown

Day
Start
End
Distance
Ascent
Train / Bus
#1
Buckie
Fochabers
11 miles / 17.5km
65m
No / Yes
#2
Fochabers
Craigellachie
12.5 miles / 20km
490m
No / Yes
#3
Craigellachie
Ballindalloch
12 miles / 19.5km
48m
No / Yes
#4
Ballindalloch
Grantown
14.5 miles / 23km
502m
No / Yes
#5
Grantown
Boat of Garten
11 miles / 17.5km
88m
Yes / Yes
#6
Boat of Garten
Aviemore
6 miles / 9km
51m
Yes / Yes
#7
Aviemore
Kincraig
6.5 miles / 10.5km
143m
No / Yes
Walk Details
  • Start: Buckie
  • End: Kincraig
  • 73 miles / 117km
  • Total Ascent: 1387m
  • Wild Camping Allowed
Highlights
  • Great variety of terrain
  • Strathspey Steam Railway
  • Ballindalloch Castle
  • Nearby distillery visits
  • Highland Wildlife
Terrain
  • Coastal trails
  • Forest Trails
  • Open moorland
  • Hill trails
  • Riverside paths

Gallery

West Highland Way

Start: Milngavie

96 miles

5 - 8 Days

3.2/5

Difficulty

For: Beginners +

Scotland’s most famous and arguably best multi-day hike. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran of trails or a complete newbie, there’s something for everyone on this popular hiking route.

What makes this easily navigable trail so special is how the appearance and geology of the landscape changes as you go from the lowlands of Scotland to the highlands. 

That’s if you take the route from South to North, as most people do. 

The official website for the West Highland Way Trail has a wealth of information, or you can check out our in depth guide.

Day Breakdown

Day
Start
End
Distance
Ascent
Train / Bus
#1
Milngavie
Drymen
12 miles / 19.5km
210m
Yes / Yes
#2
Drymen
Rowardennan
14.5 miles / 23km
430m
No / Yes
#3
Rowerdennan
Inverarnan
14 miles / 22.5km
475m
Yes / Yes
#4
Inverarnan
Tyndrum
12 miles / 19km
490m
Yes / Yes
#5
Tyndrum
Kingshouse
18.5 miles / 29.5km
644m
Yes / Yes
#6
Kingshouse
Kinlochleven
9 miles / 14km
430m
No / Yes
#7
Kinlochleven
Fort William
15miles / 24.5km
475m
Yes / Yes
Walk Details
  • Start: Milngavie
  • End: Fort William
  • 96 miles / 154km
  • Total Ascent: 3155m
  • Wild Camping Allowed
Highlights
  • Loch Lomond views
  • Arklet Falls
  • Drovers Inn
  • Rannoch Moor
  • Stunning Glencoe
Terrain
  • Hills, Glens
  • Forest Trails
  • Open moorland
  • Mountain trails
  • Lochside paths

Gallery

Image credits: Mark, Stu Smith

The Skye Trail

St: Rubha Hunish

79.5 miles

6 - 8 Days

4/5

Difficulty

For: Experienced

The second of our island trails on this list, the Syke Trail is another wild and non-waymarked trek, definitely intended for the experienced hiker.  

From the Trotternish Ridge to the incredibly atmospheric Loch Coruisk, and Black Cuillin, described by poet Lord Tennyson as “the wildest scene in the highlands” this trail offers some of the most stunning landscapes and geology Scotland has to offer.

With open moorland, ridges, mountain trails, woodland, stunning wildlife and even more, this truly is a walk that will last in the memory. Plus there’s plenty more to see on Skye, don’t miss out! 

Day Breakdown

Day
Start
End
Distance
Ascent
Bus
#1
Rubha Hunish
Flodigarry
7 miles / 11.5km
289m
Yes
#2
Flodigarry
The Storr
18 miles / 28.5km
1750m
Yes
#3
The Storr
Portree
9 miles / 14km
509m
Yes
#4
Portree
Sligachan
12 miles / 19km
273m
Yes
#5
Sligachan
Elgol
11 miles / 18km
510m
Yes
#6
Elgol
Torrin
10 miles / 16.5km
368m
Yes
#7
Torrin
Broadford
12.5 miles / 20km
482m
Yes
Walk Details
  • Start: Rubha Hunish
  • End: Broadford
  • 79.5 miles / 127.5km
  • Total Ascent: 4181m
  • Wild Camping Allowed
Highlights
  • Mountain & Coastal Scenery
  • Cuillin Mountains
  • Trotternish Ridge
  • Quiraing Landscape
  • Stunning wildlife
Terrain
  • Coastal Paths
  • Mountain Trails
  • Boggy paths
  • Hill trails
  • River & Lochside paths

Gallery

Image credits: Junaidrao

Affric Kintail Way

St: Drumnadrochit

44.5 miles

3 - 4 Days

3.8/5

Difficulty

For: Intermediate +

Image credit: ShinyPhotoScotland

If isolation and and alone time is what you’re after then you’ll love this adventure. 

You’ll head into the upper reaches of Glen Affric, which is amongst some of the most isolated areas in the Highlands. 

Offering huge glens, forest trails, mountain tracks, stunning lochs and even more. This trail is a must do for any hiker.

You even get the chance to stay at Scotland’s remotest youth hostel. 

If you’re planing on tackling this hike, we recommend you have some experience with navigation and full hillwalking gear before  you take it on, or do it with someone who does. 

Day Breakdown

Day
Start
End
Distance
Ascent
Train / Bus
#1
Drumnadrochit
Cannich
13.5 miles / 21.5km
547m
No / Yes
#2
Cannich
Glen Affric
12 miles / 19.5km
598m
No / Yes
#3
Glen Affric
Alltbeithe
9 miles / 14km
250m
No / Yes
#4
Alltbeithe
Morvich
10 miles / 16km
272m
No / Yes
Walk Details
  • Start: Drumnadrochit
  • End: Morvich
  • 44.5 miles / 71km
  • Total Ascent: 1667m
  • Wild Camping Allowed
Highlights
  • Walking Glen Affric
  • Glen Affric eco-hostel
  • Eileen Donan & Loch Duich
  • Peeks of Kintail
  • Highland wildlife
Terrain
  • Coastal paths
  • Forest Trails
  • Open glens
  • Hill trails
  • Lochside paths

Gallery

Honorary Mentions

East Highland Way
Three Lochs Way
Southern Upland Way
Hike
Distance
Days
Difficulty
More Info
Rob Roy Way
79 miles / 127km
6 – 8
3.2/5
Cape Wrath Trail
233 miles / 375km
13 – 15
4.5/5
Great Glen Way
73 miles / 117km
4 – 6
4.4/5
The Hebridean Way
155 miles / 249km
10 – 12
4.4/5
Speyside Way
73 miles / 117km
5 – 7
4.2/5
West Highland Way
96 miles / 154km
5 – 8
4.1/5
The Skye Trail
79 miles / 127km
6 – 8
4/5
Affric Kintail Way
44.5 miles / 71km
3 – 4
3.8/5

FAQs

How do I know which walk is right for me?
Choose a walk that fits your experience level. If you've never done a long distance walk before, stick with the easier ones. West Highland Way is always a great option to start.
Do I need to be really fit to do all these hikes?
It depends on the walk. The longer ones will be quite draining and require good endurance levels, as do the more intense walks such as the Skye trail.
Do I need special clothing or gear to do these hikes?
Definitely get the essentials for any of the walks - good footwear, backpack, clothing etc.. For the more intense walks you'll likely need more gear.

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Sam McCraw

Sam McCraw

Raised in Edinburgh, Scotland. Sam has lived in Germany and now Melbourne, Australia. He loves nothing more than to be outside on an adventure.