I have travelled to many far flung places across the world, but I’ve never been to Scotland. Knowing my love of Wales and it’s dramatic scenery I know I will fall in love with Scotland. I aim to travel to the Highlands, and know I will be blown away by the glorious landscape.
For me and for so many people like me, it isn’t enough to plan a journey from A to B, with the sole aim of reaching their destination as quickly as possible. The pleasure comes from exploring a route at a leisurely pace, taking in the sights and feeling at one with nature. For this reason, Scotland’s Great Trails are perfect for anyone who wants to see Scotland on foot.
There are 26 different Great Trails in Scotland. Each footpath follows various historical and culturally significant routes, winding their way through the alluring landscapes, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in Scotland’s colourful past. You can walk each trail from start to finish and rack up the miles, or you can pick and choose which sections you explore.
Here are five of the best walking trails in Scotland, so put on your walking boots and let’s get started…
1. Clyde Walkway
The Clyde Walkway is a mile trail from Glasgow City Centre, all the way to New Lanark – a World Heritage Site. You will pass through Strathclyde Country Park, mature woodland and wooded gorges. The views are amazing and the final destination equally spectacular.
2. The Ayrshire Coastal Path
The Ayrshire Coastal Path is a stunning walk along one of the most scenic stretches of coastline in Scotland. The trail is 100 miles long and there is history and wildlife galore. It links up with other Great Trails, including the Southern Upland Way and the Mull of Galloway Trail, so you can extend your walking holiday if you choose.
3. The Rob Roy Way
The Rob Roy Way is an epic 124 miles long, but there are two shorter route options if you don’t feel up to walking for seven days. The trail follows the routes used by Rob Roy MacGregor during the Jacobite rebellion. Soak up Scotland’s bloody history as you tread in the footsteps of a notorious outlaw (or hero, depending on your point of view).
4. The Great Trossachs Path
The Great Trossachs Path is a series of different trails and loops within the Trossachs National Park. You can walk or cycle the smaller trails in a day, or undertake the entire route, which is 30 miles long. Along the way you will see beautiful lochs, mature woodland, and epic mountains. You can also dip into local history and art along the way.
5. St Cuthberts Way
St Cuthbert’s Way bridges the border between England and Scotland. The route begins in Melrose in the Borders and ends on Holy Island in Northumberland. You can easily complete the 62.5 mile route in a few days and there is some spectacular scenery along the way.
Many of the walking trails do have excellent parking at both the start and the finish of the route, so usually all you have to worry about is dressing appropriately for the weather and taking along some snacks. For more information on parking in Edinburgh along with the rest of Scotland and keep this website in mind when driving around Scotland to get the cheapest price on petrol.
Collaboration Note: This is a collaborative post. All images are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that making this blog possible.
Lou Archell, a writer, photographer, stylist and founder of Littlegreenshed. A UK lifestyle & travel blog
Lou is also a busy mum of two amazing boys and the founder of Sisterhood Camp – an annual creative retreat for recharging and empowering brilliant ladies, Lou is passionate about supporting and inspiring others whether through her workshops, writing, photography or lifestyle hacks.