Explore Great Glens and Fells with Walking Holidays in Scotland

Scotland can lay claim to some of the most dramatic and awe-inspiring scenery Great Britain has to offer. Take a Walking Holiday in Scotland and find natural beauty on a grand scale, from routes through mountain passes to high-level tracks that give you far-reaching views over some of Scotland’s most famous lochs and forests.

It’s easy to forget how much of Scotland is still wild and under-explored. Hiking Scotland’s hills have often figured as a way of finding respite from the frenetic pace of the city.  For those looking for a challenge think The West Highland Way. An island escape, The Isle of Arran. For a more leisurely walk in Scotland, following the Caledonian Canal and Loch Ness – look no further than The Great Glen Way.

Overview of Scotland's Walking Routes

The most northerly region of the UK also contains the most mountainous terrain, with the highest mountain in Britain (Ben Nevis) towering over Scotland's distinctive highlands. Generally, the south and central lowlands are characterised by gentler forested areas in comparison to more rugged features of the north. Scotland's topography is divided between mainland and islands and dominated by the cavernous lochs sprawling across its landmass - 90% of the standing fresh water volume of Great Britain lies within Scotland.

Explore highlands, lochs and deep glens in Scotland's areas of iconic natural beauty. Your walking holiday can take you into areas full of echoes of Scottish history. Walk the romantic Rob Roy Way in Scotland's Southern Highlands; or along the shores of Loch Lomond with its islands set against stunning mountain backdrops and up the Devil's Staircase on the West Highland Way; or the beautiful Isle of Arran, ‘Scotland in miniature’. End you time walking with a day in Edinburgh, for a final experience of Scotland’s fascinating history.

Our Top Recommendations

Brodick-beach-with-view-towards-brodick-castle-isle-arran

Isle of Arran

7 to 8 nights from £620

Glencoe View

West Highland Way

8 to 9 nights from £615

Castle Urquhart and Loch Ness

Great Glen Way

7 to 8 nights from £540

Scott's View

St Cuthbert's Way

7 to 8 nights from £605

Walking Holiday Locations

Know which route you're taking? Browse the icons dotted on the map for further details on our self-guided walking holidays in Scotland.

Melrose Abbey, Borders Abbey Way
Borders Abbeys Way

7 Nights | From: £525
View Holiday

Cateran Trail Blairgowie Glenshee
Cateran Trail

6 - 7 Nights | From: £485
View Holiday

Roome Bay Fife Coastal Path
Fife Coastal Path

7 - 8 Nights | From: £595
View Holiday

Castle Urquhart and Loch Ness
Great Glen Way

7 - 8 Nights | From: £540
View Holiday

Brodick-beach-with-view-towards-brodick-castle-isle-arran
Isle of Arran Coastal Way

7 - 8 Nights | From: £620
View Holiday

Helensburgh Coast
John Muir Way

10 - 11 Nights | From: £885
View Holiday

Trossachs National PArk
Rob Roy Way

7 - 8 Nights | From: £595
View Holiday

Corriechullie Farm and the Cairngorm Mountains, Grantown-on-Spey
Speyside Way

6 - 7 Nights | From: £530
View Holiday

Scott's View
St Cuthbert’s Way

7 - 8 Nights | From: £605
View Holiday

Glencoe View
West Highland Way

8 - 9 Nights | From: £615
View Holiday

Best Time to Walk in Scotland

Scotland is significantly colder and wetter than England and Wales. For this reason it is best to avoid the winter months (November through to March), which can be very dark and gloomy. The warmest months, and best time to visit are from May through to September. Dry weather cannot unfortunately be guaranteed, but the days will be warmer, lighter and better for walking.

As with the rest of the UK, the school holidays run from mid July until the end of August, and so those wishing to miss the crowds should avoid these times.

Those hoping to walk the West Highland Way or the Great Glen Way should also be aware of the much hated ‘midge’. These tiny, biting insects exist in high numbers in the north-west of Scotland and are at their worst during the hottest months, especially August. For this reason, May, June and September can be better months to visit the Northwest Highlands.

Traveling to Scotland

By Plane: The quickest way to get to Scotland is by plane. Scotland has 3 international airports, Edinburgh and Glasgow in the south and Aberdeen in the north. Edinburgh and Glasgow both have excellent transport links into the rest of Scotland, whilst Aberdeen is slightly more isolated.

As Scotland is quite far from London, it is generally easier to fly directly into a Scottish airport rather flying into a London airport and then making your way up to Scotland. However there are regular daily flights into Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen from all of the major London airports. Likewise if you are starting your holiday in a different part of England or Wales, you will find regular flights to Scotland from most British airports.

By Eurostar/ Train: If travelling from mainland Europe, the UK can be reached by train from Paris, Brussels and Lille using the Eurostar. The Eurostar arrives in London, and from there you will find excellent train and bus connections up into Scotland.

A train from London to Edinburgh or Glasgow will take approximately 4 ½ hours. Both cities then have excellent train connections into the rest of Scotland. Alternatively, you can use the Caledonian Sleeper, which is an overnight sleeper train from London to major Scottish destinations, including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, Inverness and Fort William. It is a particularly good option if you travelling to northern Scotland.

Other major British cities with good train connections into Scotland include Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham. You should book train journeys as far in advance as possible to avoid expensive fares.

By Ferry: If traveling from mainland Europe, there is an overnight car ferry from IJmuiden in Holland to the city of Newcastle, which lies just south of the Scottish border. The journey takes 17 hours, although a cabin is included in your fare. From Newcastle, there are very good transport links into Scotland.

It is also possible to travel by ferry from Northern Ireland to Glasgow.

Getting Around

Celtic Trails will arrange necessary transfers for yourself and your luggage for the duration of the walk. This is included in the price of the holiday, but does not include transport to the start of the walk. We are very happy to arrange private transfer to the start of your walk at an additional cost. Alternatively, there are the following options:

Train: The entire UK has an excellent train network and it is the most popular form of public transport because it is comfortable, safe and fast. It covers all cities and most towns and is also suitable for travelling on with large pieces of luggage.

In Scotland, most train routes centre on Edinburgh and Glasgow. From both of these cities you can travel north along the east coast towards Aberdeen, along the west coast towards Fort William and also through the centre towards Inverness. There are also train routes going south along both the east and west coasts.

In order to check train routes and times visit www.nationalrail.co.uk. If you would like advice on which is the nearest train station to the start/end of your walk please get in touch. Train tickets can be bought on the National Rail website or at the train station on the day.

Coach: Coach travel is often one of the most affordable ways of making long journeys across the UK (but not necessarily the quickest). National Express (www.nationalexpress.com) and Megabus (https://uk.megabus.com/) are the main long distance coach companies in the UK serving major towns, cities and airports. Tickets for long distance coach journeys should always be bought in advance from the company’s website.

Bus: Buses (generally smaller than coaches) are used across the Scotland for shorter journeys. There are thousands of bus routes and you will find a service running through most towns in Scotland. They are particularly useful in more rural parts, where there is not a train service. Tickets are bought from the bus driver. Timetables in Scotland can be checked at http://www.travelinescotland.com/ .

Taxi: Travelling by taxi is not cheap but it is the most convenient way of travelling if you only have a small number of journeys to make. If you are in particularly rural area or need a taxi late at night, it is advisable that you book a day or two in advance. Taxi journeys should always be booked in advance unless you are in a major city or airport. Celtic Trails are very happy to provide you with the numbers of local, trustworthy taxi companies and also to book a taxi if enough notice is given.

Car: If you plan to drive to the start of your walking holiday, please let us know as we can provide advice on where to leave your car whilst walking

an to drive to the start of your walking holiday, please let us know as we can provide advice on where to leave your car whilst walking.

Walking in Scotland Destination Guide

Medical Cover

No vaccinations are required for entry into Britain. All citizens of the EU are entitled to free medical treatment under the National Health Service (NHS). If you are travelling from outside the EU you will receive free treatment from the Accident and Emergency Unit, but not if you are admitted into hospital or receive treatment at a general doctors surgery. Consequently health insurance is highly recommended.

Money

Most shops, hotels and restaurants accept all major debit and credit cards, although you should always carry a bit of cash on you, particularly when visiting more rural areas or when using small businesses. You will also find an ATM in most small towns.

Tipping is expected in most cafe’s and restaurants but not mandatory. Anything between 5% and 15%, depending on the quality of service is acceptable. It is not necessary to tip bar staff as you will usually order and collect your drinks at the bar.

Internet and Phone coverage

Good, speedy internet and phone coverage in Scotland is generally clustered around the more urban areas, although reception in rural areas is generally reliable. That being said, you should always be aware that that in more remote areas coverage is patchy, and in places like the Cairngorms National Park - coverage is sporadic at best. It is increasingly common to have free wi-fi in cafes, hotels and B&Bs but not guaranteed.

Travel Documents

Citizens of the EU are free to visit the UK for any length of time with just their passports, whilst those from the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand can visit for 6 months with just their passports. Those from other countries will need to look into Visas. Once you have arrived in Scotland, you are free to cross the borders of England and Wales without having your documents checked again.

Reading List

Great Books For Great Walks: Essential reads for walking in… ScotlandGreat Literature for Great Walks in Scotland

Borders Abbeys Way

Borders Abbeys Way is a leisurely walking route located in Scottish Border country – a little known and unspoiled corner of Scotland. This particular route was beloved by Sir Walter Scott and featured in many of his novels.

  • 7 nights
  • 68 mls (view km)
  • Scottish Borders
  • Easy
  • Feb to Oct
  • £525

Cateran Trail

Walk Through Picturesque Highlands Scenery on The Cateran Trail Follow in the footsteps of the Caterans on an incredible walk across the heart of Scotland. At 64 miles (103km), this is a walk that explores the beautiful scenery of the secluded border between Perthshire and Angus, such as verdant glens, picturesque woodland and waterfalls.

  • 6 to 7 nights
  • 64 mls (view km)
  • Central Scotland
  • Moderate
  • Mar to Oct
  • £485

Fife Coastal Path

Discover Scotland on foot by traversing the sublime Fife Coastal Path. This 117 mile coastal walk runs from the Forth Estuary in the south to the Tay Estuary in the north. It’s a terrifically scenic walk which takes in glorious sandy beaches, historic castles and caves, fascinating wildlife and fishing villages.

  • 7 to 8 nights
  • 63 mls (view km)
  • Eastern Scotland
  • Easy to Moderate
  • Mar to Oct
  • £595

Great Glen Way

Scotland’s 4th national long distance walking route, the Great Glen Way walk runs from Fort William in the highlands to the city of Inverness along the Great Glen Fault.

  • 7 to 8 nights
  • 73 mls (view km)
  • Mid Scotland
  • Easy to Moderate
  • Mar to Oct
  • £540

Isle of Arran Coastal Way

This coastal walking holiday passes through the beautiful Isle of Arran – one of Scotland’s best long-distance walking trails.

  • 7 to 8 nights
  • 63 mls (view km)
  • Northern Scotland
  • Moderate
  • Mar to Oct
  • £620

John Muir Way

John Muir Way is Scotland’s newest and perhaps most diverse walking trail. Named after the 19th-century Scottish-American naturalist John Muir, the walk is a staggering 134 miles and takes you from the West coast of Helensburgh to Muir’s birthplace at Dunbar on the East Coast.

  • 10 to 11 nights
  • 134 mls (view km)
  • Southern Scotland
  • Moderate
  • Mar to Oct
  • £885

Rob Roy Way

Rob Roy Way is a 79 mile walking route through the gorgeous Southern Highlands. It follows the paths and tracks used by outlaw and folk hero Rob Roy MacGregor during the 17th and 18th century.

  • 7 to 8 nights
  • 79 mls (view km)
  • Mid Scotland
  • Easy to Moderate
  • Mar to Oct
  • £595

Speyside Way

This walk links the Moray coast with the edge of the Grampian Mountains and follows the valley of the River Spey through some of Scotland’s most magnificent scenery.

  • 6 to 7 nights
  • 65 mls (view km)
  • North East Scotland
  • Easy
  • Mar to Oct
  • £530

St Cuthbert’s Way

Travel the beautiful Scottish borders from Melrose to Lindisfarne – the area of St Cuthbert’s ministry and death place.

  • 7 to 8 nights
  • 62 mls (view km)
  • Scottish Borders
  • Moderate
  • Mar to Oct
  • £605

West Highland Way

The highlands are ideal territory for exhilarating and often demanding mountain and hill walking in Scotland. The West Highlands offers stunning mountains, beautiful lochs and endless open space.

  • 8 to 9 nights
  • 95 mls (view km)
  • West Scotland
  • Moderate to Challenging
  • Mar to Oct
  • £615

Reviews of our Walking Holidays in Scotland

Our past clients rated this walk 4.9 out of 5, based on 15 reviews.

Leave your own review of one our walking holidays in Scotland here

Enquire About Walking In Scotland

  • Would you like to receive further information from us on offers, updates and new destinations? These can be stopped at any time.