What Trail Suits You?
The Scotland’s Great Trails network constitutes 23 well maintained trails across Scotland that are distinctively waymarked, largely off-road and offering opportunities to discover one the most world’s most beautiful and rugged landscapes and to experience Scottish history and culture firsthand. With each trail being at least 25 miles in length, all are suitable for multi day journeys, day trips or even short jaunts. Collectively, the routes provide more than 1500 miles of well managed paths from the Borders to the Highlands. From mountains, lochs and forests to coastal paths and riverside walks as well as historical sites and Scottish wildlife, there are plenty of glorious sights to behold.
For dramatic mountain and loch scenery, the Great Glen Way, Southern Upland Way, the Three Lochs Way and the West Highland Way cross some of the most beautiful places in Scotland.
Follow Scotland’s iconic rivers from source to sea on routes such as the Speyside Way which runs from Spey Bay in the Moray Firth, upriver to Aviemore in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. Other great river trails include the Annandale Way, the Clyde Walkway and the River Ayr Way.
Along the Coast
Explore the scenic Scottish coastline. Embark on the 117 miles of the spectacular Fife Coastal Path where you will discover fascinating wildlife, sandy beaches and quaint fishing villages. The Ayrshire Coastal Path, John Muir Way, Kintyre Way, Moray Coast Trail and West Island Way or new addition, the Berwickshire Coastal Path, also offer stunning coastal scenery.
Uncover Scotland’s rich cultural heritage on an historical trail. Follow in the footsteps of St Cuthbert on the St Cuthbert’s Way; discover ancient abbeys on the Borders Abbeys Way; or follow in the footsteps of marauding medieval cattle thieves on the Cateran Trail or Scotland’s most infamous outlaw, Rob Roy.
Transport and Industry
If you’re interested in Britain’s transportation history, there are canal towpaths like the Forth and Clyde Canal Towpath, the modern marvel that is the Falkirk Wheel with its own canal side trail as well as old disused railway lines now maintained for hikers such as the Formartine and Buchan Way.
For more information about Scotland’s Great Trails visit the Scottish Natural Heritage website at snh.gov.uk.
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photo: Chris Osburn