Scotland is a great destination for people wanting to explore this stunning country on foot. A walking holiday in Scotland gives you an opportunity to visit unknown parts and amazing countryside. The choice of walks is enormous - from gentle strolls in lowland glens to remote climbs in dramatic mountains, where you can walk yet won't see another person all day.
Walks along the coast of Scotland range from the Fife Coastal Path in the East Neuk (through pretty fishing villages and along the cliffs to St Andrews), to adventurous steep paths along the wild coast of the north of Scotland. The west of coast of Scotland also offers wild regions and empty beaches, whereas the south and east coasts are more gentle with villages and cottages nestling around coves.
The lowlands of Scotland have paths through pretty woodlands where birds sing and wildflowers bloom. There are riverside walks along the rivers and glens - just listen to sounds around you and admire the countryside. If you are on holiday for an autumn break then Perthshire or Speyside are great destinations - the colours of the trees are quite breathtaking. There are lots of walks in the untamed wilderness of Scotland giving you the freedom for a walking holiday in all parts of the country.
The Scottish mountains offer some of the most challenging walking and climbing in the UK. In the winter they are only suitable for skilled walkers, but the summer months make them more accessible to the less experienced (but it is obviously essential to be well-equipped and prepared for the changing weather conditions). The dramatic Assynt and Coigach peaks of the north west highlands are challenging - rising up abruptly they give superb views on a clear day. Ben Nevis has become a rather touristy walk on a well-worn path (but a difficult climb) however the Cairngorms offer more isolated walking in stunning mountains. Hill walking and munro bagging are what Scotland is famous for and the choice is endless. Argyll, Perthshire and Angus offer some easy hill walks, whilst the northern highlands have plenty of peaks to climb. The Cuillins on the isle of Skye have some unforgettable climbs and amazing views at the top. Loch Lomond and the Trossachs (now a national park) have some easy marked walks and a popular walk is up Ben Ledi.
There are lots of long distance walks along specific routes - many visitors rent a holiday cottage near a route and just do part of the walk - often returning to another cottage the following year to finish it! The most famous, and oldest, is the West Highland Way (95 miles) which connects Glasgow with Fort William over varied terrain - it is now very worn in parts and is a busy route during the summer. The Great Glen Way connects Inverness with Fort William, passing above Loch Ness and is 73 miles in length. The Speyside Way is quite an easy walk from Spey Bay on the Moray Firth to Aviemore - it's very pretty along the River Spey. The Southern Upland Way is Scotland's longest walking route (212 miles) and runs from Cockburnspath on the east coast to Portpatrick in the west - if you are on holiday in Dumfries and Galloway accommodation then you will be able to do part of this lovely walk.
With the new Right of Access the traditional freedom to explore Scotland's hills, muroes and countryside has been incorporated into law. Walkers who show consideration for the land are always welcome - but hill walkers should be aware of the deer stalking season (Aug to Oct).
Walking festivals have become very popular in recent years and offer a great opportunity to learn
more about the Scottish landscape and highlight various local walks. Some of the best are Walk Islay (April), Aviemore Walking Festival (May), Newton Stewart Walking Festival (May), Walk Caithness (May), Moray Walking Festival (June), Royal Deeside Walking Week, Angus Glens Walking Festival, Glen Affric Walking Festival and the Crieff and Strathearn Drovers Tryst (Oct).
On this site you will find holiday cottages which welcome walkers in all parts of Scotland and wherever you stay you will be able to walk. Look for eco friendly cottages with the Green Tourism awards and those that are particularly geared up for walkers - Visit Scotland run a Walkers & Cyclists Welcome Scheme and some properties will have this accreditation. Many are very near marked routes and all will have details and information of nearby walks - often from the doorstep. If you want a walking holiday then Scotland is a perfect destination. The Scottish countryside is stunning - whether you are visiting in August when the heather is purple on the hills or coming for a winter break when the mountains are white with snow: Scotland is an idyllic destination for walkers at all times of the year.