Hiking the Scottish Highlands
Bagpipes and kilts are symbols of Scottish culture still, there are many other reasons visitors travel there year after year.
One of them is the fabulous hiking trails that offer not only breathtaking views, but a chance to witness the true beauty of Scotland’s countryside and wildlife. Be prepared for the urge to stop and just take in all that exists around you, as the country’s landscapes rise up to envelop you in all their glory.
There are many options to choose from when hiking in Scotland. If you don’t have lots of time, or are unaccustomed to the activity, The Clyde Coast Way is definitely for you. Fifty miles of simple trails along the picturesque southwest coast offer jaw-dropping views. Charming historic churches, and little villages line the way as well, and if you’d like to stop for a drink, or a bite to eat, check out one of the traditional pubs found on the route.
Those seeking a more demanding trail must take on the North to Cape Wrath route. This 205-mile adventure will leave your legs screaming the next day, but is worth every step for the avid hiker. At Cape Wrath adventurers will discover the Scottish mainland’s northernmost point, where a lighthouse sits beckoning you closer. This is still an unofficial trail, but there are numerous guidebooks featuring information about it so pick one up, put on your best hiking boots, and embrace the challenge.
If you want to try another long path, but one that isn’t as popular quite yet, check out The East Highland Way which is currently the youngest. For seventy-eight miles traveling from Ft. William to Aviemore, history buffs will fall in love with this trail as there are many castles, prehistoric sites, and lochs along the way.
For intrigue and mystery The Great Glen Way is calling to you, as for seventy-nine miles you can try to catch glimpses of “Nessie” the famed “Loch Ness monster.” Hikers travel past Lochs Locky, Oich, and Ness, and who knows, maybe one of Nessie’s siblings is hiding in the others.
For the more environmentally-inclined hiker, check out ninety-six miles of diverse eco-zones on The West Highland Way. Not only would you be treading on the first officially designated footpath in Scotland, but expect to see Scottish moors, forests, mountains, and lochs along the way.
Jacqueline “Jackie” Jones is a Barbadian author and entrepreneur who spends more time lost in the virtual world than anyone should. Jackie loves meeting new people as much as she loves traveling, and she’s often guilty of “interviewing” unsuspecting strangers whether they want her to or not. When she’s not dealing with the day-to-day of running two businesses (Originz Multimedia and Waterway Media), or spending time with family and friends, Jackie turns to words and is an accomplished speculative fiction writer.