Head out into the wilderness on one of these scenic Scottish routes

Arran Coastal Way

One of Scotland's Great Trails, this hike, which forms a 105km-loop around the Isle of Arran, offers everything from dolphin-spotting opportunities to exploring an Iron Age hill fort. Break the journey by overnighting in the coastal towns along the way and enjoying some Scottish island hospitality.

Berwickshire Coastal Path

The harbour and village at St Abbs in Berwickshire, Scotland. Photo / 123RF
The harbour and village at St Abbs in Berwickshire, Scotland. Photo / 123RF

Stretching 45.5km along the North Sea coast from Cockburnspath to Berwick upon Tweed, this hike showcases both Scotland's natural beauty and its abundant birdlife. Walk it in spring and you'll be treated to a grand display of wildflowers. Stop in at the small towns along the way to learn more about the area's history, including the terrible storm which struck in 1881, costing 189 local fishermen their lives.

Hebridean Way

The Hebridean Way takes walkers past spectacular Luskentyre Beach on the west coast of Harris - one of the Outer Hebrides' isles. Photo / 123RF
The Hebridean Way takes walkers past spectacular Luskentyre Beach on the west coast of Harris - one of the Outer Hebrides' isles. Photo / 123RF

For sheer adventure and variety of scenery, this trail which stretches the length of the Outer Hebrides can't be beaten. The 250km-long route from Vatersay to Lewis links 10 islands so hikers can even rest their weary legs from time-to-time as they catch a ferry from one outpost to another.

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Old Man of Hoy, Orkney

This walk's a lot shorter than the others listed — in fact, it can be completed in around 3 hours — but it takes some commitment even to get to the starting point of Rackwick, on the island of Hoy, and the hike itself is hard going. The reason people make the effort, is to see the famous Old Man of Hoy sea stack, which rises an impressive 137m above sea level. Those keen for a longer — and even more challenging — hike can tack on a 2-hour roundtrip to St John's Head, site of the highest vertical cliffs in the UK.

West Highland Way

One of the country's most popular hikes, the West Highland Way runs more than 150km from the town of Milngavie, northwest of Glasgow, to Fort William on the banks of Loch Linnhe in the Scottish Highlands. The walk skirts Loch Lomond and crosses the Devil's Staircase, affording views of some of the country's most famous landscapes.