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Walking tours in Scotland

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If you're looking for a walking adventure that can truly make you feel like you're escaping everyday life, our small group walking tours in Scotland can whisk you away to majestic lands of breathtaking scenery, abundant wildlife and fascinating historical sights.  
 

Join one of our guided, small group walking holidays in Scotland to discover breathtaking views, endemic wildlife and ancient monuments along spectacular walking trails. From moorland paths to undulating hills and  rugged mountains, our easy-to-moderate walking tours in Scotland, UK traverse some of the most epic landscapes in the northwestern Scottish Highlands, the Isle of Skye, and the Orkney Islands. 

 

After rewarding days exploring Stone Age villages, uncovering wildflowers, and spotting birdlife on clifftop walks, relax and retire in comfortable local historic lodges and guesthouses. Every step of the way, walking in Scotland connects you with the enchanting culture, traditions, and people of this unforgettable, untamable country.
 

Learn more about the top destinations to go hiking and walking in the Scottish Highlands below, and find helpful information in our frequently asked questions section.

Popular walking tours in Scotland

United Kingdom Walking and Trekking Trip code ORK
7 Days From US$2400 without flights
United Kingdom Walking and Trekking Trip code WHS
8 Days From US$2500 without flights

 

Best walking destinations in Scotland


 

Orkney Islands

Walking in Scotland allows you the chance to experience raw, beautiful landscapes that feel untouched and yet are home to awe-inspiring Stone Age archaeological sites. Few places offer this better than the Orkney Islands archipelago off the coast of northeastern Scotland. Best known for Neolithic ruins, high blustery cliffs, and a huge variety of birdlife including puffins, the Orkneys offer the opportunity to escape to a distant time.

 

On our Walking Scotland’s Orkney Islands trip, guided hikes and walks take you to ancient sites including the remarkably well-preserved Neolithic village Skara Brae, the Ring of Brodgar stone circle, and the imposing 5,000-year-old Stones of Stenness ritual monument – the oldest henge in the British Isles. 

 

While uncovering the rich history and culture of Orkney, you also have opportunities to see the amazing birdlife on the sea cliffs of the Deerness Peninsula and the Isle of Westray, home to thriving colonies of guillemot and kittiwake. After memorable days surrounded by nature, you can savor Orcadian seafood and city walks in welcoming island towns such as Kirkwall.

Isle of Skye

Known for its wild heathland, craggy peaks, medieval castles, and ancient ruins, the Isle of Skye is Scotland’s second-largest island at 50 miles long. Connected to the mainland’s northwest coast by bridge, Skye offers a blend of spectacular scenery and fascinating history that makes it a wonderful destination for a walking holiday in Scotland. Visitors come here to climb the spectacular, rocky hill the Old Man of Storr, and immerse themselves in local culture in the colorful main harbor town of Portree.


Our Walk the North West Highlands and Skye tour encompasses many of Skye’s best hiking trails and scenic viewpoints, including the peak of Bruach na Frithe in the craggy Cuillin Hills, the lofty, grassy plateau of The Table, and the dramatic rocky ridges of Quiraing. Along these grand hikes, you can take in views of the isle’s lochs, moors and mountains, as well as nearby islands and mainland mountain peaks like Ben Nevis.

North West Highlands

Rich in indigenous plant life – including lavender, orchids and Scotland's national flower, the thistle – the North West Highlands Geopark can provide insight on the key geological features that formed its landscape on walks through stunning natural beauty. Glacier-carved mountain peaks rise up from copper-coloured heathland, and a climb to the top of Cul Mor on our North West Highlands Walking Holiday reveals 360-degree panoramas across the Assynt landscape. Hike to the summit of Stac Pollaidh to explore sandstone pinnacles forged by the last ice age and stretch your legs with a wander around Corrieshalloch Gorge, where the pearly white waters of the Falls of Measach cascade into a dark ravine.

 


 

Frequently asked questions about Scotland walking tours

When is the best season or time of year to go on a walking tour in Scotland?

 

The best time of year to go walking in Scotland is during late spring (May-June) and early fall (August-September). Along with pleasant temperatures, fair weather and less likelihood of rain, going for a walking tour in spring or fall promises the added benefits of being able to see spring flowers or fall foliage. While summer is also a nice time to visit, temperatures can sometimes get too hot during long days walking outdoors. You’ll also avoid summer’s high season crowds at popular sites along the route. But this is Scotland, after all, so even in spring, summer and fall, be prepared for rain!

 

How challenging are Explore’s Scotland walking tours?

 

Heading along rocky coastlines, through mountain passes and grassy moorlands, our walking tours in Scotland visit a wide range of landscapes around the country. None of these areas are overly difficult to access and explore, meaning our tours range in difficulty from easy to moderate. Anyone in good physical condition should have no issues on our walking and hiking tours, but it’s still a good idea to prepare in advance. You can read how to prepare for a walking tour for practical tips and advice, as well as check out our beginner’s guide to hiking in Scotland.

 

What should I pack for a walking tour in Scotland?

 

No matter the time of year, the weather in Scotland can change quickly, going from sunny one minute to rainy the next. Locals often say you can experience all four seasons in one day in Scotland, so you need to pack accordingly for all types of weather. Along with a comfortable and broken-in pair of hiking boots, you should pack waterproof and wind-resistant jackets and pants, as well as layered shirts, underwear and leggings. You’ll also want hats for warm and cold weather as well as gloves. For a complete list of our recommended things to pack, take a look at what to wear for hiking in Scotland.

 

What are the accommodations like during the walking tours?

 

After long days hiking and walking, you can relax in cozy, nicely-appointed accommodations with modern amenities and lovely views. In addition to 3-star hotels and charming guesthouses, you also stay in historic lodges and hotels that have been updated to cater for contemporary travelers. Many are also family run and conveniently located close to attractions, restaurants and shopping areas.

 

Can I travel solo on a Scotland walking tour?

 

Our small-group walking tours are ideal for solo travelers, allowing you to discover a new destination on your own while also having the opportunity to make new friends with whom to share these incredible experiences.

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