Hiking in Scotland for Beginners—Infographic!
Remember in 2014 when Scotland voted on independence from the United Kingdom? The referendum failed by a narrow margin—just 55% voted “no”—but that should give you an insight into what you’ll find when you visit the land of kilts, whisky, and bagpipes. From the rugged remoteness of the Highlands to the lovely Scottish brogue, Scotland has a very different feel from the southern parts of the British Isles, and the Scottish people won’t let you forget it!
Scotland is awash with stone cottages, rolling pastures, and some of the most dramatic cliffs I’ve ever seen. The Scottish people are fiercely proud of their heritage. Ancient traditions live on, and ancient feuds stay strong. From the vibrant, toe-tapping folk music to the plethora of ancient ruins and formidable castles, Scotland is one of my favorite places. I’ve been twice and still haven’t explored all of it.
Hiking in Scotland is not quite the same thing as hiking in the U.S. For one thing it’s called “walking” not hiking. Scotland is very lucky to have a really excellent set of access laws that means you can go almost anywhere, as long as you leave no trace and take responsibility for you actions. So walking in Scotland can be very different to the U.S. concept of “hiking” in the ability to walk off paths on rugged, heathery, boggy, or rocky terrain. Of course this also means that there is often no path to follow, and navigational skills are a necessity, which is why we partner with experienced local guides who know the area backwards and forwards.
Immerse yourself in what the Scots do best: great food, stunning scenery, and a living, breathing culture that’s rooted in thousands of years of fascinating history. As our partner in Scotland said recently, “I love Scotland more than anywhere else on the planet. Come and join me for an adventure that will live with you for a lifetime.” We keep our Highlands & Islands Hiking tour limited to only 8 people, so it fills up fast!
Want to see more of Scotland? Check out our “Why We Love Scotland” video!
*Scotland guide Zoe Newsam contributed to this post.