With mountainous landscapes and historical hill forts aplenty, Scotland is a country that’s awash with adventure and exciting hotspots to explore. From challenging terrains to shorter tours that show off Scotland’s wealth of history and culture, this corner of the world offers something truly unique to each and every one of its visitors.
Whether you’re an avid explorer or a hiking novice, Scotland boasts an array of spectacular walking routes to suit all levels of expertise. That’s why today, we’re giving you all the top tips you could need for your Scottish walking holiday. So, whether you’re an experienced trekker or are seeking an adventure that’s entirely new to you, with our need-to-knows, you’ll be confidently hiking in the Highlands in no time at all.
1. Plan to take the scenic route
Thanks to its history and culture, by choosing a hiking holiday in Scotland, you’ll never be far from discovering something new. Planning your route ahead of the trip will not only minimise your chances of running into danger, but it’ll mean that you can spend your time actually experiencing all that Scotland has got to offer – rather than wondering which direction to take next.
When planning your routes, consider the main things that are attracting you to the area and factor them in when mapping out your trip. Whether you’re searching for coastal views or seeking out famous castles, travelling across this Scottish terrain is an experience you’re unlikely to forget.
2. Don’t forget to pack the essentials
In the remotest parts of rural Scotland, there’s not much chance of stumbling across the supplies you may need. Whether you’re just taking a day pack or carrying all of your camping equipment with you, make sure that you’ve thought of – and packed – everything you might need. From a first aid kit to a roll of duct tape, it’s these basic essentials that could come in handy, should you run into any problems when trekking through the back of beyond.
3. Prepare for all seasons
From hiking in the highlands to exploring the glacial glens, Scotland’s diverse terrain means that the country’s climate is incredibly changeable. Experiencing the four seasons in the space of one day is not uncommon in these parts, which makes packing for a Scottish hike undeniably tricky.
Whether you’re a day-tripper or enjoying a week-long camping holiday, preparing for the heavens to open is crucial for both your safety and comfort. An easy to assemble rain tarp will provide all the protection you could need from any sudden downpours, and the streamlined shape of this shelter will give you an extra layer of foul-weather protection after pitching up for the night.
4. Think logistically about lodging
Whether you’re bagging the Munros or walking across the windswept island of Iona, finding a place to rest your weary legs will be bring a welcome break from a day of adventure. During the peak season, Scotland’s accommodation options often fill up fast – even in the remotest areas – so if you’re not a fan of camping, book your overnight accommodation ahead of your trip.
From locating an authorized wild camping spot to pre-booking a bed in a B&B, planning where you’ll be pitching up for the night will ensure that no-one’s left high and dry on your hiking holiday.
5. Know your rights
There’s no shortage of iconic historical landmarks and spectacular natural scenery in Scotland, and the liberal legislation about land access makes it easy for visitors to see all that the nation has got to offer. Nevertheless, before beginning your journey, it’s important to remember to take a detailed look at the Scottish Outdoor Access Code when planning a hike in this captivating countryside.
The Land Reform Act of the Scottish Parliament establishes everyone with statutory access rights to most land and inland water, but these rights are only granted when they’re exercised responsibly. Respecting people’s privacy, safety and livelihoods – as well as Scotland’s environment – is crucial for staying on the right side of the Scottish law, so make sure you’ve read up on your legal rights and responsibilities before taking a hike.
Famous for its wild camping and wondrous mountain top views, the Scottish countryside is no doubt one of the most exhilarating and enchanting walking destinations in the world. So what are you waiting for? Take a hike in Scotland and see the spectacular surroundings for yourself.
Find more great tips at WildernessScotland.com.