The Most Beautiful Hike in Scotland: A Spectacular Journey through Nature

Choose the hike you think is the most beautiful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 20, 2024 05:23
Discover the enchanting beauty of Scotland's rugged landscapes, majestic mountains, and breathtaking coastlines through the ultimate ranking of its most stunning hikes! At StrawPoll, we've curated a diverse selection of Scotland's awe-inspiring trails, inviting you to cast your vote for the most beautiful hike. As you immerse yourself in this captivating journey, don't forget to share your own hidden gems by suggesting a missing option. With thousands of fellow adventurers eagerly exploring and voting, our dynamic ranking will reveal the true crown jewel of Scotland's hiking trails. So, lace up your hiking boots, embrace your inner wanderer, and join us in unveiling the unparalleled splendor of Scotland's great outdoors!

What Is the Most Beautiful Hike in Scotland?

  1. 1
    75
    votes
    West Highland Way
    Mogens Engelund · CC BY-SA 3.0
    This 96-mile trek through the Scottish Highlands is one of the most iconic and beautiful hikes in Scotland. It takes you through stunning landscapes and past lochs, mountains, and ancient ruins.
    The West Highland Way is a renowned long-distance hiking trail in Scotland that stretches approximately 96 miles (154 kilometers) from Milngavie, a suburb of Glasgow, to Fort William, passing through stunning natural landscapes and historic sites along the way. It is considered one of the most beautiful and popular hikes in Scotland, offering breathtaking views of lochs, glens, mountains, and rugged terrain.
    • Distance: 96 miles (154 kilometers)
    • Starting Point: Milngavie, near Glasgow
    • Ending Point: Fort William
    • Terrain: Varied - includes forest tracks, moorland, loch-sides, and mountainous sections
    • Difficulty: Moderate to challenging, suitable for experienced hikers
  2. 2
    26
    votes
    The rugged and dramatic landscape of the Isle of Skye offers some of the most breathtaking hiking trails in Scotland. The Quiraing and Old Man of Storr are two popular hikes that offer stunning views of the island.
    The Isle of Skye is a breathtakingly beautiful island located on the west coast of Scotland. Known for its dramatic landscapes, rugged mountains, stunning lochs, and picturesque coastline, it is often referred to as one of the most beautiful areas in the country. The island is rich in history, culture, and wildlife, making it a popular destination for both nature enthusiasts and those seeking tranquility in stunning surroundings.
    • Location: West coast of Scotland
    • Landscapes: Dramatic and stunning
    • Mountains: Rugged and picturesque
    • Lochs: Beautiful and serene
    • Coastline: Scenic and breathtaking
    Isle of Skye in other rankings
  3. 3
    14
    votes
    Scaling the highest mountain in the British Isles is a bucket-list hike for many outdoor enthusiasts. The summit rewards hikers with unparalleled views of the Scottish Highlands.
    Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles, located in the western part of Scotland. Its majestic beauty and challenging trails make it one of the most popular hikes in the country. The mountain is known for its stunning landscapes, including rugged cliffs, expansive valleys, and picturesque lakes. A hike up Ben Nevis offers breathtaking panoramic views, especially from the summit.
    • Elevation: 1,345 meters (4,413 feet)
    • Prominence: 1,344 meters (4,409 feet)
    • Location: Lochaber, Highland, Scotland
    • Coordinates: 56.7969° N, 5.0037° W
    • Difficulty: Challenging
    Ben Nevis in other rankings
  4. 4
    17
    votes
    The Cairngorms
    MyName (TheCreator) · Public domain
    This vast mountain range in the Scottish Highlands offers a variety of hiking trails, from gentle walks through forests to challenging hikes up steep peaks. The views of the surrounding landscape are breathtaking.
    The Cairngorms is a stunning and renowned mountain range located in the eastern region of Scotland. It is a popular destination for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts due to its breathtaking scenery and diverse landscapes. The range is characterized by its impressive peaks, deep valleys, vast plateaus, and sparkling lochs. It is also home to a rich variety of wildlife, including rare species such as the golden eagle and the Scottish wildcat.
    • Location: Eastern region of Scotland
    • Scenic highlights: Breathtaking peaks, deep valleys, plateaus, and lochs
    • Wildlife: Home to rare species like the golden eagle and Scottish wildcat
    • Hiking opportunities: Vast network of trails catering to all levels of difficulty
    • Climbing: Famous for challenging rock and ice climbing routes
    The Cairngorms in other rankings
  5. 5
    11
    votes
    This iconic Scottish glen is a popular destination for hikers due to its dramatic scenery and historical significance. The hike up the Pap of Glencoe offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
    Glencoe is a breathtakingly beautiful area located in the Scottish Highlands. It is renowned for its stunning landscapes, dramatic mountains, and rich history. Glencoe offers visitors a unique blend of rugged natural beauty and historical significance. The area is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.
    • Visitor Center: Glencoe Visitor Centre
    • Location: Scottish Highlands
    • Mountain Range: The Three Sisters of Glencoe
    • Valley: Glen Coe valley
    • Highest Peak: Buachaille Etive Mor (1,022m)
  6. 6
    14
    votes
    The Trossachs
    David Monniaux · CC BY-SA 3.0
    This picturesque region of Scotland offers a variety of hiking trails through rolling hills, forests, and lochs. The views of Loch Lomond and the surrounding countryside are stunning.
    The Trossachs is a picturesque region located in the southern Highlands of Scotland. It is renowned for its stunning landscapes, including serene lochs, lush forests, and rolling hills. The area is often referred to as the 'Gateway to the Highlands' due to its proximity to the boundary of the Highlands and the Lowlands. The Trossachs offers an idyllic setting for outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and fishing. The name 'Trossachs' is derived from the Gaelic word 'Trosaich,' meaning a place with many hills and wild turns of the land.
    • Location: Southern Highlands of Scotland
    • Proximity: Near the boundary of the Highlands and the Lowlands
    • Landscape: Lochs, forests, hills
    • Nickname: Gateway to the Highlands
    • Outdoor Activities: Hiking, cycling, fishing
  7. 7
    10
    votes
    This 117-mile trail follows the coastline of Fife, offering stunning views of the North Sea and the Scottish countryside. It takes you past historic sites, charming fishing villages, and rugged cliffs.
    The Fife Coastal Path is a popular hiking trail in Scotland that stretches along the coastline of Fife, offering breathtaking views of sandy beaches, rugged cliffs, and charming coastal villages. This 117-mile long trail is renowned for its natural beauty and diverse landscapes, making it one of the most beautiful hikes in Scotland.
    • Length: 117 miles
    • Terrain: Coastal, sandy beaches, cliffs
    • Difficulty: Moderate
    • Scenery: Spectacular coastal views, picturesque villages
    • Wildlife: Opportunities to spot seabirds, seals, dolphins
    The Fife Coastal Path in other rankings
  8. 8
    7
    votes
    The Great Glen Way
    Ayack · CC BY-SA 3.0
    This 79-mile trail takes you through the heart of the Scottish Highlands, following the Caledonian Canal and passing by Loch Ness. The views of the surrounding mountains and lochs are breathtaking.
    The Great Glen Way is a stunning long-distance hiking trail in Scotland that stretches for 79 miles from Fort William to Inverness. Created in 2002, it follows the natural fault line of the Great Glen, offering breathtaking views of lochs, mountains, and historic landmarks along the way.
    • Length: 79 miles
    • Starting Point: Fort William
    • Ending Point: Inverness
    • Terrain: Varied, including canal towpaths, loch-side paths, forest tracks, and some sections of minor road
    • Difficulty: Moderate
  9. 9
    10
    votes

    The Argyll Coastal Route

    Argyll and Bute Council
    This scenic hiking trail offers stunning views of the west coast of Scotland, passing through charming villages and past ancient castles. The views of the sea and the islands in the distance are spectacular.
    The Argyll Coastal Route is one of the most beautiful hikes in Scotland. It stretches along the stunning west coast of the Argyll and Bute region, offering breathtaking views of rugged cliffs, pristine beaches, and picturesque fishing villages. This route takes hikers through a diverse landscape, combining coastal trails, rolling hills, and tranquil lochs.
    • Length: 150 miles
    • Difficulty: Moderate to challenging
    • Start Point: Helensburgh
    • End Point: Fort William
    • Duration: 10-14 days
  10. 10
    2
    votes
    These rolling hills just outside of Edinburgh offer a variety of hiking trails through heather-covered moors and past tranquil lochs. The views of the city and the surrounding countryside are stunning.
    The Pentland Hills is a range of hills located in the south-west of Edinburgh, Scotland. The hills offer breathtaking natural beauty, making it one of the most beautiful hikes in Scotland. The area is known for its diverse landscapes, including rolling hills, open moorland, serene reservoirs, and stunning panoramic views.
    • Location: South-west of Edinburgh, Scotland
    • Elevation: Up to 579 meters (1,900 feet)
    • Total length of trails: Approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles)
    • Main peaks: Scald Law (579m), Carnethy Hill (573m), and East Cairn Hill (567m)
    • Flora and fauna: Heather, wildflowers, red grouse, rabbits, and various bird species

Missing your favorite hike?

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Ranking factors for beautiful hike

  1. Scenery
    The landscape and views along the hiking route should be breathtaking and showcase the natural beauty of Scotland. This may include mountains, lochs, coastline, waterfalls, forests, wildlife, and historical landmarks.
  2. Difficulty Level
    A beautiful hike should be accessible to a range of hikers, from beginners to experts, and offer various levels of difficulty, ensuring that it is enjoyable and challenging for everyone.
  3. Trail Quality and Maintenance
    Well-maintained trails, clear signage, and the availability of maps and other resources are important factors in determining the quality of a hike.
  4. Length and Duration
    The hike should not be too long or too short; it should be an appropriate distance that allows hikers to fully immerse themselves in the scenery without feeling overwhelmed or exhausted.
  5. Popularity and Crowdedness
    A hike may lose its appeal if it is heavily trafficked and crowded with tourists. Ideally, the hike offers a sense of solitude and tranquility, allowing hikers to connect with nature.
  6. Accessibility
    The hike should be easy to access from nearby cities, towns, or public transportation options, ensuring that hikers can easily reach the starting point without too much hassle.
  7. Facilities and Amenities
    Availability of facilities such as parking, restrooms, and nearby accommodations or camping options can also contribute to the overall hiking experience.
  8. Seasonal Changes
    The hike should offer different experiences throughout the year, such as vibrant autumn foliage, snowy landscapes, or colorful wildflower blooms, making it appealing during various seasons.
  9. Safety
    The hiking route should not pose significant risks or dangers to hikers, such as extreme weather conditions, wildlife encounters, or treacherous terrain.
  10. Hiker Reviews and Recommendations
    Lastly, considering the opinions and experiences of other hikers who have completed the hike can provide valuable insight into its beauty and appeal. Online reviews, articles, and recommendations from fellow hikers can help determine if a hike is truly deserving of the title "most beautiful" in Scotland.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most beautiful hike in Scotland. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or hike is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!

Statistics

  • 1157 views
  • 186 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each hike once every 24 hours. The rank of each hike is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

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More information on most beautiful hike in scotland

Scotland is a land of rugged landscapes, rolling hills, and stunning vistas, making it a top destination for outdoor enthusiasts. With its abundance of natural beauty, Scotland has some of the most scenic hiking trails in the world. From the towering peaks of the Cairngorms to the rolling hills of the Scottish Borders, Scotland has something for everyone. But with so many options, it can be hard to know where to start. So, we've put together a list of the most beautiful hikes in Scotland to help you plan your next adventure. Whether you're an experienced hiker or just starting out, these hikes are sure to take your breath away.

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