At last, the lighter days and nights have arrived after what has seemed like a never-ending winter! As the weather starts to become milder, the thought of going up a Munro becomes all the more enticing. I love the sense of accomplishment you get when you reach the summit and see the beautiful views of the lands below.
And there’s more to walking in Scotland than just the West Highland Way. Although it’s the most famous of Scottish walks, due to its unparalleled views of the highlands, there are many more trails to choose from. Scotland’s Great Trails highlights the network of long distance paths across the length and breadth of Scotland.
There are many trails however not listed on the site. Take the Moray Way which is an amalgamation of three ways, the Dava Way, Moray Coastal Way and the Speyside Way. This creates a rather tough going 95 mile circular route which is in fact longer than the West Highland Way (The route from Milngavie to Fort William is a 151km walk – roughly 93 miles).
But these aren’t the biggest walks you can go on, the Scottish National Trail is a foot-ache inducing 864 km (536 miles) going the length of Scotland from the Scottish Borders up to Cape Wrath. It’s not for the faint hearted taking an estimated 110 hours of walking! With some seriously tough walks the closer you get to the north.
These trails can take nearly a week to complete so making sure you have accommodation is essential. Whether that’s a tent along the way, a wigwam or a nice hotel make sure you have a place sorted.
I’d also recommend taking your time to stop off and see the sights along the way. Why blitz the trail when you can enjoy the beauty of some of Scotland’s remote locations.
Along the Moray Way walk you come close to the small fishing village of Buckie located close to the Scottish Dolphin Centre which is one of the best places to go for spotting some of the largest bottlenose dolphins in the world.
Before embarking on the East Highland Way, there is a great opportunity to experience some of the Jacobite Steam Train; a train ride that is less about getting to your destination speedily and more about the experience.
One tip I would offer those contemplating these long distance walks is to stock up on compeed before you go. When your feet slowly disintegrate from all the pressure you put them under and start to blister and chafe, you will be thankful for these little packets of relief which will help you get your walking boots back on and tackle another day on the trail.
What walking routes are you planning on tackling this spring or summer? Any feet saving tips you would share?