7 of Scotland's Best Walking & Cycling Holidays

A walker admiring the view on the summit of Ben A an on the Rob Roy Way. | Kenny Lam
A walker admiring the view on the summit of Ben A an on the Rob Roy Way. | Kenny Lam

Scotland's Best Walking & Cycling Holidays

Active trips, from the Great Glen Way to the Scottish Highlands

The Scot's are a lovely bunch, renowned for their humour, hospitality and strong accents. They also enjoy lengthy conversations and pleasant banter, so much so that this Scottish phrase 'wur tearin’ the tartan' means To be engrossed in riveting conversation. In other words, ‘having a right old blether’.

This is not surprising given there's much to talk about, as exhibited by the beautiful landscapes they inhabit. So whether you're following the Great Glen Way by boat and bike, tackling the Scottish version of the 'Coast to Coast', or taking in the majesty of the great outdoors - from the Inner Hebrides to Scotland's 'Big County' - after your journey you'll find yourself with many a tall tale to share with your friends back home.
Read on to discover seven of Scotland's best walking and cycling holidays.

1. Follow the Great Glen Way by boat

Walking to Achnacarry from Gairlochy
From Fort William to Inverness, the Great Glen Way ranks among the most exhilarating long distance trails in the UK. Based on board a comfortable barge, on this trip you will walk from one coast of Scotland to the other over a week. The barge stops are planned to suit the walking stages, breaking the 75-mile trail into manageable day walks, ranging between 10 and 15 miles (16-25km).

2. Explore the old military roads of the West Highland Way

Group by Loch Lomond and The Highland Fault, Scotland
From the south of Loch Lomond to Fort William and Ben Nevis, this famous footpath connects Britain’s largest lake with its highest mountain. The route is a step back into history: many stages follow military roads that date back to the 1700s and used to link the Highlands to the Lowlands, as well as hotels that originated from droving inns that operated for centuries.

3. Relive the legend of notorious Scottish outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor

A man rejoices after hiking to the summit of Ben A'an |  <i>Kenny Lam</i>
Scottish Rob Roy MacGregor was a notorious outlaw and a folk hero, after escaping capture several times. The 80-mile Rob Roy Way goes through classic Highland scenery and areas that were his old haunts. It begins Drymen, whose Clachan Inn is the oldest registered licensed pub in Scotland and would have been known by Rob Roy as it was run by his sister!

> View the Rob Roy Way trip.

4. Go island hopping in the Inner Hebrides

Scotland’s Inner Hebrides are known for their wild spectacular landscapes, still largely untouched by mass tourism. Following the Caledonian Canal, explore the Isle of Mull and the Morvern Peninsula, before making your way to the Isle of Jura, known for its red deer and whiskey distillery. Look out for dolphins and seals from the boat – and eagles and otters from your bike!
> View the Scotland by bike and boat trip 

5. Spot native wildlife as you cycle through the heart of the Scottish Highlands 

Cyclists overlooking Great Glen & Loch Ness in Scotland |  <i>Janette Crighton</i>
A weeklong trip that will see you cycling along scenic paths and quiet forest trails where you can spot native wildlife such as red deer, stag or golden eagle. At Fort William a day is set aside to rest – or ascend Ben Nevis! – followed by a train journey that takes you across desolate Rannoch Moor to Loch Rannoch. The trip concludes at the riverside city of Perth.

> View the Scottish Highlands Cycle trip. 

6. Tackle the Scottish version of the ‘Coast to Coast’

Walking near Belhaven |  <i>John Millen</i>
Known for encouraging the creation of the Yosemite National Park, John Muir was born in Dunbar and as a child developed a deep love of the natural world around him. Forming a Scottish coast-to-coast route, the John Muir Way links Dunbar, on the southeast coast, with Scotland’s first national park (Loch Lomond & the Trossachs) and the seaside town of Helensburgh in the west. 

> View the John Muir Way trip.

7. Discover the diversity of Scotland’s ‘Big County’

Taking a break at Castle Menzies |  <i>Scottish Highlands Cycle</i>
Enjoy majestic mountain peaks, shimmering lochs and pretty glens… Take Scotland’s backroads and country paths, explore peaceful villages and rural towns, take a forest walk and visit one of the many castles and ancient monuments found along the way. The trip focuses on Perthshire, known as Scotland’s ‘Big County’ because of the wide variety of landscapes that can be found here.

Discover all of Scotland's glorious walking and cycling holidays.

Have you explored Scotland? Share your experiences with us in the comment section below.
Scotland, Scotland Walking Holidays, Scotland Cycling Holidays, Great Glen Way, Rob Roy Way

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