"The memory of a hiking vacation in Scotland will stay with you for a lifetime!"
A hiking vacation is a larger than life experience wherever you go. Just the very fact that you are taking your time, putting one foot in front of the other, smelling the scents of nature, feeling the breeze in your face and the sun on your head, hearing the birds, the animals – and even the sound of your own heart beating – instead of whizzing down the highway with the stereo on, is enough to put a hiking vacation in a class of its own.
Now, when you take that "generic" experience and add to it the more specific ingredients of a hiking vacation in Scotland, you have really got a winner when it comes to creating a feeling that lifts you to another plane.
Endless possibilities for a hiking vacation
As you may have gathered if you have read some of the other pages of this website, I tend to concentrate on the lesser known southwest of Scotland, where I have lived for the last few years.
And even in this region I never cease to be amazed at the sheer endless possibilities for taking a hiking vacation – except I have the added advantage that I don't have to wait for vacations and can go somewhere different every week if I choose!
A while back I bought another Ordnance Survey map that includes the southern part of the Galloway Forest Park (the largest in Great Britain), and there seem to be enough tracks and trails in the park to keep us going for years.
Long distance walking paths offer a real hiking vacation challenge
But if you want even more of a challenging hiking tour, Scotland offers a number of long distance walking paths.
In our area is the Southern Upland Way, Scotland's longest long distance path.
It runs from coast to coast, stretching from the delightful little harbour town of Portpatrick in the west, looking across the North Channel to Ireland, right across to the North Sea at Cockburnspath in Berwickshire on the eastern coast.
The great thing about the Southern Upland Way – which recently celebrated its 21st birthday – is that you can either do the whole thing at once, or you can choose to just do certain sections of it.
There is a helpful free booklet that tells you how to do this (if you're interested, ask me about this on the Contact Us page).
Other long distance paths in the south of Scotland include the Sir Walter Scott Way, The John Buchan Way (John Buchan wrote "The 39 Steps", and later became Governor-General of Canada), and St Cuthbert's Way, a cross-border trail from the border town of Melrose in Scotland to Holy Island or Lindesfarne off the eastern coast of northern England.
Moving further north, there are some other long distance walking paths, such as the West Highland Way, the Great Glen Way (Scotland's newest), the Rob Roy Way, the Fife Coastal Path and the Cateran Trail, each of which is suitable for a complete hiking vacation.
New walking vacation routes in development
There are in fact many more routes both north and south, and a number of new ones in development, such as the Borders Abbey Way and Nave-Nortrail – The North Sea Trail, which when complete will run along the coastlines of seven north European nations including Scotland.
And of course, there are any number of smaller tracks and trails dotted around the country, so you can either create your hiking vacation to include several of these and at the same time see different parts of Scotland, or if you are just planning a general vacation and want to get a bit of hiking in here and there, you can do that too.
To get an overview of the possibilities, take a look at some of the routes in these regions:
The Highlands and Skye
Scotland Castle and Whiskey Country – Royal Deeside to Speyside
Perthshire, Angus and Dundee, and the Kingdom of Fife
West Highlands & Islands, Loch Lomond, Stirling and the Trossachs
South of Scotland
Would you like to get hold of a FREE guide to "Walking in Scotland", with loads of information on walking routes all around the country, including an overview of the key long distance walking paths in Scotland as well as some of the main regions offering shorter paths, tracks and trails you might like to include in your itinerary? Of course you would!
To get your own personal copy at absolutely no cost to you, just enter your name and email address below and I'll not only show you where and how to get your FREE copy of the Official Guide to Walking in Scotland, I'll also let you know where you can get a whole lot of other regional and local guides to help you plan the perfect hiking vacation, as well as provide you with ongoing tips and updates. Just fill out the details and click on the button below!