There’s nothing quite like a walk in the woods. That’s especially true today, with the hustle and bustle of modern life in all its traffic-heavy smog-laden glory. The more we come to rely on automobiles and public transit to get from A to B, the more we’ve come to view a walk in nature as a luxury. The fact of the matter is that for the vast majority of Scottish history, a walk through the regions outlined here was just a regular part of the day. A stroll through the region is a great way to commune with Scotland’s storied past. The Scottish Highlands are, without question, one of the most scenic regions in the UK and, indeed, Europe as a whole. It’s the kind of place given over to a sense of time and timelessness, and the following are just a few of the choice locations you’ll want to keep in mind when planning a walking tour of Scotland.
West Highland Way
The West Highland way is renowned for its beauty and stands as the oldest official long-distance route in Scotland, established in the 1960s. The area is noted for its dense vegetation and numerous trees, perfect for a peaceful walk and picnic in the shade in the summer. In addition, the area features a diversity of animal life, making it a must for anyone looking to see some of Scotland’s most beloved indigenous species. But of course the biggest attraction along the West Highland way is Loch Lomond. Famous the world over as one of the defining natural features of Scotland, Loch Lomond has likewise been immortalised in the folk song “The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond.” Its tune and refrain (“You take the high road, and I’ll take the low road, And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye”) has become synonymous with Scotland and the Scottish identity, making it a great place for a stroll come sunset.
Rob Roy Way
Scotland has long defined itself by its history of tenacious desire for freedom, and few figures fit into that mythologised notion of Scottish identity like Rob Roy. The Rob Roy Way, named for the beloved freedom fighter, is no less attractive, and one of the great highlights of walking in the Scottish Highlands. You’ll tour different water systems which filter into Glasgow, sites dating back to the Bronze Age, a local whiskey distillery, and much more.
Isle of Skye
Located in the northwestern corner of Scotland, lovers of modern literature will note the Isle of Skye as the setting of Virginia Woolf’s landmark novel To the Lighthouse. The rocky shores and roaring sea create an unforgettable outing. The island is also a bastion of Gaelic culture, making it the perfect place for those looking to experience that unique and treasured cultural tradition of the British Isles.
All this and more make a vacation to the Scottish Highlands as poignantly beautiful as “the bonny, bonny banks of Loch Lomond.”