Categories > Guides and Tips
Hill-bagging for Scots comes with a series of ups and downs, literally. It’s a leg-aching experience, but the magnificent views at the summit, and the sense of fulfilment are second to none.
Whether it’s the harsh weather or slippery grounds, we never back down from an exciting challenge. If you’re up for that adrenaline rush, check our list of the best hill walks in Scotland here.
Location: Stirling, UK
Height: 350 metres
Found above the largest freshwater loch in Great Britain, Loch Lomond, the Conic Hill stands at 350 metres. It’s a little peak which takes around an hour to reach the summit, but be warned, there are a series of muddy and slippery sections along the way.
However, the majestic 36-degree views of the loch on top make it all worth it. Plus, it’s a reasonably easy trail, so it’s suitable for families who are up for an adventure.
If it’s your first time, and it’s too difficult to reach the peak, it’s totally okay to stop at the ridge because you can still get stunning views from there.
But, if you want something more challenging, you can have a longer walk from Balloch at Milton of Buchanan before heading up to the hill. This is an alternative if you don’t want to go with the usual route from the car park.
Location: Milton of Campsie, Glasgow, UK
Height: 526 metres
Walking up to Cort-ma Law might make you break a sweat or two with its series of steep climbs, even from the car park. It’s a summit found in the Campsie Fells region, which has a range of volcanic hills in the centre of Scotland.
As you ascend, you’ll get spectacular views of the Lennoxtown training complex, Lennox Castle Hospital, and the vast fields of the area. You’ll then pass by a few boggy sections before you eventually reach the peak which has a trig pillar.
To add to your exploration, you can walk to Leckett Hill, which is on the north side of the route. After a few minutes, you’ll reach the area and be greeted with lovely views of the Meikle Bin, Carron Valley Reservoir, and other mountains in the area!
Location: Penicuik, UK
Height: 579 metres
Known as the highest peak in Pentland Hills, the Scald Law is 579-metres high – almost twice the height of the Eiffel Tower! It boasts panoramic views across Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, the Scottish Borders, and Pentland’s reservoirs.
At a normal pace, it’ll take around four hours to complete the entire trail, which is suitable for people who are at least at a moderate level because of its rocky pathways. Wearing sturdy footwear makes it manageable, and being physically fit is important, too.
Start at the visitor centre of the park since it has a wide parking space and free toilets. You should also keep an eye out for skylarks, grouse, and red deer since a number of them live in this area!
Location: Tillicoultry, UK
Height: 731 metres
Ben Cleuch, which stands at 731 metres, is the highest peak in the Ochils – a long range of round-topped hills that stretches for 25 miles from the Firth of Tay to Stirling. Most of the paths to the top are grassy with steep slopes.
You might even have to scramble out of Mill Glen by the end of the walk. But, we promise nothing beats the experience of seeing the beautiful vistas that the Ochils have to offer.
Pack a few extra layers for your walk. Although it’s a bit warm at the start of the trail, it gets colder as you make your way to the top of the hill.
The Pap of Glencoe
Location: Ballachulish, UK
Height: 742 metres
Also known as Sgòrr na Cìche in Gaelic, The Pap of Glencoe is one of the tallest hills on our list. It’s a famous landmark in the lower end of the glen and near Loch Leven, which has lots of steep and boggy sections that might take your breath away, literally.
But then again, we can’t deny that the breathtaking views from the top – with the Mamores, Garbh Bheinn, and Loch Linnhe from a distance – are too good to pass up.
Right after the area where you’ll get beautiful views over Glencoe Village to Ballachulish Bridge, you’ll find a smaller path that turns to the right. Ignore this route because it’s a descent path from Aonach Eagach.
Instead, continue to the col below the Pap, and if you see the stony dome of the Pap, you know you’re on the right track.
Location: Pitlochry, UK
Height: 841 metres
If you have plans to go Munro-bagging (Best Munros Scotland) someday, starting with Ben Vrackie is a great idea. It’s an 841-metre hill in Pitlochry – close enough to Munro level – with a well-marked path but a few steep and rocky sections along the way.
Once you reach the top, you’ll be mesmerised by the majestic views of the iconic Beinn a’Ghlo range and the rest of the Cairngorm mountains. Be warned though, it’ll take you around five hours to complete the walk.
When you reach Loch a Choire, we suggest taking a break since there are a few seats around the area. You can even pack for a picnic while you’re at it.
Location: Alexandria, UK
Height: 978 metres
Found on the west side of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, Beinn Dubh aka The Black Mountain stands at 978 metres. It’s known as a challenging route, taking around 3 hours to complete with several muddy and boggy sections in the trail.
You’ll get incredible views of the village of Luss and the islands all over Loch Lomond at the summit, and see different wildlife species like larks, magpies, and red deer. You can even bring along your furry best friend, but make sure to keep it on a leash.
We highly suggest visiting around May to September for the best weather and walking conditions.
Location: Melrose, UK
Height: 422 metres
The Eildon Hills are prominently known to have three small hills standing next to each other at varying heights, with the highest one reaching up to 422 metres. It’s found on the edge of the idyllic town of Melrose.
It takes around 2 hours to finish this trail with a muddy path at the start, but there are clear signs to guide you. Then, you’ll have to overcome a few steep sections to reach the top, but the dramatic scenery makes every effort worth it – we promise!
Make the most of this beautiful setting by having a lovely picnic. It’s a great way to unwind and chat with your family, friends, or significant other.
Location: Isle of Coll, UK
Height: 106 metres
Although it’s only 106 metres tall, Ben Hogh is considered the highest hill in the Isle of Coll. It’s an underrated spot for walking (Best Scenic Walks In Scotland), but it’s an excellent viewpoint for the rugged and dramatic landscape of the island, along with its beautiful coastline.
With only a short ascent and quick walk, this trail is suitable for beginners. You might encounter a few rocky sections, but it’s still manageable even if it’s your first time.
There’s no public car park on the path towards Ben Hogh, so you’ll need to place your car a bit off the road in the meantime.
Location: Inverurie, UK
Height: 528 metres
Bennachie consists of several small hills, with Oxen Craig standing at 528 metres at its highest point. This range is known for its unique conical shape – with several walking trails and fantastic moorland views.
It usually takes around two hours to complete this moderately challenging trail with some uneven paths, rocky areas, and steep sections. But, the picturesque countryside vistas make this a popular walk among locals.
We recommend starting your walk from the Bennachie Visitor Centre since it’s accessible, has parking, and provides info about the trails. You can also take a break here at their small cafe that’s offering hot drinks, sweet cakes, and filled rolls – yum!
Location: Dumfries and Galloway, UK
Height: 570 metres
Situated in Dumfries and Galloway, Criffel is a lone summit that stands at 570 metres. Although it’s not as tall as its neighbours, the hills have a sweeping view of the Lake District, Solway Coast, and even as far as the Isle of Man!
The trail to the peak is challenging because of its steep and rocky sections; this is not a walk in the park, so we don’t recommend it for beginners. Using walking poles does help a bit; but a little warning, the descent is a bit slippery, so please watch your step!
We highly encourage you to go here as early as you can to get a good parking spot.Even though it’s free, consider placing a donation at the box in the parking area to help with the maintenance of the trails leading up the hill.
Location: Tain, UK
Height: 331 metres
What makes Struie Hill different is that it’s a craggy hill topped by a radio transmitter that works to this day. You’ll feel a little chest heaving when you climb this moderately challenging trail with some muddy sections.
But the spectacular views of the Dornoch Firth and nearby mountains make all the aches go away. It took us around two hours to finish this walk, which seemed relatively short, but it was enough to have us feeling spent at the end of the day.
If you can’t find a good spot to park, you can place your car off the public road near the farmhouse at Rheguile.
Location: Isle of Colonsay, UK
Height: 143 metres
Try one of our favourite hill walks, the Carnan Eoin on the Isle of Colonsay, which not many people know of. Even if it’s a wee rocky hill, it’s a great vantage point to see the long stretches of golden sand of Kiloran Bay, so don’t miss out on this chance!
Although there are a few loose rocks we noticed on the way up, it’s easily manageable, even if you’re a beginner. But, the best part is that there are no crowds, so you can have the place all to yourselves.
Apart from walking up the hill, you could also spend some time on the beautiful beach of the Isle of Colonsay. The Kiloran Bay is safe for swimming and surfing for all ages, with shallow waters and waves reaching up to six feet on a high tide.
North Berwick Law
Location: North Berwick, UK
Height: 187 metres
North Berwick Law is only 187 metres tall, and it takes around an hour to finish this walk. This may sound easy, but there’s a catch: You’ll have to overcome a mix of wide paths, grassy slopes, and rocky climbs, so a few huffs and puffs are in order.
Even so, the phenomenal views from the top including Edinburgh, Fife, and the Lothian Coast are too great of an experience to let it slip past your grasp. You’ll also find a few historic monuments like the Iron Age Hill Fort, WW2 Observation Building, and more.
Keep an eye out for some wild horses. Who knows, you might be lucky enough to see them like we did!
Location: Aviemore, UK
Height: 428 metres
Once upon a time, Loch an Eilein was featured in Walsh’s romance novel, The Key Above The Door. This is where the lead characters lovingly gazed at each other from opposite ends of the loch!
You can enjoy the same romantic feels when you climb the Ord Ban with sweeping views of the said loch, the Cairngorms, and Strathspey. You’ll just have to overcome a few zigzag paths and steep ascents to reach the top.
Take the extra mile by walking around the loch, before or after you conquer the Ord Ban. There’s an art gallery here, which has good coffee and sweet ice cream, along with postcards and vintage homewares for sale as souvenirs.
Location: Isle of North Uist, UK
Height: 347 metres
Eaval aka Eabhal is the highest hill on the Isle of North Uist, reaching up to 347 metres. But, its steep cone, rough terrain, and boggy paths make it a challenging trail – definitely not for the faint-hearted.
You’ll have to overcome a series of rugged paths; some are even unmarked. But, once you reach the peak, you’ll be in awe at the amazing views of the glistening lochans – it’ll look great on your IG feed!
Check the tide times before trying out this walk to ensure your safety. The stepping stones at the outflow of Loch Obasaraigh can be covered during a high tide, making it very difficult for you to continue with your journey.