Hill Walking

Hikers make their way along the West Highland Way.
Hikers make their way along the West Highland Way.

 

Scotland is a walker’s paradise. The variety of landscapes found both on the mainland, and on the numerous islands that make up the Hebrides in the west plus the Orkney and Shetland Isles to the north, is unbeatable. Whether you are looking for an easy country stroll or the challenge of reaching the summit of one of our highest mountains, it is all here. Country strolls, coastal walks, long-distance trails and mountains galore.

Since the early 19th century our mountains have been classified by height into named groups. We have 283 mountains over 3000ft called Munros; 220 Corbetts between 2500-3000ft and 221 Grahams between 2000-2500ft. But it doesn’t stop there. A Marilyn is a hill above 492ft (150m) and we have 1,217 of them.

Choosing your mountain:
The length of a walk depends on location and difficulty. You may choose to stay close to civilisation or seek out a remote mountain. The average hill walk takes 5-6hrs.
In general, the hills in the eastern half of Scotland are rounded and less rugged than the hills near the west coast and therefore easier. Our range of different rock types contribute to the enormous variety of landscape and experience underfoot.
Most of Scotland’s mountains can be walked without any technical equipment, however there is one notable exception. The Cuillin mountains in Skye are the most difficult and challenging and usually require the assistance of a technical expert.

Weather:
Our weather is unpredictable. We can have warm days in the winter and cold days in the summer, so we prepare for the worst and hope for the best. The temperature at the top of a mountain can be 10 degrees colder than at the bottom and the stronger the wind, the colder you will feel. And yes, we do get the occasional heat-wave.

Equipment:
Warm hat, gloves, waterproof jacket & trousers, hill walking boots with ankle support, water and food are essential. Walking poles can be useful.

For more advice, consult a qualified Mountain Leader.