Wordtravels

Wordtravels

Scotland is heaven for hikers and one of the best destinations in the world for a walking holiday. The country is honeycombed with wonderful trails, and although the Highlands is possibly the most famous region for hiking, there is barely a part of Scotland that doesn't have something to offer ramblers. Sutherland and Invernessshire are both glorious areas to hike, with Invernessshire boasting Britain's highest peak, Ben Nevis, and numerous other beautiful mountain trails.

Arguably the best place to use as a base while hiking, however, is Fort William, as so many famous trails either begin or end in the small city. The West Highland Way, from Milngavie to Fort William, is one of the country's most popular hikes, traversing stunning and varied scenery along its 96 miles (154km). The East Highland Way starts at Fort William and ends at Aviemore 78 miles (125km) later, passing castles and prehistoric sites along the way as well as natural splendour. The Great Glen Way crosses Scotland from Fort William to Inverness, covering 79 miles (127km) and traversing dense forest as well as passing many magnificent lochs.

Another gem for hikers in the region is the West Highland Railway, which runs on 100 miles (161km) of track from Glasgow to Fort William, and then along the west coast through the remnants of the Caledonian forest, Loch Lomond, Glencoe and some of Britain's most spectacular mountain scenery and finest walking country. Passengers can get off at Highland stations and set off on wonderful walks direct from the platform. For a hiker this railway is an absolute gift and for any visitor wanting to explore the Highlands in comfort, a ride on the West Highland Railway is a must.

Scotland is also home to some glorious stretches of coastline and there are many worthwhile coastal walks. One of the best is the Clyde Coast Way, along the southwest coast, a 50-mile (80km) trail that can easily be walked in four days and is a good option for beginners as it is less remote than many of the other famous hikes, passing many villages which offer refreshment and accommodation.