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Hill walking in Scotland

Scotland has some of the greatest hill walking country in the world: accessible, yet with a true wilderness flavour.

From the height of Ben Nevis, to the smaller but perfectly formed Trossachs, and from the isolated peaks of the far north to the huge elevated mass of the Cairngorms, there is immense variety of both scenery and challenge, suitable for everyone from family groups on simple excursions to experienced mountaineers pitting themselves against some of the most severe conditions in the world.

Looking out across Glen Clova, with forestry and hills

The Clova hills. Photo by Neil Reid.

Group of walkers climbing Conic Hill near Loch Lomond

Getting started

Taking a progressive approach to hill walking is the way to build up your fitness, stamina, experience and confidence. Set realistic initial goals and achieve them. In this section you can read about the opportunities, the equipment and skills you need and some ideas of where to start your lifetime of hill walking.

Ben Starav in the Blackmount, reflected in a loch

Munros and Corbetts

The Munros and Corbetts are lists of Scottish mountains over 3000ft and 2500ft respectively, and 'ticking' them is a great way to get around Scotland and into the midst of some of the finest scenery in the world. Find out more about the pastime of 'Munro bagging'.

Cloud layer splitting a view of Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis

The highest in the British Isles, Ben Nevis is the mountain everybody wants to do. But it's not to be undertaken lightly. Our page on 'The Ben' tells you what you need to know in terms of clothing and equipment, skills, and navigation.

Group of walkers on the West Highland Way

Long distance paths

For many it's not about the height, but the travelling. Scotland has a number of superb long distance footpaths, both waymarked and wild, from the best-known - the West Highland Way - to lesser-known gems like the Cateran Trail. We have a list of LDPs with links for more information.

Members of a hillwalking club at the top of a mountain

Join a club

Some like to walk alone or with friends, but for many the ideal way to ensure good company, learn new skills and back-up is to join a walking or mountaineering club.

Over 150 hill walking, climbing and mountaineering clubs hold membership of Mountaineering Scotland. Why not find out if there is one near you?

Practicing navigation skills with a map and compass

Safety and skills

Even in summer the Scottish mountains can be a challenging environment. Check out our section on safety and skills to learn more about the equipment you'll need and the skills and knowledge you should acquire to be safe and self-sufficient in the mountains.

Go hiking with Sofa 2 Summit 

Sofa 2 Summit is a free online program to help you get the most out of hiking in the hills this spring and summer. 

If you want to start hiking in Scotland's hills and mountains, or need a refresher in some key skills after a winter break from hill walking, Sofa 2 Summit will take you through the basics and help you get where you want to go.

Register now to get started and let us help you get from sofa to summit!

Sign up here

Mountain sunset
Checking the weather

An essential part of planning for any trip to the mountains is to check the weather forecast. We have several options here.

Guide and client on a scrambling route on Skye
Professional guidance?

Many people prefer to seek the help of a professional mountaineer. Here are some issues to consider.

Group learning to navigate on a Mountaineering Scotland skills course
Skills courses

One way of improving your confidence in the mountains is through Mountaineering Scotland's skills courses.

Walker and dog looking out across the mountains
Access matters

Scotland has great access rights - but also responsibilities. Find out more about both.