View All Blogs

6 Stunning Circular Walks in Scotland

There are many ways to explore the Scottish Highlands. You can vroom your way around the North Coast 500 on a motorbike. You can take the West Highland Line and enjoy the world's most scenic train journey. Heck, you could even swim the coast like Ross Edgley did in 2018.

But if you want to take your time, breathe the fresh air and relish the scenery, you can't beat exploring on foot. So to give you a head start, we've picked out six of the most stunning circular walks in Scotland.

Laced up? Let's go…

Thick Mossy Woodland

1. Sailean nan Cuileag, Sunart Oakwoods

Need to revive your walking boots? This easy, relatively flat route is great for getting back into the swing of things.

The walk starts at the Sailean nan Cuileag car park and takes you on a gentle trudge through thick, mossy woodland. Halfway through, you'll come to a boggy bay with magnificent views over Loch Sunart. This spot was once used by Vikings, who would store their longboats here over winter.

You can conquer the whole trail in half an hour or so. But don't be fooled by its brevity – this has to be one of the most stunning circular walks in Scotland that's under a mile long.

Head to for the route.

Colourful Houses in Mull

2. Cruachan Reservoir Circular Walk

Now for something a little more challenging.

This route, with its steep inclines and rocky scrambles, is only recommended for seasoned walkers. But if you've got a pair of strong boots and some heavy mettle, you'll be rewarded with one of the most stunning circular walks in Scotland.

This nine-mile stomp begins at the monumental Cruachan Dam, then immediately throws down its gauntlet with an abrupt 40-minute ascent. After you've gained some ground, you'll circle the splendid Cruachan Reservoir, tackling three lofty peaks on the way. The views over to the Isle of Mull are nothing short of breathtaking.

Allow a full day to conquer this one. You'll find the route on

Ariundle Oakwoods Mossy Tree

3. Strontian Lead Mines via Ariundle Oakwoods

This is a walk with a story to tell. Starting at Ariundle Oakwoods car park, the trail takes you on a journey through forests and ravines as you discover a fascinating period in Highland history.

Your goal is the old Strontian lead mines. Back in the 18th century, this area was teeming with miners, who carved deep scars in the landscape as they searched for valuable lead, zinc and silver. You can still see these man-made marks today, as well as the vast spoil heaps they left behind.

The route isn't strictly circular – there are two lengthy sections where you'll walk the same paths twice. We couldn't help but include it, though. If you love a bit of history and drama, this is easily among the most stunning circular walks in Scotland.

Allow around four hours to complete this easy-to-moderate trail. The route is available on

Boggy Walk in Scotland

4. Glais Bheinn and the Table of Lorn, near Lochaline

We can't talk about stunning circular walks in Scotland without mentioning Glais Bheinn. This 480-metre summit rewards intrepid hikers with sweeping views across the Sound of Mull. Trust us – it's lump-in-your-throat stuff.

The first few miles are easy. You'll set out from the picturesque Ardtornish Estate and trace a gentle route along the east bank of Loch Aline. On the way, you'll pass a waterfall and – if you're lucky – spot an otter or two.

As you start to ascend Glais Bheinn, things immediately get more challenging. Expect hilly terrain and a few boggy sections as you head toward the summit. Keep ploughing on, though – the views get better and better the more you climb.

The route is just under 13 miles long and should take around five hours in good conditions. Head to for full directions.

Glenfinnan Viaduct

5. Glenfinnan and Beinn Garbh Circular

Here's one for the early risers. This nearly 15-mile route will take nine or 10 hours to complete, so you'll need strong legs and an early start.

It's worth the effort, though. Choose this trail if you want to see a little bit of everything – including abundant wildflowers and wildlife. Keep an eye out for a small-but-charming waterfall too.

One of the highlights, though, has to be the Glenfinnan Viaduct. This huge concrete structure curves through the landscape, buoying trains as they pass over the waters of Loch Shiel. If you're really lucky, you might spot the majestic Jacobite steam locomotive as it chugs from Fort William to Mallaig.

The route starts close to the River Finnan in the hamlet of Glenfinnan. Visit to download directions.

Castle Stalker at Sunset

6. Port Appin and Clach Thoull

Highland terrain can be tough going. So, for the last of our stunning circular walks in Scotland, we'll take a break from the crags and bens and focus on something a little gentler.

This one's a short coastal trail with plenty to see. Starting from the Lismore ferry terminal, you'll circle a small wooded area close to the pretty village of Port Appin. Much of the trail follows gravel tracks, so it should be easy going – even for beginners.

Throughout the walk, you'll enjoy beautiful views across Loch Linnhe and the Lynn of Lorne, stretching all the way to the Isle of Mull. Keep an eye out for squawking seabirds, colourful wildflowers and a unique rock arch that the locals call Clach Thoull.

The route is one-and-a-half miles long. You'll find full details at

Kilcamb Lodge Exterior

Trying our stunning circular walks in Scotland? You'll need an equally stunning place to stay

Tempted by these stunning circular walks in Scotland? Good news – all of them are within easy reach of our award-winning Highland hotel.

Set within a restored country house, Kilcamb Lodge makes the perfect base for a Scottish walking holiday. Expect a warm welcome, cosy rooms and sweeping views over the nearby Loch Sunart. We even have a log fire, so you can warm your tired toes and enjoy an afternoon snooze.

Start planning your Highland escape today. Take a look at our latest offers to get started.

Subscribe to our newsletter