As a general rule, most routes involve a daily walk of 10 to 12 miles (16 to 19 kms). This means about 5 to 6 hours walking each day, so you should have plenty of time for breaks for lunch and snacks and stopping when you want to. The maximum daily distance on Version A and C of the West Highland Way is 14 miles (23km), but 18 miles (30 kms) on Version B & D. The Coast to Coast has two long days of 18 miles (30 km). Both the Great Glen Way and the Rob Roy Way are generally easier walking than the West Highland Way, but both have long days of about 18 miles (30km). The Glen Affric route mostly follows good forestry tracks, hill tracks and paths, but passes through remote country so is best suited to experienced hikers. If you prefer shorter daily distances consider our Highland Perthshire route where the average daily walking distance is about 9 miles (15 km). Most routes have a certain amount of up and down but the ascent / descent is never great - an average of some 400 feet (130m) a day. There are no steep mountain climbs which require rope or scrambling skills.
If you are worried that walking this distance every day might be too much for you, remember that you can usually spend an extra day in most places to give you a rest and allow for some sightseeing etc. On some of the routes you have options to take shorter walks, this usually means doing part of the route by bus.
The terrain varies considerably but most of the time you will be walking on footpaths, unsurfaced drove roads, or forestry trails. Only the West Highland Way and the Great Glen Way are consistently sign-posted, so an ability to read maps and follow written guidance in English is important. We recommend you take a compass in case of very poor visibility, but this is very rarely if ever required. We provide more information on booking but see the list below for a summary of outdoor equipment required.
Clothing and Equipment
In addition to a reasonable level of fitness, you will need the following items for a walking holiday in Scotland:
Hiking bootsOptional Extras:
GaitersIf you are a swimmer, include your costume, as there are indoor pools on most of the routes. It can get hot in Scotland so don't forget to take shorts & T shirts - sun hat, sun cream and sunglasses also strongly recommended in sunny weather.
We would appreciate if additional luggage (which will be transferred for you) could be kept in just one travel bag, rucksack or suitcase, this is essential on the West Highland Way and Great Glen Way.