8 of Scotland’s best circular walks

Scotland enjoys some of the world's finest walking and hiking routes.

The view from the top of the North Berwick Law (Photo: Shutterstock)

Here's our pick of the best circular walks ranging from easy to tough in stunning locations around the country.

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Distance: 4.25 miles, 2 to 2.5 hoursGrade: Easy/ModerateNorth Berwick is situated in one of the prettiest sections of the east coast. A 30-minute train journey from Edinburgh, this is a route accessible to almost everybody. The walk itself takes you through the picturesque town centre towards the coast and the harbour before traversing the beach. Turning away from the coast, you ascend 200m to the top of the Law to take in panoramic views of Edinburgh, Fife and the Pentlands from the summit.

The Glenfinnan Viaduct (Photo: Shutterstock)

Distance: 2.5 miles, 1 to 2 hours.Grade: ModerateFollowing a path which climbs past the viaduct and down to Glenfinnan train station, the walk offers hikers stunning views of the Glenfinnan Viaduct, a striking industrial monument made famous in the Harry Potter films. The views don’t stop there either, with Loch Shiel to the south of the main trail and the striking hills of the Highlands to the north. The walk is mostly easy trails, however it’s very steep in places.

Distance: 2.5 miles, 2 to 3 hours.Grade: ModerateLess circular and more up and down, this is one of the most beautiful walks in Scotland. Nestled in the Glen Coe valley is the Lost or Hidden Valley, where the MacDonald clan reportedly used to hide their rustled cattle. The walk follows a steep and rocky path with some mild scrambling, so be sure to have the right gear.

The Hidden or Lost Valley in Glen Coe (Photo: Shutterstock)

Distance: 3.5 miles, 2 hoursGrade: EasyExploring the coastline of Mull, this scenic walk takes you through Aros Park past a waterfall and a pretty loch with lilies. Offering beautiful views over Calve Island and the brightly coloured capital of Tobermory, the route is easy and mainly takes you along coastal and woodland paths, which are steep in some places with steps.

Distance: 3.25 miles, 1.5 hours.Grade: EasyA circular walk taking in the idyllic Bracklinn Falls in Callander. A popular beauty spot, the walk follows a path suitable for all ages, climbing through the trees and forest before descending to a quiet upper glen. There are good views out towards the central belt on the loop back.

The view of Tobermory on the Isle of Mull (Photo: Shutterstock)

Distance: 5 miles, 2.5 to 3 hours.Grade: Easy/ModerateThe Fairy Pools on Skye are some of the clearest and crispest pools and waterfalls in Scotland. This extremely popular walk takes you along a beautiful stream, past several turquoise pools and an underwater arch to the imposing view of Sgurr an Fheadain. The route becomes stonier as it rises more steeply across some of the corries of Skye. There is a clear undulating path and only a few short boggy sections along the way.

Distance: 7 miles, 5 to 6 hours.Grade: ToughBeginning at the Cairngorm Ski Centre car park, this route is accessible and avoids some of the more spoilt sections of the range. Taking in Cairn Lochan, it offers stunning views of the Cairngorms and the dramatic cliffs of the northern corries. The mountains are regularly covered in snow, so it's worth checking the weather forecast before setting off and take care where the route passes close to the edges of cliffs.

Blackinn Falls near Callander are a popular local beauty spot (Photo: Shutterstock)

Distance: 10.25 miles, 9 to 10 hoursGrade: Very toughA bona fide classic on the Isle of Jura, just north of its more famous sister Islay. A car is definitely needed to reach the starting point, but those who can battle through the boggy approach and have experience dealing with scree and boulders, can enjoy some of the finest views in Scotland on a clear day. Once at the summits, panoramic views stretching almost as far as Northern Ireland and looking back towards the mainland are unforgettable.

The Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye (Photo: Shutterstock)
Cairn Lochan in the Cairngorms (Photo: Shutterstock)
The Paps of Jura (Photo: Shutterstock)