Winter walks: discover the outdoor adventures awaiting you right here in Scotland
Scotland offers a breathtaking winter landscape that is perfect for outdoor walks and adventures. From snow-covered mountains to serene lochs and spectacular coastal paths, there’s so much to appreciate, and no shortage of opportunities to explore the great outdoors during the winter months.
Here are some walks and outdoor adventures to enjoy in Scotland during the winter:
Cairngorms National Park: Located in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, Cairngorms National Park is the UK's largest national park and one of the best places for skiers and snowboarders to enjoy the snow. It’s also home to over 50 Munros (Scottish mountains over 3,000 feet) so it is a great place for hillwalkers, but make sure you’re well prepared before you head off to take in the views and experience the breath-taking winter landscapes.
Loch Morlich: This beautiful loch in the Cairngorms offers stunning winter scenery and a lovely circular walking route around its shores. In the colder months, it’s a great spot to try out snow sports like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing which are growing in popularity.
Glen Affric: Located in the Scottish Highlands, Glen Affric is considered one of the most beautiful glens in Scotland: according to Visit Scotland, it’s “a magical mix of native woods, glistening lochs and haunting moorland”. In winter, this national nature reserve is a peaceful place for walks through more than 30 miles of ancient Caledonian pine forests and along the shores of lochs – look out for red squirrels, otters, pine martens and blue hares.
Glencoe: Known for its dramatic mountain scenery, Glencoe is a fantastic location for winter hiking and mountaineering. The area is famous for its challenging routes, such as the Aonach Eagach ridge, the longest, most exposed ridgeline in Britain, but there are also less strenuous trails to explore.
Ben Nevis: As the highest mountain in the UK, Ben Nevis offers a challenging winter climb. Snow and ice make this a demanding ascent, so it's crucial to be well-prepared with the right gear and skills; less experienced hikers should consider the walking trails around the base of the mountain.
The Great Glen Way: With 79 miles of path, track, canal and loch to discover, the Great Glen Way, which runs coast-to-coast from Fort William to Inverness, has something for everyone. It follows the Caledonian Canal, drove roads and forest tracks and in winter, the trail provides a quieter, more contemplative experience with the chance to enjoy the surrounding mountains and lochs.
Fife Coastal Path: This long-distance walking trail along the coast of Fife offers excellent opportunities to experience Scotland's rugged shoreline and seaside villages in a winter setting. Be prepared for brisk sea breezes and beautiful sunsets.
Stay safe on the trail
When enjoying outdoor walks and adventures in Scotland during the winter, it's crucial to be well-prepared. Check the weather forecast, dress in warm and waterproof clothing, and carry essential equipment, such as maps, compasses, and navigation aids. Always prioritise safety and be aware of the shorter daylight hours in the winter months.
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