Climbing to the peak of Suilven in Lochinver is the closest thing to Heaven on earth. Standing there, tall and proud, the clouds dance around it like angels. Suilven is said to scare all the other hills away with its sheer prowess and impressive stance. Whether catching a glimpse from afar or analysing every meandering path close up, this gargantuan rock is highly impressive. At least eight hours should be allocated for such a hike, as there is a sizeable stroll required before embarking upon the climb itself. As you ascend to the top of this marvellous force of nature, let the wind blow through your hair, and absorb every ounce of its glory and nobility.
Avid hikers and walkers well accustomed to the stunning scenery of Scotland will undoubtedly sing Glen Affric’s praises. Begin your travels nestled in between the Kintail mountains and make way for Loch Affric. Make a pit stop at Dog Falls (situated in the Glen Affric National Nature Reserve) and take a well-deserved dip in the surrounding waterfalls to allow that pure Scottish water to work its healing properties. Expect to see Scots Pine in abundance and don’t be surprised if lots of little eyes can be spied – this enchanting place is a prime bird watching spot.
For those who want to get lost off the beaten path in a gloriously remote setting, Ardnamurchan is the perfect choice. This place is encapsulated with ominous-yet-majestic trees and scenery. Take your pick from an assortment of walks and trails (some of which are unmarked) and choose your path. Some are easy, others not so much. Appreciate raw nature in its purest form and explore the woods surrounding Loch Sunart.
Stac Pollaidh is not just a mountain situated near Ullapool, it is a place where dreams are made. Venture to this supreme spot and embark on an adventure. Explore the nearby Sutherland moors and revel in the elements while cleverly navigating your way around the perfectly placed pinnacles. Expect great paths and a steep ascent towards the summit. This area is one of the many treasures to come out of the Highlands, and is a fan-favourite of those in the know.
The Cuillin Mountains
Consider The Cuillin Mountains the Disney Land of Skye. When it comes to adventuring here, hikers are spoiled for choice with so much variety. The Black Cuillin tend to attract the more hardcore hikers and are considered a tad challenging. For instance, a lot of skill (and even some rock climbing ability) is required. The Red Cuillin (or Red Hills to locals) are significantly easier and arguably just as stunning. It is at the top of places such as these that life’s trivial matters are put into perspective. The beauty and serenity surrounding these magnificent mountains is breathtakingly powerful.
Doon Hill And Fairy Knowe
Who says that fairies don’t exist? Take a gentle and somewhat unchallenging hike to the very tip of Doon Hill And Fairy Knowe (a hillock in Aberfoyle) and find the tree. According to Scottish folklore, this tree is home to the People of Quietness. For wishes to be granted, circle the tree seven times. Just don’t go backwards – or else the wishes will not work. Little Scottish wings and tartan-coloured sparkles aside, this mystical land only takes an hour to find from Stirling town centre and makes for a relaxing yet enchanting hike.
Timid hikers may want to step aside for this one. Aonach Eagach is, without hesitation, one of the more intense expeditions in the Glen Coe area. It also happens to be one of the most classic ridge walks in the world. Be prepared and save stamina for some epic ridges and challenging pinnacles. This aside, the reward is absolutely worth it – that view! Pause for a moment, take a breath of the pure Scottish air, and witness Lochaber in all of its majesty. What goes up must come down, so just remember that the descent is not for the weak-hearted. Don’t lose your bearings in The Lost Valley, the glen where the Macdonald clan hid the cattle that they commandeered from the Lowlands.