Head to a walking festival in Scotland.

If you are planning to take a holiday in Scotland and you are keen to get out for a hike, it could be a good idea to take the guidance of others. Scotland is home to many walking festivals, especially in the spring, summer and autumn, with lots of great guided walks and routes.

Look out for festivals that offer added extras such as navigation workshops or survival courses, as well as adventure film nights and guest speakers.

8 great Scottish walking festivals

 

Walk Islay

The Island of Islay. pic credit: Becky Williamson

The Island of Islay. pic credit: Becky Williamson

When: April 9 to 14

The acclaimed whisky island of Islay off Scotland’s west coast is reached by Calmac ferry and offers many lovely opportunities for walking (and tasting a dram or two!). The festival offers a guided walk every day, which you can choose to join or you can head off on your own to explore.

 

Galashiels Walking Festival

Walking near the town of Galashiels. Pic credit: Jim Barton

Walking near the town of Galashiels. Pic credit: Jim Barton

When: April 28 to 30

The Galashiels festival, in the Scottish Borders, takes place in and around the town of Galashiels. There are three different walks planned each day for two days, as well as an introductory evening walk and pub quiz on the first evening.

 

Arran Mountain Film Festival

Arran at sunset. Pic credit: Colin

Arran at sunset. Pic credit: Colin

When: May 19 to 22

Another west coast island that is famed for its wide range of walking is Arran You can reach it by Calmac ferry. The mountain film festival offers a programme of daily walks and night-time hikes, graded from easy to challenging.

 

Ballater Walking Festival

Landscape near Ballater in the Cairngorms. Pic credit: Nigel Corby

Landscape near Ballater in the Cairngorms. Pic credit: Nigel Corby

When: May 20 to 26

This is a fabulous part of the Cairngorms to explore and the walking festival promises a range of guided walks for all ages and levels.

See www.walkballater.com

 

Angus Glens Walking Festival

Natural Corrie Fee is a big attraction in the Angus Glens. Pic credit: Rob Burke

Natural Corrie Fee is a big attraction in the Angus Glens. Pic credit: Rob Burke

When: June 1 to 4

The four-day festival programme offers some 20 walks, led by mountain leaders and countryside rangers, to suit many different levels of experience. and aspirations. The Angus Glens offer beautiful scenery and plenty of historic towns and villages to visit, too.

 

Moray Walking Festival

West beach in Lossiemouth, Moray. Pic credit: Walter Baxter

West beach in Lossiemouth, Moray. Pic credit: Walter Baxter

When: June 16 to 25

Take advantage of long mid-summer days to explore Moray’s sandy coastline, hills and forests. There’s something for everyone at this festival with guided walks, talks and events alongside the walking programme.

 

Scottish Borders Walking Festival

A wall along the River Tweed in Peebles. Pic credit: Walter Baxter

A wall along the River Tweed in Peebles. Pic credit: Walter Baxter

When: September 3 to 9

This will be the 23rd year of the Scottish Borders Walking Festival and in 2017 it is based in the popular town of Peebles, to the south of Edinburgh. There’s a varied programme of walks that utilise a network of old drove roads, rights of way, forest and hill trails, as well as the John Buchan Way and sections of the Southern Upland Way.

 

CowalFest

CowalFest.

CowalFest.

When: October 6 to 15

The walking and outdoors festival is located on the stunning Cowal Peninsula, to the west of Scotland. It’s a superb place to walk and the CowalFest offers 60 different walks to suit a wide range of abilities. Areas of interest include wildlife, photography, history, folklore and gardens.