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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.