A country of rugged mountainscapes, mysterious lochs, mossy trails, and stunning seaside views, Scotland has a natural flair for the dramatic. It must be why hikers are so enamored with the country: Scotland seems like it was made for hiking, trailblazing, exploring the endlessly beautiful countryside, and connecting with a landscape that is unlike any other, vibrant, gloomy, and retaining the magic of old Britain.

When visiting Scotland, multi-day hikes can be the ultimate adventure, but for travelers and hikers who wish for something more manageable or a more flexible schedule, there are a myriad of trails and hikes just as breathtaking and that can be completed in just one day!

10 The Cobbler, Arrochar Alps

Possibly the most unique looking mountain in Scotland, the Cobbler, also known as Ben Arthur (Beinn Airtair in Gaelic), is considered by some the best mountain in the Southern Highlands. Ben Arthur has three summits, its 920 meters of ascent keep it short of a Munro, but it is a much-loved hill walk. The hike takes an average of 5 hours, and reaching the summit(s) propitiates hikers with amazing views of the surrounding Arrochar Alps.

  • Distance: 11 km
  • Avg. time: 5 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate

9 Ben Lomond, The Highlands

Overlooking Loch Lomond at 974 meters of height, Ben Lomond is one of the most popular mountains in the Highlands. There are two routes to the top, and though one is more frequented by tourists, the second route is well known and popular as well. The entire hike will take the best part of the day, but the views from atop “The Beacon,” as Ben Lomond is often called, make it well worth the time.

  • Distance: 12 km
  • Avg. time: 5.5 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate

8 Loch Sligachan, Isle of Skye

Postcards of the enchanting Isle of Skye, Loch Sligachan, and the surrounding settlement can be - and often are - visited by car; but the historic footpath that runs along the shore of Loch Sligachan offers a much more rewarding experience. Walking down the path from Sligachan’s mossy moorlands, sheep on one side and the other, across singing streams and the ancient stone bridge of Sligachan, believed to be a passage to the faerie world, with the majestic Cuillin Mountains framing the landscape, can be a truly magical experience. And in case anyone gets tired, the Sligachan Hotel, pubs, and restaurants are the perfect place to restore the energy.

  • Distance: 11 km
  • Avg. time: 5 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Related: Visiting Aberfeldy: The Town Made Famous By Robert Burns

7 Loch An Eilein, Cairngorms National Park

One of the shortest, easiest, and most popular walks in Scotland, Loch An Eilein makes for a very flexible but no less awe-inspiring day adventure. Situated in Cairngorms National Park, Loch an Eilein is a glittering freshwater loch surrounded by a large expanse of pinewood forest, brilliantly reflected in the clear blue waters. The path amidst the trees is tranquil and low level, leading to the fascinating endpoint that gives the Loch its name: a small island with the ruins of an ancient castle (thought to be from the 14th century) crowns Loch an Eilein like something out of a ghost story.

  • Distance: 7 km
  • Avg. time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy

6 The Old Man Of Hoy From Rackwick, Orkney

One of the most formidable sea stacks, the Old Man of Hoy is high on the Scotland hiking bucket list. The classic trail from Rackwick follows the coastal trail up the sandstone hill as the stormy Northern Scottish sea spreads out all around. The red sandstone of the Old Man of Hoy, the highest sea stack in the United Kingdom, is soon visible. Hikers can climb down into the base of the stack and up the stack itself or enjoy the stunning sight of the coast.

  • Distance: 9.25 km
  • Avg. time: 3 hours
  • Difficulty : Easy to moderate

5 Quiraing Hill Circuit, Isle of Skye

The Quiraing Circuit is one of Scotland’s most iconic trails and a photographer’s paradise. The highest point of the Trotternish ridge was formed by a massive landslide. The landslide carved the valleys, nooks, mounds, and sharp cliffs of Quiraings' uneven terrain. Trekking the circuit, hikers will see the famous Needle, a 37 m high rock pinnacle, The Table, the flat summit plateau with the fold of the cliffs, and The Prison, a massive rock wall that resembles a medieval prison. Since being used as a place to hide cattle from Viking raiders, Quiraing’s loop trail has seen much and remained as mystifying and striking as ever.

  • Distance: 6.5 km
  • Avg. time: 4 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate

4 Ben Nevis, Fort William

At 1,345 m above sea level, Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in Britain and a beloved hiking destination. Though challenging, the hike can be made in one full day, and the views are absolutely incredible from the summit - not only overlooking the lush landscapes of Lochaber and Fort William, the volcanic summit of Ben Nevis still has the remains of a 19th-century observatory. Ben Nevis offers rock scrambles, climbs, and ice climbs of varying difficulty, so hikers can tailor their path up the mountain to their taste and skill level - but it's an arduous and rewarding hillwalk either way.

  • Distance: Minimum 15 km
  • Avg. time: 9 hours
  • Difficulty : Hard

Related: Discover Towers And Ghosts Of Crathes Castle, Scotland

3 Stonehaven To Dunnottar Castle

Close to charming Aberdeen, Stonehaven is a small harbor town that propitiates the perfect headstart to a truly magnificent coastal hike up to Dunnottar Castle. The seaside footpath winds up coastal cliffs, past jagged cliffs, until it reaches the rocky outcrop where Dunnottar Castle sits. A historically significant fortress with ruins from the 13th to 17th centuries, looking down at sea and the horizon is a magnificent experience. The castle is also open for visits and is more than worth the price of admission.

  • Distance: 5km
  • Avg. time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy

2 Old Man Of Storr, Isle of Skye

On the other side of the Trotternish ridge (a mere 20-minute drive from Quiraing) is the Old Man of Storr, a rock formation sculpted by the time that brings in hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The hill walk is clear, looking out over Raasay, and gets steeper as you climb; the jagged, stunning shape of the Old Man can be reached from many trails, as well as other fantastic rock formations such as Cathedral Rock.

  • Distance: 5 km
  • Avg. time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty : Moderate

1 Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh

Finally, the hike that is conveniently at the heart of the capital of Scotland: Edinburgh’s famous Arthur’s Seat, a hill is so magnificent many myths state it could have been the location of King Arthur’s Camelot, hence the name. Located in Holyrood Park, Arthur’s Seat is a volcanic hill with an ascent of 279 m, a real hill walk that offers the best panoramic views of Edinburgh from pretty much all sides.

  • Distance: 4.75 km
  • Avg. time: 2.5 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy to moderate