As a keen hiker with some time off I am considering a self-supported walk across Scotland.

Which route/locations would encompass the most self-sufficiency whilst bagging a considerable number of Munroes and scenic beauty spots.

Note (before anyone offers hiking advice): I am skilled in the outdoors, a medic, born in Scotland and comfortable with my perceived level of risk. I am specifically looking for itinerary suggestions off-the-beaten-path.

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    Just to be clear what exactly do you mean by "encompass the most self-sufficiency"? Do you mean, which route maintains the maximum distance from towns, villages, shops, facilities, roads etc? Apr 20, 2016 at 9:08
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    Close voters, I know you get a kick from preventing answers, but seriously, why not give the asker as much as 20 minutes to clarify their question before closing as "Unclear what you're asking"? Or if you think it's "Too broad", how about saying why? Scotland's a big country but if my hunch is right and they're looking for an established route that avoids civilisation while passing as many noted scenic landmarks and Munros as possible, that's definitely answerable. That's heaps of criteria, not too broad at all. Apr 20, 2016 at 9:33
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    See also The Great Outdoors.
    – gerrit
    Apr 20, 2016 at 9:33
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    @user568458 Questions do get reopened again if they're made suitable. My problem with this question as it seem to basically be asking "plan my holiday for me". That said, I did retract my vote. Also, there are doubtless hundreds of different routes one could plot across Scotland to acheive this.
    – CMaster
    Apr 20, 2016 at 10:47
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    If you're interested in a non-established route, you may find useful information at challenge.tgomagazine.co.uk. This is an annual event of a coast-to-coast, largely self-sufficient walk across Scotland. I'm not suggesting you enter, but you may find useful ideas there. Although my security software reckons that site currently "displays risky behaviour" so be careful :-) Apr 20, 2016 at 15:51

1 Answer 1


For established long distance routes, you can find them on Scotland's Great Trails. These are waymarked long-distance routes, that you may be able to get special maps covering the route. There's also a slightly better overview map at WalkHighlands. Most of these long-distance routes however delibeatley avoid unnecissarily summiting however, which conflicts with some of your desires.

The Southern Upland Way, The Forth and Clyde and Union Canal Towpaths (although this is both short and lowland, almost certainly not what you want), The Great Glen way all appear to go coast to coast. Combining the East Highland Way with some other routes (Speyside way etc) would also seem to provide a coast-to-coast option.

However, if you are after a more isolated, back country route, then you are unlikley to find it on any of these waymarked long distance paths. Instead, I recommend you sit down with a lot of Ordnance Survey maps (you can get the paper versions, use Bing maps, or a software tool like Memory Map) and figure out your own route using public footpaths and right to roam. You may find online blogs of people who have done it before you.

  • Note: Providing a custom-designed route is generally considered out-of-scope for this site, see: meta.travel.stackexchange.com/questions/1445/…
    – CMaster
    Apr 20, 2016 at 10:44
  • Thanks CMaster - you are correct in everything you say; it is the maps I am most looking forward to but thought I would crowd-source it first. Thanks. Apr 20, 2016 at 10:52

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