Home | Walking Holidays in Scotland | Coastal Walking Trails in Scotland

Coastal Walking Trails in Scotland

25 Oct 2018

Scotland is rich in history and full of pride, so why not make your own history and fill your boots deep with pleasure by achieving something great. You don’t have to be a warrior to feel like a hero as you walk some of these coastal trails.

Day Walking Coastal Trails Scotland

  1. Big Sand Beach

Walking Scottish coastal trails can be as easy or difficult as you wish. You can dabble in a beautiful light walk along Big Sand Beach in the village of Gairloch, which you may recognise from the BBC One TV series When Love Comes To Town or the 1955 film Crofter Boy. Big Sand Beach can be completed in one day.

You will be sheltered from the onshore winds by the magnificent sand dunes. Why not spread out a picnic blanket and relax as you overlook the long stretch of golden sand. Stay on the track for long enough and you watch the sunset over the Hebrides. A sight you will never forget. Refreshments and toilets are available along this walk so you will have plenty of opportunities to fill your bellies with local delicacies or just a steaming hot pastry you earn along the way.

  1. Ayrshire Coastal Path

If feeling like a hero doesn’t give you the honour you deserve, you can march towards victory on a multiple days walking trial. There are plenty of sights to see as Scotland boasts 7,330 miles (11,800 km) of coastline but don’t worry, you’re not expected to walk all of it! Try multiple days walking coastal trail along the Ayrshire Coastal Path. You start at Glenapp in Ballantrae and end at Skelmorlie. That is a massive 92 miles (148 km).

Along this walk, you will mostly stick to the coastal path, although you will walk more urban tracks in the second half. The Ayrshire Coastal Path starts with a walk through the green hills where you will find yourself spotting all sorts of wildlife and taking in the magnificent views of the surrounding area. Back on the sandy beach and you will feel the gentle breeze on your face, a perfect location for a romantic walk. You will feel the sense of history that this fantastic location offers.

You will walk to the historic port of County town of Ayr which is currently the most populated settlement of Ayrshire with an estimated 46,000 residents. The famous poet Robert Burns was born in the southern part of the town. From here you will follow the sandy bays and head towards Prestwick airport. A great chance to take in the sights of aeroplanes in flight. From there you will walk towards Troon ferry terminal.

The next stage is a casual walk from Troon to Irvine. You will find yourself enjoying the sights of the sandy Irvine Bay and Irvine Harbour.

You will pass three towns so stock up on new socks and refreshments on your way through or stop off for a lovely hot meal, you have plenty to choose from at Stevenson, Saltcoats and Ardrossan. Watch out for those cyclists as part of this spectacular route is the national cycle network.

You will leave the towns behind and find yourself back on the beach, taking in the sights of farmland and the crashing waves from the ocean. From here you will walk towards Largs Marina where you will find some nice paths to walk, it will be difficult not to notice Hunterston Power station but carry on and your efforts will be rewarded with the glorious sight of the impressive marina south of Largs. Don’t forget to give the local yachtsman a wave on your way through.

Now you’re approaching the end of this epic walk, you’ve seen wildlife, aeroplanes, ships and everything the local towns can offer you, what more do you want?

Well, that’s up to you because you have a choice to make on this final stretch. Do you take the high road where you can visit a historic hillfort and take in the sights of the land and sea below or do you take the easier low path and along the pleasant roads?

Whichever choice you made, you should feel proud that you completed the massive 92-mile walk along some of Scotland’s greatest coastlines and impressive towns.

Extreme Walking Coastal Trails Scotland

  1. The John O’Groats Trail

Not challenging enough for you? The John O’Groats Trail is one of many extreme walking coastal trails in Scotland and multiple walking trails, conquer it and you will feel like you conquered the world.

The John O’Groats Coastal Trail starts at the beautiful seaside resort of Dornoch in the Highlands. Expect rough terrain around this area as Dornoch is Gaelic for ‘pebbly place’ with the word (dorn) meaning ‘fist’, so expect some rocky areas to test your endurance.

Dornoch is also known as the last place a witch was burnt in Scotland. Her name was Janet Horne and she was burnt at the stake in 1727, see if you can find the Witch’s Stone on your treck.

You start this walk by hiking 13.75 miles (22km) to Golspie. Expect to find a mixed bag of terrain to test your skills, it starts easy enough to warm your legs through. You will find yourself looking out to the ocean and breathing in fresh air as you hike upon coastal paths, from there you will move to some minor roads but back to the grind as you pass through a muddy and overgrown section and through the woods.

Your efforts will be rewarded with a fantastic walk along a stunning sandy beach.

The next step will be Berriedale, it is a small estate village on the northeast coast of Caithness Scotland and from there you will walk some rough terrain, pathless clifftop and some boggy sections to get stuck into. If that is not enough for you, you will have to pass through a number of barbed wire fences that do not have stiles. Good luck.

Tremendous and beautiful cliff top walking will lead you to Lybster then onto Whaligoe, Wick, Keiss and finally John O’groats. On your way, you will see castle ruins, ravines, waterfalls, the famous Whaligoe Steps. Good Luck.

So gear up, warm up, grab a friend and explore some of these fantastic coastal walks. Good luck to you and embrace that feeling you will have, that feeling of being a hero.

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