The Scottish National Trail was launched in 2012 and travels the length of Scotland from its start at Kirk Yetholm (where it meets the Pennine Way) to the northerly tip of Cape Wrath.
Crossing a plethora of different and spectacular landscapes the Scottish National Trail is 537 miles (864km) long and takes in Scotland’s capital city, both National Parks as well as man-made features such as the major canals of the country.
It takes about 5 weeks to walk the route all in one go and some sections require you to carry your own accommodation but the middle sections in particular can be walked using a combination of independent hostels, SYHA and B&Bs
Accommodation on the Scottish National Trail
The Scottish National Trail weaves its way through Scotland. The trail covers 537 miles (864 km) of the most varied and spectacular landscapes in the world. The Scottish National Trail was devised by Cameron McNeish and launched in 2012. Starting in Kirk Yetholm the trail connects with the Pennine Way creating an even more massive challenge for those attempting both routes!
McNeish’s vision has created a trail that encompasses many of Scotland’s defining features, it goes through the centre of Edinburgh, the country’s capital, runs alongside famous rivers such as the Tweed to Peebles, takes in the Union Canal to the incredible Falkirk Wheel and the Forth & Clyde canal just north of Glasgow as well as a short section of the Caledonian Canal north of Invergarry. The route makes sure you visit both of Scotland’s National Parks: Loch Lomond and the Trossachs and the Cairngorms.
Crossover with other long-distance trails
In parts, The Scottish National Trail follows a number of existing long distance routes starting with the St Cuthberts Way and including; The West Highland Way to Drymen, The Rob Roy Way to Callander, a short section of the Great Glen Way, and the Cape Wrath trail. As a result, some sections are well waymarked. It is recommended that hikers obtain the guides to the route to ensure they are going the correct way. Further route details are available here and on the LDWA website.
The level of difficulty of the route does vary from the gentle lowlands and canal towpath sections in the south to mountain walking (mostly) in the north. The sections through the Cairngorms and the Cape Wrath trail require the hiker to carry all provisions including accommodation but much of the rest of the route can be walked using independent hostel accommodation coupled with SYHA or B&Bs. It is estimated that it would take approximately 5 weeks to walk the whole length of the route. Many have done it in sections over a number of years.