Think of the Scottish Highlands and you conjure up images of craggy mountains, glassy grey lochs, mountainsides tumbling with cascades of purple heather or topped with snow and wild, glorious stretches of coastline whose golden sands would give the Caribbean a run for its money if only the sea was just a little warmer. The Scottish Highlands are the stuff of walkers’ dreams with good cause.
I don’t need to tell you about all the amazing walking opportunities in the Scottish Highlands – this is a walkers’ paradise and well documented for this pursuit. It may seem as though all the walks in the Scottish Highlands is for serious walkers though, and make no mistake, even on the lower level walks you need to be well prepared.
There are still plenty of accessible walks to cater for different levels of walker if you look hard enough though – from waterside walks along loch shores to following the Caledonian canal path at any point from Inverness to Fort William, walking the shores of Loch Ness or taking in sections of the Moray Coastal Path. Don’t forget that some of the historic castles, buildings and estates in this area of the world also often have spectacular walking countryside in their grounds.
There are also great wildlife watching opportunities as you walk, although you may need some patience and good luck on your side. Otters, red squirrels, golden eagles, deer, wild cats and pine martens are all potential sightings, salmon can be found leaping upstream from July to September and the coasts abound with seals, porpoise and even whales.
If you are looking for shorter or gentler Scottish Highlands walks to take with a young family in the Scottish Highlands hopefully the links below will be a helpful place to get started and of course, you can try out the usual Baby Routes tried and tested walks from the region underneath this introductory post (or via the walking map). Enjoy! This has to be one of my all-time favourite area to visit and walk – I could never get bored of the sheer power, drama and yet tranquility of its spectacular wild mountain landscapes.
You might also be interested to check out the Baby Routes Cairngorms walking page.
- Visit Scotland has a list of suggest walks by grade. ‘Easy’ does not necessarily equal child friendly but it might give you a few ideas to get started with, particularly for older families.
- Walk Highlands is an invaluable resource of walks for hikers in the Scottish Highlands. It lists walks by area and then splits them down by difficulty and time taken for each route. Read walk descriptions carefully though – the site is aimed at walkers in general without a specific focus on accessibility for those walking with children or pushchairs. There are some child-friendly walks included for good little walkers if you explore the easy, short route suggestions.
- Also on Visit Scotland is a list of nature reserves in the area. A lot of these offer different marked trails, some of which are suitable for all abilities. Worth checking out and you might spot some exciting wildlife and plants along the trail!
- For general inspiration on accessible routes in the Highlands, try out this forum thread from Walk Highlands.