With Christmas upon us, here’s our pick of Boxing Day walks that may help you digest all that over indulgence – or perhaps escape your least favourite relative!
Allermuir Hill and Swanson, Pentland Hills, Edinburgh
At the time of writing a white Christmas doesn’t look very likely, but whatever the temperature Allermuir Hill offers the most stunning views over Edinburgh. The nearest of the Pentland Hills to the city, Allermuir is within easy reach for a great many people for their Boxing Day jaunt.
Benarty Hill, Fife
Though it may be smaller than its neighbours amongst the Lomonds, Benarty Hill is a real Christmas cracker. It more than rewards the small effort involved in the ascent with the most stunning view over Loch Leven.
Boreraig and Suisnish, Isle of Skye
For those lucky enough to be on the Isle of Skye for Christmas there is a great variety of walks available. If the weather is fine this slightly longer coastal walk visits the cleared villages of Beareraig and Suisnish – from the Broadford/Elgol road.
Craigellachie, Aviemore, Cairngorms
The Cairngorms are the snowiest part of Britain and thus make a popular choice for a winter break. Craigellachie is just a short walk from the centre of Aviemore and has stunning birchwoods, lochans, and a fabulous view over the town towards the mountains.
Cow Hill, Fort William
Fort William, of course, sits near the foot of Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. The Ben, however, is a challenging ascent on short winter days requiring ice axe, crampons and skills and experience. A more moderate outing for a Boxing Day walk would be a climb up Cow Hill, which rises directly behind the town and looks out across Loch Linnhe.
A bit further from Inverness are the stunning landscapes of Torridon. This senic, almost level circuit heads past Loch Clair and then around Loch Coulin. The views of Beinn Eighe and Liathach from across the water must rank amongst the finest mountain views as seen from a low level walk anywhere in Scotland.
This fantastic moderate walk along the Clyde has a bit of everything, from the World Heritage Site of New Lanark, fine waterfalls (often at their best in winter) and wildlife – including peregrine falcons.
Ullapool is one of the most beautiful towns in the Highlands, laid out by Thomas Telford with whitewashed houses along the shore of Loch Broom. For those spending Christmas here, what better for a short excursion than a walk up the Ullapool Hill path for stunning views over the town.