The Scottish National Trail

Devised by outdoors writer and broadcaster Cameron McNeish, the Scottish National Trail is a challenging, 864 kilometre-long unofficial long distance walking route running the length of Scotland from Kirk Yetholm to Cape Wrath.

The route combines sections of official routes such as St Cuthbert’s Way, the Southern Upland Way, the Forth and Clyde and Union Canals, the West Highland Way and the Rob Roy Way. Other parts - including sections through central Perthshire, the Cairngorms and the Northwest Highlands - make for a more serious backpacking route with neither waymarking nor a continuous path, as well as a number of potentially hazardous river crossings. The difficultly generally increases as the route heads northwards. Walked in its entirety, the route will surely come to be regarded as Britain's toughest and yet most varied backpacking challenge. Far more walkers will enjoy tackling individual legs a section at a time - particularly of the more accessible southern half of the route. Walkers can mark off which stages they have completed on our interactive map below.

Every stage of the Scottish National Trail now has a fully detailed stage description and mapping on Walkhighlands, accessed via the stage list and map below.

Stage Grade Time
Kirk Yetholm - Harestanes 28km6-8 hours
Harestanes to Melrose 24km6-7 hours
Melrose to Traquair 29km6-8 hours
Traquair to Peebles 12km3 hours
Peebles to West Linton 21km5-6 hours
West Linton to Balerno 19.25km5-6 hours
Balerno to Slateford 8.5km2 hours
Slateford to Ratho 9.5km2-3 hours
Ratho to Linlithgow 21km4-5 hours
Linlithgow to Falkirk 14.5km3½-4 hours
Falkirk to Kilsyth 18km4-5 hours
Kilsyth to Milngavie 21.25km5-5½ hours
Milngavie to Drymen 19km5-6 hours
Drymen to Aberfoyle 17.5km4½-5 hours
Aberfoyle to Callander 15.25km4½-5 hours
Callander to Comrie 26.5km6½-7½ hours
Comrie to Loch Freuchie 30km8-9 hours
L. Freuchie to Aberfeldy 20km4½-5½ hours
Aberfeldy to Pitlochry 15km4-5 hours
Pitlochry to Blair Atholl 13.75km3-3½ hours
Blair Atholl to Red House 28.5km6½-7½ hours
Red House to Glen Feshie 19.5km5½-6½ hours
Glen Feshie to Kingussie 23.5km6-7 hours
Kingussie to Laggan 23.25km6½-7 hours
Laggan to Fort Augustus 39.5km10-12 hours
Fort Augustus - Mandally 18.75km4-4½ hours
Mandally to Poulary 19.5km4-4½ hours
Poulary to Cluanie 17.5km5-6 hours
Cluanie to Morvich 26km6½-7 hours
Morvich to Maol-bhuidhe 22.5 km6½-7 hours
Maol-bhuidhe to Craig 24.25 km6½-7½ hours
Craig to Kinlochewe 16.5 km4-5 hours
Kinlochewe to Shenavall 28.25 km7-8 hours
Shenavall to Inverlael 18.75 km4-5 hours
Inverlael to Oykel Bridge 34.5 km8-11 hours
Oykel Br. to Inchnadamph 31.5 km8-11 hours
Inchnadamph- Kylestrome 27.5km10-11 hours
Kylestrome - Rhiconich 29.75km9-11 hours
Rhiconich - Sandwood 19km4.5-5 hours
Sandwood - Cape Wrath 12.5km3½-4½ hours

The Book

Cameron has also made a two part BBC TV documentary (shown in December 2012) and written a book about the route - 'Scotland End to End'. Rather than being a fully detailed guidebook (like the stage descriptions and mapping above), the book is an account of Cameron's experiences along the trail, giving a real flavour of the terrain passed through, with plenty of interesting anecdotes and stories covering both local history and wildlife. The book is illustrated with photos by Richard Else. At the bottom of this page you can watch a video released for the launch of the trail.

Users' walk reports for the Scottish National Trail

No Walkhighlanders have completed the Scottish National Trail. To record if you have completed the route, you must register and be logged in. Our users have contributed 9 public walk reports for the route. These are ordered below with the most popular ones first.

Title AuthorDate walked Likes
Scottish National Trail - Is there a better walk in the UK ?  ahukippax 22/08/2021  13
Scottish National Trail - completed  wandering-cloud 10/06/2022  5
Scottish National Trail 2018  china88 05/10/2018  5
Through the Cairngorms and down the National Trail  stevemee 05/05/2022  4
Scottish National Trail  oldowl 11/05/2019  3
Scottish National trail - Autumn 2020  caromiri 21/09/2020  3
Scotnatrail  Wanderer wondering 01/08/2021  2
SNT from Dornie  Malkie 17/07/2018  2
Kirk Yetholm to Allt a'Chruinn (near Morvich) - so far  wandering-cloud 28/03/2022  0

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Walking can be dangerous and all walkers must take personal responsibility for their own safety. You should always carry a backup means of navigation and not rely on a single phone, app or map. Walkhighlands strives to provide accurate information but cannot accept responsibility for changes, errors or omissions.