Three New Routes Added To "Scotland's Great Trails"
For those looking to explore the great Scottish outdoors this summer, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has added three new trails to the national network of long distance routes known as Scotland’s Great Trails.
The recently-completed Berwickshire Coastal Path, Rob Roy Way and Great Glen Canoe Trail bring the total number of routes in the network up to 23, extending it to over 1500 miles.
Stretching from the Borders to the Highlands, the trails provide opportunities to explore the varied Scottish landscape by foot, bike, and horseback on well marked, maintained paths.
“The trails offer people the chance to go out and enjoy the countryside close to where they live as well as exploring further afield. And the beauty of these trails is that you can just dip in for short trips as well as going the whole distance,” explains Pete Rawcliffe, people and places manager at Scottish Natural Heritage.
Routes near Edinburgh already on the network include the Forth & Clyde canal, a 35-mile waterway linking the the Forth estuary at the River Carron to the Bowling Basin on the River Clyde.
To the East of Edinburgh is the 73km John Muir Way, which takes you along the East Lothian coastline into the Scottish Borders.
Among the new additions, the Berwickshire Coastal Path continues on from John Muir Way down Borders coastline from Cockburnspath to Berwick-on-Tweed.
The route takes in dramatic cliff top scenery complete with arches, stacks and crumbling castles.
“It offers 45 kilometres of spectacular scenery following the internationally important coastline where you will have the opportunity to explore the coastal geology, sight rare wildlife, including puffins and basking sharks or explore the many traditional villages of the area,” says Neil Mackay, senior access officer with Scottish Borders Council.
The second new route is the Rob Roy Way, which runs between Drymen and Pitlochry, following the tracks and paths used by the notorious outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The third new route is Great Glen Canoe Trail, which will give people the chance to paddle from coast to coast between Fort William and Inverness, and see the Caledonian Canal and Loch Ness from a totally different perspective.
More on Scotland's Great Trails
The 23 routes promoted as Scotland’s Great Trails meet the following criteria:
- a continuous, clearly identifiable and appropriately waymarked route between defined start and end points (or defined access points in the case of circular routes)
- largely off-road (generally no more than 20-30% should be on roads)
- at least 40 km/ 25 miles and have potential for multi-day journeys by foot, bike and/or horse, or canoe
- offer at least a basic range of visitor services, with information on the route, facilities and services available for users in appropriate formats
- offer opportunities to appreciate the natural, cultural and historic interest of the area through which it passes
- designed, maintained and managed with user experience as a key consideration.
There is a dedicated website at www.scotlandsgreattrails.org.uk
View the map showing the location of the trails.
The trails are:
- Annandale Way
- Ayrshire Coastal Path
- Berwickshire Coastal Path
- Borders Abbeys Way
- Cateran Trail
- Clyde Walkway
- Dava Way
- Fife Coastal Path
- Formartine & Buchan Way
- Forth-Clyde/Union Canal Towpath
- Great Glen Canoe Trail
- Great Glen Way
- John Muir Way
- Kintyre Way
- Moray Coastal Trail
- River Ayr Way
- Rob Roy Way
- Speyside Way
- Southern Upland Way
- St Cuthbert’s Way (cross-border)
- Three Lochs Way
- West Highland Way
- West Island Way