Many of you will have heard of Wainwright’s Coast to Coast, spanning 192 miles across England; and with the fanfare of its launch last year, there’s a good chance you’ll have heard about the Wales Coast Path; but did you know that there is a new walking route called the Scottish National Trail, the first to travel the full length of Scotland?
The Scottish National Trail has been created by outdoor writer Cameron McNeish in collaboration with Gore-Tex and is the first route to go the full length of Scotland, some 470 miles from Kirk Yetholm in the Borders to Cape Wrath in Sutherland.
As the trail wanders through some of Scotland’s most beautiful and rugged landscapes, it follows many existing trails and rights of way such as St Cuthbert’s Way, the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals, the Rob Roy Way and the Great Glen Way. The 470-mile Scottish National Trail, as an unofficial route, will be marked by plaques at the start and finish and where it uses existing trails there is some waymarking for those routes, but other sections, including the northern stretch to Cape Wrath are not marked.
In creating the route, the idea was to link up different parts of Scotland’s landscape and history and Cameron co-authored a Mountain Media book about the route called Scotland End to End, following his journey.
“First of all I believed passionately that Scotland should have a long-distance trail that ran the length of the country,” said Cameron, “and secondly, I wanted to walk through my own country of birth…to link the all various routes together has been the challenge of the Gore-Tex Scottish National Trail, a route that I believe can stand comparison with the best walking routes anywhere in the world.”
The journey is certainly an interesting challenge for others to follow in his footsteps and experience the amazing scenery and spectacular wildlife that Scotland has to offer. However, at 470 miles, it’s not a route for the faint-hearted and there would need to be some serious planning to get started. If you did want to try it out, you could use OS getamap in conjunction with Cameron’s book to help you get started, or visit our Map Shop.