SCOTLAND'S best-known walking routes, including the West Highland Way and the Great Glen Way, are to share more than £3 million in funding to help improve tourism and the rural economy.

The Great Glen Way, which runs from Fort William to Inverness, will be upgraded with £1m being spent on 11 miles of new path and upgraded surfaces.

Around £750,000 will be spent improving parts of the famous West Highland Way and associated routes in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

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Another £500,000 will fund work to stabilise the slopes above the busy A82 near Fort William.

The funding, going to Forestry Commission Scotland, comes after US broadcaster CNN announced that Scotland was its number one world tourism destination for 2013. The Scottish Government has also designated this year the "Year of Natural Scotland".

Paul Wheelhouse, Environment and Climate Change Minister, said: "The projects will not only create new work and jobs but will also have a lasting benefit in supporting green tourism in rural parts of Scotland and encouraging people to get involved in physical activity."