With not much else to do over the last year, we’ve all become much more invested in the outdoors. Hill-walking -and in particular ‘Munro bagging’- has become a newfound passion for many, but at a minimum of 3000 feet Munros certainly aren’t suitable for all. The good news is that Scotland also has plenty of smaller hills that offer equally spectacular scenery (and less chance of blisters).

 

HeraldScotland:

Creag an Tuirc, Balquhidder

The village of Balquhidder, close to Lochearnhead, is known for being home to Rob Roy’s grave. And if you want to get a better sense of the landscape where this famous outlaw called home, climbing up Creag an Tuirc is a pretty good place to start. Its name translates from Scottish Gaelic as ‘The Boar’s Rock’ and it offers a truly jaw-dropping view of Loch Voil and Balquhidder below. Better still? It takes as little as an hour to get up and down the hill.

HeraldScotland:

Conic Hill, Balmaha

Conic Hill is hugely popular with walkers in the summer– and for good reason. It takes less than three hours to reach its summit and return back to the village of Balmaha, but the views from the top are some of the best you will see anywhere in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. It is a reasonably steep climb in places but should be doable for both young and old provided that they are reasonably fit. Once you finish, make sure to stop in at the Oak Tree Inn in Balmaha for a much-deserved meal and a drink. Their beer garden is one of the best in the central belt.

Largo Law, Fife

The East Neuk of Fife is renowned for its series of picture-perfect fishing villages. But while lovely, the landscape in this part of the country is generally very flat, making the 215m high Largo Law the perfect viewpoint to see for miles uninterrupted. The walk starts near the cemetery in Upper Largo before climbing steeply to the top of this volcanic plug and offering views of Edinburgh, the Bass Rock and even North Berwick Law over the water. One word of warning though, dogs aren’t welcome on the hill between March and November due to the presence of cattle.

HeraldScotland:

Callander Crags, Stirling

Callander is often used as a mere stopping point for those on their way to climb nearby hills such as Ben Ledi or Ben Venue. But positioned behind the town is a small hill with some truly impressive views of its own: Callander Crags. With a combination of steep paths and steps that lead to the summit, this walk can be dangerous in icy conditions, so is best completed at this time of year. You’ll begin in picturesque woodland above Callander before making your way to the top of the crags and winding your way back through the trees. Make sure to visit the delightful Bracklinn Falls before you return to the car park.

HeraldScotland:

Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh

Needing no introduction, Arthur’s Seat has long been a must-visit for tourists to Edinburgh. No one knows exactly how this ancient volcano got its name, with some theories that it pertains to King Arthur and others suggesting it comes from the Gaelic Àrd-na-Said (Height of Arrows), which became ‘Archer’s Seat’ and later Arthur's Seat. Start at the Scottish Parliament and follow the walkway to the top and enjoy the panoramic views of the city that await. You’ll need to allow around two and a half hours all in.

HeraldScotland:

Clachnaben, Glen Dye, Aberdeenshire

It might be one of the smaller peaks in Aberdeenshire -at a height of 589m- but Clachnaben is probably the most challenging of our ‘wee hills’. You should allow around 3 hours to complete it and prepare for a bit of a scramble to reach the very highest point of its famously rocky summit. Overall though, this hill should be suitable for most moderately-fit walkers, who will relish the panoramic views of Deeside that are on offer.

St Fillans Hill, Perthshire

The Perthshire village of St Fillans offers excellent views of Loch Earn. But if you want to see it from a more dramatic perspective, there is a rocky knoll above the village that offers a rewarding two-hour hillwalk. St Fillans Hill -also known as Dundurn- is accessed via the remains of St Fillan's chapel and up through a somewhat muddy field. Once you reach the summit, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the hills and valleys beyond that make you feel like you are far higher up than 120m.