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Top ten romantic walks in Scotland

By Chris Saunderson

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A list of ten of the dreamiest spots for taking a tranquil stroll this Valentine’s Day has been lovingly compiled by Scotland’s national walking charity.

Fairy Pools path on the Isle of Skye.
Fairy Pools path on the Isle of Skye.

To help inspire people to enjoy the country’s beautiful outdoors and benefit from physical activity, Paths for All went on a quest to find Scotland’s most romantic walks, encouraging the public to share the ones that melted their hearts.

The charity believes that everyone should embrace nature this Valentine’s Day – whether it’s to spend quality time with someone special or on their own, practising some self-care.

So, whether it’s ancient castles, rugged coastlines or an enchanted woodland, let yourself fall in love with Scotland’s walking routes this Valentine’s Day.

Scotland’s most romantic walks:

Fyvie Castle & lake, Aberdeenshire: An 800-year-old pink castle surrounded by beautiful grounds and an ancient woodland, situated near a small, charming lake – a walk around Fyvie Castle will no doubt make you feel like you’re stuck in a fairytale. Have a seat on the bench overlooking the calm waters, take a deep breath and admire the unspoiled views. Spot the old boathouse for a photo opportunity and look out for the adorable, fluffy cygnets in spring.

Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye: Famous for its enchanting, grandiose landscapes, the Isle of Skye will make you feel like you’ve travelled to the end of the world. This walk will take you to one of the most magical spots in Skye – the pristine waterfalls of the Fairy Pools. No matter the season, this stunning place will bring out your inner child, with every corner of the path as fascinating as the other.

Sandwood Bay, Sutherland: The wild and spectacular Sandwood Bay boasts a gorgeous beach surrounded by golden sand dunes, crystal turquoise waters and striking, rocky cliffs. The beach stretches over nearly a mile and a half, providing a secluded, dreamy spot for a peaceful walk. Look out for Am Buachaille – the majestic vertical rock formation standing tall against the glistening waters.

West Sands, St Andrews: Famous for the opening scenes of the film Chariots of Fire, the West Sands beach is a perfect location for a tranquil sunset walk. The serene grounds extend for almost two miles and are backed with unspoiled, gleaming sand dunes. The route passes through Eden Estuary Nature Reserve, famous for its bird-watching spots, and leads between the world-famous golf courses with scenic views over the historic buildings in St Andrews.

Beecraigs Country Park, West Lothian: Breathe in the fresh woodland scents as you follow the path in this enchanting location. Nestled in the Bathgate Hills near the historic town of Linlithgow, this spacious park offers miles of forest routes and trails to explore. Get lost in the giant trees and watch the ducks swim around on the wild loch as you take a break to clear your mind.

Water of Leith, Edinburgh: The gorgeous path running along the meandering Water of Leith takes you through countless picturesque parts of Edinburgh and the city’s lush green parks. Dean Village feels like stepping into a charming alpine village, while the newly restored Saughton Gardens is always bustling with families. If you’re limited for time take in one part of the walk and if you have the whole day, try to stroll along the full route, relishing in some of the best nature Scotland’s capital has to offer.

Water of Leith in Dean Village.
Water of Leith in Dean Village.

Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow: Sitting on the banks of the river Kelvin, the Kelvingrove Park is an outstanding location for taking in the breathtaking architecture of the University of Glasgow and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Surrounded by nature this spot is a hidden safe haven, offering a peaceful break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Commonly recognised as the first purpose designed park in Scotland, its Heritage Trail includes 35 points of interest and takes approximately one and a half hour to follow, from Kelvingrove Museum to the Kelvinway Bridge.

The Hermitage, Dunkeld: Beautiful in all seasons, the Hermitage’s Douglas firs are among the tallest trees in Britain and will no doubt make a lasting impression on all visitors. Originally designed as a pleasure ground in the 18th century for the Dukes of Atholl, the path leads to Black Linn Falls, captivating everyone who gazes over them.There are also plenty of options for a longer walk, with opportunities to take in more of the local ruins and inland scenery.

Loch an Eilein, Cairngorms: Loch an Eilein comes from the Scottish Gaelic, meaning 'Loch of the island’ and is one of the most spectacular lochs in Scotland. Set in Rothiemurchus within one of the largest remaining ancient Caledonian Forests, the rolling hills, vibrant coastline and shimmering waters provide a picturesque backdrop to the historic castle ruins situated on a quaint island in the middle of the loch.

Mull of Galloway Lighthouse, Dumfries & Galloway: Situated at the end of the Rhins of Galloway peninsula, the Mull of Galloway is Scotland’s most Southerly Point. Sitting atop a majestic cliff, the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse can be climbed for heart-stopping coastal views over Luce Bay to the Galloway Hills – a perfect escape from one’s hectic daily life. The area around the lighthouse is also a RSPB reserve, giving visitors an opportunity to observe a wide variety of wildlife while taking a relaxing stroll around.

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