A radiant sun sits, bold and alive in the heart of a crisp, clear blue sky, it’s soft rays bathing dramatic, breathtaking vistas in a brilliant, peaceful light, it’s warm glow dancing lightly on your skin.
There really is no better time to experience the true beauty of Highland Scotland than the summer months.
From the acres upon acres of lush, green forests and the calm, deep-blue waters of nearby lochs to the wild, untamed wilderness of the moors and striking mountains which dominate the landscape, every scene looks just that little more spectacular once the sun finally comes out to play.
Yet even then, the only true way to experience all this breathtaking beauty up close and personal is to lace up those walking boots and head out on foot.
Not that you have to be a hardened hiker to enjoy the Highlands at their most magnificent best.
If you’re joining us at our luxury hotel in Perthshire for your first walking holiday in Scotland this year, here’s five beginner-level routes you might want to try out.
Bealach na Searmoin
Based just a short drive from our hotel, Pitlochry offers ample opportunities to experience the great outdoors and indulge in a little fresh air therapy.
From gentle strolls to vigorously demanding routes, the town really does have something for hikers of all ages and abilities.
Yet of all those, we find ourselves drawn back to Bealach na Searmoin time and time again.
A perfect route for beginners, this one sees you take your first steps through an enchanted woodland resplendent with ancient trees, flowing streams and all manner of fauna, before finding yourself taking in the impressive views presented by the open hillside.
From there, serious hikers may want to tackle the challenge thrown down by the 841 metre Ben Vrackie (more of which later), or take a less strenuous route along a pathway that eventually brings you out to the magical River Garry, back into the woodlands, and finally, back to Pitlochry itself.
Falls of Bruar
Like many places in Highland Scotland, the Falls of Bruar are a spot where outstanding beauty and fascinating history combine.
It was here, back in 1787 that Scotland’s favourite son, Robert Burns paid a visit. Inspired by the natural splendour of the falls, Burn penned ‘The Humble Petition of Bruar Water,’ encouraging John Murray, 4th Duke of Atholl to plant trees around them.
Today, the Falls of Bruar continue to inspire and enthral scores of visitors each year, and serve as an ideal route for an easy summer’s walk.
A short drive from our luxury Perthshire hotel, the area offers two routes of just a few miles through what is commonly regarded as one of the region’s most striking beauty spots.
Though we claim Ben Vrackie as a beginner’s route here, we should mention that this may not be the first route you start off with.
At around six miles, the journey takes you along a well-trodden pathway through the same enchanted woodlands you encountered on Bealach na Searmoin before presenting you with the wild moorlands and the alluring Loch a’ Choire before reaching the summit.
There, arresting views reaching for miles out into the horizon make the route (which can take up to four hours on a good summer’s day) more than worth it.
Prefer something a little less strenuous? Look no further than our own doorstep.
A stone’s throw away from the Dunalastair Hotel Suites in Kinloch Rannoch, Rannoch Forest offers a number of popular routes, neither more than a mile or so in length.
Our favourite is Kilvrecht, a short, 1.2 kilometre route through a quiet, tranquil forest, along a pathway that takes you over the ancient stream of Carie Burn and the roaring river of Allt Na Bogair, rewarding you with awe-inspiring views at every turn.
For a longer hike, you may want to follow Allt Na Bogair itself, a route of just over four miles, or take it easy with a shorter walk through the Carie woods.
Last but no means least, we come to the mighty Schiehallion Mountain, one of Scotland’s most popular munros that serves as a great challenge for beginner-level hikers.
At over 1,000 metres, this one isn’t for the faint-hearted, but with the right preparations and some steely determination, the climb to the top really is an adventure like no other.
Well-known as one of the easiest of the Scottish Munros to climb, Schiehallion is still a formidable challenge.
Taking several hours on a good, clear day, the mountain’s first several hundred metres can easily be climbed along a firm, well-used pathway, before the final ascent serves to put your courage and perseverance to the test.
Stick with it, however, and you’ll be rewarded by stunning views across Loch Rannoch, over Highland Perthshire, and even as far as Ben Nevis in Fort William.
Where will your next hiking holiday in Scotland take you? Find out with the Dunalastair Hotel Suites, a luxury five-star hotel in the heart of the highlands ideally located close to a number of popular hiking routes.
Take advantage of our special Highland Experience package today and enjoy a two-night stay with dinner, bed, breakfast and a freshly-prepared packed lunch for your hike, all for only £462.
Book yours online today, or call our team now on +44 (0)1882 580444