Walking through Scotland in a straight line - need lines

Travel Forums Europe Walking through Scotland in a straight line - need lines

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1. Posted by PrivateStakes (Budding Member 2 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Me and some friends are intending to hike across Scotland in a straight line (summer 2021). We're currently looking for an optimal line (not over an impassable mountain,
loch, down a quarry or other certain-death scenarios) which stretches from South to North as long as possible, and are curious if any of you happen to know any good lines?

Any help'd be appreciated : )

2. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2092 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

I've travelled in Scotland a lot. It's not a landscape that lends itself to straight lines.

It's also a dangerous landscape. If you try just forging off in a direction you risk encountering severe weather, bogs, cliffs, dense woods, bodies of water, boundary fences which you shouldn't damage, and you risk being a nuisance to landowners / crofters / rescue services. And simply a lot of difficult terrain full of heather that's tough to walk through.

If you're experienced hikers and responsible wild campers you'll know this stuff already. How big is your group likely to be? Solo wild camping is generally tolerated when people follow the principle of leave-no-trace; groups are another thing entirely.

Or you could do it the easier way and walk on established routes, where there are amenities and paths, the odd toilet, pub and shop, and taking in great scenery. You can walk from Glasgow to Inverness along the West Highland Way and Great Glen Way, taking around two weeks. The following websites give more detail:

https://www.westhighlandway.org/
https://www.highland.gov.uk/greatglenway/
https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/long-distance-routes.shtml

3. Posted by PrivateStakes (Budding Member 2 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the response! We're a small group of 2 - 3 people. We've been planning to find whatever deviations we might have to make along our route and of course allow them. So far we're just trying to find lines with the shortest/least deviations. Two of us are somewhat experienced, with our third member not being too familiar with hiking, but an experienced athlete, so hopefully we'll do fine. Our main concern is ofc finding a route which is possible, and once we do, making back-up plans with whatever (lack of) infrastructure at out disposal.

That optimal route is proving very difficult to find however : )

4. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2092 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Quoting PrivateStakes

That optimal route is proving very difficult to find however : )

Yeah I don't think it exists, in a passable form. The terrain is too difficult. Have you hiked much in Scotland before?

My friend used to own a backpacker hostel in the Highlands; they saw about 10,000 walkers per summer doing the West Highland Way, and about half dropped out at the half way point. So even the established routes are tough.

5. Posted by Bennytheball (Budding Member 70 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

The summer of 2021 is still a long way off and nobody can be certain if the dreaded Covid 19 pandemic will still be with us, at the moment in Scotland it's proving a very stubborn deterrent for travel just about anywhere not made easier by the actions of "the Sturgeon" .....(she who must be obeyed) and has the power to declare areas out of bounds at will and adding on to that, the new less-than-accurate victim tracing systems your straight line plan might be subjected to unexpected detours, these are now being enthusiastically being enforced by police, another problem is pubs and inns being closed along your way due to the perceived risk of you being "super spreaders" even if you don't show any obvious signs of infection you can still have the potential to infect others, especially in crowded situations.

Here's hoping a working vaccine will be available by next year, otherwise we might all be forced to self isolate!

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