Unique Walking Holidays in Scotland: Hike and Sail

04 June | 7 min read
Hiker walking on the isle of Skye, Hebrides, walking holidays in Scotland

Walking holidays in Scotland offer an unparalleled blend of rugged landscapes, serene seascapes, and vibrant wildlife.  The west coast of Scotland provides the perfect backdrop to combine the tranquillity of hiking with the adventure of sailing. Travelling under sail means reaching the most remote areas of the Hebrides, with your accommodation never more than a stone’s throw away. All meals are prepared by an onboard cook and included in your ticket price, meaning there’s nothing to worry about apart from the next day’s adventure! With no sailing experience required, start your next adventure with our sailing and walking holidays in Scotland.

Self-guided walking holidays in Scotland

Our Scottish fleet ranges from historic tall ships to modern yachts, all offering excellent accommodation for self-guided walking holidays in Scotland. Each day you can explore a new island ashore independently, or as part of a group of like-minded guests. Depending on the weather and your itinerary, the skipper and crew can point you in the right direction for the best self-guided walks.


Guided walking holidays in Scotland

Our guided hike and sail experiences onboard yacht Steady are ideal for experienced walkers looking to discover the most remote locations in Scotland. Skippers and owners Marielle and Jan-Willem have been sailing and hiking the Hebrides for over a decade. Their wealth of local knowledge ensures you’ll venture far from the beaten track. Whilst onboard Steady, guests are encouraged to participate in all aspects of sailing, from helming to setting sails, in a supportive environment. Steady’s comfortable accommodation is perfect to unwind after a long day of hiking. Her spacious main deck and an undercover cockpit provide panoramic views and shelter from the elements. Below deck, you’ll find a well-appointed kitchen and a generous saloon, with four twin bunk cabins.


Keep reading to discover the best locations for walking holidays in Scotland, what to expect onboard a guided hike and sail adventure, and the rich wildlife you might be lucky enough to encounter!

The Best Locations for Walking Holidays in Scotland

The Hebrides: A Remote and Magical Archipelago

The Hebrides, located off the west coast of Scotland, are renowned for their stunning beauty and diverse landscapes. These islands are a haven for adventure lovers, offering a mix of lush meadows, wild moors, dramatic cliffs, and ancient woodlands. Here are some must-visit locations for your walking holidays in Scotland:


Canna is the most remote of the Small Isles, hidden from the mainland by the great mountains of Rum. Key highlights include two fascinating churches and an ancient cross. The historic Canna House is high on the list too, and was once home to folklorist John Lorne Campbell. A walk along the coastline provides the chance to see the ever-friendly puffins nesting on the cliffs before sailing onwards to Rum.


Rum is the largest of the Small Isles, known for its rugged landscapes and the towering mountains of the Rum Cuillin. This island offers a blend of natural beauty and local culture, with the area around Kinloch Village being locally owned. Hiking through Rum, you’ll experience wild, untouched terrain and perhaps encounter some of the island’s wildlife, from red deer to golden eagles.


Eigg, dominated by the striking An Sgurr, is the second largest and most populated of the Small Isles. The magnificent An Sgurr towers over the islands, and a hike here provides panoramic views over the entirety of the Small Isles.


Kerrera, located near Oban, is a green paradise perfect for a peaceful hike. The island is quiet and offers stunning views of the surrounding coastal areas. With no cars allowed except for a few local vehicles, Kerrera is truly a walker’s paradise!


Lismore, meaning “the great garden” in Gaelic, is a beautiful green island at the mouth of Loch Linnhe. Its rolling and rocky landscape provides stunning views of the surrounding mountains of Argyll, Ardnamurchan, and Mull. A walk through Lismore’s coniferous forests and hills is a serene experience, with the chance to spot otters, dippers, and birds of prey.

What to Expect on a Hike and Sail Walking Holiday in Scotland

A hike and sail holiday in Scotland undoubtedly combines the best of both worlds: the adventure of sailing and the serenity of hiking. Here’s what you can expect:

Guided and Independent Hikes
Each day, you have the option to join a guided hike or explore independently. This flexibility allows you to tailor your adventure to your preferences.

Comfortable Accommodation
One of the benefits of a sailing holiday is the convenience of having your accommodation always nearby, ensuring you can relax after a day of exploring.

Unique Experiences
Sailing allows access to remote locations that are often inaccessible by other means. This means you can explore hidden gems and avoid tourist hotspots, enjoying nature trails through mountains, rolling hills, and untouched coastlines from a unique perspective.

Wildlife and Walking Holidays in Scotland

Scotland’s west coast and the Hebrides are teeming with wildlife that’s sure to be the highlight of any walking holiday in Scotland. As you hike and sail, keep an eye out for the rich biodiversity that makes these locations special.

Seabirds and Birds of Prey
The cliffs and coastal areas of the Hebrides are home to colonies of seabirds, including puffins, guillemots, and razorbills. Black guillemots can be seen in their hundreds, while white-tailed eagles soar along the rugged coastline. Whilst onboard your chosen sailing vessel, you might also spot buzzards, kestrels, sparrowhawks, peregrines, and the diminutive merlin.

Marine Wildlife
The waters around the Hebrides are rich with marine life. Common, bottlenose, and white-beaked dolphins are frequently sighted, with occasional appearances by Risso’s and white-sided dolphins. Whale sightings are common, particularly minke whales, and occasionally humpback whales. The real stars are the resident pod of orcas, which are a thrilling sight if you’re lucky enough to encounter them!

Ready to set sail on a walking holiday in Scotland?

Walking holidays in Scotland offer an extraordinary blend of natural beauty, wildlife, and adventure. The combination of hiking and sailing in the Hebrides provides a unique and unforgettable experience. Whether you’re navigating the dramatic landscapes of Rum, exploring the historic sites on Canna, or spotting wildlife along the rugged coastline, a walking holiday in Scotland promises an adventure like no other.