Our guide to mountains in Scotland

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Scottish Mountains

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Scottish Mountains Guide

For those of you looking for an adventurous break, we’ve put together a guide to mountains in Scotland.

Whether you’re seeking milder walks for a family holiday or challenging peaks to test your skills, find your perfect adventure and start planning your break in the stunning Scottish landscape.

Ben Cruachan – The ‘Hollow Mountain’

This remarkable mountain is not only the single highest point in the region of Argyll and Bute, but also has a hidden secret. The Cruachan Power Station is built into the mountain in a maze of tunnels and passageways. This is a wonderful place for adventurous families to explore and, at 1126m high, there’s plenty of it to enjoy. Around 6 miles from the power station is the village of Taynuilt.

Braeriach – The ‘Mountain Expert’

Situated in the renowned Cairngorms National Park is Braeriach, the UK’s third highest mountain. The mountain has a steep northern corrie - meaning hollow or gully – that is almost always filled with snow. Though this isn’t a technically difficult climb, the combination of a high altitude and likelihood of extreme weather changes makes it a challenging mountain to tackle. The village of Kingussie is around 22 miles away.

Ben Lomond – The ‘Tourist Trap’

Ben Lomond offers novice mountaineers the opportunity to experience Scotland’s magnificent landscape. Sitting on the eastern banks of Loch Lomond, it’s a popular route and has a purpose built path trailing up most of the mountain. Ben Lomond is a perfect spot for families to enjoy on their holidays as the route is so accessible. While you’re there, take a boat trip on the Loch or enjoy some local cuisine in the town of Balloch.

Little Ben An – The ‘Family Favourite’

If you’re planning a family holiday in Scotland, Little Ben An is perfect for aspiring adventurers. The mountain is impressive but by no means particularly high. However with an easy path to follow and spectacular views from the top of the mountain, you’ll have a great sense of achievement. If you’re still feeling adventurous after the walk, bike hire is available at nearby Loch Katrine.

Ben Nevis – The ‘Bragger’s Rights’

Ben Nevis is most famous for being the highest mountain in the UK; it is also the most imposing. Its colossal presence gives hikers a thrilling experience and attracts hundreds of thousands of climbers each year. Surprisingly, it’s not a particularly difficult mountain to climb as there is a well-used path. Ben Nevis is located near the town of Fort William.

Aonach Eagach – The ‘2 in 1’

Aonach Eagach is a beautiful yet challenging ridge walk that takes in the summit of two Munros. Not for the faint-hearted, even experienced climbers regularly use ropes on some sections. Although the walk is tricky at times, there are spectacular views over Glencoe. Once you’ve finished climbing along this unique ridge walk, head to the Clachaig Inn for some good food and music just over two miles away.

Ben Hope – The ‘Northernmost’

If you’re looking to escape as far north as possible on your holiday, you may end up at Ben Hope. It is the most northerly of all the Munro Mountains. Standing at 946m high, this mountain takes around five hours to climb in total. This magnificent isolated peak has beautiful views from the top and there is a well-travelled route. The coastal village of Tongue is around 18 miles away.

Buachaille Etive Mor – The ‘Iconic’

Buchaille Etive Mor is showcased in many photographs of Scotland’s mountains, and with good reason. This beautiful, imposing mountain stands at the head of the Pass of Glencoe, overlooking Rannoch Moor. It was also featured in Sam Mendes’ Skyfall in 2012. Buchaille Etive Mor’s dramatic and steep face means the total hike can take up to nine hours in mild weather. If you’d like to climb it unassisted, take the northern passageway. All other routes are for highly skilled climbers only. The renowned Kings House Hotel is around five miles away.

Cairngorm Mountain – The ‘All-Rounder’

Famous for its hiking trails, railway and winter skiing, Cairngorm Mountain has something for everyone – even an easy route. With so much to do, from wildlife photography to mountain biking, this is one of Scotland’s most popular areas. The mountain is also home to Scotland’s only funicular railway, allowing people of all abilities to reach the top station and Ptarmigan Restaurant, showcasing panoramic views from over 3,500ft.

Goat Fell – The ‘Island Surprise’

Located on the Isle of Arran, Goat Fell is a popular choice of mountain for travellers enjoying a stay by the sea. It has craggy ridge walks and some invisible gullies, but there is a trail for a safe journey the whole way up the mountain. Paragliders often launch themselves from its peak as Goat Fell is a popular spot for extreme sports fanatics. The Isle of Arran has a range of attractions and restaurants.

Ben Macdui – The ‘Haunted Hill’

Ben Macdui is the second highest mountain in the UK and is situated in the Cairngorms National Park. It is renowned as a haunted spot, with climbers reporting “freaky” experiences over the years. The climb itself is straightforward, with many routes to follow. The nearby village of Braemar is set in peaceful countryside, with castles and whisky distilleries to keep you entertained.

Suilven – The ‘Feeling Peaky’

Suilven is surprisingly small but must not be undermined. It has a series of impressive peaks to challenge you. Choose your route carefully and be prepared to face soggy bots or sheer ridge scrambles on your way up. Suilven is a remote mountain and is worth planning a day on your holiday to visit. Red deer season is from July 1 to October 20, so stalkers may be on the mountain too.

Ben Arthur – The ‘Don’t Look Down’

Overlooking the pretty village of Arrochar is Ben Arthur. In order to reach the summit, you are forced to climb the final section. A rocky outcrop known as the ‘Eye of the Needle’ juts out from the top. In order to climb Ben Arthur you’ll need strong nerves, good grip and a head for heights. Arrochar is a popular place for mountaineers.

Ben Chonzie – ‘The Grassy One’

Ben Chonzie is a rounded and grass-covered mountain offering an easy walk near the town of Crieff. The simplest and quickest route comes in from the west. Following the trail up, enjoy views to Loch Tay and other lochs. On your visit, try kayaking on Loch Earn or indulge in local cuisine in Crieff which is around 19 miles away.

Mount Keen – ‘The Well Paved One’

Though Mount Keen rates as medium difficulty on the hiking scale, there’s relatively little technical skill required to reach the summit. It’s a great mountain for older children to try, if you’re visiting on a family holiday. The walk is long but not difficult. Mount Keen sits on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park. The chocolate-box town of Ballater is around 22 miles away.

Sgurr nan Gillean – The ‘Scary One’

Sgurr nan Gillean is a striking peak on the Isle of Skye. With three pinnacles jutting upwards in towering spikes, this mountain should only be tackled by experienced climbers with good knowledge of Scottish mountaineering. There is just one route to the summit without dedicated rock climbing. Sligachan is a nearby settlement on Skye.

If you’re inspired to explore Scotland’s stunning landscape, search our cottages in Scotland to find the perfect base for your adventure.

Posted by Dawn on 9th December 2015