Discover Scotland’s best hiking weekends with our Spring issue

Francesca Donovan
Liathach, the Highlandsin Scotland - Spring 2023 cover image James Roddie

How much adventure in Scotland can you squeeze into one (long) weekend? It might be more than you think – find out why in our Spring issue.

With longer days and a host of Bank Holidays approaching, we’ve dedicated our Spring issue to all things Scottish. While the Highlands may feel far away for many (unless you live there, of course!), five contributors have come together to share the most epic hiking weekends in Scotland, reachable from wherever you live in the UK. From Torridon to the Cairngorms by way of the Inner Hebrides, we ask exactly how much Scotland you can squeeze into one weekend (or a long weekend, at a push). It might be more than you think.

Cover image: Liathach above the clouds | Credit: James RoddieSpring 2023 cover - Scotland hiking weekends

Elsewhere in the issue:

  • Sarah Jane Douglas escapes to Fisherfield on a summer camp to remember
  • Ben Lerwill follows in the footsteps of Wordsworth along the River Wye
  • Kat Young walks the GR10 solo and gets an insight into our planet’s changing ecology

PLUS: 15 mapped walking routes across Britain including the Coast to Coast; Lochnagar in profile; the problem with the ‘Leave No Trace’ mentality; the fundraising efforts of outdoor enthusiasts on International Bivvybag Day; how to clean your pack and resole your boots in time for hillwalking season; 17 pages of expert gear reviews including 5 of the best GPS watches, sleeping mats, budget daypacks and the best waterproof jackets; wild camping outdoor cooking tips; the man playing his pipes on every Munro; and a selection of the best mountain events this month.

Read more: head to the Highlands and beyond

Spring 2023 - Scotland hiking weekends

Faraway, so close: How much Scotland can you squeeze into one weekend? We asked the experts, and they responded with ideas for A-list mountain classics, backpacking adventures on spectacular peninsulas, and wildlife-rich island escapes.

“Scotland – 60% mountains and the right to roam. If that doesn’t sell you, how about peaks that rise in waves from the sea in Torridon or Assynt, the deep silence of the Cairngorm plateau, or the seascapes and wildlife of the west coast and its countless islands? In the pages that follow, we cast a longing eye over them all…”

Spring 2023 - Sarah jane Douglas in Fisherfield Scotland

Heightened senses: Sarah Jane Douglas and friend go far from the madding crowd and enjoy a summit camp to remember in the heart of Fisherfield.

“It seems to be part of the human condition that the more we get, the more we want. I certainly feel this way about mountain time – and about staying alive. After I got over the shock of being diagnosed with cancer at age 44, I’d pinned my hopes on reaching 50. Now, as my 50th year approaches I’m shifting those goalposts. In the past, I was focused on getting to the hills as much as possible for the sake of my sanity -being out and up was my coping mechanism. It still is…”

Spring 2023 - Ben Lerwill on the River Wye

An eye for the Wye: Ben Lerwill takes inspiration from one of Britain’s earliest guidebooks and follows in the footsteps of Nelson and Wordsworth with a summery walk along the course of the River Wye, through the lush borderland between England and Wales.

“The River Wye is a right old exhibitionist. These are not the words of 18th-Century artist, cleric, schoolmaster and author William Gilpin – you’re surprised by that, I’m sure – but they do sum up his thoughts on the UK’s fifth longest river. In 1770, Gilpin filled a 95-page book with his pondering son what made this long, bucolic watercourse such a glorious one. Some 250 years later I’ve shouldered a backpack to come and see why it got him so excited.”

Spring 2023 - Kat Young on the GR10

Mountains on the move: The GR10 is one of the epic long-distance routes spanning the length of the Pyrenees, from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. Kat Young spent the long, hot summer of 2022 walking it solo – and getting an insight into our changing planet along the way.

“Halfway between Bidarray and Étienne-de-Baïgorry, a hand-painted sign promised a water source a few hundred metres off the trail. With several hours still to go and little shelter from the sun, I optimistically followed the arrow. The source was dry. I shared a wry look with a horse. The situation was repeated several times over the coming weeks…”

Order a single copy of this special Scotland issue and get it delivered with free postage.

Profile image of Francesca Donovan Francesca Donovan


Based in a Peak District barn, Francesca Donovan joined The Great Outdoors team in 2022. After a rather sedentary upbringing, a fear of the gym led her onto the hills ‘late in life’ as a tool for fitness. Instead, she found community and adventure as well as a love of the natural world and the magic of mountains. Recently, she spent a summer as an outdoor instructor introducing young people in the Peak to the hills of her home. Her own adventures – so far – have taken her from Snowdonia to the Scottish Highlands by way of the Alps and Málaga mountains. After a decade in journalism at publications such as the BBC, ELLE UK, and DAZED, she can now combine her love of the outdoors with the written word. When she’s not writing or sharing your best mountain portraits on social media, you’ll probably find her hiking, swimming, scrambling or wild camping.

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