Affric Kintail Way

Trail specs

Distance (mi.) Stages Elevation Gain (ft) Best Time Difficulty



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Trail description

It has to be one of the youngest sprouts of the entire Top Trail list, because the Affric Kintail Way only saw the light in 2015. This trip of 44 miles (70km) takes you through the most desolate areas in Scotland. From the banks of the legendary Loch Ness lake you hike west to Morvich. In total this trail will take you four days to complete.
Photo by Julian Peran, adapted under this Creative Commons License
The trail owes its name to the “Glen Affric”, a giant valley that is regarded as one of Scotland’s most beautiful locations. A glen is in Scotland and Ireland the term used for a valley, which in many cases was formed by a glacier. The second part of its name derives from the Kintail mountain region, which stretches over the northwest of the Scottish highlands.
Photo by Nick Bramhall
Given the fact that the Affric Kintail Trail quickly takes you to the remote Scottish highlands, it is important that you have some hiking experience. Between the second and fourth stage there are no resupply options, so make sure you leave well prepared. Fortunately, the route is fully signposted. The trail is easy to walk, with pleasant forest paths and gravel roads. But here and there the surface can be pretty swampy. Sturdy, waterproof hiking boots are no unnecessary luxury on this trail. But also a raincoat should not be missing in your backpack. Do not forget, you are in Scotland …
Photo by Each-uisge
You will follow beautiful, ancient roads, along which traders used to bring their cattle from market to market. Along the way you will be struck with astonishment several times by the fantastic views over towering valleys. Towering, indeed. Those Scottish highlands are not called “high” for nothing. In total you will climb over 6,000 feet (2000m), which is not too bad for just four days. It is highly recommended to spend the night at the “Alltbeithe Youth Hostel”. This youth hostel is known as the most remote hostel in the Scottish highlands. The cute green hut is built in the heart of the Glen Affric valley. Between the end of April and September you can go there to book a unique overnight stay in the middle of nowhere. However, do not count on resupplying food, because the facilities are very basic.
Photo by Visit Scotland
Do you feel as if you just can not get enough of those Scottish highlands after the Affric Kintail Way? Well, then you will be glad to hear that you can connect to the Great Glen Way in the east, while in the west you can add the Cape Wrath Trail to your route. So ask your boss for sufficient time off, because that four-day hike could easily turn in a lot more in just the blink of an eye…

More information


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