Scotland is one of the most mountainous countries in Europe and has people flocking around the world to climb a Scottish mountain.
There’s even a name for them: Munros are all the Scottish mountains over 3000 ft, named after a list of the 282 such peaks published by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891.
Well, if you don’t have the time to go ‘Munro-bagging’ all 282 (yes, it’s a thing) here are 10 of the best, most spectacular you really must visit if you get the chance.
Scotland’s Most Impressive Mountains
Ben Nevis is the tallest mountain situated in Scotland, standing at 1,345 meters (4,411 ft) above sea level. It is situated at the western end of the Grampian Mountains in the Lochaber zone of Scottish Highlands and appears in the 16th-century compositions as Beinn Nimmeis which means malicious or Venomous mountains.
In summer, the track up from Glen Nevis, near Fort William, swarms with visitors, some miserably under prepared for sudden changes in the climate conditions; one reason why Ben Nevis is also No. 1 when it comes to mountain rescue call-outs. The climb usually takes 6-8 hours.
Climbing, hiking and scrambling up its steep face is one of Ben Nevis’s greatest challenges, but hardy explorers will be rewarded with a some of the nation’s most astounding views.
Cairn Gorm is a Munro in the Scottish highlands also known as Am Monadh Ruadh (the Red hills) in the ancient times.
Cairn Gorm is the best known and most visited mountain of the range. With a high-level car park and extensive ski developments as well as the controversial funicular railway, it can seem somewhat spoiled.
It features the marvelous rock architecture and superb views, leaving the scarred sections for the return.
In perfect summer conditions, this is a reasonably straightforward hill walk, but the route does pass close to the edges of cliffs, requiring respect and navigational skills.
Cairn Gorn has a pretty good climate due to the North Atlantic which keeps the summer temperature low and winter temperature slightly below freezing.
Ben Macdui is Scotland’s second tallest mountain, standing at to 1309 meters (4296 ft) at the center of the Cairngorms region.
It’s also the center of the myth of Fear Liath Mhor – The Giant Grey Man – a yeti-like creature which roams in the region. Over the years there have been several reports of alleged sightings of this Giant by the walkers who had experienced unusual activities.
The easiest way to climb up the mountain is from the Coire Cas car park located at the foot of Cairngorm Ski Centre.
The third highest mountain in Scotland, Braeriach is perhaps the most beautiful of the Cairngorms and features a vast range of beautiful and dramatic Corries (Valleys).
Reaching the mountain requires a long approach walk and is not for the unprepared.
Cairn Toul is the fourth highest mountain in Scotland standing at 1,291 m (4,236 ft) above sea level.
It has the second highest peak in the western massif of the cairngorms. Cairn Toul is the most shapely of the high Cairngorms, rising as a giant sentinel above the infant River Dee. It is in a very wild and remote position and many walkers will need an overnight trip to climb it, whether from Deeside or Speyside. You can also climb the mountain from the west side i.e. starting from Achlean.
Sgor an Lochain Uaine
Sgor an Lochain Uaine also known as angel’s peak is the fifth highest Munro in the United Kingdom.
The mountain got its name from “An Lochan Uaine” the Lochan lying on the northeast direction of the peak. It was promoted to the full Munro status in the year 1997. It is an extremely remote mountain and the heart of Cairngorms. It is usually climbed in the conjunction with other peaks.
Aonach Beag is the second highest summit in the Nevis Range located about 2 mi to the east of Ben Nevis.
It is the part of high mountain ridge situated just to the north of Ben Alder. It has a dome-shaped form, with steep flanks and three radiating ridges, making part of a grand ridge walk.
The easiest way up there is to take the gondola lift serving the Nevis Range ski territory on Aonach Mor and take after the ridge joining the two peaks.
More traditionally, the mountain is often climbed from the from the south of Glen Nevis. The North side of Aonach Beag also features one of the Scotland’s longest lying snow patches known as ‘Queen’s View’.
Aonach Mor is a mountain situated about 2 miles from the south side of Glen Spean, near the town of Fort William.
Although lower than neighboring Aonach Beag, Aonach Mor got its ‘Mor’ tag from its greater bulk, hiding its taller neighbour.
It can be clearly seen from the Commando Memorial but this side of the mountain is scarred by ski-developments. Those who are looking for the fastest way to climb the Aonach Mor can take the gondola.
Càrn Mòr Dearg
Càrn Mòr Dearg is the eighth highest mountain in Scotland standing at 1,221 m (4,006 ft). It is situated close to the town of Fort William, in Lochaber.
It is located just to the northwest side of the famous Munro, Ben Nevis. Carn Mor Dearg’s graceful peak crowns a fine ridge – joined to its great neighbour Ben Nevis by the celebrated Carn Mor Dearg arete.
Ben Lawers is the tenth highest Munro of Scotland and the tallest mountain in the southern zone of Scottish highlands.
It is located on the north side of Loch Tay, standing at 1,214 m (3,983 ft) and has been made into a National Nature Reserve due to the abundance of alpine plants.
Botanist regard it as one of the richest areas for alpine plants in Europe due to the schist rocks found at the right altitude for the plants.