Munros are mountains in Scotland over 3,000 feet (914.4 metres) in height. They can be found in the Scottish Highlands as well as the Western Isles and the central belt, and climbing them (aka Munro bagging) is an ongoing challenge for thousands of hill walkers each year.
Discover the best Munros to bag in Scotland, where they are, and information about Munro bagging in this complete guide which includes maps and useful resources to make your Scottish mountain adventure an experience you’ll never forget.
How Many Munros Are There in Scotland?
A Munro is defined as a mountain in Scotland that is over 3,000 feet (914.4 metres) in height. There are several categories used to describe Scottish mountains, but it’s the tallest of them that have spawned an entire pastime in Scotland.
Before 1891 there was a lot of uncertainty about the number of Scotland’s tallest peaks, and estimates of how many were over 3,000 feet ranged from 31 to 236. It was obvious that someone would have to accurately survey each one, so the founding member of the Scottish Mountaineering Club, Sir Hugh Munro, took on the monumental task of climbing and classifying them.
Munro published his findings in the Scottish Mountaineering Club journal in 1891 with a set of tables that detailed 538 summits over 3,000 feet. Of these, 282 were classified as separate mountains, and it’s these that we refer to today as ‘Munros’.
If you’re wondering what happened to the other 256 summits, they’re actually classified as Munro Tops, which is a peak that has no prominence over others nearby.
There are also gradings for mountains under 3,000 feet, all of which were surveyed and published through the Scottish Mountaineering Club. These are:
- Corbett: Scottish mountains between 2,500 and 3,000 feet with a drop of 500 feet on all sides.
- Graham: Scottish mountains between 2,000 and 2,500 feet with a drop of 150 feet on all sides.
- Donald: Scottish mountain with a height up to 2,000 feet with a drop of 100 feet on all sides.
- Marilyn: Any mountain in Scotland with a drop of at least 150 feet on all sides.
With the advent of more accurate surveying techniques some of the original Munros were downgraded to Corbetts, while some Corbetts were upgraded to Munros, but the number coincidentally still totals 282 just as it did 130 years ago.
Climbing Scotland’s Munros is an extremely popular leisure activity and it’s even more popular today than it was when Hugh Munro published his official list. This is in part thanks to the efforts of groups like the John Muir Trust who have created superb footpaths on many of Scotland’s most-walked mountains.
What Is Munro Bagging?
After the official list of Munros was published a new outdoor activity quickly gained popularity with Scotland’s mountaineers and hillwalkers which took the name ‘Munro bagging’.
It’s an activity that’s challenging, to say the least, but it’s an incredibly rewarding experience that’s also very addictive once you get into it.
Munro bagging is basically where an individual climbs each one of Scotland’s 282 Munros to their summit, with each completion called a ’round’ and the individual that made the achievement called a ‘compleationist’.
That’s not a typo by the way, the Scottish Mountaineering Club still uses the spelling from the days of Hugh Munro.
So how long does it take to bag all Munros in Scotland? Well, to date there are more than 6,700 compleationists and each year another 200+ add their names to the official register.
Some people spend their whole lives trying to get to that 282nd Munro, while others attempt to finish a round in the fastest time possible (currently a jaw-dropping 32 days).
The average time to complete a round is around 20 years, but that hasn’t stopped some individuals from repeating the climb up all 282 Munros multiple times over.
The achievements of these Munroists (yes, you can officially call yourself a ‘Munroist’ after finishing your first round) are inspiring to say the least, and they include the youngest who finished his first round at just 9 years old and the current record holder who has an incredible 16 rounds under his belt.
If you’d like to learn more about that achievement, check out the Steve Fallon website which has a wealth of information about Munro bagging in Scotland as well as details of organized tours.
If you’ve decided you want to have a go yourself you’ve got two options, which are to set off under your own steam at your own pace or join a mountain climbing group.
If you decide to go it alone you must research each mountain to determine its difficulty level, but if you start off with the ‘easier’ Munros listed further down this page you should be able to climb them without much planning at all. When I recently climbed Schiehallion for example, I found myself at the top with a family with two 8-year-olds, a couple of pensioners, and a couple who’d brought their tiny jack russel along for the walk.
I guess if they can do it, pretty much anyone can.
On the other hand, some of the more difficult Munros are extremely challenging and shouldn’t be attempted by anyone inexperienced in hill walking or climbing. A prime example of this is the ‘Inaccessible Pinnacle’ – otherwise known as the ‘In Pinn’ – on the Isle of Skye.
This large blade of basalt rock is widely regarded as the most difficult peak in Britain, but if you want to stake your place in history as a compleationist you’ve got no option but to climb it.
Viewed side-on, the pinnacle takes the shape of a shark fin with sheer sides that offer little in the way of access. If getting up there looks difficult, getting down is even worse as you’ll have to abseil – which is why securing the help of a professional guide is pretty much a necessity.
Of course, you don’t have to climb every single Munro and if you’re anything like me you’ll have an amazing time just reaching the summit when and wherever you can. You’ll get to see places of extraordinary beauty that you would never otherwise see, you’ll have unforgettable encounters with wildlife, and you’ll get immense personal satisfaction from pushing yourself harder than you ever thought you were capable of.
Where Are the Munros in Scotland?
The majority of Scotland’s Munros are located in the Scottish Highlands, a mountainous region that lies west of the Highland Boundary Fault. This fault line extends from the Isle of Arran on the west coast up towards Stonehaven on the east, before doubling back towards Inverness, with everything lying to the west known as the Highlands and everything to the south and the east called the Lowlands.
A picture speaks a thousand words so here’s a wee diagram:
Due to the immense geological activity caused by this fault line and also due to the deep scores that were carved through Scotland by glaciers in the last ice age, the Highland landscape is one of the most diverse on the planet.
A truly stunning coastline that rivals Norway’s fjords borders vast freshwater lochs, and thick forests are set amongst monumental mountain ranges that stretch in every direction as far as the eye can see.
This stunning landscape is the location for the majority of Scotland’s mountains and while there are a few on the west coast islands and the central belt, if you’re trying to decide where to bag your first Munro the Highlands should be your first port of call.
All Munros in Scotland
CLICK HERE to see a list of all 282 Munros in Scotland, the region they’re located in and their heights.
|A’ Bhuidheanach Bheag||Cairngorms||936m|
|A’ Chailleach (Monadhliath)||Cairngorms||930m|
|Am Bodach||Fort William||1032m|
|An Caisteal||Loch Lomond||995m|
|An Gearanach||Fort William||982m|
|An Riabhachan||Loch Ness||1129m|
|An Socach (Affric)||Loch Ness||921m|
|An Socach (Braemar)||Cairngorms||944m|
|An Socach (Mullardoch)||Loch Ness||1069m|
|Aonach Air Chrith||Kintail||1021m|
|Aonach Beag (Alder)||Cairngorms||1116m|
|Aonach Beag (Nevis Range)||Fort William||1234m|
|Aonach Mor||Fort William||1221m|
|Beinn a’Chaorainn (Cairngorms)||Cairngorms||1082m|
|Beinn a’Chaorainn (Glen Spean)||Fort William||1050m|
|Beinn a’Chlachair||Fort William||1087m|
|Beinn a’Chroin||Loch Lomond||942m|
|Beinn an Dothaidh||Argyll||1004m|
|Beinn Chabhair||Loch Lomond||933m|
|Beinn Dearg (Blair Atholl)||Perthshire||1008m|
|Beinn Dearg (Ullapool)||Ullapool||1084m|
|Beinn Fhionnlaidh (Carn Eige)||Loch Ness||1005m|
|Beinn Ime||Loch Lomond||1011m|
|Beinn Iutharn Mhor||Cairngorms||1045m|
|Beinn Liath Mhor||Torridon||926m|
|Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich||Ullapool||954m|
|Beinn na Lap||Fort William||937m|
|Beinn nan Aighenan||Fort William||960m|
|Beinn Narnain||Loch Lomond||926m|
|Beinn Teallach||Fort William||915m|
|Beinn Tulaichean||Loch Lomond||946m|
|Ben Lomond||Loch Lomond||974m|
|Ben More||Loch Lomond||1174m|
|Ben More (Mull)||Islands||966m|
|Ben More Assynt||Ullapool||998m|
|Ben Nevis||Fort William||1345m|
|Ben Starav||Fort William||1078m|
|Ben Vane||Loch Lomond||915m|
|Ben Vorlich (Loch Earn)||Perthshire||985m|
|Ben Vorlich (Loch Lomond)||Loch Lomond||943m|
|Ben Wyvis||Loch Ness||1046m|
|Bidean nam Bian||Fort William||1150m|
|Bidein a’Choire Sheasgaich||Torridon||945m|
|Bidein a’Ghlas Thuill (An Teallach)||Ullapool||1062m|
|Binnein Beag||Fort William||943m|
|Binnein Mor||Fort William||1130m|
|Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain||Perthshire||1070m|
|Bruach na Frithe||Islands||958m|
|Cairn of Claise||Cairngorms||1064m|
|Carn a’Choire Bhoidheach||Cairngorms||1118m|
|Carn an Fhidhleir (Carn Ealar)||Cairngorms||994m|
|Carn an Righ||Perthshire||1029m|
|Carn an t-Sagairt Mor||Cairngorms||1047m|
|Carn an Tuirc||Cairngorms||1019m|
|Carn Dearg (Corrour)||Fort William||941m|
|Carn Dearg (Loch Pattack)||Cairngorms||1034m|
|Carn Dearg (Monadhliath)||Cairngorms||945m|
|Carn Eige||Loch Ness||1183m|
|Carn Liath (Beinn a’Ghlo)||Perthshire||975m|
|Carn Liath (Creag Meagaidh)||Fort William||1006m|
|Carn Mor Dearg||Fort William||1220m|
|Carn na Caim||Cairngorms||941m|
|Carn nan Gabhar||Perthshire||1121m|
|Carn nan Gobhar (Loch Mullardoch)||Loch Ness||992m|
|Carn nan Gobhar (Strathfarrar)||Loch Ness||992m|
|Chno Dearg||Fort William||1046m|
|Creag Meagaidh||Fort William||1130m|
|Creag Mhor (Glen Lochay)||Perthshire||1047m|
|Creag Mhor (Meall na Aighean)||Perthshire||981m|
|Creag nan Damh||Kintail||918m|
|Creag Pitridh||Fort William||924m|
|Cruach Ardrain||Loch Lomond||1046m|
|Eididh nan Clach Geala||Ullapool||927m|
|Garbh Chioch Mhor||Fort William||1013m|
|Geal Charn||Fort William||1049m|
|Geal Charn (Monadhliath)||Cairngorms||926m|
|Glas Bheinn Mhor||Fort William||997m|
|Ladhar Bheinn||Fort William||1020m|
|Luinne Bheinn||Fort William||939m|
|Mam Sodhail||Loch Ness||1181m|
|Meall a’Bhuiridh||Fort William||1108m|
|Meall a’Choire Leith||Perthshire||926m|
|Meall Buidhe (Glen Lyon)||Perthshire||932m|
|Meall Buidhe (Knoydart)||Fort William||946m|
|Meall Dearg (Aonach Eagach)||Fort William||953m|
|Meall Garbh (Ben Lawers)||Perthshire||1118m|
|Meall Garbh (Carn Mairg)||Perthshire||968m|
|Meall Glas||Loch Lomond||959m|
|Meall na Teanga||Fort William||918m|
|Meall nan Ceapraichean||Ullapool||977m|
|Meall nan Eun||Fort William||928m|
|Meall nan Tarmachan||Perthshire||1044m|
|Mullach an Rathain (Liathach)||Torridon||1023m|
|Mullach Clach a’Bhlair||Cairngorms||1019m|
|Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair||Ullapool||1019m|
|Mullach nan Coirean||Fort William||939m|
|Mullach nan Dheiragain||Loch Ness||982m|
|Na Gruagaichean||Fort William||1056m|
|Ruadh Stac Mor||Ullapool||918m|
|Ruadh-stac Mor (Beinn Eighe)||Torridon||1010m|
|Sgiath Chuil||Loch Lomond||921m|
|Sgor an Lochain Uaine||Cairngorms||1258m|
|Sgor Gaibhre||Fort William||955m|
|Sgor na h-Ulaidh||Fort William||994m|
|Sgorr Dhearg (Beinn a’Bheithir)||Fort William||1024m|
|Sgorr Dhonuill (Beinn a’Bheithir)||Fort William||1001m|
|Sgorr nam Fiannaidh (Aonach Eagach)||Fort William||967m|
|Sgurr a’Bhealaich Dheirg||Kintail||1036m|
|Sgurr a’Choire Ghlais||Loch Ness||1083m|
|Sgurr a’Mhaim||Fort William||1099m|
|Sgurr a’Mhaoraich||Fort William||1027m|
|Sgurr an Doire Leathain||Kintail||1010m|
|Sgurr an Lochain||Kintail||1004m|
|Sgurr Choinnich Mor||Fort William||1094m|
|Sgurr Dubh Mor||Islands||944m|
|Sgurr Eilde Mor||Fort William||1010m|
|Sgurr Fhuar-thuill||Loch Ness||1049m|
|Sgurr Fiona (An Teallach)||Ullapool||1060m|
|Sgurr Mhic Choinnich||Islands||948m|
|Sgurr Mor (Beinn Alligin)||Torridon||986m|
|Sgurr Mor (Loch Quoich)||Fort William||1003m|
|Sgurr na Banachdich||Islands||965m|
|Sgurr na Carnach||Kintail||1002m|
|Sgurr na Ciche||Fort William||1040m|
|Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe||Kintail||1027m|
|Sgurr na Lapaich||Loch Ness||1150m|
|Sgurr na Ruaidhe||Loch Ness||993m|
|Sgurr na Sgine||Kintail||945m|
|Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan||Loch Ness||1151m|
|Sgurr nan Clach Geala||Ullapool||1093m|
|Sgurr nan Coireachan (Glen Dessary)||Fort William||953m|
|Sgurr nan Coireachan (Glenfinnan)||Fort William||956m|
|Sgurr nan Conbhairean||Kintail||1109m|
|Sgurr nan Each||Ullapool||923m|
|Sgurr nan Eag||Islands||924m|
|Sgurr nan Gillean||Islands||964m|
|Sgurr Thuilm||Fort William||963m|
|Spidean a’Choire Leith (Liathach)||Torridon||1055m|
|Spidean Coire nan Clach (Beinn Eighe)||Torridon||993m|
|Spidean Mialach||Fort William||996m|
|Sron a’Choire Ghairbh||Fort William||937m|
|Stob a’Choire Mheadhoin||Fort William||1106m|
|Stob a’Choire Odhair||Argyll||945m|
|Stob Ban (Grey Corries)||Fort William||977m|
|Stob Ban (Mamores)||Fort William||999m|
|Stob Binnein||Loch Lomond||1165m|
|Stob Choire Claurigh||Fort William||1177m|
|Stob Coir an Albannaich||Fort William||1044m|
|Stob Coire a’Chairn||Fort William||981m|
|Stob Coire an Laoigh||Fort William||1116m|
|Stob Coire Easain||Fort William||1115m|
|Stob Coire Raineach (Buachaille Etive Beag)||Fort William||925m|
|Stob Coire Sgreamhach||Fort William||1072m|
|Stob Coire Sgriodain||Fort William||979m|
|Stob Dearg (Buachaille Etive Mor)||Fort William||1021m|
|Stob Dubh (Buachaille Etive Beag)||Fort William||956m|
|Stob na Broige (Buachaille Etive Mor)||Fort William||956m|
|Stob Poite Coire Ardair||Fort William||1054m|
|Stuchd an Lochain||Perthshire||960m|
|The Devil’s Point||Cairngorms||1004m|
|Toll Creagach||Loch Ness||1054m|
|Tom a’Choinich||Loch Ness||1112m|
|Tom na Gruagaich (Beinn Alligin)||Torridon||922m|
Which Are the Easiest Munros to Bag?
Climbing Scotland’s Munros doesn’t have to be a massive undertaking and it’s worth bearing in mind that many peaks are quite accessible. That being said, no Munro could ever be described as easy but it’s certainly true that some are easier than others.
The following list of Munros to bag in Scotland is ideal for anyone starting their first round or perhaps anyone who just wants to climb a single Munro to say they’ve done it. However, you should have a few basics under your belt before setting off which include map reading skills and a moderate level of fitness.
In addition, it’s your responsibility to ensure you’re adequately equipped for the climb so wear appropriate clothes with additional warm and waterproof layers, even if it’s a warm and sunny day. Take plenty of food and water, wear good quality waterproof boots (check out my recommended boots, pack a map, and take a GPS device (your phone will suffice in most cases).
- Location: OS Grid Ref NN 77328 30867. Latitude: 56° 27′ 14″ N, Longitude: 3° 59′ 31″ W
- Height: Elevation 3,054 feet (931 metres), Prominence 2,116 feet (645 metres)
This Munro in Perthshire is considered one of the easiest to climb and it’s often chosen as the first ascent for beginner Munro-baggers. In fact, the hardest part might be finding the start of the walk.
From Loch Earn, follow the A85 to the village of Comrie and take the minor Monument Road for 5 miles till you get to the Ben Chonzie car park. There’s only space for perhaps 5 vehicles so I suggest getting there early as parking on the narrow verge is difficult.
There’s a narrow track that leads from the car park towards Ben Chonzie which is waymarked and isn’t at all difficult to navigate, but keep an eye open for a small dam that crosses a burn to know you’re on the right track. From there it’s a simple walk on a rough path to the summit where you’ll have stunning views across Glen Lednock.
- Location: OS Grid Ref: NN 63553 41423. Latitude: 56° 32′ 41″ N, Longitude: 4° 13′ 15″ W
- Height: Elevation 3,983 feet (1,214 metres), Prominence 3,002 feet (915 metres)
- Out About Scotland complete guide: Ben Lawers
This is the 10th-highest Munro in Scotland at 3,980 feet (1,213.1 metres), but it’s one of the easiest to climb thanks to a car park situated halfway up it which offers access to a rough footpath to the top.
Ben Lawers is one of the few Scottish Munros that isn’t located in the depths of the Highlands miles from anywhere, and instead, you’ll find it’s quite easy to get to by following the A827 along the northern bank of Loch Tay.
There’s a single-track road a mile or so past Morenish that leads to the car park where you’ll find a well-marked track that continues up the mountain on a route that I’d say is nothing more than a moderate incline. There’s even a wooden walkway in places so it’s a very accessible way to view Scotland’s mountain scenery.
The wide-open mountainside of Ben Lawers is a favourite hunting ground for eagles, so if you have room in your backpack I recommend throwing a pair of binoculars in there as you never know what you’ll see during the ascent.
- Location: OS Grid Ref: NN 36707 02861. Latitude: 56° 11′ 25″ N, Longitude: 4° 37′ 58″ W
- Height: Elevation 3,195 feet (974 metres), Prominence 2,687 feet (819 metres)
As the most southerly of all Scotland’s Munros, Ben Lomond is also one of the most visited thanks to a superb (for a Scottish mountain) path that runs in a loop from the eastern shore of Loch Lomond to the summit and back again.
Getting to the Trossachs is a short drive from Glasgow and Edinburgh so you can easily bag this Munro on a day trip without having to book overnight accommodation. However, with such stunning scenery on your doorstep, I’d advise spending at least a couple of days in the area to explore the pretty village of Balloch, Queen Elizabeth Forest, Loch Lomond, and of course, Ben Lomond.
Ben Lomond rivals Ben Nevis as the most-climbed peak in Scotland so don’t expect to have the place to yourself when you visit. If you set off early you’ll find it’s reasonably quiet though, and the views on the 7-mile route are nothing short of spectacular.
As with all of Scotland’s Munros you’ll find an excellent route guide on the Walk Highlands website as well as a downloadable Google Earth route, but personally, I prefer using an OS Map – which I cover in detail later in this article.
- Location: OS Grid Ref: NN 71385 54768. Latitude: 56° 40′ 1″ N, Longitude: 4° 6′ 0″ W
- Height: Elevation 3,553 feet (1,083 metres), Prominence 2,356 feet (718 metres)
- Out About Scotland complete guide: Schiehallion
It has been said that you could drive up Schiehallion, and at times that’s not too far from the truth. The mountain features a wide and sloping footpath that’s easily accessed and the only moderately difficult section is the rocky scramble at the very top. Perhaps that’s why more than 20,000 people make the climb each year.
The mountain is located in Perth and Kinross 10 miles northwest of Aberfeldy, not far from the lochs of Tay, Rannoch, and Tummel.
It might appear daunting when the steep slopes are viewed from the north, but looking at it from the east shows that it’s a slender mountain with a long slope that gradually rises to its peak, and it’s this route that is so appealing to beginner hill walkers.
The best way to tackle Schiehallion is to park at the Braes of Foss car park and follow the path alongside woodland which abruptly opens onto an open plain of wildflowers and grasses. There’s nowhere else to deviate to so it’s almost impossible to head off in the wrong direction and all you really have to do is follow the footpath and keep walking onwards and upwards.
Once at the summit, you’ll get amazing views of Loch Rannoch and Rannoch Moor before returning on the same path back to the car park.
Which Are the Best Munros to Climb?
What makes a mountain great? Is it the difficulty to climb it? The views from the summit? The wildlife that lives on it?
Personally, I wouldn’t say any criteria that make climbing one mountain ‘better’ than climbing any other because what one person thinks is a great Munro can just as easily be at the bottom of the list for someone else.
However, there are a few factors that will help to make the ascent a more enjoyable experience for the majority of people, which include ease of road access and car parking, a not-too-difficult terrain, the chance to see Scotland’s wildlife, and gob-smacking views from the summit.
While there’s a heap of Munros that foot the bill I have a few favourites that I’d like to share with you, and I reckon they all offer a wonderful experience for any hillwalker whether they’re an inexperienced newbie or a seasoned pro.
- Location: OS Grid Ref: NM 52575 33077. Latitude: 56° 25′ 29″ N, Longitude: 6° 0′ 50″ W
- Height: Elevation 3,169 feet (966 metres), Prominence 3,169 feet (966 metres)
- Out About Scotland complete guide: Ben More
There are actually two Ben More’s in Scotland, but when the name is mentioned most people immediately think of the peak located between Loch Lomond and Loch Earn. The Munro I’m including in this list, however, is instead the one on the Isle of Mull which is my favourite west coast island.
Ben More sits on the western side of the island more-or-less in the middle, and as it’s the highest mountain in the Inner Hebrides it dominates the landscape for miles in every direction.
There are two routes to get to the summit which you can attack from either the north or south faces, but it’s recommended to approach it from the village of Dhiseig on the shore of Loch Na Keal and head south. The alternative route in the opposite direction is steep and very, very tough (I know this from experience), and should only be attempted by experienced hill walkers.
It takes around 4 hours to complete both routes but whichever you take you can be assured of amazing views along the way. One tip I have is to take binoculars with you as there’s every chance you’ll get to see Britain’s biggest bird, the white-tailed sea eagle, soaring overhead.
- Location: OS Grid Ref: NN 16675 71282. Latitude: 56° 47′ 48″ N, Longitude: 5° 0′ 12″ W
- Height: Elevation 4,412 feet (1,345 metres), Prominence 4,409 feet (1,344 metres)
- Out About Scotland complete guide: The Ben Nevis Mountain Gondola
It’s impossible not to have heard of Ben Nevis. As children we’re taught it’s the highest mountain in Britain and as adults who love the great outdoors we aspire to climb it one day.
There are a couple of routes to the summit but it’s the most-used path (otherwise known as ‘the tourist route’) that you’ll probably walk unless you’re a hardened outdoors adventurer.
‘Tourist route’ is a bit of a misnomer though as it’s actually quite a long and strenuous trek to the top. It’s a well-maintained path to be sure, but it’s over ten miles in length and will take most people around eight hours to complete.
Because it’s such a popular trail there are excellent visitor facilities at the foot of the mountain which include ample car parking and a visitor centre with a café, an information point and a gift shop, and lots of signposts to keep you pointed in the right direction.
The mountain is maintained by the John Muir Trust and just like at Schiehallion they’ve done a superb job of creating an accessible path which zigzags its way to the summit, though it gets rougher and scree-covered towards the top. Once there you’ll be presented with superb views in all directions, but take care as there are steep drops, especially on the north face.
Bidean Nam Bian
- Location: OS Grid Ref: NN 14341 54210. Latitude: 56° 38′ 34″ N, Longitude: 5° 1′ 45″ W
- Height: Elevation 3,772 feet (1,150 metres), Prominence 2,772 feet (845 metres)
- Out About Scotland complete guide: Bidean Nam Bian
Glencoe is another tourist hotspot in the Highlands and it’s (at least in my opinion) much prettier than the scenery surrounding Ben Nevis.
The route up Bidean Nam Bian starts at Loch Actriochtan and continues up a moderately steep and rocky path to the peak of Stob Coire nan Lochan where you can venture deep into the ridges of the mountain known as ‘The Three Sisters’.
This route can be tricky when it’s covered with snow and ice so unless you’re an experienced climber I suggest reserving a visit till the weather improves when you’ll be able to appreciate the view across the glen, as well as the refreshing pools of water that cascade off the mountain side.
After reaching the top of Coire nan Lochan you’ll see the path petering out into a box canyon which requires a scramble up scree slopes, after which you’ll be able to join another path that leads onto Stob Coire nan Lochan.
It looks quite daunting from the bottom but it’s actually not too bad on close inspection, though it’s quite narrow, so if you haven’t got a head for heights you might not find it a particularly enjoyable experience. The view from the top of the ridge is nothing short of breathtaking though, with superb views out to Loch Etive and even the Isle of Mull on a clear day.
Ben Vorlich and Stuc A’Chroin
- Location: OS Grid Ref: NN 61746 17464. Latitude: 56° 19′ 45″ N, Longitude: 4° 14′ 15″ W
- Height: Elevation 3,199 feet (975 metres), Prominence 827 feet (252 metres)
I would have included Ben Vorlich on its own were it not for the fact that at 2,900 feet it’s 100 feet shy of being a Munro, but it’s still worth climbing as it’s a lovely walk and you can tack on nearby Stuc a’Chroin if you really want that magical 3,000-foot accomplishment.
The easiest path starts from the southern shores of Loch Earn where it passes through woodland before the scenery changes to moorland as the elevation increases. The path is well-worn so there shouldn’t be any problems making your way to the summit of Ben Vorlich and at just 5 miles this first section shouldn’t take more than 3 hours to complete.
If you want to extend the route there’s a path from Ben Vorlich to Stuc a’Chroin that’s relatively straightforward apart from the last section which involves a steep scramble to the summit.
More Recommended Munros in Scotland
Trying to include a review of every single Scottish Munro in one article is pointless as it would make it so long you may as well go and read a book on the subject. What I’ll do instead, therefore, is include a few of my personal favourites in the following list as and when I’m able to visit them.
These Munros aren’t classified as ‘best’ in any particular category, but if I enjoy climbing them I’ll be sure to add them below along with links to my in-depth reviews.
- Location: OS Grid Ref: NN 06962 30471. Latitude: 56° 25′ 36″ N, Longitude: 5° 7′ 54″ W
- Height: Elevation 3,694 feet (1,126 metres), Prominence 2,890 feet (881 metres)
- Out About Scotland complete guide: Ben Cruachan Dam
Ben Cruachan is one of the highest Munros in the Southern Highlands and it’s extremely popular for two reasons.
The first is the fact the superb ‘Hollow Mountain’ attraction is located nearby where visitors can take a journey deep inside the mountain to view an enormous underground hydroelectric power station. The station is powered by water stored in the dam and visitors are encouraged to walk up to it for a look, after which they can continue to the Ben Cruachan summit or return to the visitor centre.
The second reason to visit Ben Cruachan is for the superb views from the summit of Stob Dàimh where climbers are presented with a sweeping panorama of Argyll that’s nothing short of breathtaking.
The route to the summit is exceptionally pretty and if the road leading to the dam is followed then a good portion of it is exceptionally easy to walk as well.
Those visitors wanting to take the easy-going road to the dam can park in a lay-by at the side of the A85 not far from the Falls of Cruachan railway station. From there, follow an underpass and take the path heading in the direction of a small electric substation.
The path then joins the road that leads up to the dam which is a pleasant enough walk in itself, before transitioning into a stony track that leads up to the summit. In total, I’d plan around 8 hours to walk the return route to the summit and half that if you don’t progress further than the dam.
- Location: OS Grid Ref: NC 47750 50150. Latitude: 58° 24′ 47″ N, Longitude: 4° 36′ 28″ W
- Height: Elevation 3,041 feet (927 metres), Prominence 2,533 feet (772 metres)
- Out About Scotland complete guide: Ben Hope
This is, without doubt, the remotest Munro I’ve included in this article as it’s located in the far-northern county of Sutherland and is, in fact, the most northerly mountain on the British mainland.
I have to say this is one of my favourite regions of Scotland, with a wild and dramatic coastline, countless picturesque lochs, and a beautiful landscape that’s a haven for wildlife.
Access to Ben Hope is via a single-track road that can be joined from either the A838 to the north or the A836 to the south, with a car park located south of Loch Hope and close to Broch Dun Dornaigil.
The track leading up the mountain is steep and covered with loose rocks so climbers should take care, especially in the sections that veer towards several burns that cascade down the slopes. As pretty as they are these flows of water make the ground very slippery underfoot and after a rainfall the ascent can be downright treacherous.
Thankfully, even though Ben Hope is so remote it’s frequently visited by climbers so the trail is immediately obvious at every step of the way.
It’s quite a twisty-turny route as it has to bypass quite a few gorges, but the effort involved is more than worth it, and visitors will have umpteen photo opportunities of Strathmore as they forge ahead through the heather-covered lower slopes. Towards the top, it gets steeper and more barren as the plants thin out and the slopes become scree-covered, and it becomes a downright scramble once you get nearer to the summit.
At the top you’ll find a cairn and a stone wind shelter where you can soak up the gorgeous views across Sutherland, before returning to the car park on the same route as used for the ascent.
- Location: OS Grid Ref: NJ 00516 04064. Latitude: 57° 7′ 0″ N, Longitude: 3° 38′ 40″ W
- Height: Elevation 4,084 feet (1,245 metres), Prominence 476 feet (145 metres)
- Out About Scotland complete guide: Cairngorm Mountain Funicular
The Cairngorm mountain range is located in the heart of the Highlands, more-or-less dead centre in the vast Cairngorms National Park.
The Cairngorm range is part of the wider Grampian mountains which cover a large area of Scotland between the far northern Highlands and the Central Lowlands, and it includes many of the highest mountains in the UK such as Ben Nevis and Cairn Gorm.
This is one of the highest peaks in Scotland at over 4,000 feet and is, in fact, the seventh-highest mountain in Britain, so anyone thinking of climbing up it will require a degree of fitness and stamina as well as experience in scaling Scotland’s tougher peaks.
There are several routes up the mountain but by far the most-used is the ‘windy ridge’ path which is quite steep but is also the most direct and is the route that’s almost always described in guidebooks. The internet is full of websites that describe how to make this ascent but I’ve yet to find one that’s as detailed as the Walk Highlands Cairn Gorm page.
Another route that is almost as popular follows the ski track up the slope of Coire Cas close to the Cairngorm Mountain Funicular, but this trail veers away from the summit in several places and is very busy during the ski season.
My advice is to head to the lower Cairngorm Mountain Experience Centre and take a good look at the information boards and maps to plan your ascent. While there, speak to the staff as they will be able to tell you which routes are open and which are dangerous – information that’s especially important in winter when the tracks along the exposed plateaus are obscured by snow.
Even if you decide not to scale the summit on foot it’s worth visiting the Cairn Gorm base centre as the mountain funicular allows swift travel up the mountain slopes to a visitor centre near the top where there’s a restaurant and a viewing platform.
This is a superb way to ‘climb’ a mountain for anyone with mobility issues, but visitors are currently not permitted to exit the station due to the damage inflicted on the fragile slopes by countless tourists over the years.
Munro Walking Advice and Recommended Gear
Climbing mountains is an inherently risky hobby and while some Munros are easier to bag than others the fact is there’s no ‘easy’ Munro.
Before setting off on your adventure it’s advisable to go online and have a quick run-through of the route you’ll be taking, and maybe look at a few opinions of other hill walkers who have already completed it. One of the best resources for this is the Walk Highlands website which has detailed route maps and descriptions of thousands of walks in Scotland, plus they have reviews and photos taken by experienced hill walkers.
When you’ve chosen a Munro that you feel you’re capable of climbing it’s extremely useful to get an accurate weather forecast.
Scotland’s changeable weather can make or break your climb and if you don’t check the forecast before leaving home you could find yourself lost in driving rain and unable to see more than a few feet ahead.
My go-to is the Mountain Weather Information Service which has some of the most detailed weather reports you’re ever likely to find, and they specialize in producing forecasts for Britain’s mountain areas. Another website I like to check before heading off into the great outdoors is Mountain Forecast.
This website is best for viewing updated maps that show cloud conditions across the UK and I personally find the site easier to understand than reading a text report. They also have a handy ‘mountains closest to you’ section which I’ve used many times to get ideas for peaks to climb whenever I’m visiting a new region of Scotland.
The next stage of your climb is making sure you’ve got the correct kit, and while I’m not going to explicitly state what’s best, I’ve got a few essentials that I use which I’ll list below.
The two most important items are a good water and windproof jacket, and comfy, supportive walking boots.
For the jacket, I swear by Berghaus (this and the following links are for Amazon). They’re at the premium end of consumer-level walking jackets but the quality is excellent and they’re superb at keeping you dry when it starts raining – which it will at some point.
A great feature of Berghuas jackets is their universal zip which means you can insert different liners depending on the time of year you’re climbing. In winter I zip in a thick fleece and in the warmer months I zip in a lightweight gilet, and then depending on how hot or cold I get during the climb I just swap the layers about and stuff whatever isn’t needed in my backpack.
For boots, again I can only recommend what I’ve used myself and I now only wear Berghaus.
I’ve tried other brands but in my opinion, Berghaus boots offer the best combination of comfort and durability for the money, plus they’re generous with the ankle support and the soles are extra grippy.
I’ve created an article about hiking boots which you can read if you want more information.
Having the right kit means nothing if you can’t get to your destination, and that’s where my final piece of must-have gear comes into play – a map and compass.
For the map, you don’t need to look any further than Ordnance Survey. OS Maps have been going for decades and they’ve perfected making maps that are easy to read and ultra-detailed, plus you can get waterproof maps that are ideal for Scotland’s wet weather.
There are two types of OS map which are either labelled OS Explorer or OS Landranger. Explorer maps have a 1:25,000 scale (where 4 cm on the map equals 1 km in real life) and Landranger maps have a 1:50,000 scale where 2 cm on the map equals 1 km in real life).
The Explorer range is best for walking as they’re more detailed, but I tend to go for Landranger maps as they double up for long-distance cycle routes.
To be honest, either should suffice for most walks in Scotland but if you see them in a shop make sure you only get the new ones which have a blue ‘Mobile download’ logo. This invaluable feature allows you to download your purchased OS map onto your phone which is worth the price of the map on its own.
The OS Maps app works with your phone’s GPS to overlay your position directly onto the map so you can see exactly where you are and the direction you’re heading. This feature is worth its weight in gold and I’ve found it so handy I only really use the paper map as a backup these days.
That being said, I’d never venture on a hike without a paper map in my bag as mobile phones have a big downside in that their batteries run out, whereas you’ll always be able to use a paper map.
If you like the sound of using OS Maps on your mobile device you can subscribe to their premium service which gives you access to every single map of Britain for around £25 a year. Considering the paper maps are around £10 each it’s a bit of a bargain.
Ordnance Survey also sell an all-in-one GPS maps device which is ruggedized, has a 30-hour battery life, supports multiple satellites and includes every OS map of Britain at no extra cost. I’ve seen one and have decided I must have one. As soon as my other half gives me the go-ahead that is.
Alongside your paper map it’s recommended to purchase a compass and learn how to use it. There are a million places you can get a compass and they’re so cheap you might as well get one to throw in your bag as they weigh virtually nothing and take up a tiny amount of space.
As always, Amazon is your best friend here so follow this link to buy one.
There’s not much else that I’d class as a necessity unless you’re tackling the more advanced Munros, but if you are I suggest heading over to the websites in the section below for tips from the pros.
That being said, for most walks in Scotland it’s always handy to have:
2: A head torch. Handheld torches are a pain to use when holding a map so a head torch is recommended. There are a bazillion of these things on Amazon so follow this link and take your pick.
3: A first aid kit. I wouldn’t carry a big kit as they’re cumbersome, but it’s certainly useful to have plasters for cuts and scrapes and a bandage to support twisted ankles. I have a small pouch kit that weighs very little and sits permanently in a side pocket in my backpack. There are lots of options on Amazon.
4: Food and water. Basically, take lots of it, especially water. Walking uphill for two or three hours is thirsty work and it’ll be torture if you can’t replace lost fluids because you’ve forgotten to pack a water bottle.
I recommend a metal bottle as they’ll survive being battered about when you drop your backpack to the floor, and most packs have two bottle holders so you should be able to take 2 litres no problem. Amazon link to metal water bottles.
Recommended Resources and Further Reading
Scottish Mountaineering Club: This is one of the most respected clubs for climbing in Scotland. The SMC has been operating for over 100 years and they have a wealth of information about Munros as well as hosting a number of club meets and events. Members can even book one of their huts which are strategically positioned close to mountain ranges.
The Munro Society: This is another club for Munro baggers, although The Munro Society aims to serve compleationists rather than people that are still working towards finishing their first round. The society aims to act as a social network as well as provide mountain surveys and environmental reports on Scotland’s changing mountain scenery.
Munro Map: This handy website features an interactive map that depicts all the Munros in Scotland and it also has information about each mountain including coordinates, elevations, and the distance to surrounding mountains.
Walk Highlands: Walk Highlands is by far the best online resource for walking trails in Scotland. Not only do they have in-depth route descriptions, but each trail is accompanied by photos to help you get your bearings, as well as routes that can be downloaded onto Google Earth.
If there’s a good walking trail in Scotland you can be assured Walk Highlands has it covered on their website.
Steve Fallon Mountain Adventures: Steve Fallon is the current record holder for the most rounds completed so the guy is a bit of an expert when it comes to Munro bagging. His website is jam-packed with information about Munros and in addition to detailed guides about them he also runs guided treks up them. Definitely bookmark this one for your outdoor adventures.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which are the nearest Munros to Edinburgh?
Ben Chonzie – Time from Edinburgh: 1 hour 53 minutes.
Beinn a’Ghlo – Time from Edinburgh: 1 hour 51 minutes.
Ben Vorlich and Stuc a Chroin – Time from Edinburgh: 1 hour 58 minutes.
Beinn Udlamain and Sgairneach Mhor – Time from Edinburgh: 2 hours 7 minutes.
What are the Munros near Glasgow?
Ben Lomond – Time from Glasgow: 1 hour 12 minutes.
Beinn Narnain- Time from Glasgow: 1 hour 20 minutes.
Ben Ime- Time from Glasgow: 1 hour 11 minutes.
Ben Vane- Time from Glasgow: 1 hour 17 minutes.
Which are the highest Munros in Scotland?
Ben Nevis (1,345m).
Ben Macdui (1,309m).
Cairn Toul (1,291m).
Sgor an Lochain Uaine (1,258m).
Cairn Gorm (1,245m).
Aonach Beag (Nevis) (1,234m).
Aonach Mor (1,221m).
Carn Mor Dearg (1,220m).
Ben Lawers (1,214m).
Which are the smallest Munros in Scotland?
Ruadh Stac Mor (919m).
Sgurr a’Mhadaidh (918m).
Creag nan Damh (917m)
Geal-charn (Drumochter) (917m).
Meall na Teanga (917m).
Beinn a’Chleibh (916m).
Ben Vane (916m).
Carn Aosda (915m).
Beinn Teallach (915m).