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 mountains to climb, 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.
What is a Munro?
A Munro is defined as a mountain in Scotland that is over 3,000 feet (914.4 metres) in height. There are, in fact, a number of 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 hills between 2,500 and 3,000 feet with a drop of 500 feet on all sides.
- Graham: Scottish hills between 2,000 and 2,500 feet with a drop of 150 feet on all sides.
- Donald: Scottish hills with a height up to 2,000 feet with a drop of 100 feet on all sides.
- Marilyn: Any hill in Scotland with a drop of 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 today still totals 282 just as it did 130 years ago.
Climbing Scotland’s Munros is an extremely popular leisure activity and it’s one that’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 and it’s one 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.
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 might be 20 years, but that hasn’t stopped some individuals from repeating the climb up all 282 Munros multiple times over.
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The achievements of these Munroists (yes, you can officially call yourself a ‘Munroist’ after finishing your first round) is 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 basically 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 that’s 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.
There’s a lot to be gained from Munro bagging.
Where are the Munros in Scotland?
The majority of Scotland’s Munros are located in the Scottish Highlands which is 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.
Check out the table below to view a complete list of all of Scotland’s Munros and scroll around the interactive map to see exactly where each one is located.
List of Scottish Munros
CLICK HERE to see a list of all 282 Munros in Scotland, the region they’re located in and their heights.
Mountain Region Altitude A’ Bhuidheanach Bheag Cairngorms 936m A’ Chailleach Ullapool 997m A’ Chailleach (Monadhliath) Cairngorms 930m A’ Chralaig Kintail 1120m A’ Ghlas-bheinn Kintail 918m A’ Mhaighdean Ullapool 967m A’ Mharconaich Cairngorms 975m Am Basteir Islands 934m Am Bodach Fort William 1032m Am Faochagach Ullapool 954m An Caisteal Loch Lomond 995m An Coileachan Ullapool 923m An Gearanach Fort William 982m An Riabhachan Loch Ness 1129m An Sgarsoch Cairngorms 1006m An Socach (Affric) Loch Ness 921m An Socach (Braemar) Cairngorms 944m An Socach (Mullardoch) Loch Ness 1069m An Stuc Perthshire 1118m Aonach Air Chrith Kintail 1021m Aonach Beag (Alder) Cairngorms 1116m Aonach Beag (Nevis Range) Fort William 1234m Aonach Meadhoin Kintail 1001m Aonach Mor Fort William 1221m Beinn a’Bhuird Cairngorms 1197m Beinn a’Chaorainn (Cairngorms) Cairngorms 1082m Beinn a’Chaorainn (Glen Spean) Fort William 1050m Beinn a’Chlachair Fort William 1087m Beinn a’Chleibh Argyll 916m Beinn a’Chochuill Argyll 980m Beinn a’Chreachain Argyll 1081m Beinn a’Chroin Loch Lomond 942m Beinn Achaladair Argyll 1038m Beinn an Dothaidh Argyll 1004m Beinn Bheoil Cairngorms 1019m Beinn Bhreac Cairngorms 931m Beinn Bhrotain Cairngorms 1157m Beinn Bhuidhe Argyll 948m Beinn Chabhair Loch Lomond 933m Beinn Dearg (Blair Atholl) Perthshire 1008m Beinn Dearg (Ullapool) Ullapool 1084m Beinn Dorain Argyll 1076m Beinn Dubhchraig Argyll 978m Beinn Eibhinn Cairngorms 1102m Beinn Eunaich Argyll 989m Beinn Fhada Kintail 1032m Beinn Fhionnlaidh Argyll 959m Beinn Fhionnlaidh (Carn Eige) Loch Ness 1005m Beinn Ghlas Perthshire 1103m Beinn Heasgarnich Perthshire 1078m Beinn Ime Loch Lomond 1011m Beinn Iutharn Mhor Cairngorms 1045m Beinn Liath Mhor Torridon 926m Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich Ullapool 954m Beinn Mhanach Argyll 953m Beinn Mheadhoin Cairngorms 1182m Beinn na Lap Fort William 937m Beinn nan Aighenan Fort William 960m Beinn Narnain Loch Lomond 926m Beinn Sgritheall Kintail 974m Beinn Sgulaird Argyll 937m Beinn Tarsuinn Ullapool 937m Beinn Teallach Fort William 915m Beinn Tulaichean Loch Lomond 946m Beinn Udlamain Cairngorms 1010m Ben Alder Cairngorms 1148m Ben Avon Cairngorms 1171m Ben Challum Argyll 1025m Ben Chonzie Perthshire 931m Ben Cruachan Argyll 1126m Ben Hope Sutherland 927m Ben Klibreck Sutherland 961m Ben Lawers Perthshire 1214m Ben Lomond Loch Lomond 974m Ben Lui Argyll 1130m Ben Macdui Cairngorms 1309m Ben More Loch Lomond 1174m Ben More (Mull) Islands 966m Ben More Assynt Ullapool 998m Ben Nevis Fort William 1345m Ben Oss Argyll 1029m 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 Bla Bheinn Islands 928m Braeriach Cairngorms 1296m Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain Perthshire 1070m Broad Cairn Cairngorms 998m Bruach na Frithe Islands 958m Bynack More Cairngorms 1090m Cairn Bannoch Cairngorms 1012m Cairn Gorm Cairngorms 1245m Cairn of Claise Cairngorms 1064m Cairn Toul Cairngorms 1291m Carn a’Chlamain Perthshire 963m Carn a’Choire Bhoidheach Cairngorms 1118m Carn a’Gheoidh Cairngorms 975m Carn a’Mhaim Cairngorms 1037m 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 Aosda Cairngorms 917m Carn Bhac Cairngorms 946m Carn Dearg (Corrour) Fort William 941m Carn Dearg (Loch Pattack) Cairngorms 1034m Carn Dearg (Monadhliath) Cairngorms 945m Carn Eige Loch Ness 1183m Carn Ghluasaid Kintail 957m Carn Gorm Perthshire 1029m Carn Liath (Beinn a’Ghlo) Perthshire 975m Carn Liath (Creag Meagaidh) Fort William 1006m Carn Mairg Perthshire 1042m 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 Carn Sgulain Cairngorms 920m Chno Dearg Fort William 1046m Ciste Dhubh Kintail 979m Cona’ Mheall Ullapool 978m Conival Ullapool 987m Creag a’Mhaim Kintail 947m Creag Leacach Cairngorms 987m 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 Creise Fort William 1100m Cruach Ardrain Loch Lomond 1046m Derry Cairngorm Cairngorms 1155m Driesh Angus 947m Druim Shionnach Kintail 987m Eididh nan Clach Geala Ullapool 927m Fionn Bheinn Torridon 933m Gairich Fort William 919m Garbh Chioch Mhor Fort William 1013m Geal Charn Fort William 1049m Geal Charn (Monadhliath) Cairngorms 926m Geal-charn (Alder) Cairngorms 1132m Geal-charn (Drumochter) Cairngorms 917m Glas Bheinn Mhor Fort William 997m Glas Maol Cairngorms 1068m Glas Tulaichean Perthshire 1051m Gleouraich Fort William 1035m Gulvain Fort William 987m Inaccessible Pinnacle Islands 986m Ladhar Bheinn Fort William 1020m Lochnagar Cairngorms 1155m Luinne Bheinn Fort William 939m Lurg Mhor Torridon 986m Mam Sodhail Loch Ness 1181m Maoile Lunndaidh Torridon 1007m Maol Chean-dearg Torridon 933m Maol chinn-dearg Kintail 981m Mayar Angus 928m Meall a’Bhuiridh Fort William 1108m Meall a’Choire Leith Perthshire 926m Meall a’Chrasgaidh Ullapool 934m Meall Buidhe (Glen Lyon) Perthshire 932m Meall Buidhe (Knoydart) Fort William 946m Meall Chuaich Cairngorms 951m Meall Corranaich Perthshire 1069m Meall Dearg (Aonach Eagach) Fort William 953m Meall Garbh (Ben Lawers) Perthshire 1118m Meall Garbh (Carn Mairg) Perthshire 968m Meall Ghaordaidh Perthshire 1039m Meall Glas Loch Lomond 959m Meall Gorm Ullapool 949m Meall Greigh Perthshire 1001m Meall na Teanga Fort William 918m Meall nan Ceapraichean Ullapool 977m Meall nan Eun Fort William 928m Meall nan Tarmachan Perthshire 1044m Monadh Mor Cairngorms 1113m Moruisg Torridon 928m Mount Keen Angus 939m Mullach an Rathain (Liathach) Torridon 1023m Mullach Clach a’Bhlair Cairngorms 1019m Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair Ullapool 1019m Mullach Fraoch-choire Kintail 1102m 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 Sail Chaorainn Kintail 1002m Saileag Kintail 956m Schiehallion Perthshire 1083m Seana Bhraigh Ullapool 926m Sgairneach Mhor Cairngorms 991m Sgiath Chuil Loch Lomond 921m Sgor an Lochain Uaine Cairngorms 1258m Sgor Gaibhre Fort William 955m Sgor Gaoith Cairngorms 1118m 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 Sgorr Ruadh Torridon 962m Sgurr a’Bhealaich Dheirg Kintail 1036m Sgurr a’Chaorachain Torridon 1053m Sgurr a’Choire Ghlais Loch Ness 1083m Sgurr a’Ghreadaidh Islands 973m Sgurr a’Mhadaidh Islands 918m Sgurr a’Mhaim Fort William 1099m Sgurr a’Mhaoraich Fort William 1027m Sgurr Alasdair Islands 992m Sgurr an Doire Leathain Kintail 1010m Sgurr an Lochain Kintail 1004m Sgurr Ban Ullapool 989m Sgurr Breac Ullapool 999m Sgurr Choinnich Torridon 999m Sgurr Choinnich Mor Fort William 1094m Sgurr Dubh Mor Islands 944m Sgurr Eilde Mor Fort William 1010m Sgurr Fhuar-thuill Loch Ness 1049m Sgurr Fhuaran Kintail 1067m Sgurr Fiona (An Teallach) Ullapool 1060m Sgurr Mhic Choinnich Islands 948m Sgurr Mor Ullapool 1110m 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 Slioch Torridon 981m 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 Daimh Argyll 998m Stob Dearg (Buachaille Etive Mor) Fort William 1021m Stob Dubh (Buachaille Etive Beag) Fort William 956m Stob Ghabhar Argyll 1090m Stob na Broige (Buachaille Etive Mor) Fort William 956m Stob Poite Coire Ardair Fort William 1054m Stuc a’Chroin Perthshire 975m Stuchd an Lochain Perthshire 960m The Cairnwell Cairngorms 933m The Devil’s Point Cairngorms 1004m The Saddle Kintail 1010m Toll Creagach Loch Ness 1054m Tolmount Cairngorms 958m Tom a’Choinich Loch Ness 1112m Tom Buidhe Cairngorms 957m Tom na Gruagaich (Beinn Alligin) Torridon 922m
Munros in Scotland map
What are the easiest Munros to climb?
Climbing Scotland’s Munros doesn’t have to be a massive undertaking and it’s worth bearing in mind that many peaks are really 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 are ideal for anyone starting their first round, or perhaps anyone that just wants to climb a single Munro to say they’ve done it. That being said, 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, pack a map, and take a GPS device (your phone will suffice in most cases).
1: 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 an easy-going path 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 actually 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 path 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.
2: Ben Lomond. 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, the Queen Elizabeth Forest and the loch, as well as the mountain.
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.
3: Ben Chonzie. 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 get stunning views across Glen Lednock.
4: 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 sweeping 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 north-west of Aberfeldy, not far from the lochs of Tay, Rannoch and Tummel.
It might appear daunting when its steeps 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 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.
What are the best Munros to climb?
What make 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 there are any set criteria that makes climbing one mountain ‘better’ than climbing another 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 hill walker whether they’re an inexperienced newbie or a seasoned pro.
1: Ben Nevis. 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 that 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 it 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 includes 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.
2: 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 that the path peters out into a box canyon which requires a scramble up scree slopes, after which you’ll be able to join the 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.
3: Ben More. There are actually two Ben More’s in Scotland, and when the name is mentioned most people think of the peak between Lochs Lomond and Earn, but the Munro I’m including in this list is instead the one on my favourite west coast island, Mull.
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 as the route in the opposite direction is steep and very, very tough (I know this from experience).
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.
4: Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’Chroin. 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.
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 that 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 following links are for Amazon). They’re at the premium end of consumer 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 really 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 complete OS map onto your phone and in my mind it’s something that’s 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.
Believe me, this function 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 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 give 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.
With regards to using your new compass it’s actually very easy, but rather than me spending paragraphs explaining it, take a look at this short YouTube video instead:
There’s not much else that I’d class as a necessity unless you’re tackling the more advanced Munros, so 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:
- A good backpack. I’ve created an article about lightweight backpacks for day walks which you can read here. If you’re scaling advanced peaks you might like to check out these backpacks on Amazon.
- 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 the things on Amazon so follow this link and take your pick.
- 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’ve got 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.
- 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 working towards finishing their first round. The society aims to acts as a social network as well as providing 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 it goes without saying 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 about Munros
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
Which are the nearest Munros to 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 (1345m)
Ben Macdui (1309m)
Cairn Toul (1291m)
Sgor an Lochain Uaine (1258m)
Cairn Gorm (1245m)
Aonach Beag (Nevis) (1234m)
Aonach Mor (1221m)
Carn Mor Dearg (1220m)
Ben Lawers (1214m)
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)
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