The Best Munros in Scotland – Ultimate Visitor Guide

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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.

Munros in Scotland

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 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.
Loch Katrine

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 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.

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.

Innaccessible Pinnacle Skye

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.

By the way, one unexpected side effect of spending so much time outdoors is sunburn – especially on your face – which is why I created a guide to the Best Sunscreens to Use in Scotland.


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:

Highlands Lowlands

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.

Map of all the Munros in Scotland

This map is interactive. Zoom and pan as required, and click each marker to identify the Munro.

CLICK HERE to see a list of all 282 Munros in Scotland, the region they’re located in and their heights.

MountainRegionAltitude
A’ Bhuidheanach BheagCairngorms936m
A’ ChailleachUllapool997m
A’ Chailleach (Monadhliath)Cairngorms930m
A’ ChralaigKintail1120m
A’ Ghlas-bheinnKintail918m
A’ MhaighdeanUllapool967m
A’ MharconaichCairngorms975m
Am BasteirIslands934m
Am BodachFort William1032m
Am FaochagachUllapool954m
An CaistealLoch Lomond995m
An CoileachanUllapool923m
An GearanachFort William982m
An RiabhachanLoch Ness1129m
An SgarsochCairngorms1006m
An Socach (Affric)Loch Ness921m
An Socach (Braemar)Cairngorms944m
An Socach (Mullardoch)Loch Ness1069m
An StucPerthshire1118m
Aonach Air ChrithKintail1021m
Aonach Beag (Alder)Cairngorms1116m
Aonach Beag (Nevis Range)Fort William1234m
Aonach MeadhoinKintail1001m
Aonach MorFort William1221m
Beinn a’BhuirdCairngorms1197m
Beinn a’Chaorainn (Cairngorms)Cairngorms1082m
Beinn a’Chaorainn (Glen Spean)Fort William1050m
Beinn a’ChlachairFort William1087m
Beinn a’ChleibhArgyll916m
Beinn a’ChochuillArgyll980m
Beinn a’ChreachainArgyll1081m
Beinn a’ChroinLoch Lomond942m
Beinn AchaladairArgyll1038m
Beinn an DothaidhArgyll1004m
Beinn BheoilCairngorms1019m
Beinn BhreacCairngorms931m
Beinn BhrotainCairngorms1157m
Beinn BhuidheArgyll948m
Beinn ChabhairLoch Lomond933m
Beinn Dearg (Blair Atholl)Perthshire1008m
Beinn Dearg (Ullapool)Ullapool1084m
Beinn DorainArgyll1076m
Beinn DubhchraigArgyll978m
Beinn EibhinnCairngorms1102m
Beinn EunaichArgyll989m
Beinn FhadaKintail1032m
Beinn FhionnlaidhArgyll959m
Beinn Fhionnlaidh (Carn Eige)Loch Ness1005m
Beinn GhlasPerthshire1103m
Beinn HeasgarnichPerthshire1078m
Beinn ImeLoch Lomond1011m
Beinn Iutharn MhorCairngorms1045m
Beinn Liath MhorTorridon926m
Beinn Liath Mhor FannaichUllapool954m
Beinn MhanachArgyll953m
Beinn MheadhoinCairngorms1182m
Beinn na LapFort William937m
Beinn nan AighenanFort William960m
Beinn NarnainLoch Lomond926m
Beinn SgritheallKintail974m
Beinn SgulairdArgyll937m
Beinn TarsuinnUllapool937m
Beinn TeallachFort William915m
Beinn TulaicheanLoch Lomond946m
Beinn UdlamainCairngorms1010m
Ben AlderCairngorms1148m
Ben AvonCairngorms1171m
Ben ChallumArgyll1025m
Ben ChonziePerthshire931m
Ben CruachanArgyll1126m
Ben HopeSutherland927m
Ben KlibreckSutherland961m
Ben LawersPerthshire1214m
Ben LomondLoch Lomond974m
Ben LuiArgyll1130m
Ben MacduiCairngorms1309m
Ben MoreLoch Lomond1174m
Ben More (Mull)Islands966m
Ben More AssyntUllapool998m
Ben NevisFort William1345m
Ben OssArgyll1029m
Ben StaravFort William1078m
Ben VaneLoch Lomond915m
Ben Vorlich (Loch Earn)Perthshire985m
Ben Vorlich (Loch Lomond)Loch Lomond943m
Ben WyvisLoch Ness1046m
Bidean nam BianFort William1150m
Bidein a’Choire SheasgaichTorridon945m
Bidein a’Ghlas Thuill (An Teallach)Ullapool1062m
Binnein BeagFort William943m
Binnein MorFort William1130m
Bla BheinnIslands928m
BraeriachCairngorms1296m
Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgainPerthshire1070m
Broad CairnCairngorms998m
Bruach na FritheIslands958m
Bynack MoreCairngorms1090m
Cairn BannochCairngorms1012m
Cairn GormCairngorms1245m
Cairn of ClaiseCairngorms1064m
Cairn ToulCairngorms1291m
Carn a’ChlamainPerthshire963m
Carn a’Choire BhoidheachCairngorms1118m
Carn a’GheoidhCairngorms975m
Carn a’MhaimCairngorms1037m
Carn an Fhidhleir (Carn Ealar)Cairngorms994m
Carn an RighPerthshire1029m
Carn an t-Sagairt MorCairngorms1047m
Carn an TuircCairngorms1019m
Carn AosdaCairngorms917m
Carn BhacCairngorms946m
Carn Dearg (Corrour)Fort William941m
Carn Dearg (Loch Pattack)Cairngorms1034m
Carn Dearg (Monadhliath)Cairngorms945m
Carn EigeLoch Ness1183m
Carn GhluasaidKintail957m
Carn GormPerthshire1029m
Carn Liath (Beinn a’Ghlo)Perthshire975m
Carn Liath (Creag Meagaidh)Fort William1006m
Carn MairgPerthshire1042m
Carn Mor DeargFort William1220m
Carn na CaimCairngorms941m
Carn nan GabharPerthshire1121m
Carn nan Gobhar (Loch Mullardoch)Loch Ness992m
Carn nan Gobhar (Strathfarrar)Loch Ness992m
Carn SgulainCairngorms920m
Chno DeargFort William1046m
Ciste DhubhKintail979m
Cona’ MheallUllapool978m
ConivalUllapool987m
Creag a’MhaimKintail947m
Creag LeacachCairngorms987m
Creag MeagaidhFort William1130m
Creag Mhor (Glen Lochay)Perthshire1047m
Creag Mhor (Meall na Aighean)Perthshire981m
Creag nan DamhKintail918m
Creag PitridhFort William924m
CreiseFort William1100m
Cruach ArdrainLoch Lomond1046m
Derry CairngormCairngorms1155m
DrieshAngus947m
Druim ShionnachKintail987m
Eididh nan Clach GealaUllapool927m
Fionn BheinnTorridon933m
GairichFort William919m
Garbh Chioch MhorFort William1013m
Geal CharnFort William1049m
Geal Charn (Monadhliath)Cairngorms926m
Geal-charn (Alder)Cairngorms1132m
Geal-charn (Drumochter)Cairngorms917m
Glas Bheinn MhorFort William997m
Glas MaolCairngorms1068m
Glas TulaicheanPerthshire1051m
GleouraichFort William1035m
GulvainFort William987m
Inaccessible PinnacleIslands986m
Ladhar BheinnFort William1020m
LochnagarCairngorms1155m
Luinne BheinnFort William939m
Lurg MhorTorridon986m
Mam SodhailLoch Ness1181m
Maoile LunndaidhTorridon1007m
Maol Chean-deargTorridon933m
Maol chinn-deargKintail981m
MayarAngus928m
Meall a’BhuiridhFort William1108m
Meall a’Choire LeithPerthshire926m
Meall a’ChrasgaidhUllapool934m
Meall Buidhe (Glen Lyon)Perthshire932m
Meall Buidhe (Knoydart)Fort William946m
Meall ChuaichCairngorms951m
Meall CorranaichPerthshire1069m
Meall Dearg (Aonach Eagach)Fort William953m
Meall Garbh (Ben Lawers)Perthshire1118m
Meall Garbh (Carn Mairg)Perthshire968m
Meall GhaordaidhPerthshire1039m
Meall GlasLoch Lomond959m
Meall GormUllapool949m
Meall GreighPerthshire1001m
Meall na TeangaFort William918m
Meall nan CeapraicheanUllapool977m
Meall nan EunFort William928m
Meall nan TarmachanPerthshire1044m
Monadh MorCairngorms1113m
MoruisgTorridon928m
Mount KeenAngus939m
Mullach an Rathain (Liathach)Torridon1023m
Mullach Clach a’BhlairCairngorms1019m
Mullach Coire Mhic FhearchairUllapool1019m
Mullach Fraoch-choireKintail1102m
Mullach nan CoireanFort William939m
Mullach nan DheiragainLoch Ness982m
Na GruagaicheanFort William1056m
Ruadh Stac MorUllapool918m
Ruadh-stac Mor (Beinn Eighe)Torridon1010m
Sail ChaorainnKintail1002m
SaileagKintail956m
SchiehallionPerthshire1083m
Seana BhraighUllapool926m
Sgairneach MhorCairngorms991m
Sgiath ChuilLoch Lomond921m
Sgor an Lochain UaineCairngorms1258m
Sgor GaibhreFort William955m
Sgor GaoithCairngorms1118m
Sgor na h-UlaidhFort William994m
Sgorr Dhearg (Beinn a’Bheithir)Fort William1024m
Sgorr Dhonuill (Beinn a’Bheithir)Fort William1001m
Sgorr nam Fiannaidh (Aonach Eagach)Fort William967m
Sgorr RuadhTorridon962m
Sgurr a’Bhealaich DheirgKintail1036m
Sgurr a’ChaorachainTorridon1053m
Sgurr a’Choire GhlaisLoch Ness1083m
Sgurr a’GhreadaidhIslands973m
Sgurr a’MhadaidhIslands918m
Sgurr a’MhaimFort William1099m
Sgurr a’MhaoraichFort William1027m
Sgurr AlasdairIslands992m
Sgurr an Doire LeathainKintail1010m
Sgurr an LochainKintail1004m
Sgurr BanUllapool989m
Sgurr BreacUllapool999m
Sgurr ChoinnichTorridon999m
Sgurr Choinnich MorFort William1094m
Sgurr Dubh MorIslands944m
Sgurr Eilde MorFort William1010m
Sgurr Fhuar-thuillLoch Ness1049m
Sgurr FhuaranKintail1067m
Sgurr Fiona (An Teallach)Ullapool1060m
Sgurr Mhic ChoinnichIslands948m
Sgurr MorUllapool1110m
Sgurr Mor (Beinn Alligin)Torridon986m
Sgurr Mor (Loch Quoich)Fort William1003m
Sgurr na BanachdichIslands965m
Sgurr na CarnachKintail1002m
Sgurr na CicheFort William1040m
Sgurr na Ciste DuibheKintail1027m
Sgurr na LapaichLoch Ness1150m
Sgurr na RuaidheLoch Ness993m
Sgurr na SgineKintail945m
Sgurr nan CeathreamhnanLoch Ness1151m
Sgurr nan Clach GealaUllapool1093m
Sgurr nan Coireachan (Glen Dessary)Fort William953m
Sgurr nan Coireachan (Glenfinnan)Fort William956m
Sgurr nan ConbhaireanKintail1109m
Sgurr nan EachUllapool923m
Sgurr nan EagIslands924m
Sgurr nan GilleanIslands964m
Sgurr ThuilmFort William963m
SliochTorridon981m
Spidean a’Choire Leith (Liathach)Torridon1055m
Spidean Coire nan Clach (Beinn Eighe)Torridon993m
Spidean MialachFort William996m
Sron a’Choire GhairbhFort William937m
Stob a’Choire MheadhoinFort William1106m
Stob a’Choire OdhairArgyll945m
Stob Ban (Grey Corries)Fort William977m
Stob Ban (Mamores)Fort William999m
Stob BinneinLoch Lomond1165m
Stob Choire ClaurighFort William1177m
Stob Coir an AlbannaichFort William1044m
Stob Coire a’ChairnFort William981m
Stob Coire an LaoighFort William1116m
Stob Coire EasainFort William1115m
Stob Coire Raineach (Buachaille Etive Beag)Fort William925m
Stob Coire SgreamhachFort William1072m
Stob Coire SgriodainFort William979m
Stob DaimhArgyll998m
Stob Dearg (Buachaille Etive Mor)Fort William1021m
Stob Dubh (Buachaille Etive Beag)Fort William956m
Stob GhabharArgyll1090m
Stob na Broige (Buachaille Etive Mor)Fort William956m
Stob Poite Coire ArdairFort William1054m
Stuc a’ChroinPerthshire975m
Stuchd an LochainPerthshire960m
The CairnwellCairngorms933m
The Devil’s PointCairngorms1004m
The SaddleKintail1010m
Toll CreagachLoch Ness1054m
TolmountCairngorms958m
Tom a’ChoinichLoch Ness1112m
Tom BuidheCairngorms957m
Tom na Gruagaich (Beinn Alligin)Torridon922m


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 (check out my recommended boots here), pack a map, and take a GPS device (your phone will suffice in most cases).

Ben Chonzie

  • 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.

Ben Lawers

  • 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
Ben Lawers Mountain

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 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 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.

Take a look at my recommended budget birdwatching binoculars here.

Ben Lomond

  • 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, the 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.

Schiehallion

  • 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
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 the 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 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.


What 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 there are any set criteria that makes 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 hill walker whether they’re an inexperienced newbie or a seasoned pro.

Ben More

  • 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
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.

Ben Nevis

  • 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
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 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.

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
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.

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scotland mountains

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 lengthy you may as well go and a 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.

Ben Cruachan

  • 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.

Ben Hope

  • 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
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 a number of 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.

Cairn Gorm

  • 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
Cairngorm 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 a number of routes up the mountain but by far the most-used is the ‘windy ridge’ path that is quite steep but is also the most direct, and is the route that’s almost always described in guide books. 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, and 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.


Corbetts in Scotland

It’s fair to say not everyone wants to be a Munro-bagger, and the majority of people will be more than happy with a climb up any mountain even if it doesn’t mean they’ll reach that magical 3,000-foot height.

There are plenty of Corbetts in Scotland (222 in total) that offer just as much of a challenge as most Munros and almost all of them have views that are equally scenic and are equally rewarding.

The following section features a list of my favourite Corbetts which I’ll be updating regularly, so please check back often.

Goatfell

  • Location: OS Grid Ref: NR 99139 41539. Latitude: 55° 37′ 32″ N, Longitude: 5° 11′ 30″ W
  • Height: Elevation 2,867 feet (874 metres), Prominence 2,867 feet (874 metres)
  • Out About Scotland complete guide: Goatfell
Goatfell Arran

If you’re not already aware, the Isle of Arran is known locally as ‘Scotland in miniature’ thanks to its extraordinarily diverse landscape that see visitors crossing lochs, heather-covered moorland, windswept beaches and dramatic mountain ranges within the space of a few miles.

Thanks to the Highland Boundary Fault, the south of the island is flatter and home to dense forests while the north is the location for a range of mountainous peaks, the highlight of which is also the highest.

Goatfell rises 2,867 feet against one of the most breathtaking panoramas in Scotland, and anyone that reaches the summit will be rewarded with spectacular views of the Campbeltown Peninsula in one direct and the Firth of Clyde and the mainland in the other.

It’s difficult to describe just how pretty it is at the summit of Goatfell, but if you follow the link above to my guide you’ll see a wee 360° virtual tour that gives you an idea of what it’s like at the top.

The most-used path, and also the easiest route, starts at The Wineport pub car park located 2 miles north of Brodick. The waymarked path passes through forest and a couple of burns before opening up onto rock-strewn moorland that has amazing views across Brodick Bay, so I recommend getting your camera ready as you’re guaranteed to snap some great shots.

Once you reach the foot of Goatfell you’ll notice the path closely follows the mountain’s spine on a fairly gentle incline before suddenly turning into a steep scramble at the top. The bonus of this mountain is that as it’s so popular the path has sections of man-made steps that are very easy to climb and I’d say virtually anyone will be able to make this ascent.

Just be aware it gets very busy in summer and there’s every possibility you’ll find yourself in a procession of people as you trudge your way up. If you’re looking for a quiet walk in solitude, Goatfell is not the place to go.

Ben Ledi

  • Location: OS Grid Ref: NN 56236 09776. Latitude: 56° 15′ 31″ N, Longitude: 4° 19′ 20″ W
  • Height: Elevation 2,884 feet (879 metres), Prominence 1,732 feet (528 metres)
  • Out About Scotland complete guide: Ben Ledi
Ben Ledi

The Trossachs National Park is a bit of a must-visit destination if you’re looking to see the best that Scotland has to offer. Not only is it within a short drive of Edinburgh and Glasgow, but it’s home to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, Loch Lomond, and the highly-rated mountains of Ben More, Ben Vorlich, and Ben Ledi.

Of the three, Ben Ledi offers the easiest climb in my opinion and it’s a superb ‘starter mountain’ for anyone new to scaling Scotland’s peaks. It’s also one of the easiest to get to as the trail starts almost immediately off the car park on the A84 a few miles north of Callander.

In fact, this trail is so well signed and in such good condition it would be pretty much impossible to get lost on Ben Ledi, even if it’s your first time and you’ve forgotten your Ordnance Survey map (which you can order from their online shop).

The majority of the path that runs up Ben Ledi is a gradual but constant climb with a fairly shallow gradient, meaning it’s used almost as much by mountain bikers as it is by hill walkers due to the fact the lower half is almost entirely gravelled.

Along the way, visitors are presented with lovely views of Loch Lubnaig and the forests that surround it, and they’re virtually guaranteed to hear birds of prey screeching overhead, especially on the northern slope which is far less-used than the southern side.

Climbing to the top of Ben Ledi via the path to the south should take around four hours to complete the return route, but my recommendation is to walk over the summit and descend via the path on the north face which skirts around the bottom of the mountain in a wide arc for a longer walk that will take around six hours to complete.

One point I have to make is that the area around Loch Lubnaig is probably the best in the Trossachs for outdoors activities and the cycling trails, in particular, are fantastic.

If you arrive at Ben Ledi and decide you’d rather not climb it I thoroughly recommend following the path alongside Loch Lubnaig which passes through thick pine forest before finishing at Loch Earn 12 miles to the north.

The path is part of the Sustrans #7 trail so it’s almost entirely off-road and is safe for all ages. You can find out more about it at the Sustrans website.


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.

mountain hiking

For the jacket, I swear by Berghaus (this and 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 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).

Maps
My collection of OS maps takes pride of place on my bookshelf.

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.

Buy OS Explorer maps direct from Ordnance Survey.

Buy OS Landranger maps direct from Ordnance Survey.

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 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.

The Best Munros in Scotland - Ultimate Visitor Guide 20

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.

See the latest handheld GPS devices with bundled mapping from Ordnance Survey.

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, 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:

  1. 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.
  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 the 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’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.
  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 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 (1,345m).
Ben Macdui (1,309m).
Braeriach (1,296m).
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).
A’Ghlas-bheinn (918m).
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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By Craig Neil

Scotland travel writer and specialist 360° photographer. Founder of the Out About Scotland travel website and Vartour virtual tours.