Best Munros in Scotland | Hiking Munros, Walking Munros and Munro Bagging
Looking for the best munros in Scotland? Here's where to start your bagging...
Best Munros in Scotland? There are a few to choose from. But whether you’re looking to get into Munro bagging or just want to do some hiking in Scotland and are looking to climb some of the most spectacular hills in the country, we can certainly point you in the right direction.
But first thing’s first. What is a Munro in Scotland? A Munro is any mountain with a peak over 3000ft. They are named after Sir Hugh Munro, the man who produced the first list of these hills in 1891. There are 282 Munros in Scotland and 227 further subsidiary tops. The tallest Munro is of course Ben Nevis, which at a height of 4409ft is also the highest peak in Great Britain.
'Munro bagging' is not at all, err, sexual, and is just the term used by hikers and walkers in Scotland who keep a list of all the Munros they have climbed, and are trying, not unlike Pokèmon, to bag them all.
Now we know that some people will just be looking to walk the best Munros in Scotland during a short stay, some might be looking for the best Munros near Glasgow or the best Munros near Edinburgh - if you’re walking in Edinburgh or walking in Glasgow you can still make your way out to the Munros easily, particularly in Glasgow - and there’s a good chance you want to know what the best Munro for dogs is as well.
So, we’ve put together a list that explores of all of the above options and will give you a starting point for your all Munro bagging adventures. It’s worth remembering though that with 282 Munros in play – there’s always more to discover.
Best Munros in Scotland | 6 Hiking Routes to Do Before You Die
Ben Nevis, Lochaber
Ben Nevis is the obvious Munro with which to start this list. It’s the biggest mountain in the United Kingdom and the King of the Munros in Scotland. In the eponymous Nevis Range, most visitors hiking in Scotland head up the “tourist route" or “pony track". You might reach the top covered in fog and wondering why you bothered, but when you look out over the North Face from well over 4000ft the answer will be staring you right in the face, and we swear you won’t forget it quickly. You’re likely to see snow from up there even in the middle of August.
Benn Eighe, Torridon
Benn Eighe is possibly the most beautiful of the many stunning mountains in Torridon. There are two Munro-status peaks on the mountain. The most stunning views of Benn Eighe come from the north, where you’ll see the Triple buttress of Coire Mhic Fhearchair. If it sounds like something from Lord of the Rings, it looks like it too – a stunning quartzite rock face jutting out of the Earth.
An Teallach, Ullapool
An Teallach consists of the higher point Bidean a’ Ghlas Thuill and the lower Sgurr Fiona. The view of the mountain itself is incredibly dramatic before you’ve even stepped foot on it. The huge sandstone mountain face looms over the surrounding area, and both the aforementioned peaks are actually a Munro summit. Why not head along and bag both on a five hour hike from Dundonnell? If you’ve got longer take the circuit of the ridge above Loch Toll an Lochain. You’ll need to be able to scramble and keep your head up high, but if you’re keen for a challenge, this is the route for you.
Bla Bheinn, Isle of Skye
We couldn’t write a list about hiking in Scotland and not include the beauty of the Isle of Skye. Truth be told more than one of the best Munros in Scotland can be found on the island, but the pick of the bunch is perhaps Bla Bheinn. The mountain rises up from the banks of Loch Slapin and provides stunning views of the famous Cuilllin Ridge and the islands around Skye if you get lucky with the weather. The two summits are separated by a narrow ridge, and both provide panoramic views of the surrounding areas. This is one of the most finely regarded climbs in the country.
Bidean nam Bian, Glencoe
climb, with an abundance of narrow ridges, caves, buttresses and corries, so it’s maybe worth getting a guide if this is your first time heading up. There are some simple enough routes up though, and a descent through the Lost Valley path will leave you with a story to tell.
The best Munro in the Cairngorms is a question often asked and not easy to answer. Braerriach is the third highest mountain in the UK, and as such will offer you a beautiful view over the rounded, rolling hills of the Cairngorms. Your arrival at the base of the mountain will take you on a path through some beautiful forest greenery, and when you’re at the top the whole majesty of the mountain range will be in sight.
Best Munros near Glasgow | The Best Munro Routes in Reach of Glasgow
Ben Lomond is the most famous Munro near Glasgow and one of the most famous Munros in the country – largely thanks to the old Scottish ballad which shares its name with the loch.
The huge mountain is just over an hours drive from Glasgow and is a great climb for beginners as well as offering some more challenging terrain for the more experienced climber should they wish to seek it out.
The song of the same name has made Loch Lomond and Ben Lomond the most popular Munro to climb in Scotland. Around 30,000 people make it to the top of Ben Lomond each year, and as a reward they are treated to stunning views spanning over the hills to north, to the Trossachs to the east and of course over Loch Lomond itself.
Is Ben Lomond the best Munro in Scotland? Probably not. It’s busy on the weekends. But it does offer stunning views and a great day out. It’s certainly one of the best options for those walking in Glasgow and looking for a hiking day out.
So if Ben Lomond isn’t the best Munro in Scotland (though it’s damn nice) what is?
Beinn Narnain and Ben Ime
These mountains are in with a shout of being the best Munros in Scotland, or near Glasgow at least, and they’re actually both closer to Glasgow city centre than Ben Lomond.
This climb is about a 50 minute drive from the city centre and is even more scenic, but it’s not nearly as busy because there isn’t a song about it – or not one that we’ve heard recently anyway. We’ve not been keeping track of what Justin Bieber is up to though, so we might be wrong. If he's got a song out called 'Beinn Narnain and Ben Ime' featuring Pitbull just let us know in the comments.
Climbers taking on Beinn Narnain and Beinn Ime will find themselves gazing at one of the most beautiful climbs in the Southern Highlands.
The mountains are part of the ‘Arrochar Alps’ which while known for their rocky, steep terrain, does not effect Beinn Ime, the highest peak in the range, which can actually be reached by a pretty gentle slope. Beinn Narnain on the other hand offers a much rougher and rockier prospect.
The view of the nearby Cobbler is the one you’ll remember in the months and years after you’ve completed this climb. Remember to bring your camera.
Beinn Chabhair is about 10 minutes further drive from Glasgow than Ben Lomond. The climb up Beinn Chabhair rewards the walker with memorable views over Loch Long, as well as of Munros An Caisteal and Beinn a’ Chroin.
The start of the ascent is simple but can get a little boggy if the weather doesn’t play nice. The climb up the ridge that follows is brilliant though. You’ll find yourself following a rocky ridge to the summit of the mountain. It’s not too difficult but don’t be scared of a bit of a scramble.
At the top you’ll get those beautiful Scottish views that anyone climbing a Munro in Scotland would expect. Look forward to lochs, rolling hills and mountain peaks galore on the skyline.
Best Munros near Edinburgh | The Best Munro Routes in Reach of Edinburgh
It’s worth noting first of all, for the sake of those hiking in Glasgow who are thinking about overlooking this section but haven't already scrolled on, that almost all of the Munros listed below are also closer to Glasgow than they are to Edinburgh.
Edinburgh isn’t geographically located to favour Munro getaways like Glasgow is, but there are still an abundance you can get to. You’ll just need to travel a couple of hours.
Stob Binnein offers one option for those walking in Edinburgh who fancy a bigger challenge. If you drive for around two hours, you’ll find a quiet route up the mountain past Balquhidder. An incredibly steep start will take trained calves, and will carry you up to a wide ridge. From there though it’s plane sailing right to the top.
From the top you'll look out over Crianlarich and see a view covering Ben More and spanning across endless rolling hills.
Ben Vorlich and Stuc a Chroin
These climbs are an hour and three quarters in the car from Edinburgh. Right on the banks of Loch Earn, Ben Vorlich is a simple climb. It's a gradual increase and there's nothing particularly challenging. You're still rewarded with a great view of the Loch beneath.
Stuc a Chroin is a different prospect. It’s steep and rocky. This is one best left to those with hiking or mountaineering experience.
Best Munros for Dogs | Munro Routes That Your Dog Will Love
The vast majority of Munros in Scotland are dog friendly, but we understand that you’ll want something wide slopes and a gradual increase rather than a scramble.
The aforementioned Ben Vorlich is great in that regards, and Ben Challum is another straightforward Munro for you to check out with your dug.
Mount Keen near Angus is another option. The climb is on a track and a hill-path, and is wide but very exposed – so best saved for sunny days.