All about the Southern Upland Way
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The long days of summer are the perfect time to get outside and explore some of the finest ridge walks that Scotland has to offer. Here, #GetOutside Champion Cat Webster picks her top five classic days out to savour in the sun.
These fine mountains, to the east of Ben Nevis, are easily identified from the roadside by the distinctive pale grey quartzite screes that cloak the summits.
The undulating main ridge takes in the three Munros of Stob Choire Claurigh, Stob Coire an Laoigh and Sgurr Choinnich Mor and gives stunning views over the nearby Mamores as well as Aonach Beag, Aonach Mor and Ben Nevis beyond.
The smaller outlier, Stob Ban, is often left as a separate walk, however for a fit walker with some time it is well worth including this shapely peak for a full traverse, with the added interest of a visit to the tiny Lairig Leacach bothy en route.
Map: OS Explorer 392
These three Corbetts can easily hold their own against any expedition on higher mountains, with a spectacular situation in one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland.
The full length of the range can be seen to great dramatic effect from the road to Lochinver in the far north-west.
The ridge links the peaks of Spidean Coinich, Sail Gorm and Sail Gharbh and makes for a great walk with plummeting cliffs, sea views and a fantastic outlook over the great humped ridge of nearby Suilven and the distinctive smaller peaks, glistening bog and lochans of Assynt.
Map: OS Explorer 442
No list of Scottish ridge walks would be complete without the classic traverse of this Torridonian giant.
Experiencing its full grandeur in the sunshine has to be one of the best mountain days out in the country.
From the roadside Liathach’s vast bulk can look impenetrable but the steep haul up is well worth it – the 7km long ridge that connects the Munros of Spidean a' Choire Leith and Mullach an Rathain offers unparalleled views over the Torridon mountains and beyond.
The spectacular ridgeline is exposed and steep so a head for heights and some scrambling experience is recommended, although the pinnacles of Am Fasarinen can be avoided using the bypass path.
Map: OS Explorer 433
An Teallach – meaning the forge – is another true classic to save for a fine summer’s day, taking in the Munros of Bidein a Ghlas Thuill and Sgurr Fiona along a dramatic pinnacled ridge.
It’s another one where the full traverse calls for a head for heights and scrambling experience but there are bypass paths around the pinnacles to ease the route for those less confident and it’s also possible to climb the two peaks for incredible views without including the more challenging scrambling. The view of Lord Berkeley's Seat jutting out of the ridge is one of the most spectacular and dizzying in Scotland.
Don’t miss a dip in one of the pools of the Garbh Allt on the way down!
Map: OS Explorer 435
I make no apology for including two Torridon ridges in this list – if I had to pick this would be up there with my favourite all time mountain walks in Scotland. The name means the mountain of beauty and it’s easy to see why.
The ridge – probably the easiest of the Torridon massifs for those new to the area - can be traversed either way but my preference is west to east.
The slog up to the summit of Tom na Gruagaich makes the spectacular view at the summit eve more worth it, and saves the airy scrambling of the Horns of Alligin until the end.
Map: OS Explorer 433