The Scottish National Trail was devised by Cameron McNeish  a well known Scottish Mountaineer. This is the launch video This is the UK mapping resource. You can take out a subscription per month and then cancel once you have completed the trail. The online maps are utilised via an app on your mobile phone. You can download the maps to enable the maps to work offline thus enabling you to navigate via the app. Here is an excellent review of your navigation options

I shall be walking the Scottish National Trail again sometime between June to Mid August 2020. I previously walked the Trail alone in 2018 while raising money for Children's Hospices Across Scotland. Follow my preparation below for the 2020 walk:


I break the Scottish National Trail into 4 stages which follows Cameron McNeish Book

Stage 1 Kirk Yetholm to Edinburgh-
Stage 2 Edinburgh-Milingavie
Stage 3 Milingavie -Kingussie
Stage 4 Kingussie-Cape Wrath

Point to note;

Although there are 40 sections to the  Scottish National Trail these 40 sections merge  into the 4 stages above and enable you to give yourself a goal;

Current Status Preparation for 2020;


Registered Mobile phone with 999 text service

Updated Garmin Inreach with emergency contact information

Loaded more pre set messages













Preparing and checking GPX files for loading on to GPS Device



Training  Aim to be able to walk 15 miles per day for at least a week with a fully loaded pack. Your pack should not weigh more than 11-13 kilo less if you can get it down. Why?  There is a direct correlation between pack weight and giving up, crossing rivers in spate with a very heavy pack, good luck, stability on high level ground and slopes especially in gale force winds, been there done that




For stage 4 you will be walking over and through deep peat bogs, hags at Grade 4 plus crossing  rivers in spate. Your feet will be constantly wet, think about how you will look after your feet, good resupply of socks, compeed 

Accommodation Use Hostels, Wild Camp or Bed and Breakfast up to Fort Augustus then from there Bothies and Wild Camping or Camp sites  This site should be your    primary site for obtaining details of each section and GPX files.

The Scottish National Trail is a very tough walk progressively becoming more difficult as each stage progresses, on stage 4 walking 5 kilometres can take 3-4 hours hours due to conditions underfoot (Grade 4 bogs) gale force winds and rain. Stage 4 will need very careful preparation as some of the issues you may need to deal with are:

River Crossings due to heavy rain

Sudden Weather Changes, dense fog, gale force winds and rain (this is my view is one of the main determinants for changing the walk from a hard walk to a severe walk. I generally get a weather forecast everyday and plan accordingly using bothies as sheltering and staging posts to try and avoid gale force wind and rain) 

Excessive Cold or Heat




Grade 4 Bogs in the following locations:

Cluanie to Morvich section
Morvich Maol-bhuidhe section
Kinlochewe Shenavall section
Shenavall Inverlael section
Inverlael Oykel Bridge section
Oykel Br. Inchnadamph secton
Inchnadamph Kylestrome section
Kylestrome Rhiconich section
Rhiconich Sandwood section This is an excellent resource enabling you to download files and details of each section I would strongly urge you to download the bundle of files

The above are the  primary resources you need to walk the Scottish National Trail. Once you have gathered resources from the above sites think about your navigation options see the link on this page to the Ordnance Survey Maps ( Britain's Mapping Agency) you will also need to acquire the Cape Wrath Trail book as this gives detailed routes and navigation options for Stage 4