Scotland has been named as one of the top “slow travel” destinations in the world, with two scenic walks in particular singled out.

On Tuesday, independent travel publisher Matador Network announced the winners of its 2023 Matador Network Travel Awards. Only four destinations around the world were chosen by the publisher, with Scotland receiving the Sustainable Destination Award.

The award celebrates countries that are economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable. Factors considered when deciding the winner included accessibility and transportation options, sustainable accommodation, and responsible tourism initiatives.

Matador Network also praised Scotland for “embracing slow travel”, which is an approach to travel that emphasises reducing mobility and taking time to explore local history and culture while supporting the environment.

The publisher stated that “walking or cycling is an excellent way to traverse the nation” thanks to its large number of interconnected hiking trails. Two walks in particular were highlighted: the West Highland Way and the Great Glen Way.

The West Highland Way is 154 kilometre walking trail that runs from Milngavie in East Dunbartonshire to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands, taking between six to eight days to complete. It was the country’s first long distance route and remains one of its most popular.

The picturesque West Highland Way was Scotland’s first officially designated Long Distance Route(Image: Photograph by Paul Greeves)

The famous walk takes in plenty of spectacular Highlands scenery and includes everything from magical forests to dramatic moorlands. Among the highlights of the route are the stunning views of Loch Lomond and the jaw-dropping Buachaille Etive Mòr Munro.

Meanwhile, the Great Glen Way runs 125 kilometres from Fort William in the southwest to Inverness in the northeast. First opening in 2002, it is designated as one of Scotland’s Great Trails by NatureScot.

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