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Top 10 tips for visiting our countryside places

A family of two adults and two children walk along a path in Glencoe with Buachaille Etive Mor in the background.
Our countryside teams across Scotland have come up with their top 10 tips to help you make the most of the time you spend in the great outdoors whilst helping us to protect our much-loved landscapes at the same time.

To help ensure you have a great day out, please plan your trip carefully in advance. You’ll find everything you need to know about each of our places on our property pages. Please also make sure you pack appropriate clothing and footwear – weather conditions can change rapidly in the mountains.

Next time you head to the hills, follow our top 10 tips to protect the places you love:

1. Come prepared with a Plan B

Move on if it’s too busy or car parks are full.

2. Park with care

Please do not damage verges or obstruct other vehicles, narrow roads, passing places or field gates.

3. Leave no trace

Take your litter home and never leave rubbish beside a full bin.

4. Stay on paths to help protect habitats

By avoiding bypassing muddy patches, you’ll reduce the risk of erosion spreading.

Footpath etiquette


Hi, I’m Bob Brown. I’m the Footpath Manager for the National Trust for Scotland. So me and my team (we) look after the 400 kilometres of upland footpaths in the mountains under the Trust’s care.

It’s great to have everybody back out and about enjoying themselves in the countryside. Social distancing, bizarrely enough, has brought some additional problems into the mountains. People are socially distancing on the path which, of course, is great, and the right thing to do. However, there are ways to do it without walking down the edges of the path which is causing additional erosion that we need to work on.

If you could please stick to the paths, that would be great.

There are a few simple measures you could take if you’re approaching somebody else on the path. You could simply step to the side and turn away so that you’re no longer facing the person approaching you. Just wait there ’til they pass and then it’s safe to walk back along the path. That then keeps you safe and keeps our paths safe.

So from me and my team, a massive thank you for all your support.

5. Remember footpath etiquette

Need to let someone past? Step to one side, then step back onto the path again.

6. Think you may need to ‘go’ while you’re out?

Come prepared with a bag and sealable container to take away human waste and soiled tissues safely.

7. Choose your camping spot carefully

Give busy areas a rest and take as long to clear up as you take to set up.

8. Use a stove instead of lighting a fire

This will help prevent wildfires, scorched earth and tree damage.

9. Keep dogs under control or on a lead

This ensures your dog will avoid disturbing wildlife or livestock.

10. Leave somewhere even better than when you found it

Bring a litter picker and collect rubbish you spot while you’re out!

This advice has been compiled with support from the countryside teams at Balmacara Estate, Ben Lawers NNR, Ben Lomond, Glencoe NNR, Glenfinnan Monument, Goatfell, Grey Mare’s Tail, the Hermitage, Killiecrankie, Kintail, Mar Lodge Estate NNR, St Abb’s Head NNR and Torridon.

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