February 23, 2024 10 min read

Determination, Resilience and a love for the outdoors. These are all essential qualities for the Scottish adventure-filled pastime; ‘Munro Bagging’. What does bagging actually mean? Scotland has an abundance of Munros (282 peaks to be exact) and essentially, as soon as you’ve climbed one and reached the summit, you can tell all your pals that you ‘bagged that Munro’. Each Munro has unique and beautiful scenery, from forested lochside peaks to rocky extinct volcanoes; it’s a great way of seeing the best of Scotland’s beauty. The challenge attracts thousands of climbers every year and luckily, there are routes for every ability to try since the Munros vary wildly in terms of landscape, accessibility and difficulty. Whilst many require experience or equipment, there are also plenty of beginner-friendly climbs which we’ll run through in this article.

Sir Hugh Munro began compiling a list of Scotland's highest peaks in the 1800s, which were eventually named after him. Although he narrowly missed hiking every Munro before his death, the first person to achieve this feat was Rev A E Robertson in 1901, becoming a ‘completer’. Today, completing all 282 Munros is still considered a massive achievement, demanding commitment, fitness, and technical skills. The Munro Society, established in 2002, is open to those who have completed all peaks, with over 6000 registered completers. The record for completing all 282 Munros is held by Jamie Aarons who completed a self propelled route by foot, bike and kayak covering 3,000km in just just 31 days, 10 hours and 27 minutes taking the record from Donnie Campbell in 2023. Nick Gardner, who accomplished the feat at 82, and Emily Scott, who bagged all 282 Munros in 120 days. You can delve deeper into Nick Gardner's incredible journey by reading our featured article on his Munro Challengehere, as well as Emily Scott’s impressive feathere. For hiking enthusiasts, we offer recommendations ranging from beginner-friendly trails to challenging routes with breathtaking scenery. 


What you’ll need:

To embark on Munro bagging, ensure a good understanding of your skills and fitness level. Start with smaller peaks like Grahams and Donalds to build endurance. Some peaks require scrambling, so consider practising indoor bouldering beforehand or seeking guidance from a friend/ instructor. Advanced skills like rock climbing, rope work, and abseiling are necessary for completing all 282 Munros. Winter climbing is discouraged for beginners due to the need for specialised gear and expertise in winter mountaineering. Always assess conditions and Munros individually for safety and check the forecast for your day of climbing before embarking on your adventure.

What to pack:

Each Munro comes with its unique challenges and equipment requirements, research the kit requirements for each individual Munro before you climb it, however there is a ‘basic’ list of items that will come in useful.

• Good quality hiking boots
• A waterproof shell jacket that can be packed away in a hiking bag in summer and layered over a down jacket in winter. 
• A map and compass and an understanding of how to use them. Technology can fail, mist and fog can set in. Even the most basic of climbs can become treacherous if you find yourself lost with inclement weather rolling in.
• A medium sized backpack. Most climbers recommend something between 25-35 litres. If you plan to do any winter Munro Bagging, a pack on the upper end of this number will be needed to carry the extra gear required.
• A brightly coloured emergency bothy bag. This handy bit of kit packs away neatly in your bag and if the weather takes a turn, you can use the lightweight emergency shelter to get a break from the rain.
• Plenty of snacks and water.
• If you intend to climb Munros in winter, warm winter gear is a must as well as crampons and ice axes.

Best Munros to Start With

We recommend consulting walkhighlands for all information Munro related before setting off. The website has detailed information about walk times, terrain, how to get there and routes of ascent. There is also a forum full of experienced climbers that fill out entertaining walk reports on each Munro, this gives you even more insight into the climb. Most, if not all car parks on this list will charge a fee, so keep some spare pounds handy!


Ben More, Isle of Mull - (966m)

Difficulty -3/5

Climb time -5- 6.5 hours

This Munro literally translates to ‘big’ in Gaelic. Walk up this ancient volcano with spectacular views of Mull and the surrounding islands. Prepare for some bogginess when deciding footwear and bear in mind that there’s some unavoidable scrambling as you get further up the mountain. The easiest walking route is via Dhiseig and you will truly get a sense of isolation as you take in the beautiful and desolate scenery.  The route is signposted to begin with and once you’ve gone beyond the gate, the only way is up (literally- just walk straight ahead). To descend, you can pretty much make your own path back down to the glen. Why not make a weekend out of it on the Isle of Mull (home of Tobermory, also known as, What’s the Story in Balamory?). If so, make sure to locate ‘Isle of Mull Ice Cream’ on the colourful highstreet- I’ve been dreaming about going back for a scoop of their black cherry and yoghurt for years now.

How to get there- On the opposite side of the Dhiseig track, you'll find a grassy parking area, located just east of a bridge, on the shore side of the A8035. Begin your journey by walking up the track toward Dhiseig.

Ben Lomond, loch Lomond - (974m)

Difficulty -3/5 

Climb time -4.5 - 5.5 hours

Ben Lomond is one of Scotland's easiest and most popular Munros, with some 30,000 people summiting every year. Ben Lomond is Scotland’s most southern peak and offers great rewards for a comparatively short and easy climb, with sweeping views down the length of Loch Lomond and to the surrounding forestry and peaks. The descent from the Munro is pretty much to go back the same way you came up (a flawless tactic). If you’re making a day of it, reward yourself properly at Duck Bay after your long trek with some top-tier grub, whilst sitting right on the banks of the loch. 


Image: @tomsiimpson

How to get there-The walk begins from the Rowardennan car park. Then head through the information building and towards the path.

Ben Vane, Loch Lomond - (915m)

Difficulty -4/5

Climb time -5-6 hours from the car park. 

Another one on the bonnie banks- this is the smallest of the Munros with great views of the water. Despite its smaller size, it is still a challenging climb with steep, rocky areas which earns it a 4/5 on the difficulty scale. This could be a good option for intermediate hikers or those who have already completed the previous entries. After following the sign for Loch Sloy and passing Loch Sloy Power Station, you will eventually take a right onto a stony, wide path- this marks the start of your ascent. Extra caution should be taken in the winter months and whilst conditions are harsh, it is not recommended to tackle this Munro without the correct gear and equipment.



How to get there -You can drive or catch a bus to the Inveruglas Car Park on the A82 and then follow the signs for Loch Sloy. 

Ben Nevis, Fort William (1,345m)


Climb time -7-9 hours

A strong contender for most-loved peak is Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis. This Munro is not only majorly famed, but also surprisingly straightforward and a very popular hike, attracting 125K annual climbers. A good level of fitness is required thanks to the 1352 metre ascent but the views from the top make the climb worth it. Make sure to leave plenty of daylight for your descent… yes, it would be amazing to be up there for sunset but would it beasamazing to find your way down in the pitch-darkness? The Nevis Range is home to the UK’s only Mountain Gondola which can be a super-fun experience to take part in whilst on the mountain range.


 Image: @moveitfitnessstirling

How to get there -You can park at the Visitor Centre in Glen Nevis. Proceed by crossing the new bridge over the River Nevis, then turn right, and follow the riverbank until you reach a sign. Take a left at the sign and ascend along the path situated between a wall and a fence.

Spectacular Views & a Bit More Adventure

These are the Munros to head for if you want to level-up the adventure, are braced for some trickier climbing and are looking for some some top-tier viewpoints.


Slioch, Wester Ross- (981m)

Difficulty -4/5

Climb time -8-9 hours 

Located in a remote and sparsely populated area of the highlands, Slioch rises up imposingly on the banks of the stunning Loch Maree. In fact, the view is so beautiful that it’s one of Scotland’s top photo-spots. Despite its appearance, the walk is relatively straightforward, with good pathing and a gradual climb. Be prepared for natural mini-waterfalls, brilliant views and a much less busy climb than the likes of Ben Lomond. Slioch is generally tackled in a horse-show route that takes you from Kinlochewe, through Loch Maree, and over the summit. Most hikers would then pretty much retrace their steps to return. Heading back down through Coire na Sleaghaich will get you back on track to Loch Maree, where it is simple enough to rejoin the main path back to Incheril (where Kinlochewe is located).



How to get there-Park your car at the end of the minor roach in Incheril by Kinlochewe. A path begins at the top of the car park 


Braeriach, Cairngorms- (1,296m)

Difficulty -4/5  

Climb time -8-10 hours

Braeriach is the third highest mountain in Britain and is referred to as the most beautiful in the Cairngorms. The remote Munro is surrounded by beautiful scenery and forests and has sweeping views of the corries beneath. The most popular route begins from the Sugar Bowl car park in Kingussie, following the road to Cairngorm Ski Area from Aviemore. Once you see a bridge to descend to, you know you’re on the right track. Having reached the summit, make your descent by retracing the steps you took on the way up. Only 45 minutes from Aviemore, there is an abundance of towns within an hour of Braeriach to stop off at for some food fuel post-walk, including Kincraig and Kingussie. There are a few different routes around Braeriach so we’d recommend making sure you’ve selected the best route for your ability and enjoyment before embarking on this climb.



How to get there-Park at the Sugar Bowl car park and then follow the Chalamain Gap circuit, this car park is closest but the climb from here can be arduous and rocky. Alternatively you can take the easier route and bike or walk to the foot of Braeriach on the bike trail that runs from Coylumbridge/ the Whitewall car park.  


Buachaille etive mor, Glencoe - (1,021m)

Difficulty - 4/5 

Climb time -7-9 hours

The epic Buachaille Etive Mor is one of the most iconic and photographed Munros in Scotland. You have the opportunity to bag two Munros here, Stob Dearg and Stob na Bròige which both line the route. Prep for a bit of roughness, a bit of steepness, and a bit of scrambling. The mountain is generally pathed but also worn, meaning it can become easy to lose these paths in bad weather conditions or lower visibility. The route around Buachaille Etive Mor is circular which means you’ll end up back in the car park you arrived in. The descent back down can be just as steep so keep your eyes peeled for slippery and loose rocks along the way and with a river to cross, walking poles could come in beneficial for balance. Fortwilliam is only a 45 minutes drive away for when sustenance calls.



How to get there-Walk from the large layby (Altnafeadh) and follow the track down to and across the footbridge then head right along the path towards the Lagangarbh hut. 

Try Multiple Munros in a Day

Many Munro baggers will choose to climb multiple Munros in one day, there are plenty of neighbouring Munros in Scotland, many of which share an ascent or ridge. This is a great way to tick off multiple peaks in one go if you are attempting to complete them all. A multiple Munro day is also a fun challenge and will push you to your limits, mentally and physically. 

The Ben Lawers Range, the seven Munros - (1,214m)

Difficulty -3/5 

Climb time -Time varies based on start and end location but allow 10 hours for this climb and make sure you have plenty of daylight left for your descent. 

Located near Loch Tay, Ben Lawers is the tenth highest mountain in Britain and is sandwiched between six other Munros. This chain of Munros is a popular route and can be completed in a day, bagging you seven Munros! The Munros are: Meall a’Choire Leith (926m), Meall Corranaich (1069m), Beinn Ghlas (1103m), Ben Lawers (1214m), An Stuc (1117m), Meall Garbh (1123m) and Meall Greigh (1001m). The terrain isn’t too challenging and the path is well worn and popular. There is a bit of scrabbling required on An Stuc but overall a great range to pick for your first foray into multiple Munros in a day. Weather is important for this one as thick fog can make navigation very tricky- always make sure to check the forecast for optimum preparations.



How to get there -Access the Munros from the A827 opposite Loch Tay. There are multiple spots to park at and walk from depending on your plan for the day. A popular option is to park byLochan na Lairige or Ben Lawers hotel car park. As this route is longer than the others on the list and takes you further from your original starting point, arranging transport once you complete all seven and make it to the other side could be a way to cut down on the long slog back. An option is to leave a bike at Camusvrachan, you can then descend and cycle the last bit back to your car at Lochan na Lairige. This would also be a fun day to tackle as a group and if you are taking more than one car, set off from Lochan na Lairidge but park the other car at Ben Lawers Hotel, located at the end of the chain of Munros, saving you the walk/ cycle back to the original car park. There may still be a long walk of up to a couple of hours after summiting your last Munro before you reach the Ben Lawers Hotel or Camusvrachan. Alternatively, you can set off from and return from the same point, just make sure you allow adequate time to do so. 

Most will agree, the pastime of Munro bagging and becoming a ‘compleater’ is more about the journey than the destination, it is a brilliant way to get outdoors and see more of the beautiful Scottish countryside whilst improving physical fitness, technical skills and mental health. The sense of community that has sprung up around the hobby is also a great part of the experience, you’ll find yourself chatting to friendly hikers on the trail and comparing notes online about particular routes. Happy bagging, and may your adventures be midge and bog free.

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