Top Scottish Outdoor Activities
Scottland has numerous outdoor activities from the mild to the wild. Here are our top 10 Scottish outdoor activities:
Cairngorms National Park
Located in the centre of the Scottish Highlands, Cairngorms National Park offers something for every visitor. Blessed with the highest mountain range in Britain, the biggest native forests, clean lochs and rivers, castles and museums, traditional distilleries, scope for a lot of family as well as rainy day activities, you are sure to be overwhelmed.
As far as golfers are considered, visiting Scotland, the birthplace of golf, is like going on a pilgrimage. There are more than 550 golf courses, including a few of the world’s best. Visit St Andrews and Musselburgh Links (play a game on the oldest golf course in the world) or take a tour of Open venues like Royal Troon, Carnoustie, Muirfield and Turnberry.
Snowboarding and Skiing
If you are after adventure on snow, you will find some of the challenging ones on Scotland’s slopes. Scotland has five ski centres. Three of them Lecht, Glenshee and Cairngorm Mountain are located in Cairngorms National Park, whereas the other two Glencoe Mountain and Nevis Range are located in the UK’s outdoor capital Lochaber.
Hiking and Walking
When it comes to outdoor activities, no other place in the world can match Scotland with its dales and rolling hills, jagged coastline and lush fields. In Scotland, there are four long-distance routes that are officially designated. There are 16 additional routes in Scotland’s Great Trails that cover more than 1,300 miles of spectacular landscape between the highlands and borders.
Scotland provides opportunities for watching wildlife because of the diversity of natural habitats. The different areas in the country have their own speciality in terms of wildlife: from Moray Firth for bottlenose dolphins to Grampian Highlands for eagles and wildcats to the coastlines for seals and puffins.
If you want to explore the landscape of Scotland at a pace of your own, then the best option is cycling. The 7 stanes biking trail centres that span the southern parts is for you, if you like mountain biking. There are family fun routes, trails for beginners and extreme downhill as well as rocky granite trails. For leisurely cycling, you can try the routes of National Cycle Network. They trace the loch-side path, country lanes, forest routes as well as traffic-free and quiet roads.
Scotland may not be the ultimate beach holiday destination, but the country can boast of some brilliant beaches with a coastline that is 8000 miles long. You can visit the unspoilt beaches on the east coast or the small, dramatic coves on the north coast. The Hebrides has dazzling sands. Many of these beaches are hotspots for different types of surfing.
Wildgoose Scotland offer GPS-based treasure hunts as a novel way to explore your favourite city – see the sights while hunting for clues as to where the next place to visit will be. You’ll be provided with a tablet device and briefed on your challenge – good luck!
Scotland is full of rivers and lochs. Therefore, the popularity of fishing as an outdoor activity is increasing by the day. You can visit some of the best sea and freshwater angling spots and prolific salmon rivers in the world. There are also plenty of angling opportunities for pike, carp, and trout. If you want more activity, then you can try sea fishing for Pollack or cod.
White Water Rafting
Some of the best rafting locations in Scotland include the rivers Tummel, Braan, Orchy, Tay and Ericht. You can go to River Findhorn, if you want to experience the ultimate adrenaline rush. It is a fast flowing river and it rushes you through granite cliffs.
Scotland has some of the beautiful gardens in the world where you can unwind and relax away from the city’s hustle and bustle. The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh with its 70 acres of landscaped land is just a mile away from the centre of the city. The three regional gardens that you can visit are the Benmore in Argyll, Logan in Dumfries and Galloway and Dawyck near Scottish Borders. In the Inverewe Garden in the Highlands, you can enjoy some really exotic plants.