Outdoor Activities in Scotland

Hiking / Walking / Climbing
Skiing
Cycling / Mountain Biking
Off Roading / Karting / Quad Bikes
Multi Activities
Watersports / Sailing / Boat Trips
Deer Stalking / Hunting / Shooting / Falconry
Horse Riding
Fishing
Golf
Camping & Wild Camping
Wildlife holidays
Weather & daylight hours

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Magazines

Specialised Holidays & Courses

Backcountry Survival provides tailored courses and packages in wilderness survival techniques and the art of bushcraft. From half-day courses to 3-day expeditions. Based in Aviemore.

Bushcraft Ventures offers a variety of courses including skills such as shelter building, fire-lighting, wilderness safety, wild foods, outback cooking, wood carving and animal tracking. Run by qualified Bushcraft instructor Lawrence Clark who was apprentice for 5 years to Ray Mears. Based in Deeside within the Cairngorms National Park.

Ros Rowell of Scottish Highland Art offers painting holidays on her croft near Inverness.

Wild Rose Escapes offer specialised holidays near Ullapool. Activities can include hill walking, kayaking with a local guide, yoga with an experienced teacher, holistic massage, wild food foraging and cookery (depending on season), bird watching walks with a specialised guide, dry stone walling with a local waller, felting workshop with a local artist. Tailor-made holidays can be arranged for groups.

Bungee jumping in Scotland is now possible with Highland Fling based in Perthshire.

Hiking / Walking / Climbing

Be responsible and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

LONG DISTANCE TRAILS:

The West Highland Way
Scotland's most famous trail, runs 96 miles from Milngavie (near Glasgow) north to Fort William. It can take 5 - 10 days.

The Great Glen Way
A 79-mile hike across Scotland between Inverness in the east and Fort William in the west. In part it follows the Caledonian Canal and can be walked in 5 - 8 days.

Walk Loch Ness 360
This is a new circular trail covering 81 miles/130 km starting from Inverness or Fort Augustus (5 - 8 days).

The Speyside Way
This stretches from the coast at Buckie inland to Aviemore (a total distance of 84 miles/135 km). There are 2 offshoots to Dufftown and Tomintoul.

The Cape Wrath Trail
From Fort William to Cape Wrath in the far north-west corner of Scotland (almost 200 miles).

Rob Roy Way
Following the tracks and paths used by Rob Roy MacGregor, it starts at Drymen and finishes in Pitlochry (Perthshire), covering 79 miles.

The Southern Upland Way
It stretches 212 miles between the west and east coasts from Portpatrick to Cockburnspath in southern Scotland.

St. Cuthbert's Way
This stretches 62 miles from Melrose in the Scottish Borders to Holy Island (Lindisfarne) in northern England.
Gemini Walks are specialists in self-guided walking holidays offering handpicked accommodation and reliable baggage transfer over 5 - 7 days (6 - 8 nights).

The Kintyre Way stretches for just over 100 miles from Tarbert to Dunaverty Bay (south Argyll).

Sir Walter Scott Way
A 92 mile / 148 kilometre cross country walk between Moffat in south central Scotland to Cockburnspath on the south east Scottish coastline.

Annandale Way
A 55 mile trail through the border region of Scotland.

Isle of Arran Coastal Way
A continuous 100-km (65 miles) path around the island which can be split into 7 different walks for day trips.

Tips
If you are walking the hills and moors during the hunting season, make sure that there is no deer stalking or grouse shooting in progress, as I'm sure you wouldn't want to get shot. Ask your host or the people at the Tourist Office which are the areas to avoid at this time. The usual season for deer stalking in Scotland is from 1 July to 20 October for stags. Hinds are culled from 21 October until 15 February. No stalking on Sundays. You should also take care during the grouse-shooting season from 12 August to 10 December.
Details about access to hills on some of the major estates when stalking is taking place can be obtained via the Hillphones service.

And don't forget that Scotland is famous for its midges, so remember to take some insect repellant with you whether you are camping or just walking. Also take a look at the online Midge Forecast.

WALKING / HIKING TRIP OPERATORS:

  • About Argyll Walking Holidays - guided walking / hiking holidays in the southwest Highlands and Islands of Scotland, designed for people who like to explore the beautiful countryside and discover the secrets of its history and wildlife on the way. Argyll, Mull, Islay, Jura, Glen Coe, Cowal, Lorn and Loch Lomond National Park. Small groups (8 maximum). Accommodation in comfortable B&B's or hotels.
  • Absolute Escapes offer a wide choice of self-guided walking holidays with pre-booked accommodation and luggage transfers. Includes the West Highland Way, the Great Glen Way, the Speyside Way and the Rob Roy Way.
  • Caledonia Hilltreks - a professional guide for groups or individuals, for one or more days. Specialises in Munro Bagging. Based in Aberdeen.
  • Can You Experience Co based at Loch Lomond offer guided hiking trips (day or half day).
  • C-N-Do Scotland organises guided walking and climbing holidays throughout Scotland - both in summer and winter - from single day trips to two-week packages for all ages and levels of ability. You can go island hopping in the Hebrides, try backpacking to bag Munros or walk some of the country's long-distance paths. A choice of accommodation is available.
  • Celtic Trails specialise in self-guided walking holidays in the UK. With over 20 years experience, they arrange all accommodation and luggage transfer. Holidays include the Great Glen Way, West Highland Way, Rob Roy Way, St Cuthbert's Way, Speyside Way and the Isle of Arran Coastal Way.
  • Gemini Walks have over 20 years experience and offer expert knowledge, advice and outstanding customer service. They provide carefully researched Scottish Long Distance Walks from the iconic West Highland Way to the brand new Walk Loch Ness 360. Accommodation is handpicked and they offer reliable baggage transfer services.
  • Glentrek can offer guided or self led walking holidays, trekking and guided hill walks in the Angus Glens and surroundings.
  • Four Seasons Hotel near Crieff in Perthshire offers walking breaks with meals and accommodation.
  • Hidden Hebrides (based on the isle of Lewis) specialises in island walking holidays and tours of Lewis, Harris, the Uists and Barra.
  • Kushi Adventures (based in Inverness) offer sailing, canoeing, expeditions, navigation, hillwalking, climbing and team building.
  • Macs Adventure operate guided walking holidays on the Great Glen Way and West Highland Way with weekly departures. Transport from/to Glasgow at the start/finish is included. Self guided options also available. Choice of accommodation. In addition, day trips from Glasgow can include walking, rocking climbing, cycling or extreme sports. They specialise in the 18 - 35 year old market for backpackers.
  • Make Tracks Walking Holidays - self-guided walks with high quality accommodation, written maps and guides, and luggage transfer. Long distance paths or other walks suitable for all levels of fitness and experience.
  • Mountain Freedom - Ian Stephenson is a mountain walking guide based in North West Scotland who operates mainly in Torridon, Wester Ross, Skye and the Glencoe/Lochaber areas. He offers private guiding and small group trips for walking, scrambling, climbing, wilderness camping and mountain activities.
  • Mountain and Glen offer a range of walking adventures including Ben Lomond, Trossachs, Glencoe, Ben Nevis and the Southern Uplands. Day walks and short breaks (3 - 5 days). All with experienced leaders. Teambuilding and rock climbing available if required.
  • Mountain & Sea Guides based in Applecross offer guided holidays and courses for summer and winter in the Highlands and Skye. Mountaineering skills, navigation and rock climbing available.
  • North-West Frontiers, based in Ullapool. Week-long guided walking holidays in the Highlands, including Skye, Harris, Lewis, Orkney, Glen Affric, Ullapool, Sutherland, Torridon, Knoydart and other wilderness regions. Experienced leaders; choice of moderate / strenuous coast and mountain walking; hotel, B&B or hostel accommodation - or arrange your own.
  • Out in the Hills - based in Aviemore, Tim Hall is a qualified Mountain Leader and leads guided walks and wilderness expeditions in the Cairngorms and further afield in the Highlands.
  • Scot Mountain Holidays offer a choice of guided walking holidays, self-drive activity touring holidays, accommodation and transport packages for independent walkers, residential courses in navigation, winter skills and mountaineering. Hostel accommodation in Boat of Garten in the Cairngorm area.
  • Transcotland - customised self guided holidays with pre-arranged itinerary, accommodation, baggage transfer and maps. West Highland Way, Great Glen Way, Coast to Coast (Perth - Fort William), Road to the Isles, Highland Perthshire, Atholl Trail (Perthshire), Borders Trail (Peebles - Melrose)
  • Unexplored Scotland - guided hillwaking in the Cairngorms, Torridon, Glen Affric and many other locations in the Highlands of Scotland.
  • Walkabout Scotland has a range of hillwalking tours in small groups. Pick up and transport from Edinburgh (or en-route by arrangement). Weekend breaks to Arran, Glencoe, Glen Affric, Speyside. Week-long holidays to the Trossachs, Loch Lomond, Torridon, Assynt, Skye, Cairngorms. Choice of half or full board accommodation. Day tours available to mountains in the Southern Highlands (within 2.5 hours drive of Edinburgh). Web site includes a huge photo gallery.
  • Walk Wild Scotland offers a choice of guided walking holidays in the Highlands & Isle of Skye or Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park. Day tours by minibus with guided walks available in the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park. Private guided tours also available.
  • Wilderness Scotland offer a wide range of guided walking holidays, wilderness expeditions and sailing holidays throughout the Highlands & Islands, including the Outer Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland.
  • Wild Adventures offer a good selection of wild walking and biking (on- or off-road) holidays in Scotland. Varying degrees of difficulty. Accommodation in B&Bs, bunkhouses, hostels or camping. Groups of 6 people max.
  • Wolf Expeditions offers trekking expeditions and skills instruction in the Scottish mountains. All equipment provided. Registered with the British Association of International Mountain Leaders.
  • WOW Scotland offers guided hiking tours and a wide range of outdoor activities throughout Scotland. This includes a variety of tours from Inverness including city centre walking and eco-friendly hiking tours. Gordon Pearson is a qualifed mountain leader and experienced tour guide.

Also visit the web site by Activity Scotland which is an association representing activity holiday providers in a multitude of fields throughout Scotland. Their site has a page listing fully qualified members who offer walking holidays and climbing instruction.

Climbing & Mountain Skills

  • Alan Crichton Mountain Skills Ltd. - guided and instructional walking, mountaineering and climbing courses (winter and summer).
  • Alpha Mountaineering (based in the Highlands) - instruction and guiding in walking, scrambling and climbing, both in summer and winter. Courses available include climbing, scrambling, navigation and winter skills
  • Aultsigh Adventures (based in Inverness) - guided hill treks for small groups with a Qualified Mountain Leader.
  • Boots n Paddles (near Inverness) - climbing, abseiling, hill walking, orienteering, winter skills courses, skiing courses, etc.
  • C-N-Do Scotland - holidays and skills courses, summer and winter.
  • Craggan Outdoors near Grantown on Spey (Cairngorms) offers various activities including mountaineering, climbing, high ropes course and gorge walking. Winner of Best Visitor Attraction award in the Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards 2012.
  • Full On Adventure based in Aviemore offers rock climbing courses, scrambling, hillwalking and other activities.
  • G2 based in Aviemore. Winter walking and skills courses, rock climbing, abseiling, gorge walking, hill walking, expeditions, etc. Mobile climbing wall.
  • Go Country (based in Paisley). A not-for-profit organisation offering hill walking, rock climbing, abseiling, indoor climbing wall, etc. For all ages, abilities and and capabilities.
  • Kushi Adventures (based in Inverness) offer sailing, canoeing, expeditions, navigation, hillwalking, climbing and team building.
  • Mountain & Sea Guides offer summer and winter courses and holidays in the Highlands and Skye including mountaineering skills, navigation and rock climbing.
  • Mountain Freedom - Ian Stephenson is a mountain walking guide based in North West Scotland who operates mainly in Torridon, Wester Ross, Skye and the Glencoe/Lochaber areas. He offers private guiding and small group trips for walking, scrambling, climbing, wilderness camping and mountain activities.
  • Mountain Skills Ltd. - professional mountaineering services, including mountain skills, navigation, winter skills, mountaineering and climbing. Private guide for walking holidays. Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms, also all other parts of the Highlands of Scotland.
  • Out in the Hills - based in Aviemore, Tim Hall is a qualified Mountain Leader and leads guided walks and wilderness expeditions in the Cairngorms and further afield in the Highlands.
  • Snowgoose Mountain Centre - outdoor skills courses & breaks (residential or non-residential). From half a day to 5 days for all levels. Summer high mountain walking. Rock climbing, scrambling & abseiling. Winter mountain skills and navigation courses. Based near Fort William.
  • Tarmachan Mountaineering is a professional mountain skills and guided hillwalking company based in Fort William, offering mountain guiding, winter skills courses and navigation courses.
  • West Coast Mountain Guides - professional mountain guide based in Fort William offering instruction and holidays.
  • Wolf Expeditions offers trekking expeditions and skills instruction in the Scottish mountains. All equipment provided. Registered with the British Association of International Mountain Leaders.
  • Northern Xposure Adventure Training (based in Inverness) - walking, mountaineering and first aid training

More online resources for walking/climbing:

Skiing / Snowsports

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Cycling / Mountain Biking

There are many opportunities for on and off road cycling in Scotland. You can often cycle on roads in remote areas without hardly seeing a car. Then there trails in dozens of different forests covering over 1000 miles. Details are available from the Forestry Commission including the famous 7stanes trails.
Also visit: Mountain Biking in Dumfries and Galloway - one of the world’s leading destinations for mountain bikers.

Check out my list of some places where you can hire bikes.

Don't forget that it might cost a few pounds extra to take your bike on some ferries and trains. When buying railway tickets, make sure that the train service does accept cycles and book your bike onboard.

Cycling holidays:

  • 2 Wheel Tours - cycling holidays throughout Scotland with or without a guide. Luggage transport and bike hire can be arranged. Based in North Berwick (East Lothian). Guided and self guided day tours, tuition and team-building events also available.
  • A Ticket to Ride (based in Inverness) offers bike hire, bike taxi service, cross country holidays, etc. One way hires available on the Great Glen Way (Inverness-Fort William).
  • Highlands and Islands Adventures (based in Inverness) offer all-mountain and XC mountain bike holidays (Isle of Skye, Torridon, Fort William and the Cairngorms) including a week going coast-to-coast.
  • Scottish Cycling Holidays offer a wide choice of tours covering different areas of mainland Scotland as well as Orkney and the Hebrides. Services include cycle hire, luggage carrying, accommodation booking, airport transfers, etc. Short break tours in Perthshire. Mountain bike tours. Self-led tours, group tours and customised tours available.
  • Skinny Tyres offers bespoke and fully supported cycling and mountain biking trips. Specialist training for a specific race or event is also available.
  • Velodays can organise self guided tours from 2 - 14 days with GPS navigation, accommodation, luggage transfer. Locations include Edinburgh, Scottish Borders, Perthshire, Grampian & Highlands. 'End to End' long distance cycling also available.
  • Wildcat Adventures (based in Stirling) offer mountain biking / MTB and road biking holidays in Scotland.

Mountain bike links:

  • Absolute Escapes - mountain bike holiday packages
  • Active Highs near Fort William offers a variety of activities including mountain biking. Multi activity packages available.
  • Bothy Bikes at Rothiemurchus near Aviemore offer bike hire and details of local trails.
  • Cairngorm Mountain Bikers
  • Castle Venlaw (a 4 star country house hotel in Peebles, 23 miles from Edinburgh) is a convenient base for cycling trails and mountain biking (close to the courses at Glentress Forest and Innerleithen).
  • Craggan Outdoors near Grantown on Spey (Cairngorms) offers various activities including mountain biking. Winner of Best Visitor Attraction award in the Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards 2012.
  • Cycle Highlands in Ballater (Royal Deeside / Aberdeenshire) can offer mountain bike hire, servicing, local trail information, plus guided rides.
  • Fairburn Conference and Activity Centre near Inverness offers multi-activity breaks including mountain biking.
  • Full On Adventure based in Aviemore offers mountain biking holidays and courses, as well as multi-activities.
  • Glentrek can offer guided mountain biking and instruction, cycling holidays and bike hire in the Angus Glens and surroundings.
  • Highlands and Islands Adventures - mountain bike holidays, day trips and tuition
  • Killin Outdoor Centre & Mountain Shop (Perthshire) - hire of mountain bikes and advice on touring
  • Legend Sailing (based at Loch Tay, Perthshire) can offer mountain biking, gravity assisted downhill cycle trips, and other multi-activies.
  • Mikes Bikes in Aviemore is a bike shop with bikes for hire & sale, repairs, accessories, etc.
  • Mountain Beach offers mountain biking holidays in the Scottish Highlands & Hebrides.
  • Mountain Biking in Dumfries and Galloway
  • Outf!t Moray - outdoor education charity based in Lossiemouth (Moray) offering activities, courses and tailored programmes for young people, adults, families, and groups. Variety of activities including mountain biking. Equipment hire available.
  • Scottish Cross Country Mountain Bike Association
  • Skinny Tyres offers bespoke and fully supported mountain bike trips. Specialist training for a specific race or event is also available.
  • trailab offers packages for mountain bike holidays around Fort William, Nevis Range, and across the Scottish Highlands. Accommodation included.
  • TrailBrakes (based in Dalbeattie, Dumfries and Galloway) - mountain biking holidays (2, 3 or 7 days). Expert guiding, tuition, bike hire and transport available.
  • The Slochd by Carrbridge provides mountain bike hire and a cycleshop/workshop in the Cairngorms.
  • UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Finals at Fort William
  • ukmountainbiker.com - useful site with routes, maps, etc.
  • Wilderness Scotland offer a range of guided mountain biking holidays in the Scottish Highlands.

Cycling links:

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Off Roading / 4x4 / Karting / Quad Bikes

  • Black Isle Quad Biking and Broomhill Riding Centre near Fortrose.
  • Crieff Hydro - activities at this 900 acre estate and 4 star hotel in Perthshire include off-road driving and quad biking.
  • Deeside Activity Park includes Off Road Driving, Quad Biking, Kart Racing Circuit, JCB Manoeuvres, Tractor/Trailer Driving, etc.
  • Experience4x4 has 40 acres of private land near Inverness and can offer a 4x4 off-road Driving Experience on a Highland themed adventure course with 19 obstacles. Pay and Play with your vehicle is available on certain days. They also have an Extreme Quad Biking area. Multi-activity packages available for corporate groups or Stag and Hen groups.
  • Highland Quads at East Grange Farm (Kinloss, Moray).
  • House Of Mulben (in Speyside halfway between Aberdeen and Inverness) offers quad biking, off road driving and other activities. For corporate groups, families, stag and hen parties and groups.
  • Legend Sailing (based at Loch Tay, Perthshire) can offer quad biking and other multi-activies.
  • Guided off road Quad Bike Trips can be arranged in the Fort William area. All equipment provided. Fully trained staff.
  • Scottish Off-Road Driving Centre based in Fife.

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Multi Activities

Organisations and outdoor centres in Scotland offering multi activity holidays and short breaks include:

  • Abernethy Trust
  • Active Highs near Fort William offers white water rafting, canoeing, canyoning & gorge walking, scenic river rafting trips, climbing, abseiling and mountain biking. Multi activity packages available.
  • Active Outdoor Pursuits
  • Adventure Scotland based in Aviemore. Mountainsports, paddlesports and snowsports. Courses and expeditions.
  • Ardroy Outdoor Education Centre
  • Badaguish Centre near Aviemore (Cairngorms) offers multi-activities including indoor climbing, rock climbing, scrambling, abseiling, mountain biking, mountain walking, archery, canoeing, orienteering, etc. Accommodation available.
  • Boots n Paddles near Inverness offers open canoeing, archery, climbing, abseiling, hill walking, orienteering, mountain biking, gorge walking, canyoning and weaseling. Winter skills courses, skiing courses, canoe hire, wildlife holidays, team building also available.
  • Can You Experience Co - based at Loch Lomond offer guided hikes, guided cycling, bike hire, canoe hire, guided canoe trips. Also available: weekend breaks and activity weeks suitable for families and groups of all ages and abilities.
  • Craggan Outdoors near Grantown on Spey (Cairngorms) specialises in kayaking, canoeing, raft building, mountaineering, climbing, high ropes course, gorge walking, mountain biking, clay pigeon shooting, quad treks and archery. Winner of Best Visitor Attraction award in the Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards 2012.
  • Dunolly Adventure Outdoors - outdoor activity centre in Aberfeldy (Perthshire) offers white water rafting, gorge walking, hillwalking, mountain biking and archery for groups. Charity challenges, stag & hen weekends, summer camp for children and residential school trips also available. Accommodation on site.
  • Fairburn Conference and Activity Centre near Inverness offers multi-activities including archery, paintball, Lazertag, aerial runway, tree climbing, abseiling, ropes course, canoeing, raft building, mountain biking, orienteering, etc. Full day or half day sessions. Weekend packages for families, couples and groups with full board, accommodation and activities. Residential School Activity Weeks. Accommodation in ensuite bedrooms or bunk bed facilities for residential groups. Also available for birthday parties, team building, weddings, etc.
  • Farr Cottage Activity Centre (near Fort William) - skiing, mountain biking, Go Karting and watersports.
  • Full On Adventure based in Aviemore. Guided hill walks, Munro bagging, mountain biking, winter skills courses, skiing, snowboarding, white water rafting, kayaking on Loch Ness, canoe trips down the River Spey, adventure tours, etc.
  • G2 based in Aviemore. Activity breaks with a wide choice of accommodation options. Alpine ski instruction, telemark skiing, winter walking and skills courses. Canoe/kayaking, rock climbing, abseiling, gorge walking, hill walking, expeditions. Mobile climbing wall.
  • Go Country (based in Paisley). A not-for-profit organisation offering a wide range of outdoor adventure training to improve team, personal and social development skills. Activities include hill walking, rock climbing, abseiling, indoor climbing wall, mountain biking, gorge walking, orienteering, kayaking, ski-ing, snowboarding, fishing. For all ages, abilities and and capabilities.
  • Glentrek(based in Angus) can offer corporate and group activity breaks. Guided walking, trekking, mountain biking, team building, archery, etc.
  • Highland Adventure Centre (Glenisla) multi activities for groups, schools and corporate team building.
  • The remote Highland Wilderness Centre on Loch Nevis (Knoydart) offers a bunkhouse base for canoeing, diving, fishing, climbing, hiking, orienteering, clay pigeon shooting, camping, etc. For groups only. Ideal for sports clubs, school groups, scout groups, etc. You need to bring your own qualified instructor(s) with your group.
  • House Of Mulben (in Speyside halfway between Aberdeen and Inverness) offers fly fishing, clay pigeon shooting, quad biking, archery, off road driving and zorbing with the Mountain Ball. For corporate groups, families, stag and hen parties and any groups of up to 80 people.
  • John Muir Trust Conservation Activities - a huge variety of holidays and courses for adults, families and young people interested in the outdoors. Adventure trips include trekking and sea kayaking. Specialist courses include geology, orienteering, Gaelic culture, photography. Destinations include Arran, Skye, Hebrides, Orkney, Cairngorms, Sutherland. There are also many Conservation Weekends which are free to attend.
  • Kilconquhar Castle Estate - luxury timeshare & self catering holiday resort in Fife with wide choice of leisure facilities including swimming pool, games hall, table tennis, saunas, snooker room, children's play area, gym, badminton, games room, tennis, bike hire, adventure playpark, putting greens, driving range, trampoline, horse riding, health & beauty treatments, Kid's Club. Off-site activities can also be arranged.
  • Kushi Adventures (based in Inverness) offer sailing, canoeing, expeditions, navigation, hillwalking, climbing and team building.
  • Lagganlia Centre near Kingussie. All-inclusive courses including snow-boarding, abseiling, rock-climbing, sailing, mountain-biking, rafting, kayaking, skiing, etc.
  • Legend Sailing (based at Loch Tay, Perthshire) offers archery, kayaking, canyoning, clay pigeon shooting, quad biking, paintballing, sphereing, Canadian canoe trips, river rafting, sailing, mountain biking and gravity assisted downhill cycle trips. Vocational Training and authorised RYA Powerboat and Sailing Courses. Corporate team-building and multi-activity days available.
  • Loch Insh Watersports & Skiing Centre near Aviemore.
  • Monster Activities (near Spean Bridge) - whitewater rafting, mountain bikes, watersports, clay pigeon shooting, abseiling, archery, etc.
  • Nae Limits (Perthshire) - watersports and extreme sports.
  • Outf!t Moray - outdoor education charity based in Lossiemouth (Moray) offering activities, courses and tailored programmes for young people, adults, families, and groups. Walking, climbing, abseiling, ziplines, mountain bikes, canoeing, kayaking, surfing, bodyboarding, duckies, white water rafting, sailing, teambuilding, archery, camping expeditions, bushcraft, orienteering, etc. Equipment hire available.
  • Outward Bound Trust (near Fort William)
  • Paddle Lochaber - specialist sea kayak guiding and coaching provider based in the village of Ballachulish, just south of Fort William. A range of options to suit all abilities. Equipment provided.
  • Snowgoose Mountain Centre based near Fort William. Adventure challenges, rock climbing, abseiling, mountain skills, dinghy sailing and paddlesports.
  • Stramash (based in Oban) offers adventure days with sea kayaking, white water kayaking, coasteering, canyoning, gorge scrambling, rock climbing & abseiling, open canoeing, dinghy sailing, bushcraft, mountain skills and much more. Individuals, groups and schools welcome.
  • Uist Outdoor Centre based on North Uist (Outer Hebrides / Western Isles). Multi-activity programmes, sea kayaking, scuba diving, power boating, wildlife watching, rock climbing, abseiling, walking and expeditions.
  • Walk Wild Scotland (based at Loch Lomond) can offers a choice of corporate team building activities and events with multi activities on land and water.
  • Wilderness Scotland offer a range of multi-activity trips plus some holidays especially for families in the Scottish Highlands. Activities include walking, mountain biking, skiing, kayaking, canoeing, photography and bird watching. Accommodation can be arranged.
  • Northern Xposure Adventure Training (based in Inverness) - canoeing, sailing, walking, mountaineering and first aid training.

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Watersports / Sailing / Boat Trips

Useful links:

Companies offering watersports / boat trips in Scotland include:

  • Ace Adventures - white water rafting, river bugs and duckies in Strathspey. Also guided river tours in 10-man inflatable rafts along the River Spey.
  • Active Highs near Fort William offers white water rafting, canoeing, canyoning & gorge walking, scenic river rafting trips, and other activities. Multi activity packages available.
  • Adventure Scotland based in Aviemore. Paddlesports, courses and expeditions.
  • Ardnamurchan Charters - boat hire, diving, sea angling, wildlife trips.
  • Badaguish Centre near Aviemore (Cairngorms) offers canoeing and other multi-activities.
  • Boots n Paddles near Inverness offers open canoeing, gorge walking, canyoning and other activities.
  • Caithness Seacoast - based at Wick harbour marina. Tours of the east Caithness coast onboard a twin engine RIB. Disabled access to the boat and toilets available.
  • Caledonian Discovery Ltd offer cruising holidays with activities on the Caledonian Canal and Loch Ness onboard a large comfortable barge.
  • Calgary Beach Sailing Club offers dinghy hire and tuition (May-October) on the Isle of Mull. Skills workshops also available. Skippered cruises and day trips for 2 people from Tobermory can be booked onboard Ocean Minx, a 36-ft traditional wooden sailing vessel.
  • Canyoning Scotland is based near Aberfeldy in Perthshire and offers half day or full day adventures.
  • Can You Experience Co - Canoe, kayak and pedalo hire on Loch Lomond. Guided canoe trips.
  • Clearwater Paddling - sea kayaking day trips of Barra and longer tours featuring the Hebrides and West Highlands.
  • Craggan Outdoors near Grantown on Spey (Cairngorms) specialises in kayaking, canoeing and raft building. Winner of Best Visitor Attraction award in the Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards 2012.
  • Dunolly Adventure Outdoors specialists in white water rafting in Perthshire.
  • Full On Adventure based in Aviemore. Variety of activities including white water rafting, kayaking, canoe trips down the River Spey, etc.
  • Galloway Sailing Centre Courses in sailing, windsurfing, open canoe expeditions, flat and white water kayaking and powerboating.
  • Hebridean Pursuits based at the Dunstaffnage marina near Oban. Sailing, sea kayaking, surf kayaking, coasteering.
  • Killin Outdoor Centre & Mountain Shop (Perthshire) - hire or buy canoes and kayaks.
  • Kushi Adventures (based in Inverness) offer sailing, canoeing, expeditions, navigation, hillwalking, climbing and team building. Certificated courses include canoe, kayak, sailing and navigation.
  • Lagganlia Centre near Kingussie. Sailing, rafting, kayaking, etc.
  • Legend Sailing (based at Loch Tay, Perthshire) offers kayaking, canyoning, Canadian canoe trips, river rafting, sailing, etc. Vocational Training and authorised RYA Powerboat and Sailing Courses. Multi-activities also available.
  • Loch Insh Watersports near Aviemore. Sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, river trips, rowing.
  • Loch Park Adventure Centre on Drummuir Castle Estate in Aberdeenshire specialise in canoeing, kayaking and gorge-walking.
  • Monster Activities (near Spean Bridge) - multi activities including whitewater rafting and watersports.
  • Moonshadow Yacht Charter Ltd (based at Dunstaffnage Marina, by Oban) offers 4-12 day skippered sailing holidays around the west coast of Scotland including the Hebrides and St Kilda aboard an Oyster 68.
  • Mountain & Sea Guides based in Applecross offer sea kayaking courses and expeditions.
  • Outf!t Moray - outdoor education charity based in Lossiemouth (Moray) offering activities, courses and tailored programmes for young people, adults, families, and groups. Variety of activities including canoeing, kayaking, surfing, bodyboarding, duckies, white water rafting, sailing, etc. Equipment hire available.
  • Nae Limits (Perthshire) - watersports and extreme sports.
  • National Kayak School - based in Aberfeldy, Perthshire. Tuition for white water kayaking, sea kayaking and Canadian open canoes
  • New Horizon Sailing - sailing holidays onboard an 'Oyster' yacht around the west coast, including the Inner and Outer Hebrides.
  • Northern Xposure Adventure Training (based in Inverness) - canoeing and sailing.
  • Northern Light Charters has 4 small ships which offer a variety of private charter, wildlife cruises, bird-watching and whale-watching cruises, dive charter, island cruising, and research and survey services. Based in Oban.
  • NorWest Sea Kayaking offers full day, half day, evening, and multi-day trips in the area of Lochinver, Ullapool and Achiltibuie - including the Summer Isles, Handa Island, Old Man of Stoer and Glencoul. No experience is necessary. Introductory courses available, and camping trips.
  • Offshore Scotland Sea School - RYA sailing tuition, RIB and yacht charter, marine services and holiday cruises.
  • Rockhopper Sea Kayaking offers trips and instruction around the Fort WIlliam and Lochaber area. Sea kayaking is available for half-day, full day and multi-day trips with fully qualified guides and instructors.
  • Sail Forth offers adventure sailing on a 25 foot open sailing boat with a traditional rig. Based at South Queensferry near Edinburgh. Trips from 2 hours to a full day for individuals, schools, youth groups and businesses. Available for all ages and abilities.
  • Sails and Summits (based in Oban) offer skippered sailing holidays exploring the west coast of Scotland & the Hebrides. This ocean sailing cruiser with crew is available for up to 5 people. No experience required. Trips range from 3 to 10 nights. Hill walking, mountain and gorge scrambling, rock climbing, abseiling, kayaking and canoeing can be arranged. RYA navigation courses also available.
  • National Kayak School based in Oban offers courses and holidays, and the Sea Kayak Oban shop.
  • Sea Life Surveys based on the Isle of Mull. Day trips or package holidays with the UK's first and most experienced whale, dolphin and porpoise watch.
  • Snowgoose Mountain Centre based near Fort William. Canoeing, kayaking, white water paddling, dinghy sailing.
  • Uist Outdoor Centre based on North Uist (Western Isles / Outer Hebrides) offers outdoor adventure courses, trips and expeditions. Also provides the fastest sea transport service to St Kilda in the world (1.5 hours by RIB, carrying sea kayaks).
  • Unexplored Scotland offers sea kayaking in the Highlands of Scotland.
  • Vertical Descents - canyoning and funyaking near Fort William.
  • West Highland Sailing - charters of yachts and luxury motor cruisers on the Caledonian Canal
  • Wilderness Scotland - wide range of combined sailing and walking holidays, or sea-kayaking.
  • Yacht Corryvreckan - sailing holidays around the west coast of Scotland

Boat trips / cruises:

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Deer Stalking (Hunting) / Shooting / Falconry

Shooting seasons - click here (courtesy of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation).
Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group
Shoot in Scotland
British Deer Society

  • Alvie & Dalraddy Estates (near Aviemore) offer deer stalking, grouse, hare & rough shooting, fishing, horse riding, quad bike treks, clay pigeon shooting, archery, etc.
  • The Assynt Foundation can offer deer stalking on the Glencanisp and Drunrunie Estates in the far north west of Scotland.
  • Atholl Estates can offer deer stalking, grouse shooting and also salmon and trout fishing by arrangement. Self catering lodges available. This 145,000 acre estate is situated around Blair Atholl and Blair Castle, 35 miles north of Perth.
  • Birkhill Castle on the shores of the River Tay is the family home of the Earl & Countess of Dundee. Accommodation for 8 - 24 people. Game shooting (pheasant & roe deer) & rough shooting can be arranged on the estate. Clay pigeon shooting can also be organised for groups. Salmon fishing available locally. 20 minutes' drive from St Andrews.
  • Deer Stalking Scotland is a comprehensive online guide to stalking in Scotland, including a directory of estates offering red and roe deer stalking.
  • George Goldsmith arranges Salmon Fishing, Stalking and Shooting on country estates. Also luxury accommodation in Lodges and Castles.
  • Gordon Castle Estate around Fochabers in the scenic The Spey Valley (north-east Scotland) offers roe deer stalking and salmon fishing by arrangement. Accommodation in castle or estate cottages.
  • House Of Mulben offers fly fishing, shooting (grouse, pheasant, duck) and deer stalking on their estate in Speyside (halfway between Aberdeen and Inverness). Clay pigeon shooting, quad biking, archery, off road driving and other activities also available. Accommodation and transport can be arranged.
  • Stephen Smith can offer red deer stalking on the Caplich estate in Sutherland
  • Wilderness Scotland can arrange private stalking on the remote Knoydart Peninsula and the wild and beautiful island of Harris.
  • The North East Falconry Centre near Huntly (Aberdeenshire) has a visitor centre, gift shop, regular flying demonstrations and can also offer tuition.

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Horse Riding / Pony Trekking

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Weather

Scotland is well known for its unpredictable weather. It can change very fast in a matter of minutes, especially in mountain and sea areas. When travelling around Scotland it is always best to be prepared for anything, good or bad.
In the height of the summer, the hours of daylight are long and it may not get dark until after 11pm, particularly the further north you are. In winter, daylight hours are reduced to around 7 hours at the lowest point in December (click here for a useful daylight hours summary table) or use the Sunrise and sunset calculator for Edinburgh (and other places).

Average Temperatures for Edinburgh are approximately as follows:

January 6 C / 42 F May 14 C / 58 F September 16 C / 61 F
February 6 C / 42 F June 16 C / 61 F October 12 C / 54 F
March 8 C / 47 F July 18 C / 68 F November 9 C / 49 F
April 11 C / 52 F August 18 C / 68 F December 7 C / 45 F

Web sites providing useful weather information include:

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Links to other sites

  • Factivities.co.uk - outdoor activity directory with 1000s of outdoor experiences listed
  • For outdoor clothing, boots and expedition equipment, visit Mountain Leisure Perth
  • Craigdon Mountain Sports - clothing & equipment (stores in Aberdeen, Inverness, Perth & Inverurie)
  • Aktive8 Outdoor Clothing - based in Edinburgh, Aktive8 provides a wide range of outdoor clothing from companies like Berghaus, Karrimore & Sprayway. Tents, rusacks, camping equipment also available