Scotland

Explore Scotland's outdoor activities and experience epic adventures

Covered with wild and wonderful nature, there is no better place for an adventure in the great outdoors than the Highlands. Whether you fancy biking or surfing, these are the all-time best outdoor activities in Scotland.

One of the best ways to see Scotland is to spend time exploring its ruggedly beautiful landscape. The country boasts more than 30,000 freshwater lochs, roughly 6,000 miles of stunning coastline, and hundreds of towering mountains, including the highest and most impressive one in all the United Kingdom—Ben Nevis.

All that wide open space leaves a natural playground with plenty of room for exploring. Head up into the Highlands to discover the best skiing and find the ultimate route for mountain biking. Uncover the most beautiful lochs for kayaking, find the best beaches for unforgettable cold-water surfing, or practice your putting in the home of golf.

Look no further for some of the best outdoor activities in Scotland and discover the nature of the north!

Kayaking in the beautiful Loch Restil

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Head out for a kayak on the serene waters of Loch Restil on Scotland’s Cowal Peninsula. The beautiful deep-water loch, also a favorite for fly fishing, lies in a remote region of Argyll and Bute.

This picturesque section of the Scotland Highlands can take about two and a half hours to get to by car from Glasgow. However, the drive is worth it for the views alone.

Once out on the water, the loch does not disappoint—it is the perfect place for peaceful kayaking and getting some nature therapy…even in chilly winter conditions.

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Downhill skiing in the Cairngorms National Park

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Head to the UK’s largest resort, Glenshee Ski Centre, in Cairngorms National Park to see what it’s like to go skiing in Scotland’s Eastern Highlands.

Cairngorms is home to five of the UK’s six highest mountain ranges. The majestic beauty of the terrain is what ski dreams are made of, with craggy chutes brimming with fresh powder.

Want to go? Plan your Scotland ski trip between mid-November and the beginning of April for the best snow.

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Hiking in the Bay of the White Shieling, Camasunary

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For everyone who’s ever dreamed of walking on the edge of the world, this hike along the Camasunary bay is the closest it comes. Camasunary, or “Bay of the White Shieling,” is just a few miles north of Elgol in the southern part of Scotland’s crown jewel: the Isle of Skye.

What makes this hike so incredibly magical? Sweeping fields of heather, rugged ridges of the Cuillins, rocky ocean beaches, and even a hidden loch. The area can only be accessed on foot or by boat, giving it the chance to retain its unspoiled natural beauty.

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Paragliding in Conachcraig

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The best way to appreciate Scotland’s incredible natural beauty may be from the air. Head up, up and away at snow-covered Conachcraig, a Corbett in the eastern part of Cairngorms National Park near Loch Muick and the Balmoral Estate.

At the top of Conachcraig, hike around for a beautiful view of Lochnagar, one of Scotland’s most popular Munros. Get airborne to reveal the best views of all, from roaming herds of deer to pristine snow-draped peaks that give way to long stretches of soft heather.

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Biking in the Torridon Mountains

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Mountain biking is all about the unknown, and there’s no better place to discover hidden gems than up in Scotland’s Torridon Hills – a rugged cluster of towering sandstone mountains in the Northwest Highlands.

These mountains are considered some of the UK’s finest (and most exciting) for both hikers and bikers. However, they are also some of the harshest, with little to no vegetation to protect from horizontal rain and sharp ocean winds. Ride up and down steep twisting paths, over glacier-cut ridges, and through peat bogs, all beneath the imposing peaks of the Torridons.

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Golfing in Mull of Kintyre

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Head off across the Mull of Kintyre to play a round of 18 at one of Scotland’s greatest links courses—the Machrihanish.

The Kintyre Peninsula in southern Argyll on Scotland’s west coast is highly underrated. It is worth a visit for the views alone, but it also happens to be home to one of the most beloved classic links courses in the country.

While Scotland is packed with picturesque places to play golf, the award-winning view over the Atlantic from the very first hole at the Machrihanish will stun you. It’s no wonder this classic links course is consistently ranked as one of the best in the world.

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Riding the wild waves along Scotland coastlines

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For those who want a Scottish experience that’s a little outside the box, there’s no better activity than riding the wild waves. Scotland’s rugged coastlines offer some top surfing in the North Atlantic and the North Sea.

Not only are these the best quality surf spots, but they’re also some of the most beautiful and remote coastal towns where surf culture meets medieval ruins and ancient landscapes. In Scotland’s surfing capital, Thurso East, you can enjoy the views of Thurso Castle in between waves. There’s also the most northwest mainland town of John O’Groats with its towering Stacks of Duncansby and, if you’re up for the journey, the Outer Hebrides – a magnificent string of islands off the northwest coast.

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Surfing in the Wild Caithness

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Looking for the best surfing in the UK? Caithness, a sparsely populated county on Scotland’s dramatic north coast, has become a surfer’s paradise.  Head to Dunnet Bay for a sustainable surfing experience that begins with world-class waves and ends with a golden mid-summer sunset. From shore or at sea, take in its low-lying areas carpeted in delicate blooms in the east and its contrasting steep cliffs in the north.

If you’re looking to hang ten here, prime surfing time in Caithness runs all the way from September to May.

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