The summer of sport is set to continue as Glasgow prepares to host the inaugural European Championships with Berlin from Thursday 2 August to Sunday 12 August. With one million people set to be part of the sporting and cultural experience of Glasgow 2018*, the largest sporting event to be held in Scotland since the Commonwealth Games and The Ryder Cup in 2014, VisitScotland offers up some top tips and locations for those feeling inspired by sporting greatness to set off on their own active adventure.
Be it with family or friends, the variety of thrilling watersports, picturesque walking trails, adrenaline-pumping cycling routes and scenic sea kayaking make an activity break in the most beautiful county in the world** a rewarding and memorable experience. Who doesn’t like a bit of friendly competition between pals anyway?
Canoeing on Loch Morlich. (Credit: VisitScotland/Paul Tomkins)
Read on to find out where to get the heartrate pumping this summer and beyond…
These boots were made for walking
From an afternoon amble on a leafy forest path to bagging a munro, from a city stroll to a coastal walk, exploring the great outdoors on foot in Scotland is a fantastic way to spend a holiday. Set off in search of the Seven Wonders of Scotland’s Walking World and discover some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. Take in views of Edinburgh from the top of Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano, or follow the Glenfinnan Viaduct Trail and visit the Glenfinnan Monument, a tribute to Jacobite clansman. Adventurous walkers can take on the West Highland Way, a 96-mile challenge between Milngavie and Fort William, or they can summit the tallest mountain in the UK, Ben Nevis.
On yer bike
With lots of options for cycle hire and many cycling tours, travelling through Scotland on two wheels is a great way to take any holiday up a gear. There is a range of paths and trails to suit all ages and abilities from shorter rides, perfect for a leisurely morning or afternoon cycle, to dedicated cycling holidays and tours. Whether island-hopping on the Hebridean Way Cycling Route, exploring beyond the city on a ride from Edinburgh to South Queensferry, or tackling the exhilarating road bike trip through the mountainous landscape of Applecross, there are plenty of pit-stops along the way to take in a lovely view or enjoy a picturesque picnic beside an ancient castle or on the banks of one of Scotland’s iconic lochs. So, get on yer bike and get exploring!
Discover more cycle routes here: https://www.visitscotland.com/see-do/active/cycling/national-routes/11-spellbinding-routes/
Don’t rock the boat
Discover Scotland’s wild side on the water in a canoe or sea kayak. Hop on board and paddle through some of the country’s most beautiful and remote wildernesses on a loch or river surrounded by dramatic landscapes and wonderful wildlife. Outdoor Explore offers kayak trips on Scotland’s longest and most famous rivers, the River Tay. For first-timers, Loch Morlich is a great place to try kayaking with Loch Morlich Watersports offering lessons and activity days. Alternatively, join Hidden Adventures for a Loch Lomond Canoe Safari and look out for the resident wildlife on the loch’s banks.
With hundreds of miles of coastline, secluded beaches, cliffs, caves and crystal-clear blue waters Scotland is a perfect destination for sea kayaking. Take in the fresh sea air and explore some of the most scenic parts of Scotland on the Sea Kayaking Trail. This challenging 500km voyage stretches from the Isle of Gigha to the Summer Isles near Ullapool and can be broken down into sections for various holidays or completed all-in-one for an epic kayaking trip. On the east coast of Scotland, East Neuk Outdoors offers a varied selection of trips to suit all levels taking in the beautiful Fife coastline.
Make a splash!
Take on Scotland’s powerful rivers, drops and rapids and ride the fast-flowing waters to experience the thrill of white water rafting in the company of experienced experts. Rafting can be enjoyed all year round in Scotland and is ideal for both first time rafters and adrenaline junkies. Venture to the Outdoor Capital of the UK and tackle the waters of the River Garry from April to October. Head to the Cairngorms National Park and experience the wilder side of white water rafting on the River Findhorn and River Tummel. The River Findhorn is one of Scotland’s last wild rivers and it offers unparalleled scenery and thrilling rafting which includes a 500ft drop over 18 miles.
No round-up of sporting holidays in Scotland would be complete without mentioning teeing off at one or more of the country’s 550 golf courses. With a legacy that spans more than 600 years and the most golf courses per head of population than any other established golf destination in the world, with one course for every 9,000 people, Scotland is the Home of Golf. There is a huge variety of golf courses to suit every skill level, all offering quality and value for money, as well as a range of nearby accommodation to suit every golfer’s needs. Discover golfing history at the Old Course in St Andrews, formerly known as the Links, in 1764 this course was reduced from 22 holes to 18, creating the course format that is still used today. Tee-off at Prestwick which held the first Open Championship in 1860 or follow in the footsteps of the golfers at the European Championships and head to the Gleneagles PGA Centenary Course located in the beautiful countryside of Perth and Kinross.
Outdoor Activity Centres
Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre
Gatehouse of Fleet, Dumfries & Galloway
Discover a wealth of indoor and outdoor adventure activities that the whole family can enjoy on the stunning Galloway Coast. From grass sledging to zip wires, there is an activity to fit all ages and fitness. Whether you want to try your hand at adrenaline-pumping activities such as one of Europe’s longest zip wires or test your aim with archery, Laggan Outdoor runs numerous activities that will make it a summer adventure to remember.
With plenty of adventures, big and small, in the great outdoors, Wee Adventures, based in Perthshire, helps challenge and inspire its young visitors to discover Scotland’s natural playground. Enjoy canoeing, biking, climbing, abseiling, tree climbing, slacklining, bush craft or forest play adventures. No two days are the same at Wee Adventures with the kids bound to return muddy, tired, happy and inspired!
Various locations throughout Scotland
With bases in Oban, Fort William and Perthshire, Vertical Descents offer a range of sessions including canyoning, coasteering and white water rafting to bridge swings, paintball and off-road segways. With a range of family activity breaks on offer there are plenty of ways to discover the beauty of Scotland’s landscapes in a new and exciting way.
For more information on Scotland please visit: www.visitscotland.com
For more information about the European Championships visit: https://www.glasgow2018.com/