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Fishing Trip © Robin McKelvie

Fishing Trip © Robin McKelvie

It always amazes me when fellow Scots jet off to Switzerland or even to long haul destinations like New Zealand in search of adventurous thrills. That is because we’ve got all the outdoor activities you could ever need right here in Scotland from fishing and hiking, right through to surfing and even bungee jumping. And the major bonus is that it all comes wrapped in swathes of epic scenery.

An Ideal Adventure Playground

The River Spey © David Hayes

The River Spey © David Hayes

Scotland could have been sculpted with outdoor activities in mind. It is a wildly dramatic natural playground with 282 mountains over 3,000ft (the Munros), with over 800 offshore islands, gushing rivers like the Tay and Spey and spectacular lochs like Loch Ness and Loch Lomond. It is easy to get away from it all on Scotland and as easy to get involved in myriad outdoor activities whether you want to go with a organised group, a tour company or just head out there under your own steam.

This year has also been designated the official Year of Natural Scotland, a year long event, a big part of which is a drive to get people out enjoying the great outdoors. Read our guide to the Year of Natural Scotland. So what are you waiting for this spring?

Soft Adventure in Scotland

Robin Fishing in the Tweed

Robin Fishing in the Tweed

Many of Scotland’s outdoor activities start to spring back into life at this time of year. One sport that Scotland is famous around the world for is fishing. There are a multitude of options from fly fishing on the fast moving salmon rich Spey, through to tough sea angling out in the Atlantic swell off the Shetland Isles. It also helps to have a real idea of what you are doing to get the most out of fishing, and we’ve got a great special offer to help you learn river fly fishing.

Robin on the Southern Upland Way

Robin on the Southern Upland Way

Other relatively relaxed outdoor activities in Scotland include walking or hiking. There is everything on offer from gentle ambles around Edinburgh, on to the rolling hills of the Borders and the testing Munro mountains. For suitably prepared walkers there are no limits. Scotland’s long distance trails have never been more popular too with the granddaddy of them all the West Highland Way. I’m also a big fan of the less much less heralded Great Glen Way and the Southern Upland Way, which don’t get nearly as much attention. That means they are far less busy. One summer I covered 100 miles of the Southern Upland Way and saw less than half a dozen fellow walkers the entire week!

Adrenaline Sports in Scotland

Scotland is really getting a name for itself these days amongst global thrill seekers. They already know that Scotland has been voted the world’s number one mountain destination and has now held the World Mountain Bike Championship. See here for our mountain bike blog. These global thrill seekers are becoming more and more switched on to the plethora of other heart pumping outdoor activities on offer too.

Sea Kayaking in Outer Hebrides

Sea Kayaking in Outer Hebrides © Robin McKelvie

In Scotland these days you can choose from zorbing down a hillside in the Borders or land yachting along the famous West Sands in St Andrews, through to sea kayaking around the epic ocean swells of St Kilda and throwing yourself down a Highland Perthshire gorge with only a rubber band for company. Yes bungee jumping has well and truly arrived in Scotland!

Whether you want to learn to fish properly, hurl yourself down a mountain on a bike or even more crazily dive off a platform attached to a bungee rope you don’t need to waste money jetting off to Switzerland or New Zealand. Head out around Scotland this spring and you will discover one of the world’s great adventure playgrounds, an oasis for every type of outdoor activity you can imagine.

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