Scotland's natural playground

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Year of Natural Scotland 2013
Year of Natural Scotland 2013

Celebrate Scotland's natural beauty throughout 2013

  • A cyclist makes a jump on the Downhill Course at the Mountain Bike World Cup
    A biker on the Downhill Course during the Mountain Bike World Cup
  • A group of horse riders trot along Lunan Bay, Angus
    A group of horse riders trot along Lunan Bay, Angus
  • Sea kayaking in Brodick Bay
    Sea kayaking in Brodick Bay
  • Couple walking on a mountian path, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.
    Couple walking on a mountian path, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.

Whether by land or water, Scotland’s great outdoors offer a fantastic range of activities for a variety of ages and abilities, from hiking and mountain biking to canoeing and fishing. Look out for a full programme of natural sporting and outdoor events throughout 2013.

Wherever you are in Scotland, from the Highlands to the Borders, there are plenty ways to enjoy the great outdoors.

By land

Whether you are a beginner, or a seasoned professional, experience the unique rush of skiing or snowboarding at Scotland's five snowsports centres.

Another popular challenge is to try and climb all of Scotland’s 282 Munros, which are peaks over 3,000 ft. Affectionately known as ‘Munro bagging’, this testing sport attracts walkers from all over the world. Are you up for the challenge?

Download the Natural Trails guide for more inspiration on a wide range of adventurous days out. You can also follow one of Scotland's great walking trails, which are clearly waymarked and are an excellent way to enjoy the great outdoors while spotting a colour array of wildlife.

If you prefer to discover Scotland on two wheels, follow the thrilling mountain bike trails, including the 7stanes centres across southern Scotland. Cycling is a great way to explore the islands, whether you wish to travel between historic attractions in Orkney, or take a challenging long-distance ride through the beautiful scenery of the Outer Hebrides.

By water

Explore Scotland’s waterways by kayak along the Scottish Sea Kayak Trail, Europe’s first long distance sea kayak trail. Look out for fascinating marine life including dolphins and minke whales along the 500 km route.

Other popular watersports include sailing, both for learners and seasoned yachtsmen, and diving off Scotland’s coastline or in deep fresh-water lochs. The long sandy beaches around the coast are also a favourite with surfers, some of whom compete at the annual Tiree Wave Classic competition. Watersports events also include Plockton Regatta and the Anstruther Muster.

For excellent watersports activities, including some of the best white-water rafting anywhere in the country, look no further than the River Tummel in Perthshire.

You can also soak up the rolling countryside and sublime coastline of the Kingdom of Fife which is a true playground for a variety of fun outdoor activites, from walking and cycling to adventures sports.