Activities in the Highlands

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Download your copy of the Active in Scotland 2014 brochure.
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View the official guide to adventure activities in Scotland

The Highlands offers a fantastic range of adventurous outdoor activities with opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, climbing, canoeing, mountain biking and a whole lot else.

The Highlands is high on thrills and delivers adventure in abundance if you seek it.

You can go skiing and snowboarding at three winter resorts in the Highlands. CairnGorm Mountain boasts more than 30 km of ski runs, the Nevis Range has Scotland’s highest ski slope and Glencoe features the longest descent in the country. 

Mountain biking has rocketed in popularity in recent years and nowhere more so than in the Highlands. The Nevis Range has the longest single-track descent in the UK and welcomes the Mountain Bike World Cup each summer. The Highland Wildcat Mountain Bike Trails at Golspie and the Laggan Wolftrax near Newtonmore are two other top mountain biking destinations.

Fort William - the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’ - is a centre for climbing and hillwalking with Britain’s highest mountain Ben Nevis on its doorstep. There’s also world-class climbing in the Cairngorms, at the famous Cuillin range on Skye and among the spectacular peaks of Sutherland and Wester Ross.

For long-distance walking, there’s the Great Glen Way, the Speyside Way and the Moray Coastal Trail, while the legendary West Highland Way finishes up at Fort William.

The region offers such delights as kayaking, gorge walking and canyoning, such as at Loch Morlich Watersports near Aviemore where you can enjoy sailing and windsurfing. Try your hand at white water rafting on the River Garry near Fort William or sailing, windsurfing and kayaking on Loch Morlich and Loch Insh. 
  
The water based adventures can continue on the Great Glen Canoe Trail, the first of its kind in Scotland. Following the Caledonian Canal from Corpach, Fort William, to Inverness, you will paddle over 60 miles for approximately five days whilst enjoying the amazing scenery, variety of things to do and quality accommodation found within the Highlands.

Or why not take part in an exciting sled dog safari in the Cairngorms National Park near Aviemore? Meet the team of dogs and then sit back in the buggy and enjoy spectacular views from this unique mode of transport.

  • Looking over Loch Affric at Glen Affric
    Looking over Loch Affric at Glen Affric
  • A fisherman casts his line in the waters of Hospital Lochan against the backdrop of the Pap of Glen Coe
    A fisherman casts his line in the waters of Hospital Lochan, Glen Coe
  • A rider and her horse from Alvie Stables canter in a snow-covered field south west of Aviemore
    A rider and her horse from Alvie Stables canter in a snow-covered field south west of Aviemore
  • A surfer rides the crest of a wave at Rimms Ness near Thurso with the Isle of Hoy, Orkney in background.
    Riding the waves at Rimms Ness, Thurso
Looking ahead to Glen Affric, Highlands

Walking

Explore the Highlands on foot and discover the wonders found within this vast region; from mountains to coastal shores.

Brora golf course

Golf

Discover the wealth of great golf courses in the Highlands including historic venues, championship layouts and links gems.

A surfing ride the crest of a wave at Brimms Ness near Thurso.

Watersports

Try a variety of watersports on an active adventure in the Highlands, from surfing waves to riding river rapids.

Mother and child cycling on road by water, with flowers in the forground and peaks in the background.

Cycling

Get on your bike and explore the stunning Scottish Highlands.

A cyclist on a mountain bikes in snowy heather with trees and snowy peaks behind.

Mountain biking

Head to the Scottish Highlands and discover some world-class mountain biking trails.

A skier upside down in mid air at Glenshee Ski Centre

Snowsports

Take to the mountains and enjoy a great range of snowsports activities across Scotland's five centres across the Highlands.

A fisherman casts his line in the waters of Hospital Lochan against the backdrop of the Pap of Glen Coe

Fishing

The beautiful Highlands offer the keen angler the chance to cast his fly in some of the most remote, idyllic, challenging and least fished waterways in Britain. There is also some of the sea angling in the country.

Looking over to the Cuillin Mountains from Elgol, Skye

Climbing

With such a dramatic landscape, full of mountains, glens and steep rocks, the Highlands attracts climbers from across the world, keen to try and tackle the steep slopes.

Horse riding on the Alvie Estate

Horse riding

Discover the Highlands on horseback and enjoy the it’s trails and treks or receive expert tuition from one of the riding centres. Whether you are a novice or expert rider, there is something to suit all abilities.

Two men crouching in long gress with rifle and binoculars

Country sports

Experience a selection of fantastic country sports in the spectacular countryside of the Highlands