View the official guide to adventure activities in Scotland
Tubing on the River Tummel, Perthshire
Tubing on river rapids in Perthshire
There is something exhilarating about the churning rapids on Scottish rivers that makes watersports enthusiasts return again and again. Two of the latest crazes of navigating these stretches of white water, river bugging and adventure tubing, are becoming increasingly popular in Scotland, not to mention great fun to try.
Coming to these shores from as far away as New Zealand, river bugging has taken Scotland by storm and is the only place in the UK where you can try this adrenaline-pumping activity.
Resembling inflatable armchairs, these one-person rafts (or bugs) are a fun way to navigate white water rivers. Following expert tuition by resident guides, you can get out on the river and guide yourself through the rapids with large webbed gloves and flippers.
One benefit of river bugging is that it can enjoyed at different times of the year and isn’t dependent on high rainfall to raise river levels. It’s particularly ideal during the drier summer months and normally, it takes place from around April to October.
The first to pioneer the activity in Scotland, Splash White Water Rafting operates in the swirling waters of two of Perthshire’s great rivers; the River Tummel and the River Tay. On the west coast, Vertical Descents offers opportunities to try out this high-octane watersport at three different locations. Try tamer river rapids along the River Awe near Oban or go for extreme bugging in the Spean Gorge near Fort William, a full day tour which also includes cliff jumping and canyon swimming. There is also beginner-friendly surf and rapids on the River Leven, also located near Fort William.
Adventure tubing employs the same principles as river bugging except your craft is a purpose-built, reinforced ring. Keep your balance and control your direction as you float along through dense ancient forestry, or to really get your pulse racing, try white water adventure tubing and be swept along through steep gorges and tube over drops.
You can try adventure tubing along the River Tummel between April and September with Nae Limits, who also offer canyoning, rafting and more. Further north on the River Findhorn in the Highlands, Ace Adventure operate adventure tubing alongside cliff jumping and gorge swimming from April to October.