Looking for your next big adventure? With giant cliffs, hilly terrain and wild waters, it’s no surprise that adrenaline seekers have adopted Scotland as their adventure playground for generations, experimenting with daring tricks and challenges across the country.
On 5 March, Scotland will celebrate The Scottish Adventure Awards 2014 rewarding commitment to adventure pursuits all over the nation. Taking place in the Grand Ballroom of the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow, these awards will showcase Scotland as one of the most exciting destinations in the world for fearless explorers. Honours offered on the night will include: physical endeavour, teamwork, innovation and photography and many more, celebrating all aspects of Scottish adventuring.
The awards are open to everyone and a shortlist of individuals, teams and businesses across a broad range of categories has been recognised. Tickets are available now and all shortlisted candidates are in the running to win the public award. Be inspired and get voting for your favourites here.
In the anticipation for the awards, I’ve selected a few of Scotland’s best adrenaline-pumping activities, some of which I haven’t had the courage to do yet. As it’s VisitScotland’s year of Brilliant Moments, now seems like the perfect time to plan escapades for 2014 so we’ve rounded up a little food for thought:
Scotland’s slopes are the ideal way to get your snow fix this winter. For many residents in Scotland, a trip to the white stuff is achievable over a weekend and offers fantastic value for money. From practicing your style on the real indoor slopes at Xscape in Braehead to slicing down the flawless mountains in Glenshee, Scottish snow will not disappoint. Whatever your ability, preferred snowsport, budget or baggage, Scotland has an exhilarating snow trip waiting for you.
There’s no time like the present! Enjoy World Snow Day activities in various locations on Sunday 19 January.
Windsurfing in Scotland can be summed up by epic wind, tantalising waves and high-octane excitement. There are fantastic locations to learn this addictive sport in Scotland, with many RYA sailing schools set amongst spectacular lochs. If you’re an advanced sailor then the windswept coastal waters promise some truly hair-raising windsurf.
Did you know that the little isle of Tiree, thanks to strong prevailing south westerly winds, is an absolute mecca for talented windsurfers and kite surfers from around the world? Or if you’d rather stay on dry land, each year the island hosts the Tiree Wave Classic, one of the most prestigious windsurfing events in the UK where you can watch professionals reach high speeds and tackle jaw-dropping jumps off the crashing waves.
For an energetic game of strategy, teamwork and many amusing anecdotes, why not spend a day paintballing? In my experience, this is the perfect spontaneous day out with friends, although on my last attempt I struggled to emerge from behind a large bin.
There’s a great number of creatively thought out similar sites throughout Scotland where you can put your shooting skills to the test. Bedlam Paintball outside Edinburgh, for example, boasts an impressive woodland setting and offers several very competitive and fast-paced group games, which are bound to leave everyone in a multi-coloured mess.
Canyoning has been on my list of things to do for a while. If the thought of sliding down waterfalls or jumping from high cliffs into unknown waters does not fill you with terror, then why not give it a go? Many adventure companies offer the experience and their experts will guide you safely through the stunning rivers and gorges. You can descend into deep canyons, abseil down tall waterfalls and swim in the wild waters. Don’t worry, you will be fully kitted out with the appropriate safety equipment! The Great Glen in the Highlands is a stunning place to try this sport for the very first time or if you’re a seasoned adrenaline seeker, head to the daring Ben Nevis Canyon, which drains off Scotland’s largest mountain, Ben Nevis, in the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’ – Fort William.
What’s your favourite adventurous sport or activity to do in Scotland? Share your plans for 2014 in the comments below, and keep us updated with your #brilliantmoments throughout the year on Twitter, Facebook , Instagram or any other platform of your choice.