Whether you are looking to get on your bike and cycle along Scotland’s most scenic coastal routes, bag a Munro or two, or make a splash while you enjoy a range of water sports, Scotland has enough to fill your boots for a jam-packed holiday outdoors. However, the country is also home to many quirky outdoor activities that you might not have even heard of before. Get inspiration for fun outdoor activities to try in Scotland, from footgolf to axe throwing!
Kickstart your holiday by taking to the water at Pinkston Watersports Centre in Glasgow – home to Scotland’s first urban wake park. With wakeboarding fast becoming one of the most popular watersports here in Scotland, there has never been a better time to get out and enjoy a new skill. Take on the park’s four obstacles with a friendly qualified coach to help you practise and hone your skills.
It’s not just Glasgow who are in on all the wakeboarding action. Foxlake Adventures in Dunbar and Wild Shore in Dundee are great places that offer taster sessions for everyone; from the experienced riders to the complete beginners. Or why not head to the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond at Loch Lomond Wakeboard?
Don’t worry if you’re still a novice when it comes to all things watersports. We’ve got you covered on where to find the best watersport locations which will help you turn from beginner to pro in no time!
2. Alpaca Trekking
Swap adrenaline-rush activities for a day of socialising with your new furry friends! Alpaca Trekking is a great alternative if extreme outdoor activities aren’t your thing. Take a walk along the Pentlands in Edinburgh with BobCat Alpacas offering 90-minute sessions to walk with your new four-legged friend. Don’t forget to smile though as walkers and cyclists will most likely take photographs as you pass by but let’s face it though, it will be hard not to when you are surrounded by these fluffy and adorable creatures!
If you’re holidaying elsewhere in Scotland, here are just some of the many other places which offer alpaca trekking:
- John Muir Alpacas, Dunbar
- Velvethall Alpacas, Innerleithen, Scottish Borders
- Nith Valley Alpacas, Dumfries & Galloway
- Netherfield Alpacas, Lanark
- Bowbridge Alpacas Scotland, Cupar
- The Alpaca Trekking Centre, Stirling
- Highland Alpacas, Aberdeen
- Beirhope Alpacas, Kelso
3. Bubble Football
Enjoy the beautiful game, but with a twist. Round up your mates for a game of football while wearing a giant inflatable bubble! Whether you are looking for a traditional game of 5-a-side or want to take part in fun party games such as Bubble Bull Dog or Last Bubble Standing, Bubble Soccer Scotland is perfect for any special occasion.
4. Grass Sledging
Who says that you have to wait until it snows to go sledging? If you’re looking for quirky outdoor activities, look no further than grass sledging. Born in the Borders grass slope is the perfect terrain to go sledging in all elements of weather. During your visit you will be provided with a grass sledge as well as all the necessary safety equipment for half an hour of non-stop fun. Book now to avoid disappointment!
Find more things to do in the Borders.
Football and golf combined as one sport? We’re not kidding! Footgolf is fast becoming the new outdoor craze people are starting to follow. Not too sure how to play? The rules are simple and very similar to golf; to get your football into the hole in as few strikes as possible, the fewer kicks you do the better. Of course, as part of the fun there will be short holes and long ones with the odd obstacle here or there. Head to Footgolf Cumbernauld and choose between 9 or 18 holes to play on – a great way to bring family or friends together for some much needed fun!
Find more things to do in Greater Glasgow & Clyde Valley.
6. Gold Panning
Strike it lucky by heading to Highland Safaris in Perthshire – Scotland’s only gold and gem panning centre! Get your pan and bucket of dirt at the ready as you hunt for gold as well as searching for beautiful gem stones. Once you’ve finished gathering up your treasure, make sure to check out the identification charts to see what you have found. How many will you find while on your visit here?
Find more things to do in Perthshire.
7. Axe Throwing
When it comes to adventurous things to do in Scotland, there is nothing more daring than axe throwing! Head to Scotland’s capital for an experience like no other at Black Axe Throwing Company. Never held an axe before? No problem! A friendly and experienced instructor will be on hand to help you get the right technique when it comes to throwing. Once you have mastered the skill of axe throwing be sure to compete against friends or family for the big competition at the end. If you’re thinking of heading west during your travels to Scotland, make sure to check out Hatchet Harry’s Axe Throwing in Glasgow.
Find more things to do in Edinburgh.
Shoot a few arrows by heading to Bowhunter Archery in Nairn. The Bowhunter Experience is the perfect session to try out if you’re looking for something to do with the whole family. From 3D fun target zones to Combat Dodge Archery, there is so much fun to be had when you book a visit here. Feeling a bit peckish? Make sure to use the gas BBQ and picnic area for your family feast afterwards.
If you’re looking to improve your aim elsewhere, be sure to check out Ancrum Outdoor Centre in Dundee, offering a range of taster sessions for all occasions or head to the outdoor region of Perthshire by visiting Perthshire Archery in Dunkeld – with its top of the range facilities, you will be able to embrace your inner Robin Hood in no time!
Looking for more archery experiences? Improve your aim at these locations:
- Willowgate Activity Centre, Perth
- A.C.E Target Sports, Isle of Skye
Find more things to do in and around Inverness.
Think you have what it takes to survive out in the wilderness? Get back to basics with Primal Bushcraft & Survival in Dalkeith. From lighting campfires to blacksmiths skill courses, the survival skills day courses will definitely put you through your paces.
Fancy soaking up the outdoors but still want to enjoy the finer things in life? Primal Adventures might just tick all the boxes for you if you are planning a wilderness holiday in Scotland. Will you choose the ‘Luxury Wilderness Experience’ taking in the beautiful sights and sounds of Arran where you can stumble across historic castles, mountains and spectacular scenery, or if you fancy brushing up on your survival skills why not take the ‘Stalking, Shooting and Survival Skills’ course? Whatever you decide to choose, a bushcraft holiday is one of the best outdoor activities to take up during your stay here.
Find more things to do in Midlothian.
10. Go on a Treetop Adventure
Adventure is being taken to dizzying heights at Treezone Loch Lomond. With thrilling high-speed zip wires, balance beams, hanging platforms and heart-stopping gap jumps on the shores of Loch Lomond, it’s the perfect place for monkeying around and embracing your inner Tarzan. If you’re thinking of heading to the Highlands once restrictions ease, be sure to add Zip Trek Park in Aviemore to your bucket list. Take an exhilarating ride through the treetops on the Zip Trek or, for the adrenaline junkies out there, take on the Zip Adventure for white-knuckle thrills where you will zig-zag over, across and along the Alvie Gorge while being treated to spectacular views of the region’s vast scenery and stunning waterfalls.
Also, make sure to swing by these attractions when it is safe to travel:
- Go Ape!, various locations across Scotland
- Aloft! Treetop Adventure at Crieff Hydro, Perthshire
- Treetop Trials at Craufurdland Estate, Kilmarnock
11. Drive a digger for a day
Can you dig it? Yes, you can! Located at Blackstone Farm in East Ayrshire, get ready to live out your childhood dreams by operating your very own digger. From Mini and 22-ton muck shifters to even driving a Big Yellow JCB Tractor, it’s time to put your co-ordination skills to the ultimate test and take part in a range of fun challenges – all with no driving license required!
Find more things to do in Ayrshire & Arran.
12. Wildlife Safari
You don’t have to travel abroad to enjoy a wildlife safari. Get up close and personal with Scotland’s wide variety of native mammals and birds and discover the country’s wild side. If you’re looking to improve your photography skills while on holiday, then you’re in luck! Wild West offers photo safari’s throughout winter to photograph red deer, and where your friendly guide will be on hand to help you capture your best wildlife shots.
Enjoy the finer things in life as you take a behind-the-scenes tour of Balmoral Estate. With tours running from April to October, sit back and relax in the comfort of a luxury Land Rover whilst taking in the captivating beauty of the Cairngorms National Park. Keep your eyes peeled for lots of wild species including birds of prey, roe deer, red grouse and much more.
Discover more Scottish wildlife.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed our round-up on some of Scotland’s most unusual outdoor activities to try out. Still itching for things to do but don’t have a lot of time? Take a friend with you and get exploring by going on a micro adventure or experience the adventurous wonders of South Scotland. If you have some spare holidays to use up, keep active with the whole family as you embark on an adventure holiday like no other!