Iâ€™m a firm believer that you donâ€™t need to look far for adventure. It can be found right on your doorstep and the Lonely Planet seems to be in agreement with Scotland featuring in 20 of the 100 top-ten lists of the worldâ€™s most captivating and inspirational activities and destinations in the travel bibleâ€™s new guide book 1,000 Ultimate Adventures.
With rave reviews of the countryâ€™s treks, mountains and festivals, Scotland has been hailed as â€˜one of the best destinations for active travellers and adrenaline junkies in the world. Surprised? Iâ€™m not!
Weâ€™ve grabbed two of the top-ten spots for the ‘worldâ€™s wildest flights’ with the less than two-minute journey between the Orkney islands of Westray and Papa Westray taking first place ahead of Antarctica and Tibet, and landing on a beach in Barra in the Outer Hebrides.
A hike up Arthurâ€™s Seat, an extinct volcano overlooking Edinburgh, is listed alongside the likes of Tijuca Forest in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, the Coast to Coast walk in Auckland, and Hong Kong trail as one of the â€˜top ten best city hikesâ€™, while the 7stanes trails in the Scottish Borders have been billed, not for the first time, as an international mountain biking â€˜meccaâ€™ (‘mountain biking meccas’).
From the â€˜killer viewsâ€™ along the scenic 96-mile West Highland Way in the Highlands (â€˜worldâ€™s best treksâ€™) to wild swimming across the Corryvreckan Whirlpool in Argyll & The Isles (â€˜worldâ€™s wildest swimsâ€™) and intrepid wreck diving off the Orkney Islands (â€˜top treasure-hunting tripsâ€™), Scotland offers some of the worldâ€™s most daring, exciting and breathtaking active experiences which span the length and breadth of the country.
‘The tartan, haggis and shortbread image is out of date, especially with younger travellers,’ said Tom Hall, editor of Lonely Planet. He added that adventurous travellers were always looking for the next ‘big’ thing, for the ‘wow’ factor and that they were ‘very struck that Scotland appears in so many of the lists ranging from wild swimming to treks, ice climbing to island flights (…)’.
Hankering to explore more of Lonely Planetâ€™s Worldâ€™s Best in Scotland? Check out these incredible experiences:
- Best hidden huts and shelters: The Garbj Choire Refuge on the Cairngorms
- Coldest adventure: Climbers can build a snowhole to sleep in on the Cairngorms
- Best climbs for beginners: The Tower Ridge at Ben Nevis
- Ultimate train ride: The Jacobite Railway line from Fort William to Mallaig
- Best mountain quests: Scotlandâ€™s 282 Munros (mountains which measure over 3000ft)
- Most dangerous adventures: Ice climbing in the countyâ€™s peaks (for pros only)
- Globeâ€™s best races: Kayaking off the Isle of Harris as part of the Hebridean Challenge
- Top urban climbing adventure: The Chemin de Fer route on Dumbarton Rock, Loch Lomond, Trossachs & The Fort Valley
- Most mind-blowing marathons: The Loch Ness Marathon
- Worldâ€™s wildest swims: The Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye
- Most spirited hiking and biking: Speyside Way
- Best adventure festival: Fort William Mountain Festival
- Paddle Scotlandâ€™s kayak race from Neptuneâ€™s Staircase along the length of the Great Glen
Feeling inspired yet? These unique experiences will leave you with experiences that will last time so what are you waiting for? Start exploring Scotland now!