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Watersports in Girvan, Ayrshire

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Watersports in Scotland

Prepare to make a splash! With a perfect mix of calm lochs, fast moving rapids and crashing waves, the range of watersports in Scotland is second to none.

Did you know Scotland has over 10,000 km of coastline, as well as many lochs and rivers? Whether you are surfing Atlantic swells, rafting down a grade 5 river, or sea kayaking around the islands off the west coast, you are in for a thrilling adventure in Scotland. 

There are perfect family watersports holidays in Scotland, as well as school groups, stag and hen weekends, there's watersports for everything and everyone in between!

Diving and Snorkeling

Scuba diving at Eilean Donan Castle, HighlandsWith battle ships and magnificent marine life, the waters of Scotland feature some of the world's most exciting diving sites. There are diving opportunities for all abilities with dive companies offering everything from day trips to on-board accommodation on dive boats.

Book a lesson with the Puffin Dive Centre, uncover rocky reefs at St Abbs Head National Nature Reserve in Berwickshire; and enjoy some world-class scenic diving around miles of Scottish coastline. To experience some of the best wreck diving in the world, head to Scapa Flow in Orkney, the Sound of Mull with Lochaline, or to the Firth of Clyde with Wreckspeditions.

Fancy trying snorkeling? Explore underneath the water's surface along Scotland's first ever Snorkel Trail in the north west Highlands, which features nine beaches and bays, each teeming with fascinating marine life.

Wakeboarding

Wakeboarding is one of Scotland's fastest growing watersports. A bit like water-skiing, but on a board, riders skim across the water being towed behind a motorboat. You can also try out wakeboarding at a specially designed wakepark, where riders are towed by a system of cables. This is a great day out for all ages.

Looking for a place to try this exciting pursuit? Foxlake Dunbar & Dundee are great places to learn with qualified instructors. Glasgow Wakepark, Scotland's first urban wakepark, would be a good stop off point for people on a city break. Or you could get out on the open water with Loch Lomond Wakeboard and Kyle Waterski & Wakeboard.

At all of these locations, beginners will find that lessons are easy to book, with sessions to suit all abilities taken by a qualified wakeboard instructor. 

Wild Swimming

Wild Swimming

Looking for a new outdoor hobby? Take the plunge and enjoy the wonders of wild swimming. Scotland boasts lots of outdoor swimming options accompanied with stunning scenery to make your swim that extra bit special. Head to the Outer Hebrides for crystal clear waters, enjoy a refreshing dip on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond or perhaps a dramatic castle backdrop like Castle Stalker might take your fancy? The waters may be a wee bit on the nippy side but don't let that put you off! There are many health benefits to wild swimming which include reducing stress, improving circulation and metabolism and most importantly, boosts your mood!

Check out more of our stunning wild swimming locations in Scotland.

Top Tips for Wild Swimming

Whether you're an experienced swimmer or just a beginner, Scotland's waters may look enticing but they can also be unpredictable, with strong undercurrents or riptides hiding from plain sight. Here are few tips to help keep you safe:

  • Bring a pal - Avoid swimming alone and keep a close eye on other wild swimmers nearby.
  • Do your research - Pick a spot and do your research online. There are lots of beautiful places across Scotland to help kickstart your wild swimming adventure. Make sure that the water is safe to swim in, you aren't trespassing on private land, and that wild swimming is permitted.
  • Wear a bright coloured swimming cap - You'll easily be noticed by other wild swimmers and people on the shore.
  • Keep warm afterwards - Cold water has many benefits to your body but staying in for too long can make you shivery and have negative effects. Drink a hot sugary beverage and wrap up warm with lots of layers.

Find out more about Safety Outdoors in Scotland.

Planning a Watersports Holiday?

There are lots of high quality outdoor activity centres and companies operating throughout the country, each offering a wide range of watersports activities – from gentle introductions to the wildest experiences and toughest challenges. There are also plenty of opportunities to get involved even if you're a watersports beginner.

Surf's up! Try out a range of activities and share your experiences using #watersports and #visitscotland!