Scotland has an incredible range of adrenaline-pumping activities, unmissable festivals and fantastic family fun, for both the young, and the young at heart! Wherever you go in Scotland you’ll find landscapes and cities primed and ready for adventure seekers – here, we take you to the countryside surrounding Edinburgh and Glasgow…just remember to bring all your energy!
If you’ve stayed overnight in Edinburgh, really kick start your first day of activity by climbing Arthur’s Seat. An ancient volcano, Arthur’s Seat sits 251 metres above sea level, which affords such spectacular panoramic views of Edinburgh that you’ll be glad you got up early to catch them.
Drive half an hour east from Edinburgh to the county of East Lothian, where you’ll be greeted by long, flat stretches of lovely beaches that come with wind and waves conditions ideal for watersports. Head to the small coastal town of Longniddry and take to the seas – with qualified instructors – on a thrilling kitesurfing adventure, absorbing the amazing views of the coastline as your glide over the waves.
Pick up some lunch to takeaway with you on the two-hour drive to your next destination, St Andrews in Fife; you’re by the coast so there are plenty of fish and chips options!
You’ve mastered the waves, now it’s time to conquer the land as you tackle land yachting, an exhilarating sport that blends the grace of sailing with the thrills of motor racing at speeds of up to 40mph. The beauty of this sport is that you don’t have to have any experience of sailing and the basic skills don’t take long to grasp. Plus, as you’re racing across St Andrews beach, you’ll catch a fantastic view of the Old Course, the oldest and, arguably, the most iconic golf course in the world.
You’ve earned yourself a refreshing tipple; head into the heart of St Andrews and stop by at The Criterion, a family run, traditional Scottish pub. Its shelves are crammed with more than 160 whiskies and 50 Scottish gins, as well as a range of local ales, so make sure you’ve booked someone to drive you to your next destination, the pretty city of Perth an hour away, where you’ll base yourself ready for the next day’s activities.
Build up your strength for the next day with Scottish favourites at The Bothy in the heart of Perth. This cosy restaurant uses the freshest local produce in its dishes and you can feast on carbohydrate-loaded goodies such as Isle of Arran haggis, neeps and tatties or beef cheek and ale pie served with buttery mash.
Perth is well-equipped with comfortable budget-style hotels, B&Bs and luxurious hotels - discover all the options available at VisitScotland.
You’ll enjoy some of Scotland’s most beautiful landscapes in Perthshire, so why not experience its loveliness combined with a heart-thumping activity and spend the morning white-water rafting on Scotland’s longest river, the Tay, half an hour from Perth. These are great waters for beginners – as there are ample stretches of quiet water to practice paddling techniques – as well as for veteran white-water rafters, as the river is home to plenty of white-knuckle rapids too! Another wonderful way to experience the gorgeous scenery of Perthshire is via canyoning, an awesome activity of descending into gorges and being lowered by rope over spectacular waterfalls.
After your morning activity, pick up a picnic lunch from one of the farm shops dotted on your next journey, which takes you down to Balloch next to Loch Lomond (around an hour-and-a-half drive).
One of the most enjoyable ways to experience the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is from the air! Arrive at Balloch on the shores of the loch for the Loch Lomond Treezone courses. Conquer its 11 tree-top obstacles and finish the course with a real buzz, zooming down a 19-metre zipline. If you’re feeling particularly energetic, have a go at the Loch Lomond Buzzard, with 17 obstacles to tackle and the chance to whizz down a 65-metre zipline!
Time to travel on to Glasgow, which is an hour’s drive from Balloch, a brilliant city for the young and the young at heart.
Glasgow has seen a raft of hip new eateries join its excellent restaurant repertoire in recent times. Can’t decide what cuisine you fancy? Head to Dockyard Social near the cool neighbourhood of Finnieston, a street food and bar hub hosting a number of start-ups. Here you’ll find everything from wood-fired pizza to Hirata buns and Korean fried chicken. And find a slice of the US state Kentucky in the East End of Glasgow at Van Winkle, a ‘bourbon BBQ grill’, which comes with a superb choice of Bourbon. Or explore the cobbled street of Ashton Lane, home to magical venues including Brel and Ubiquitous Chip.
Glasgow is renowned for its vibrant live music scene and you’ll find a variety of gigs of various sizes being staged every day of the week. From the iconic Barrowland Ballroom to more intimate venues such as King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut and Nice n’ Sleazy, there’s ample opportunity to party the night away. The SSE Hydro regularly welcomes some of the biggest names in the music world, while for a more laid back evening, head to one of the city’s dedicated whisky bars and pubs – The Ben Nevis stocks hundreds of whiskies and hosts regular live folk music throughout the week.
Glasgow has everything from budget accommodation to luxury properties and it’s also well-known for its chic, contemporary style hotels. Discover more at VisitScotland.