Backpacking Tips for Beginners
Scotland is a natural playground offering adventurers an exciting destination to indulge all of their outdoor passions and pastimes.
With its luscious landscapes, majestic mountains and stunning seascapes Scotland offers the perfect backdrop for any and all adventure pursuits with adrenaline junkies well catered for across the country.
Easily accessible by air, road and rail – with flights to Edinburgh, Inverness and other key entrance points running daily from across the UK and further afield – Scotland offers a land of adventure opportunity on everyone’s doorstep.
Top Adventures in Scotland
The Caledonian countryside has long be a favourite destination for active pursuits and operators in this area are well aware of the appeal to adventurers meaning there is a lot on offer for those seeking exciting and alternative activities while they are away. Activities on offer include:
• Hiking and Hill walking – from the rolling hills of the Scottish borders around Edinburgh, to the stunning Cairngorm National Park and the superb Sutherland Hills, Scotland offers an exciting array of hiking and hill walking environments.
• Mountain Biking – With its wonderful peaks and wide open spaces, Scotland is the natural home to the UK mountain biking scene. The country plays host to a range of exciting events on the MTB calendar such as the Strathpuffer, with even city venues such as Edinburgh offering opportunities to indulge with the city centre Holyrood Park and Craiglockhart Hill offering some alternative urban trails.
• Canoeing and Kayaking – with a large selection of lochs stretching from Edinburgh and the borders up into the extreme northern reaches of the Highlands, Scotland caters admirably for fans of these waterborne pursuits. Alternatively why not navigate the Great Glen by paddling the Caledonian Canal from Fort Augustus – with a dedicated canoe and kayak trail due to open in 2012.
• Canyoning – this extreme activity which involves sliding, scrambling and swimming along natural water cut courses is available in a range of locations in rural Scotland.
• Horse riding – Scotland’s open countryside offers the perfect place for equestrian exploration with centres across the country offering horseback holidays or hacking for hire.
• Climbing and Abseiling – the cliffs and crags of Scotland’s superb selection of mountains and Munros offer a wide selection of ascents and descents.
• Snowsports – Scotland’s snowsports centres lie just a few hours north of Edinburgh offering powder to rival any Alpine resort in recent winters. Top spots for snow sports include Cairngorm Mountain, Glencoe and the Nevis Range.
Tips for Scottish Adventures
With all this on offer it is no surprise that adventurers flock to Scotland each year, however in order to stay safe visitors should bear a few things in mind such as:
• Weather – Scotland is notorious for its changeable and often harsh weather – visitors planning outdoor activities here should never underestimate the elements and should always dress accordingly and carry the correct equipment. Scottish Mountain Rescue teams are called out time and time again to save visitors who had not heeded the weather warnings.
• Planning – It is easy to get lost in Scotland’s wilderness areas, with parts of the Highlands unpopulated for miles and miles. Visits to empty areas should be well planned and no one should explore without a map, compass or GPS.