Things to do in Scotland

Our pick of the best activities

Animal magic

If you associate wildlife watching with geography field trips or up at dawn bird watchers, Scotland will convert you. But the secret is to get a top guide. You canѝt just drive around the Scottish Highlands and hope you will bump into a Golden Eagle or a Red Deer. A local expert knows exactly where and when to spot all the untamed treats and teach you about their journeys in this biodiverse country. You also donѝt have to travel far to get great results, with mountain, moor and marine landscapes all coverable on coastal habitats all coverable on a one day safari.

Walking is the law

You can't come to Scotland without packing your walking boots. It's against the law. Well, actually, the right to walk all over their varied landscape is enshrined in law, so even if they don't make you hike, it's rude not to really. Everywhere you go there are 'Walkers Welcome' signs. Even in the most chic of hotels you can turn up with your muddy boots and be welcomed with a whisky and a chat about your expedition. You do need to be prepared, however, as you can get four seasons in a day in Scotland.There are good guides galore in Scotland just waiting to share their expertise on walking routes around remote islands, or up rugged mountains.

Photographs & memories

If you are learning the art of photography, there is no better place than Scotland for a crash course. With unpredictable weather, dramatic skies, soft arty light, and a plethora of wildlife to really up your skills, this is where some of the greats have moulded their craft.

Goodbye Alps, hello Aviemore

Accessible by train, Aviemore and the Cairngorms National Park have got a firm footing on the worldwide map of winter sports now. As well as downhill skiing, there are cross country trails that allow you to take the slower route through the snow, and wildlife watching as you go. Watching a deer standing proudly in the snow is pure poetry. Winter walking is also a growing activity, whereby you climb with crampons, ice picks and a lot of expert guidance. Done safely, this is one of the most exhilarating way to experience Scotland. Snowy, silent and still.
Photo credits: [Red deer: Paul Wordingham] [Walking : picture by Moyan Brenn on ] [Photography: Graeme Law] [Winter sports: Ben Bradshaw]
Written by Catherine Mack
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