Fun things to do in Scotland
The northernmost part of the UK is famous for its magnificent scenery and warm welcome and there is so much to see and do for all ages. Which is why we’ve put together some of the best fun days out in Scotland for adults.
Activities that won’t cost you a penny
Fun days out often involve splashing the cash but the good news is there are plenty of places to visit in Scotland and activities that cost nothing at all including;
Then of course there is the wildlife watching, wild swimming, climbing plus a vast array of historical sites and ruins to explore.
What to do if it rains?
Anyone who has visited Scotland will tell you that the weather is to say the least unpredictable and rainy days are not uncommon. The good news is; there is plenty to do here even if the sun doesn’t shine.
What We Love!
From tomahawk throwing to rides on a vintage steam train, museums and art galleries galore and plenty of welcoming country inns, where you can sit in front of a roaring fire with a wee dram!
Below are some of the best days out for adults from the southern lowlands to the majestic mountains of the north there is something for everyone!
What not to miss in Scotland!
There are sights and activities a plenty in Scotland but there are some things that no visitor should miss. Try and get to a ceilidh, these social gatherings with traditional Scottish music and dancing are fantastic fun and a great way to meet the locals.
Try the food- There’s more to Scotland than Irn-Bru and deep-fried Mars bars. The country boasts many world-class restaurants which serve seriously delicious local produce such as Venison, Salmon, Aberdeen Angus beef and Langoustines and you must sample some haggis, cooked correctly it’s a real treat.
Go On Treat Yourself
Shopping - Scotland offers some of the best shopping in the UK, from the hustle and bustle of Princes Street to Glasgow’s style mile, plus hundreds of quirky independent shops selling everything from cheese to whisky and stuffed monsters.
Here is a map of Scotland
Mary King’s Close, Edinburgh
You will be spoilt for choice on a sightseeing day out in Scotland’s capital but you may be surprised to learn there is a whole underground world under the royal mile. Mary King’s close is one of Scotland’s most unique attractions and this spooky 17th century street is brought to life with costumed characters. Open daily throughout the year an adult ticket costs £15.50
Royal Yacht Britannia
The Royal Yacht Britannia has been voted the country’s top attraction by Visit Scotland. This floating royal residence sailed over a million miles and held a special place in the queen’s heart A boarding pass costs £16 for adults and you can explore the opulent state apartments, crews quarters and engine room before heading to the Royal Deck tea-room which boasts delicious food and superb views.
Snowboarding in the Cairngorms
Home to 3 of the 5 Scottish ski centres, the Cairngorms are a paradise for winter-sports enthusiasts. Take a trip on the UK’s highest funicular railway with views to die for. You will find everything you need for hire on the mountain, such as skis, sticks, boots, boards, and helmets and there are trials for all abilities, with beginners lessons available if you are a complete novice.
This video shows the fun you can have snowboarding in the Cairngorms
If you’ve ever bought a Scottish calendar or tin of shortbread you will be familiar with this castle as it is one of the country’s most iconic images. Located at the point where 3 sea lochs join, it is perched on it’s own island, overlooking the Isle of Skye and surrounded by truly magnificent scenery. Open from February to December if you want to see more than just the views entrance to the castle costs less than £10 per adult.
Axe-throwing on the Isle of Skye
Skye is one of the most beautiful places on earth, but if you fancy something a bit different from picturesque Portree, and the enchanting Fairy Pools why not try Axe-Throwing? Costing just £20pp, this memorable experience is the ideal rainy day activity in Scotland. Stress relief doesn’t come any better. Try several different sizes of axe and maybe even learn a trickshot or two.
Blair Drummond Safari Park
Home to over 350 animals, this outstanding safari park is located near Stirling and is one of Scotland’s top attractions. Open every day from March until October tickets start at £16.25 per adult. There are birds of prey displays to enjoy, fascinating keeper talks, a boat tour around Chimp Island, sea lion shows and plenty of places to have bite to eat, have a BBQ or enjoy a picnic.
Stay in Scottish Lodges & Cabins
Paragliding in Arran
View the incredible scenery of Arran from a different perspective when you take to the skies. Training is provided, starting fairly low on a gentle slope, then flying higher as your ability and confidence grows. Open from March to September you will need to book in advance, but Flying Fever offers one of the most fun things to do in Scotland for adults.
The Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh,
A fantastic day out for all ages, and just a short walk from the city centre. Admission is free and you can enjoy one of the finest botanical gardens on the planet. The Glasshouses are a particular favourite, home to over 3,000 exotic plants as are the magnificent Redwood Trees Boasting an array of events throughout the year, plus an award-winning restaurant, Terrace cafe with breathtaking views and gift shop, it is one of the best budget days out in the capital
Walking - Ben Nevis
You don’t need to be Edmund Hillary to climb the UK’s highest mountain there are walks and hiking trails for all abilities. The Highland Mountain Company offer guided tours to the summit, but you will need to be fairly fit as the 16 km route will take you to 1345 metres above sea level and takes around 6-8 hours. Don’t worry though there are plenty of scenic resting spots and the day ends at the pub, where you can enjoy a well deserved pint.
Enjoy a luxury spa day at Gleneagles
Scotland is renowned for the great outdoors but there are opportunities to pamper yourself too. Gleneagles is known throughout the world, but did you know that as well as golf this exclusive hotel offers a wealth of country pursuits, plus luxurious spa experiences, that are second to none. Opt for a hot stone massage or facial, relax in the serene surroundings before enjoying an indulgent afternoon tea. Bliss!
The Falkirk Wheel & The Kelpies
Everyone knows that Scotland is famous for kilts, whisky, haggis and castles but surprisingly 2 of the country’s most popular attractions are incredible modern monuments. The stunning Kelpies, stand at 30 metres making them the largest equine sculpture in the world. While the Falkirk Wheel the only rotating boat lift in the world is an exceptional piece of engineering.
Scuba Diving in Oban
Did you know the coastline of Argyll is longer than that of France and offers a range of snorkelling and Scuba diving to suit all abilities. Dive Oban and Argyll provides all the training and equipment you need as well as offering a number of diving experiences from exploring wrecks, to diving with sharks, night diving and visits to Grey Seal Reef. Prices start from £35 per person and this thrilling activity will certainly be one to remember.
Loch Lomond - Action adventure activities in Scotland
There are many fun things to do for adults in Loch Lomond, making it a popular short break destination. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely cruise on in a vintage steamship,, see Rob Roy’s grave stone, or head to the fascinating Sealife Centre. Some may want to seek thrills at the aerial adventure park, whilst others can have a go at one of the vast array of water sports on offer. Then there are the land based activities such as cycling, climbing and segways you really will be spoilt for choice!
Sled-dog experience Aviemore
Nestled in the heart of the National Park, The Cairngorm Sleddog Centre offers a brilliant day out for couples in Scotland. Boasting a range of activities; you can visit the kennel and museum before heading out on a sled-dog safari. This unique experience gives you the opportunity to get up close and personal with these stunning dogs and enjoy the views and wildlife from a different perspective.
Make a curry in Abernethy
You will need to book in advance, but these one day cookery courses offered by Lets Cook Scotland are a brilliant day out for adults. Their Introduction to Indian Cooking 1 day course costs £125 and is perfect for spice lovers. The classes are informal, small, and you will be able to take anything you cook home, ideal for those staying in self catering holiday accommodation. Best of all there’s no washing up.
Glasgow City Mural Trail
Walking around this cosmopolitan city you will come across some impressive examples of wall art which inspired the City Centre Regeneration Team to create the UK’s first city centre mural trail and all you need are some comfy walking shoes. See the floating taxi on Mitchell Street, take in the 3 murals dedicated to Glasgow’s most famous comedian Billy Connolly, the big birds next to the Enoch Centre and the ferocious tiger on Clyde St.
Find out about Glasgow’s mural trail below
Mountain biking in Glentress Forest
Adrenaline junkies will love mountain biking through the heart of the Tweed Valley in Glentress Forest. There are trails for all abilities from green to black, as well as a fantastic free-ride area. The pretty border towns of Innerleithen and Peebles are nearby, where you will find outlets for equipment hire and best of all the only thing you need to pay for is the parking making this a brilliant budget day out.
Glenmorangie Distillery tour
Situated in the Royal Burgh of Tain by the serene shores of Dornoch Firth lies arguably the most famous distillery in Scotland. Glenmorangie Whiskey was founded in 1843 and the distillery boasts the highest stills in the country. The expert guides will take you through all stages of the process. You can enjoy a sample at the end and perhaps pick up a special gift at the shop. Prices start at just £7.50 per adult
The Wallabies of Inchconnachan
Scotland is home to some amazing wildlife but wallabies are not something you would expect to see. Well, you can if you head to Inchconnachan a small island in Loch Lomond. The cute marsupials were brought to the island by Lady Arran after the second world war and now roam freely. You can hire a boat to reach the island which is an ideal spot for a picnic and some unusual photo opportunities.
Motor racing at Knockhill
This premier motorsport track near Dunfermline, is home to a off-road and go-karting track plus a rally course offering a wide range of thrilling driving experiences. You can feel the speed of a Ferrari, Aston Martin or Type R Racing Car as you whizz round the number 1 circuit in Scotland. Alternatively take your own car and put it through its paces on one of the special trackdays, perfect for adrenaline junkies and racing enthusiasts.
Cairngorm Reindeer centre
Visit the UK’s only free-ranging reindeer herd which roam the Cairngorms. Daily guided tours head out to see the 150 reindeers and give you tons of information about these fascinating, friendly creatures. They can be found all year round but seeing them in the snows of winter around Christmas time is a magical experience never to be forgotten. There is also an excellent gift shop where you can pick up a souvenir.
Play golf at St Andrews
For golfing enthusiasts, no visit to Scotland would be complete without a visit to the home of golf; St Andrews. The world-famous venue offers a variety of packages so you can tee-off and follow in the footsteps of legends such as Seve Ballesteros, Tiger Woods and Greg Norman. There are lessons available for beginners, guided tours of the old course, a well-stocked shop along with 3 elegant clubhouses.
Buy a kilt at Lochcarron Visitor centre
There is nothing says Scotland like Tartan and at this family-run company runs tours of it’s mill and factory in Selkirk where you can learn about an industry which is integral to Scottish history. The tour finishes in the visitor centre where you can purchase the finished products, along with tartan and tweeds there are garments made from lambswool, cashmere and mohair.
Pony trekking in the Highlands
There are several equestrian centres in the north of Scotland offering full and half day treks through the spectacular scenery of the Highlands and this is a fabulous, fun way to explore the region. Reach spots inaccessible by car, see incredible wildlife and make the most of the exceptional photo opportunities. Whatever your ability, whether a seasoned equestrian or beginner you are sure to enjoy a day on horseback in the Highlands.
Find the top highlands horse-riding tours here
Dolphin spotting in the Moray Firth - a must for nature lovers
The Moray Firth is teeming with wildlife including otters, seals and a wealth of seabirds, but the big draw here are the resident bottlenose dolphins. You can take one of the many boat trips, but it is perfectly possible to view these amazing creatures from land too. Admission to the Dolphin Centre is free and there are daily walks and tours along with the chance to see Britain’s largest icehouse.
Check out this video of dolphins in the Moray Firth
Take the Da Vinci Tour
Ideal for fans of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, this tour departs daily from Edinburgh and takes in the glorious scenery of Southern Scotland. You will visit Melrose Abbey which is said to house the heart of Robert the Bruce, Scott’s View, the William Wallace Monument and Tweed Valley before heading to Rosslyn Chapel, with its ancient carvings, mystery and links to the Knights Templar and the Holy Grail.
Experience one of Europe’s longest zip wires
Fun adult days out in Scotland, don’t come any better than Laggan Activity Centre which can be found in the heart of Dumfries and Galloway. Boasting a huge array of activities including water-balling, archery and segway tours, the highlight is definitely the 820 metre double zip wire. Once you’re strapped in, get ready for the experience of a lifetime; for a couple it would cost £20 pp with additional runs (if you’re mad enough) just £10 each.
Sights you must see before you leave
One visit to Scotland is never enough and you will find yourself returning time and time again. That being said visitors come from all over the world and if you only have a short time in the country there are some sights which should not be missed.
Whatever the weather, winter or summer, this welcoming country is a haven for lovers of the great outdoors and there are plenty of indoor attractions all ages, tastes and budgets to enjoy as well.
Experience pristine white beaches, world-class scenery and a host of fun days out in Scotland for adults, we think you’ll agree; as a holiday destination it really is; hard to beat!