10 Incredible Adventures in the Lowlands

Scotland’s Lowlands region offers a multitude of outdoor activities, including nature preserves, mountain bike trails, fishing, and golfing. Of course, the area has plenty of whisky as well—perfect for rounding out a day’s adventures. Here are ten exciting activities to try out while in the Lowlands; for more adventure ideas, check out Visit Scotland.

Glasgow and the West

Have an Ice Time
Even those who take their whisky neat will enjoy a visit to the Baltic Ice Bar Glasgow at the Snow Factor experience just outside Glasgow. After a day of skiing or snowboarding, head to the bar where the walls, bar, tables and cocktail glasses are made of ice. Undoubtedly, Glasgow’s coolest venue!

Take a Hike
The Smugglers’ Trail in Troon crosses over woodlands and offers views of the Firth of Clyde as you follow the path of Scottish smugglers. Many houses in Troon are reputed to have ‘brandy holes’ for the storage of contraband. The flat trail takes around two hours to complete.

Mill About
The village of New Lanark by the River Clyde is at the center of a World Heritage Site, and was founded in 1786 as a center for cotton milling, run by social pioneer Robert Owen. Today, restored to its former glory, it offers a fascinating glimpse of a truly paternalistic commercial community.

The County of Fife

Hit the Gas
Take the wheel of a Formula One-style race car at Scotland’s National Motorsport Centre. The circuit also offers the chance to put an Aston Martin, Jaguar E-Type, or Ferrari F430 through its paces or sharpen your skills with Performance Driving or Skid Control courses!

Swing into Action
For golfers, St Andrews is the legendary home of their sport, with the St Andrews Golf Club being established back in 1457. Reservations on the Old Course are doled out by lottery, two days before play. There are five other courses close by and a total of 45 across the county of Fife.

Edinburgh Area

Climb the Walls
Edinburgh International Climbing Arena is an adventure sports facility located in Ratho. Created in a retired quarry, it is the largest indoor climbing wall in the world. The Bouldering Room and Climbing Arena cater to all levels of experience and ambition.

Make a Safe Bet
Just half a dozen miles east of Edinburgh city center, horse racing has been staged at Musselburgh Racecourse since 1777, and the well-appointed venue offers fine dining and year-round races—both flat and jump racing. Dress to impress and take in some fresh sea air with the locals.

The Scottish Borders

Find Your Fish Tale
The River Tweed, or Tweed Water, is one of Britain’s finest salmon rivers. It flows east for 97 miles across the Border region of Scotland and northern England. Visiting anglers, or newcomers keen to try their hand at the sport, are welcome at many locations along the great river.

Savor Some Suds
Scotland’s oldest inhabited house, Traquair has been visited by 27 Scottish monarchs and dates back to 1107. In the early 1960s, a 300 year old brewery was discovered and re-commissioned, and visitors can now enjoy the dark, strong, and malty Jacobite ale.

Dumfries Area

Make Your Home a Castle
Drumlanrig Castle, near Thornhill, is a 17th century renaissance-style castle, where adventures like small-game hunting and salmon and trout fishing are also on the menu. Hop aboard a mountain bike or get behind the wheel of a Land Rover and venture into idyllic Dumfries-shire countryside with its stone homes and impressive estates.

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The Lowlands Whisky Trail

A visit to Scotland’s southernmost region would be incomplete without tasting some of the local water of life.