Great places to enjoy the winter nights
I wrote a Sunday Mail column about how to make the most of the darker nights this winter with a wealth of great outdoors experiences. You can see the pdf or read the copy below.
How to enjoy Scotland at night
From an adrenaline-buzzing adventure to sightseeing under the stars, Scotland offers a whole new world at nighttime.
Attractions in the spotlight
Some of Scotland’s most famous attractions are lit up at night and look even more impressive than in the daytime.
The Kelpies, in Stirlingshire, the Forth Bridge and the new Queensferry Crossing across the Forth of Firth and Eilean Donan Castle in the Highlands are all perfect for nighttime sightseeing.
Bungee jump at night
The Highland Fling in Perthshire is the UK’s only permanent bungee jumping operation. It allows thrillseekers to jump from the 40m high Garry Bridge in Killiecrankie.
If that is not scary enough, try taking the plunge in complete darkness between October and March.
Go night diving
Head over to Oban in Argyll for a truly special encounter with a night dive led by the team at Basking Shark Scotland.
Starry, starry nights
Scotland boasts some of the largest expanses of dark sky in Europe. The UK’s first Dark Sky Park is found at Galloway Forest Park and Moffat, Dumfriesshire, has been named Scotland’s Dark Sky Town.
Meanwhile, Mills Observatory in Dundee is Britain’s first purpose-built public observatory and a great place to star gaze.
Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUPs) is a fast growing activity in Scotland. Once you have mastered the basic skills, you can try a nighttime outing on the still waters of Scotland.
Try lessons with Wilderness SUP Co, Paddle Surf Scotland, Unicorn Paddle or Stand up Paddle Board Scotland.
Then you can book a nighttime paddle a guided by Galloway Activity Centre in Dumfries & Galloway.
Become a night rider
Scotland is renowned for being a mountain biking Mecca. Just because the nights have drawn in, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an evening ride.
You could ride your normal routes with a bight bike light guiding the way. The after dark experience feels like you’re riding trough a fairy tale world.
Outdoors companies, such as Simply Epic Adventures, offer guided nighttime mountain bike riding anywhere in Scotland.
Nightlife through a lens
Capture a different side of Glasgow on camera on a night tour with Photo Walk Scotland.
Snap some of the city’s most iconic landmarks such as the Riverside Museum, Armadillo or the “Squinty Bridge”, many of which are lit up at night.
Once the sun goes down, an array of wildlife comes out to hunt, eat and play. You could join a bespoke kayaking outing on Loch of Clunie, near Blairgowrie, or Loch Faskally, Perth and Kinross, with Outdoor Explore.
Speyside Wildlife in Grantown-on-Spey in the Cairngorms National Park offer Dust Watches from a state-of-the-art hide.
While in Dumfries & Galloway, Nocturnal Wildlife Experience uses cutting-edge thermal imaging and night vision equipment to introduce you to the region’s nocturnal residents.
Our dark past
Scotland is home to an array of myths, legends and superstitions, from the Loch Ness Monster, Burke & Hare to the ghosts of Culloden.
You can learn more about what really goes bump in the night and spend dark evenings delving into Scotland’s dark past on a ghost walk.
Some to choose from include Mercat Tours, Auld Reekie or City of the Dead Tours in Edinburgh.
Moffat has a Mostly Ghostly tour, or there is the Stirling Ghost Walk or Dark Dundee.
* To find out about more things to see and do in Scotland this winter see www.visitscotland.com