Fiona Outdoors logo My independent guide to the best of Scotland outdoors

6 ways to access the great outdoors

Written by Fiona

October 28 2020

benefits of walking poles

Good health and fitness are vital for a long and happy life and one of the best places to seek these vital ingredients is in the great outdoors.

Doing activities or playing sports in the outdoors can allow you to have a healthier lifestyle, but sometimes it might be more about adventure and fun. Here are six ways you can access the great outdoors:

Walking in the mountains.

Walking 

Walking is easily accessible and free to do (once you have bought the right kit). From easy paths and trails close to village to remote mountains, there are walking routes for all abilities and experience levels.

The best place to start when looking for a good walking route is a guidebook or website. There is a wealth of available information.

Check the grade of the route and if you will be going off the beaten track, make sure you know how to navigate to stay safe.

Also choose the right equipment, including shoes or boots, warm layers and waterproof outers to make sure the walk is both enjoyable and safely done.

Mountain biking

Mountain biking also offers a great range of options, from easy-going paths and trails to remote and rugged tracks.

There are many different types of mountain bikes, too, such as hard-tail, full suspension and e-mountain bikes. Some people prefer a gravel bike these days, which is a hybrid of a road bike and mountain bike.

It’s worth have a few technique lessons if you plan to take on some gnarly routes and enjoy downhill mountain biking. It’s also important to have the right safety kit, including a helmet.

Knowing how to fix a puncture and carrying the right items to do so will save you from getting stuck with a flat tyre miles form anywhere.

If you enjoy mountain biking rides, why not think about setting off for a bike packing trip too over several days.

Kayaking and paddleboarding

There are plenty of waterways to explore across the UK. Travelling by peaceful kayak or paddleboard allows you to explore rivers, canal, lochs lakes and the coast.

Again, it’s worth having a few technique lessons first and hiring all the gear to make sure you are going to enjoy the sport. Investing in the equipment for watersports can be pricey.

As well as the kayak and paddleboard, you’ll need to think about buying a wetsuit, buoyancy aid, neoprene boots and gloves, as well as a dry bag to keep everything water-tight.

Mobility scooters

The outdoors is not only for people who can easily walk, run, or hike their way around. Everyone should be able to explore.

If you go over to Easy Pay Mobility, you will see the technology that allows you to have some outdoor fun. You can rent a mobility scooter that can easily fit in a car, train, bus or plane. You can also get a mobility scooter for various terrains, so you don’t have to hold back while experiencing life. 

Horse riding. Pic credit: Walter Baxter

Horse riding

Horse riding is another great activity that can keep you fit and allow you to enjoy a fantastic opportunity to explore the countryside.

Horse riding requires plenty of skill and coordination and so it’s important to go with an instructor or take lessons at a riding school. In any case, the cost of owning a horse is prohibitive for many people, so most riders enjoy regular lessons or hacks on a school’s horses.

A riding hack is a great way to see the countryside from a new height and with your trusty horse doing the hard work for you. This is not to say that riding isn’t good exercise, but with the combination of a horse you will travel far and wide far easier than on foot or by bike.

Fishing 

Surprisingly, fishing is one of the UK’s most popular activities. It is described by participants as mentally rewarding and therapeutic.

Anyone can take up fishing but to become an expert you should take a few lessons or ask a friend to show you how.

You’ll enjoy spending time up close with nature and surrounded by the peaceful environment of a river, lake or the sea.

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