Getting Active and Exploring Aberdeenshire
The North East of Scotland with its diverse landscape is a playground for people who love to get outdoors and active. With a vast number of hills and mountains to climb, forest trails to ride or walk and miles of beaches to discover. The best thing about it, most are within easy distance from Aberdeen if you want to have a central base. Alternatively consider venturing out and stopping at a new location each night before heading off on the next leg of your journey. Many places are happy to work with you to arrange for your luggage and belongings to be sent on. Then you can cover the whole of the North East in a large loop.
In our Podcast series Visit the North East of Scotland – Unlocking Aberdeenshire, we spoke with Lyle Smith who can be described as adventure enthusiast, adventure sport coach and director for Granite Adventures & Racefox race timing. He tells us about his favourite activities in the North East and what adventure you can look forward to. Listen to the full podcast below.
Investment for the Future
Significant investment is being made by people and organisations to develop the adventure opportunities and provide high quality resources for locals and visitors alike. Once such organisation is Gravitate North East established in 2015, hope to create 45km of mountain bike trails, a chairlift to transport people to the summit of Cairn Mon Earn, snow sport facilities as well as a café and shop. Ambitious plans also include facilities for families to go tobogganing, ziplining, climbing, stargazing and more. It will be wonderful to see how this amazing project develops.
For adrenaline seekers
There are 30 munros and corbets in Aberdeenshire so there are plenty to choose from, including of the 5 largest mountains in the UK. Challenge yourself to bag Ben Macdui, Braeriach, Cairn Toul and Sgor an Lochain Uaine. Don’t forget Lochnager on the Balmoral Estate which reaches 3,789ft (1,155m) and offers stunning views of the surrounding areas.
Walking & Hillwalking
Mountain Bike Adventures
There are hundreds of miles of road and off road trails for cyclists to explore. Aberdeenshire has some stunning rural roads which take the scenic way through the regions. We are lucky that VisitAberdeenshire has already done the hard work for you by listing some of their favourite routes and trails on their website. Alternatively you can book with a guide and they will not only show you the sights and tell you stories of the region but can offer extra guidance and skills tuition.
Water Based Activities
Aberdeen sits between the rivers Dee & Don and has easy access to the North Sea. This makes it easy to find somewhere to get wet. Whether it is surfing, kayak or canoeing or something a little more sedate with Stand Up Paddle boarding there are numerous places to try.
- Granite Adventures (As mentioned in the Podcast)
- Stonehaven Paddle boarding
- Arbroath Cliff Tours
If you are ready to test yourself to the limit and try something a bit different how about running in the dark? The beautiful Glen Tanar estate offers the Illuminator run and this is an experience you won’t forget quickly!
If we are lucky and there is sufficient snow, then there are a couple of places you can strap on those skis or snowboards and venture down the hillside. We can have snow anytime from October until the end of April and the region has been known to offer skiing until May in the past. No need to pack everything for Austria when you can have a hideaway in the Scottish mountains.