Inverness, Loch Ness and Nairn is the idea holiday spot for those who love being active in the great outdoors. Climbers and walkers can take to the hills, with a proliferation of climbs and walks to tackle, from gentle meanders to some excellent sport and traditional climbing such as Moy Crag and Duntelchaig.
There are just too many lovely walks to mention, but both the Plodda Falls in the beautiful Glen Affric and the Falls of Foyers are well worth checking out. Abriachan Trails near Inverness is a woodland and moorland walk with truly jaw-dropping views.
Steep in places, you pass interesting features along the way such as carved wooden benches, a reconstruction of a bronze age hut, and a reconstructed shieling (dwellings built high in the hills, particularly for shepherds). Its low stone wall base is built with peat turfs and a turf-covered roof – and if it’s a windy day, it’s a great place to eat your picnic!
If golf’s more your thing, you’re spoilt for choice there too. Inverness plays home to several courses, including Castle Stuart Golf Links, a Championships links course that has played host to the Scottish Open.
Nairn has two quality links courses – the Nairn Golf Club and Nairn Dunbar Championship Golf Course, ranked 9th in the North of Scotland Top 100 Golf Courses.
The Highlands is particularly renowned for its freshwater and sea fishing, so it’s a joy for both novice and experienced anglers. Whether you want to chase the ‘king of fish’, the Atlantic salmon, wild brown trout or cod, you can enjoy the thrill of the chase and the peace of your surroundings in some of the most stunning areas of the country.
The Highlands’ lochs and rivers offer great opportunities for both salmon and trout, with the River Ness and the River Nairn both popular options. Don’t forget that you might need a permit, which you can get from various places such as Graham’s of Inverness.
If you prefer sea fishing, head to the east coast of Nairn, where you can try your luck from the pier or the beach. A little further down the coast in Burghead you’ll find Moray Firth Fishing Charters, which offers boat fishing trips where you can hunt for a wide variety of fish, including cod, mackerel, pollack and dogfish.
The Caledonian Canal is another great spot for getting active. Winding from Fort William to Inverness, there’s plenty to do both on land and water.
Take a cycle, jog or wander along its scenic banks or take to the water and try rowing, boating, or kayaking. If you’re not confident, there are plenty of local companies such as In Your Element who’ll take you on guided canoe or kayaking tours of the canal, Loch Ness and further afield.
Keen cyclists should check out Etape – a closed-road bike race right round the stunning shores of Loch Ness that runs each year in April. A wee tip for those who prefer watching to taking part: if you’re around in the summer season, it’s worth catching a game of shinty, a fast, physical team sport predominately played in the Highlands.
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