6 of the best new outdoor activities in Scotland

The braver among you can try out the human slingshot. Picture: Youtube
The braver among you can try out the human slingshot. Picture: Youtube
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LOOKING for some excitement at the weekend or something fun to do with the kids during the October holidays? Here are six examples of the best new outdoor activities to try out.

ZIP PARK

No, not a site dedicated to clothes fasteners, but an actual activity centre celebrating the fun of zip lines.

The UK’s first Zip Park has 14 wires stretching to over 2km of zip line overall. Situated in Aviemore, the park offers plenty of zip line fun with family sessions and even an exciting night trip which sees you zooming along above the pine trees with only the light of your head torch to see by.

Upon arriving at the Zip Trek Bothy, you’ll be given all the equipment you need, a safety briefing and a quick practice before you are off zooming about on the zip lines around the park.

Prices start at £25 per person and the trek takes around 2-3 hours

Crossing Goat Fell on Arran. Picture: eosm.co.uk

Crossing Goat Fell on Arran. Picture: eosm.co.uk

FLYING A MICROLIGHT

Ever wanted to learn to fly? Well now you can with easily affordable microlight lessons. Training with the light aircraft is a fun way to build towards a pilot licence and the views on offer as you fly around the country are simply spectacular.

East of Scotland Microlights is the longest established school and club in the country, operated by Gordon Douglas, chief flying instructor with over 30 years’ experience and is located at East Fortune Airfield, East Lothian.

Introductory lessons are cheap, and instructors says you’ll even get a “wee shot of flying the plane yourself” which also works towards your licence application.

• Introductory lessons start from £70 for half an hour and go up to £220 for a two hour trip (either piloting yourself or sitting in the back sightseeing)

WHITE WATER TUBING/RIVER BUGGING

You know the enjoyment you get of hitting the flumes at the waterpark while on holiday? Well imagine that taken to the nth degree on Scotland’s rugged natural river landscapes and you might be approaching how much fun white water tubing can be.

You’ll be taken to places like the River Tummel, given an inflatable ring and, under the instruction of the instructors, you will be given the chance to navigate your river tube down natural waterfalls, slides, shoots and drops.

It’s a serious adrenaline rush and definitely one for those looking for something slightly more exciting than normal white water rafting, it’s very much you on your own versus the elements (under supervision of course). The braver of you also might want to add in the extra rush of an optional cliff jumping session.

The aptly named Nae Limits , just north of Perth, offer white water tubing as well as several other fun activities that are great for days out and stag and hen dos. Those of you looking for a more stable craft for your white water traversing might want to check out Splash and their river bugs (described as floating armchairs), really there’s no cooler way to face the rapids.

• Day trips on the river start at around £50 to £60 per person.

HUMAN SLINGSHOT

Everyone’s favourite toy that was most likely to get confiscated in school, the catapult, gets an upgrade in scale - and now fires something much larger than chuckies - with the Human Slingshot. The UK’s first bungee catapult throws those willing to try it, 80m forward at speeds of up to 70mph.

Suspended between two large poles the sling is pulled backwards by a 4x4 before its triggered, firing the rider - who is attached by a harness to the sling - into the air, much like a horizontal version of a bungee.

It’s amazing fun and one of the best ways to experience the thrills of bungee jumping if you are scared of the thought of dropping from great heights.

You can try it out at the Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre near Castle Douglas in Dumfries and Galloway.

• It costs around £40 for two flings and is great fun for those seeking a different kind of adrenaline rush.

ZORBING/WATER BALLING

Ever wondered how a hamster feels when it rolls around in its ball? Um, us neither, but if you ever fancied learning what the experience is like for a human, then Zorbing could be the thing for you. Willing participants are strapped into a 12ft inflatable ball and rolled at great speed down one of Scotland’s numerous hillsides.

There are a few places around Scotland’s major cities to try it out including Rolling Haggis near Edinburgh, Eden Leisure Village near Glasgow and ZorbingScotland for Dundee and Aberdeen.

• Usually priced at around £40-50 it’s a great day out for families, groups of friends or stag and hen dos.

GRASS SLEDGING

Why wait until winter to get some sledging on the go? With Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre you can grab some of their specially adapted grass sledges and enjoy Scotland’s rolling hills.

The sledges have been adapted to be as fast on regular sledges without the snow and include steering & brakes making them perfectly safe.

Race your family and friends to show you’re the quickest all while enjoying the beautiful scenery of Dumfries and Galloway.

• £8 for a one hour session or £5 for a half hour per person.

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