It’s difficult to escape the popularity of the Six Nations rugby tournament at this time of year, but while the teams duke it out on the field, we asked GO Outdoors blog readers to vote for which of the Six Nation countries was the best for the outdoors person. The country that you voted top of the list is here: Scotland!
High life in the highlands
Six Nations of the Outdoors: 1st Place Scotland
The Scottish highlands offer a feel of genuine wild country, with plenty to offer in terms of the outdoors, it’s easy to see why GO Outdoors customers voted Scotland as the best of the Six Nations countries for the outdoor person. Scotland is after all home to more peaks than the rest British isles over 600 metres.
Lets take a look at some of what Scotland has to offer:
1) Ben Nevis
Ok, we’ll start with the obvious. Ben Nevis is the highest peak in the British Isles and part of the ever popular 3 peaks challenge. Ben Nevis attracts around 100,000 ascents each year, it’s a very popular mountain with many taking the pony track from Glen Nevis. The cliffs on the north face of Ben Nevis are some of the highest in the UK, and make for fantastic scrambling and climbing routes. Climbing a mountain is a fantastic sense of achievement and building yourself up to the UK’s biggest is certainly something to set your sights on.
2) Munro Bagging
The Munros are a list of peaks in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Monro, the peaks have to have a height of over 3,000feet to make the list. Munro bagging is the pursuit of ascending all of the hills on this famous list (there are 282 Munros and 227 further subsidiary tops). Munro bagging is becoming more and more popular with many looking for further mountain challenges outside of the staple three peaks, That being said Ben Nevis is also on the list of Munros.
While some of the hills may not seem that high, they can be difficult to ascend due to the unpredictable highland weather.
3) Wild Camping
Unlike England* and Wales, it’s still legal to wild camp in Scotland. While your standard campsites are filling up with young families and groups of friends, many people opt for wild camping. Wild camping essentially involved grabbing your pack and tent and heading out into the wilderness, pitching up where ever you see fit. The wild aspect of Scotland is a big draw for those who enjoy a multi-day hike and the peace and quiet of a wild camp, being able to pitch up with nobody in sight.Wild camping is a fantastic past time and one that in the UK at least is unique to Scotland.
*It is possible to wild camp in certain areas of Dartmoor National Park, or if you have the land owners permission.
4) Cairngorms & Loch Lomond
Scotland’s two National Parks are Loch Lomond and Cairngorms. The Cairngorms National Park is the home of Britain’s highest mountain range, natural forests, lochs, clean rivers and more. Cairngorms has such a variety of landscape that it’s able to offer a tremendous amount of activities to try and take part in. Loch Lomond is the home of the loch of the same name, the largest body of fresh water in mainland Britain. It’s around this loch that the Loch Lomond national park offers a vast array of watersport activities as well as land based activities for those not looking to get wet.
5) Winter Sports
It’s no secret that Scotland can really get the extreme sides of weather, while the rest of the UK felt a rather mild winter (in temperature) Scotland saw record snowfall, and it’s for that reason that every winter Scotland is a real hive of winter sport activity. With the recent finish of the Winter Olympics, if there is a spike in interest in winter sports like skiing, snowboarding and more, then the winter sports centres of Scotland will no doubt be seeing a rise in popularity.
Like each of the other countries, this is only the brief look at what is on offer, there are plenty of activities and fantastic places to visit, and we’d love to hear from you if you know of somewhere that hasn’t been mentioned.