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Outdoor activities offer plenty of fun for those looking to keep on moving!


By John Davidson

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Aigas Golf Course.
Aigas Golf Course.

The colder weather might be creeping nearer but there’s still time to enjoy the warmth of some Highland hospitality.

And what better way to spend an autumn day than getting out in the fresh air before returning indoors to relax in front of a roaring fire?

The Loch Ness and Inverness area is a hub for outdoor activities, so whether you want some adrenaline-fuelled action or a peaceful return to nature, we really do have it all.

With a range of activity providers in the area, there is plenty to keep visitors as well as locals busy while the leaves are turning.

Open (Canadian) canoeing in glen Affric,.Model released.
Open (Canadian) canoeing in glen Affric,.Model released.

Autumn is one of the best times to pull on your walking boots and head for the hills. There are walks aplenty, from forest strolls to mountain summits – though if you’re new to hill walking it is best to use an experienced guiding company.

Take to the water in a canoe or kayak, whether on Loch Ness or one of the many sheltered lochs in the vicinity.

Adventure company In Your Element (IYE) are still offering two Loch Ness canoeing activities, a Loch Ness Taster involving an hour on the famous water or the Explore Loch Ness, which is a two-and-a-half hour paddling trip starting at Fort Augustus.

IYE also offers a great gorge walking trip at Culloden near Inverness. Director Mike Dunthorne explained that the trip starts somewhere below the magnificent Culloden Viaduct and takes people by surprise every time.

“You wouldn’t know it was there,” he said. “You can’t even see any water and people who do know it assume you’ll be going down to the River Nairn, but it’s actually up this tiny burn and it’s just phenomenal.”

A group at Culloden Gorge with In Your Element.
A group at Culloden Gorge with In Your Element.

All of IYE’s trips can be booked online at iye.scot/inverness and bespoke small group and family trips are still available too.

Golfing enthusiasts can take a swing at beautiful courses, from the world-famous Castle Stuart just east of Inverness (www.castlestuartgolf.com), to the glorious Aigas golf course (www.facebook.com/aigasgolfcourse) in picturesque Strathglass.

Experienced horse riders can enjoy magnificent outings with Loch Ness Riding based at Dores on south Loch Ness-side.

Candy Cameron at Loch Ness Riding said: “We operate all through the year and it is different with every season.

“We’re operating with all the Covid measures in place – which is easy enough, as we usually only have one or two guests out at a time and there is plenty of space out on the trails.”

Horse riders on an excursion with Loch Ness Riding.
Horse riders on an excursion with Loch Ness Riding.

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