Top activities in Scotland for big groups holiday cottages


Top activities in Scotland for big groups

Kate A 01 October 2021

If you’re looking for some of the best activities for big groups, Scotland is the place to find them. Few countries capture the imagination the way that bonnie Scotland does, with its soaring mountains, gloriously green glens, mysterious lochs and seemingly endless golden beaches.

This is the ultimate natural playground, made for exploration and adrenaline-pumping adventures! Naturally, we’ve got your accommodation sorted thanks to our collection of large cottages in Scotland, but you might be wondering what is on offer when it comes to great days out?

So, we’ve cherry-picked some of the top activities in Scotland for big groups who want to spend some quality holiday time together.

Ski or snowboard Scotland’s slopes

Skiing in Scotland

On a crisp winter’s day, nothing beats the feel of snow gliding under your feet as you zoom down the slopes of a Scottish mountain. And with five ski resorts to choose from across the country, it’s not surprising that this is one of the best outdoor activities in Scotland for groups.

Runs range from absolute beginner to total expert, both on-piste and in the backcountry, and with equipment hire readily available, it’s super easy to get out on those icy peaks. There’s even a large indoor snow centre, Snow Factor, just outside Glasgow, which offers year-round skiing and snowboarding on real snow if you’re holidaying in Scotland outside of the ski season.

Ski resorts in Scotland:

Visit a Scottish whisky distillery

Whisky distillery in Scotland

Known far and wide as the land of whisky, going on a distillery tour and tasting the famous elixirs of the country is one of the best ways to experience Scotland. This sought-after export has been produced here for hundreds of years and there are now over 130 active whisky distilleries spread across Scotland, split into five whisky-producing regions: Campbeltown, Highland, Islay, Lowland and Speyside. 

One of the best activities in Scotland for adults, a guided whisky distillery tour allows you and your mates the chance to go behind the scenes and appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into creating the spirit. And of course, you’ll get to sample a dram of the good stuff too!

Whisky distilleries in Scotland:

Tee off at one of Scotland’s golf courses

St Andrews Golf Course in Scotland

With a legacy that spans six centuries, there is no finer place to play a round of golf than the country that gave the game to the world. There are over 550 golf courses in Scotland, including links courses, parkland courses, 9-hole courses and everything else in between, so whatever your skill level and course preference, you'll never be far from fairways and greens suited to your group.

If members of your party are new to the sport or want to improve their game, several courses offer professional tuition. And, while you practise your swing, you won’t find settings as breathtaking as the unrivalled landscapes where many of these golf courses are based, whether along the rugged coast or peppered throughout the rolling countryside.

Golf courses in Scotland:

Bag a Scottish Munro

Munro in Scotland

When it comes to outdoor activity holidays in Scotland, very little tops the rewards of bagging a Munro. There are 282 Munros in Scotland, and these mighty mountains all reach an impressive height of over 3,000 feet. Climbing to the summit of these lofty peaks is a great way for experienced walkers to explore some of Scotland's most outstanding scenery and further-flung locations.

If you and your group fancy testing your mettle and ticking a few off on your staycation, then Ben Lomond, Schiehallion and the Cairn Gorm Mountain are some of the easier Munros to bag, while Ben Nevis, Scotland’s tallest mountain, and the Cuillin peaks on the Isle of Skye offer serious hikers a real challenge.

Munros to bag in Scotland:

  • Buachaille Etive Mór
  • Ben Macdui
  • Liathach
  • Five Sisters
  • Ben Lawers

Enjoy water sports on Scotland’s lochs, rivers and coast

Water sports in Scotland

Scotland’s glistening lochs, rivers and coastline were made for water sports. Canoeing, kayaking, sailing and paddleboarding are all popular pursuits on family activity holidays in Scotland. Or, for something more extreme, why not consider windsurfing, white-water rafting or coasteering?

Ultimate adrenaline junkies can even have a go at canyoning or gorge walking – there aren’t many people that can say they’ve jumped off a sheer cliff into a bottomless pool before slipping and sliding their way down a natural water flume!

Water sports providers in Scotland:

Join a tour to spot local Scottish wildlife

Dolphin spotting in Scotland

Vast areas of Scotland have remained wild and unspoilt, providing a haven for some of Britain’s most iconic wildlife. From majestic red stags to soaring golden eagles, the variety and abundance of native species is spectacular. This makes wildlife tours one of the top experience days in Scotland for groups of birdwatchers and animal lovers.

Many day tours offer different animal encounters in various regions of the country, providing a great way to get close to wildlife sustainably and responsibly. Join a land safari and spot rare and elusive pine martens, red squirrels and perhaps even a Scottish wildcat, or hop aboard a sea safari for the chance to observe dolphins, seals and whales in the cool, Atlantic waters.

Wildlife tour providers in Scotland:

Be prepared with these rainy-day activities in Scotland

The Jacobite Steam Train in Scotland

It’s always best to be prepared in case the heavens open and you experience a rainy day or two during your break. Luckily, there are myriad indoor activities and attractions in Scotland for kids and adults alike, so you can take some shelter and have lots of fun at the same time if the weather’s not on your side.

As well as a treasure trove of science centres, indoor play areas, aquariums, art galleries and distilleries, Scotland offers a sure-fire crowd-pleaser in the form of The Jacobite Steam Train. Including the mighty Ben Nevis and the 21 magnificent arches of the Glenfinnan Viaduct (as featured in several of the Harry Potter films), you and your group will be treated to some of the most astounding scenery from the warm and dry comfort of this magical steam train.

Indoor attractions in Scotland:

Discover the best kids’ activities in Scotland

Kids at Go Ape! in Scotland

Fill your family holidays in Scotland with some of the most exciting and entertaining days out, from animal encounters at safari parks to exhilarating rides at theme parks. Step back in time in the country’s castles, historic ships and museums, head to the coast for a bucket and spade day on the beach, or test your skills at one of the many outdoor activity centres.

Why not hire some bikes and enjoy the freedom of whizzing along Scotland’s quiet roads and traffic-free cycleways together? Or, if you’ve got a head for heights, how about tackling a tree-top assault course, traversing zip wires, Tarzan swings and rope bridges? There are so many ways to make the most of the great outdoors here.

Kids’ attractions in Scotland:

Inspiration for your group holiday in Scotland

With so many Scotland activities to choose from, your group holiday is sure to be as action-packed or chilled out as you want it to be. Why not explore more of this fascinating land by discovering some of our favourite large holiday homes in Scotland handpicked for their wow factor? You can even live like royalty and stay in a Scottish castle for the ultimate experience.

Looking for more group activities to inspire your big break? We’ve put together a whole host of guides with great ideas for big holidays and special occasions.

Book a large house in Scotland

Loch Side HouseLoch Side House, The Highlands

If you can’t wait to start exploring this verdant land, check out our wonderful collection of large houses in Scotland. From waterside retreats along the country’s gleaming lochs to cosy country cottages hidden amongst forests, glens and mountains, you’re sure to find the perfect setting for your big group holiday.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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