Active Scotland year launched

Scotland has launched a year of exciting activities and events with the announcement of Active Scotland. The year-long program of events, festivals, and activities will outline Scotland as a must-visit active and adventure destination and showcase the best of Scotland to the world.

Active Scotland builds upon on the success of Homecoming 2009 and the Year of Food and Drink – which runs until May 2011, in showcasing Scotland around a common theme.

On January 1, visitors and Scots came together to signal the start of Active Scotland at the Scottish capital’s famous One o’ Clock run – a fun run or walk from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Park and part of Edinburgh’s famous Hogmanay celebrations.

Jim Mather, Scottish Government Tourism Minister, said: “Our diverse and beautiful landscape makes Scotland a fantastic destination to be active, whether you are visiting or you live here – and spotlighting this incredible selling point makes perfect sense.

“Through the Year of Active Scotland in 2011, the tourism industry will work together to promote the vast range of activities Scotland has to offer. From gentle coastal walks to long-distance treks through challenging terrain, open canoeing on a tranquil loch to the thrill of white-water rafting down a fast flowing river, or the fun of a family bike ride to the rush of mountain biking through forests – Active Scotland has something to offer those of all ages and abilities.

Active Scotland appeals to everyone, from gentle walkers to adrenaline junkies. Moreover, Scotland’s diverse landscapes and cities make a fantastic destination in which to be active, while a growing reputation for adventure sports has put Scotland on the map as Europe’s Adventure Capital.

Scotland offer endless opportunities for adventure, from snowboarding and ice climbing in the mountains to canyoning in the water, and from skiing in the Cairngorms to mountain biking in the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, and Fort William, visitors are spoilt for choice. Not forgetting that visitors can get out and about in the Home of Golf, with over 550 golf courses throughout the country.

Whatever your choice of activity, Scotland is a fantastic visitor destination all year round, with activity experiences for all levels of ability, all within easy reach of major hubs and cities.

Scotland has a wide range of active and adventure-based activities taking place throughout 2011, the Year of Active Scotland, from much watched spectator events such as St. Andrews Golf Week and the Johnnie Walker Golf Championship, to Rugby events, the Mountain Bike World Cup, and Highland Games throughout the length and breadth of the country. Here are just some of Scotland’s active and adventure events for 2011.
June 23 – 26
The Royal Highland Show is held by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, founded in 1784 to promote the regeneration of rural Scotland. Occupying almost a three-hundred-acre site right next to Edinburgh Airport on the western fringe of Scotland’s Capital City, the event is an annual “must” for the major herds, flocks, and studs across the UK, as well as being firmly in the calendar of a huge variety of businesses, which take trade stands to promote and sell their products. The 170th Royal Highland Show in 2010 attracted 187,600 visitors over 4 days making it an all time record for the event and ensuring it continues to be one of the UK’s top agricultural shows and Scotland’s leading international agricultural event.
T: +44 (0)131 335 6200

July 7 – 10
Loch Lomond
The Scottish Open has been played at Loch Lomond since 1996, just two years after the course was opened. In that short time, the tournament and the venue have grown in stature, with brilliant notices from the world’s best golfers, to become a highlight of the European Tour. The course nestles in 660 acres of the Clan Colquhoun Estate and is surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of the mountains and loch. The course is criss-crossed by streams, awash with marshes and cloaked in fabulous mature trees.
T: +44 (0)141 887 2992

August 25 – 27
Dunoon, Argyll
The biggest highland games in the world, the Cowal Highland Gathering has all the traditional elements of a highland games. The Highland dancing competitions and the heavy events are always the crowd pleasers, especially tossing the caber! But is also a great family day out with lots of other entertainment on offer, including a food fair, with a focus on Argyll speciality produce.
Tel: +44 (0)1369 703206

Inner Hebrides
2010 marks the 24th anniversary of the Tiree Wave Classic – a festival which attracts top windsurfers from all over the world. The backdrop on the remote island of Tiree also pulls in photographers and film crews to capture stunning shots. The festival also incorporates an Event Village giving visitors the chance to try out new activities and hone their skills.