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Scotland after hours

Press Release   •   Oct 31, 2017 09:50 GMT

With the clocks changing, the dark nights drawing in and the temperature dipping, it can be hard to drag yourself away from the cosiness of the indoors, but now is the perfect time to experience Scotland’s Great Outdoors at a different time of year.

From adrenaline-induced adventure to sightseeing under the stars – Scotland doesn’t stop when the sun goes down.

So rather than give the long nights short shrift, enjoy a night-time adventure and see Scotland in an entirely new light.

Enjoy a night under the stars

There is something magical about watching the night sky as it twinkles with stars and distant planets. Scotland has some of the largest expanses of dark sky in Europe. From the UK’s first Dark Sky Park at Galloway Forest Park, to Moffat - Scotland’s Dark Sky Town - or Mills Observatory in Dundee – Britain’s first purpose built public observatory – you’ll find plenty of perfect star gazing spots. And with over 7000 stars and planets visible each night, every visit is a different experience.

See some of Scotland’s most iconic attractions in a new light

We all know Scotland is beautiful during the day but did you know it can look just as stunning at night? Some of our most famous attractions look just as impressive lit against the black sky as they do bathed in sunlight. The Kelpies, the iconic Forth Bridge or the new Queensferry Crossing and Eilean Donan Castle are all perfect for a spot of night-time sightseeing.

Delve into Scotland’s dark past on a ghost walk

Arguably the most ‘haunted’ country in the world, Scotland is home to a huge array of myths, legends and superstitions, from the Loch Ness Monster, Burke & Hare to the ghosts of Culloden. Learn more about what really goes bump in the night and spend those dark evenings delving into Scotland’s dark past with a ghost walk. Whether its Mercat Tours, Auld Reekie or City of the Dead Tours in Edinburgh, Mostly Ghostly in Moffat, the Stirling Ghost Walk or Dark Dundee – we can’t guarantee a spooky encounter but we can guarantee a spectacularly eerie evening.

Take the plunge on Europe’s first and only night time bungee jump

Highland Fling, in Perthshire, is the only permanent bungee jumping operation in the UK which lets thrill seekers jump from the 40m high Garry Bridge in Killiecrankie. Not scary enough? Try taking the plunge in complete darkness! Adrenaline junkies can book a special black out bungee between October and March.

Experience the other worldly beauty of a night dive

There’s something mysterious about life under the sea. Another world that is rarely glimpsed by human eyes. Scotland has 10% of Europe’s coastline and is home to grey seals, bottlenose dolphins, whales and over 40 of the EU breeding seabirds. Where better then to try a spot of diving? Head over to Oban for a truly special encounter with a night dive led by the team at Basking Shark Scotland.

Learn to paddleboard and then try a night tour

Originating in Hawaii, stand up paddleboard is one of the world’s fastest growing water sports - perfect for all ages and abilities. Master the art with lessons from experts like Paddle Surf Scotland, Unicorn Paddle or Stand up Paddle Board Scotland. Once you’ve honed your skills try it at night as a guided experience with Galloway Activity Centre for a truly relaxing way to explore Scotland’s waterways.

Become a night rider

Scotland’s reputation for mountain biking is growing every year with some of the best trails in the UK. Try a ride with a difference and enjoy a completely new type of thrill as you career through the countryside or speed through forest trails on a night ride. Simply Epic Adventures offer guided night time mountain bike riding anywhere in Scotland.

Nightlife through the lens in Glasgow

Come rain or shine, day or night, from rolling countryside to stunning cityscapes, Scotland is always picture perfect. Autumn and winter are some of the best seasons to enjoy Scotland and a good way to perfect your picture-taking skills is with a photography tour. Capture a different side of Glasgow with a unique night tour by Photo Walk Scotland. Snap some of the city’s most iconic landmarks such as the Riverside Museum, Armadillo or the ‘Squinty Bridge’.

Awaken your senses with a night kayak

Swap the car for a kayak and take a relaxing journey through the heart of Perthshire, enjoy the autumn colours or watch wildlife in its natural habitat. Once the sun goes down and it’s harder to see, let your other senses guide you as you float across the water. Outdoor Explore host bespoke night kayaking tours on Loch of Clunie and Loch Faskally, offering a truly unique outdoor experience during the winter months.

Enjoy a wild night with Scotland’s wildlife

From stags to seabirds, eagles to otters, Scotland’s wildlife attracts plenty of visitors during the day but some of our species are a little shy and you may have more luck spotting them at night. Speyside Wildlife in Grantown-on-Spey in the Cairngorms National Park offer Dusk Watches from a state-of-the-art hide. While in Dumfries & Galloway Nocturnal Wildlife Experience uses cutting-edge thermal imaging and night vision equipment to introduce you to the region’s nocturnal residents.

To discover more about things to see and do in Scotland this winter visit:

www.visitscotland.com/blog/active-sport/scotland-nights-out/

Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
    1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country
    2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
    3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
    6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
    7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
  • To ensure everyone can safely enjoy Scotland’s amazing countryside and landscapes, VisitScotland encourages all visitors to fully respect their surroundings by behaving in a responsible and appropriate way.
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
  • The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit www.gov.scot or follow @scotgovESIF
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
  • 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • For more information visit visitscotland.com/HHA2017 or join the conversation at #HHA2017

Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
    1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country
    2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
    3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
    6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
    7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
  • To ensure everyone can safely enjoy Scotland’s amazing countryside and landscapes, VisitScotland encourages all visitors to fully respect their surroundings by behaving in a responsible and appropriate way.
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
  • The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit www.gov.scot or follow @scotgovESIF
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
  • 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • For more information visit visitscotland.com/HHA2017 or join the conversation at #HHA2017