Sports in Scotland

It shouldn't be a surprise that Scots love sports. After all we invented golf, football, cycling, rugby sevens and the Highland Games. So get involved!


Whether you want to watch the action unfold with roaring crowds at a rugby or football match or experience playing on the pitch for yourself, Scotland offers countless exciting activities to get your heart racing.

Renowned for golf – it’s just one of the many ways you and your family can enjoy Scotland. Cycling, fishing, sailing, hiking and much more await you in brilliant scenery across the country. No matter what your taste, there’s truly something for every interest, age and ability.

Commonwealth Games

In 2014 Glasgow hosted the 20th Commonwealth Games, the largest sporting event ever held in the city. An estimated 1,000,000 tickets were sold for 250 medal events broadcast to millions.


For as long as the Scots have been cycling, they’ve been producing world-class champions. The most recent is Sir Chris Hoy MBE, Scotland’s most successful Olympian, who won three gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a further two gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics. Whether it's cycling, mountain biking or road racing you’re interested in, there will be terrain to cater to it. And Scottish cycling clubs are always open to new members.


As Scotland’s national sport, it's nearly impossible not to get involved. Watch the captivating game unfold from the stands or play with one of the many amateur leagues across the country. Most all schools, colleges and universities have their own football teams as do some work places.


When you think of golf in Scotland, you can't help but think of the home of golf and the host of the Open Championship and this year's Ryder Cup. With more than 500 different Scottish courses to choose from, you’re never far away from golf in Scotland. The choice is yours - join an elite private members club or council-run course where you pay by the round.

Snow sports

From skiing, snowboarding, ice climbing and dog sledding, there’s a lot to do in the winter months in Scotland. You can even take an exhilarating dog-sled rides through the forest of the Cairngorms with sled dogs, whether there’s snow or not.


Walking and hiking

Scotland offers some of the best and most accessible hill walking and hiking in the world.  Whether you're an experienced hill walker or a complete beginner, our landscapes provide ample opportunity to explore hill walking, mountaineering, ice climbing, rock climbing and scrambling.  And remember to admire the backdrop of some of the world's most stunning scenery.

Extreme sports

If you're looking for adventure, Scotland is the place.  The country's naturally rugged landscape and climate make it the perfect location for a number of extreme sports.  Canoeing, white-water rafting and BMX biking are some of the many activities on offer for thrill-seekers. 


There's no better way to relax after a long day than fishing. Scotland’s waterways have as much to offer the first-time angler as the seasoned fly-fisher. From crystal clear lochs and fully-stocked fisheries, to small streams or the classic salmon rivers of the Tay, Tweed and the Dee, Scotland is an unrivalled fishing destination.

Water sports

Be it sailing, surfing, canoeing, water skiing or scuba diving, Scotland has all the water sports you'll ever need. So go on, discover our white beaches, turquoise shores and crystal clear rivers. 


Highland Games

Clans traditionally competed against each other in events like the caber toss, hammer throw and weight over the bar toss. Today the Highland Games are big social events where you can spend the afternoon soaking up the atmosphere and watching the competitions. If you're feeling mighty, take part or simply enjoy the piping, drumming and dancing on offer. 


Shinty is one of the oldest ball games in the world - some say that the origins of the sport lie in Scotland. A cross between field hockey and lacrosse, two teams with sticks compete to fire a ball into the back of their net at either end of a grass pitch. Intrigued? Why not check out a match or join a regional Scottish shinty club.


Played on ice, curling competitors have to slide heavy stones with handles towards a target.  Players sweep brooms to alter the state of the ice in front of the stone as it moves. Fancy a try? Check out the many curling clubs across the country.