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Challenge Yourself in the Highlands and Islands!

With not one, but two communities in the Highlands and Islands vying for the title of the outdoor capital of the UK, this is undoubtedly the land of adventure.

But beyond the myriad attractions of Fort William and Aviemore, there are numerous exciting outdoor challenges to be experienced across the region. These range from long distance walks such as the West Highland Way, the Cape Wrath Trail, the Great Glen Way and the Speyside Way through to a host of adrenaline-fuelled sporting challenges such as the Highland Cross, the Celtman Extreme Scottish Triathlon, the Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup in Fort William and the Strathpuffer 24-hour mountain bike endurance event in Mid-Ross.

Of course, not all outdoor challenges need to be quite so extreme. It is easy to find a challenge to suit all levels of experience. Whether it’s a community-led run, walk or cycle, or joining in with one of at least a dozen weekly parkruns held across the Highlands and Islands from Bressay, Kirkwall or Thurso to Alness, Elgin or Stornoway which provide a warm welcome for visitors and locals alike.

Gym Gair, Shetland (Credit: Airborne Lens)
Mountain bikers at Rothiemurchus, Cairngorms. (Credit: VisitScotland/ Paul Tomkins)
Hopeman, Moray (Credit: Airborne Lens)
River Lochy, Ben Nevis (Credit: Visit Scotland/ Airborne Lens)
Ardnamurchan Peninsula, a great destination for keen walkers! (Credit: Northport)