Rainy Days in Scotland
When the sun is shining there is nowhere in the world quite like the Scottish Highlands, unfortunately, it sometimes does rain. Rather than being a cause for despondency we feel it should mean nothing more than a wee change of plan. An opportunity then to enjoy something different or unusual or an experience you may not have planned on. Kids especially may be reluctant to venture out under dreich skies and indeed many luxury holiday homes come with play-stations or even snooker rooms but for a real holiday experience when the heavens open, it’s time to explore.
Dolphins aren’t too bothered by the rain which means it’s possible to spot them in most weathers. Boat trips such as Ecoventures give passengers full waterproofs and as long as it is not too stormy you can sail from Cromarty and spend an afternoon chasing these beautiful and elusive creatures. The appropriately named Dolphin House in Rosemarkie is just a short stroll from Chanonry Point, one of the best places on the British mainland to watch and photograph them.
Many a Glencoe climbing trip has been abandoned over the years due to inclement weather, fortunately then the Ice Factor in Kinlochleven can offer the next best thing. The massive purpose built freezer has a varied selection of ice climbing routes and the climbing wall offers courses and tuition and a kids play area for those weatherbound. The School House in Glenfinnan is a great base for outdoor enthusiasts to explore the hills around Ben Nevis by bike and on foot and is less than an hours drive away.
If you are in the Speyside area then prolonged bad weather is not a problem as there are more than enough to sustain you for a week or more. From Clashindeugle Farmhouse you can easily reach half a dozen distilleries, each with their own distinctive tour and tastings.
Something a bit more child friendly is the Skye Serpentarium. This award winning reptile exhibition and breeding centre in Broadford allows youngsters to hold snakes as well as providing an educational day out.
Part of the fun of going kayaking is accepting the inevitable - that is the fact that you are going to get wet. A little rain then is hardly going to spoil the party. If white-water kayaking is your thing then lots of rain means that rivers will have much more water in them for added excitement. If exploring the open seas appeals more to you then head to the west coast. Oban is the sea kayak centre of Scotland with a large number of companies offering guiding, tuition and boats for hire. The coastline here is ideally suited for mini adventures with remote beaches and uninhabited islands easily reached on a day trip. You could actually kayak from outside the front door of Pier Master’s House all the way into the town centre if you so wished.
For larger groups, then white water rafting on the Tay with Splash is definitely the most exciting wet weather day out. Infamous challenges such as The Grantully Rapid have a well-deserved reputation and even the most experienced can end up in the river. Strathlyon Cottage lies only a few miles away and is brilliantly located for this and all the numerous other outdoor pursuits that Perthshire has to offer.
Outdoors enthusiasts are well catered for in the Cairngorms, so it comes as no surprise that there is plenty to do when the weather turns bad. One of the best days out when you can’t get out on the hills is the Strathspey Railway. Its family friendly and runs between Aviemore and Broomhill. Nethy Bridge and the welcoming comfort of Woodlands Cottage is less than two miles away.
Landmark Forest Adventure Park benefits from a unique rain shadow effect due to the particular geography of its location between the Monadh Liath mountain range and the Cairngorms. This means that rain here is generally much less than the surrounding areas and even when it does rain there is a lot of options for activities undercover or places to shelter a while. Allt Beag is only a five minute drive away so you can relax in luxury while you watch the skies and wait for your weather window.
House by the Loch is the perfect venue for stag and hen parties to celebrate. One of the big attractions is the 4x4 Experience you can have close by. Instead of being restricted by the rain the entire day out is enhanced by it. Thrash, skid and splash your way through the obstacle course before returning to the house to relax, clean up and let the adrenalin rush wear off.
Photo Credit: Splash, Aberfeldy