Scotland After Hours
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: