Updated 2 years ago

Find, in this article, an overview of leisure activities that are available in Scotland so that you know how to keep yourself busy in your free time.

When moving abroad, leisure will, with no doubt, be part of your everyday life. Indeed, Scotland is a rich country in terms of nature, history and culture. There is so much to discover and explore during your stay, regardless of your age, ranging from historical monuments and buildings to abundant nature.


There is always something going on in Scotland. Whether in summer or in winter, people do not leave a single opportunity to go out. Hence, you can enjoy several events all year round, as follows:


  • the Burns Night Celebrations commemorating the birth of national bard Robert Burns
  • the Up Hella Aa, that is the fire festival accompanied by procession with torches
  • the Celtic Connections Glasgow which is the Celtic Music Day


  • the Glasgow Film Festival that takes place for 10 days showing 100 films
  • the Fort William Mountain Festival dedicated to art, music, theater, exhibitions and conferences.


  • the Glasgow Art Fair which is one of the United Kingdom's biggest and most prestigious contemporary art fairs
  • the Inverness Music Festival which is held during 10 days, dedicated to all amateur artists.


  • the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival celebrating music, the local cuisine, whiskey and Scottish culture
  • the Dumfries and Galloway Wildlife Festival, involving guided walks, music, poetry as well as wildlife observation
  • the Beltane Fire Festival celebrating summer in Edinburgh.


  • Scotland’s Big Nature Festival, for nature lovers and amateurs of outdoor activities
  • the Islay Malt and Music Festival, celebrating the local culture of Islay Island
  • the Ullapool Book Festival which is a literature festival
  • the Aviemore & Cairngorms Walking & Mountain Festival during which you can stroll around the country to contemplate its magnificent landscapes.

Family activities

Scotland is much more than huge castles which you can still explore with your family. However, you should definitely enjoy its beautiful beaches, museums, as well as its breathtaking fauna and flora. If you have children, why not take them to the Loch Lomon where they can discover a great marine fauna, or even the famous Edinburgh Zoo.

You will also be delighted by the Trossachs National Park and the Royal Botanical Gardens of Edinburgh. If you like water sports such canoe and kayak, you better head to Strathyre.

If you have an inquisitive mind, the Glasgow Science Center is the ideal place for you. You can also visit the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh, the Urquart Castle in the Highlands, among others.


Scotland also has a rich musical scene, including several classical and pop music artists. In all cases, you should definitely take the time to discover the Celtic Connections in Glasgow, the Frenzy Fiddle Festival, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra which will simply amaze you.


The country is also famous for shopping. In Glasgow, for instance, you will find many shops and boutiques that are quite similar to those you can find in London. Indeed, most Scottish cities host both upscale and low-cost shops where you can spend hours shopping.

Arts and culture

As mentioned above, Scotland is a culturally rich country thanks to theater, traditional dance, music, festivals, landscapes, castles, architecture, bagpipes, and so much more. By moving there, you will be able to enjoy every free moment in a different way and thus rejuvenate yourself.


The Scottish cuisine is not just about haggis and a lot of whiskey. Indeed, the local farms, as well as restaurants, will allow you discover cuisines from various backgrounds. You can thus enjoy various types of products, including seafood. You will be delighted by the local chefs' simple but extraordinary seasonal and healthy meals.


The Scots are also very keen about sports, especially outdoor activities such as ski, walking, hiking, biking, fishing, football, golf, shinty, curling, as well as water and extreme sports. So if you like sports, you can choose any of these.

 Useful links:

Expat.com – Leisure in Scotland Forum 
Expat.com – Scotland Events Directory 
Scotland Info – Calendar of events and festivals in Scotland www.scotlandinfo.eu
Yell – Leisure Centers in Scotland www.yell.com
Burns Night Celebrations www.bbc.co.uk/arts
Glasgow Art Fair www.gcaf.co.uk

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