Scotland has a strong sporting tradition and can lay claim to the invention of a number of the most popular sports played around the world today including golf, rugby and tennis.
In 2014, Glasgow hosts the 20th Commonwealth Games. It's an exciting time for sport in Scotland, whether you're a spectator or a participant.
Running in Scotland
Scotland has a diverse landscape, great for running. There are many well know runs held in Scotland, from the World Cross Country Championships in Edinburgh to the Loch Ness Marathon, where runners compete alongside the shores of the world's most famous loch.
Scotland offers all sorts of challenges for runners thanks to its unique landscapes, whether you fancy running road or glen, we have it all. You can take part in the Edinburgh Marathon, the UK's fastest marathon, taking in the sights of the nation's capital. Or experience the beauty of the Outer Hebrides with the Barrathlon, the Isle of Barra half marathon, taking in stunning scenery of white beaches and clear blue waters. If that doesn't sound like a big enough challenge, then there is always The Mighty Deerstalker, a truly turbo-charged action-packed run, taking in hill and glen, where the Laird of the Tweed Valley welcomes you in and challenges you to the course that covers mountains and water.
Running in Scotland really does offer something for everyone, from jogging in Scotland's cities to trail races in the hills.
A question of sport
Scotland is the Home of Golf and when it comes to golf it's very simple. As Jack Nicklaus once put it, 'Scotland is golf'! With over 550 courses to choose from it's not difficult to understand why the sport has become somewhat of a national obsession. For the golf enthusiast this offers more courses than days in the year to play them. Perhaps of most renown though are Scotland's illustrious links courses - the Old Course at St Andrews, Royal Troon, Carnoustie, Muirfield and Turnberry - which regularly play host to the British Open, and have produced some of the most memorable and awe-inspiring golfing moments. Wherever you decide to play, a round of golf in Scotland will undoubtedly become a treasured memory.
A winter wonderland
When the winter rolls around a host of sports get going as Scotland becomes a Mecca for an ever increasing number of skiers and snowboarders. Scotland's many mountain ranges – from the Cairngorms to Glenshee and Glencoe – offer some of the most exhilarating winter climbing in the world, and the best skiing facilities in the UK. For something a little less challenging, remember that serious hill walkers say that you haven't really walked in Scotland until you've experienced the mountains in winter...
Come on in, the water's lovely
With over 6,000 lochs and lakes and 6,200 miles of coastline, it's small wonder that watersports enthusiasts are flocking to Scotland: canoeing, kayaking, surfing, diving and sailing are all catered for. The Tiree Wave Classic is now a key event fixture for windsurfing, with hundreds of pro-windsurfers descending on the island to take part in the week-long competition. The O'Neill Coldwater Classic is held ever year in Thurso, mainland's Scotland's most northerly town, where over a hundred of the world's best surfers compete in this ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) event.
Back to the land
Away from the great outdoors you'll find that every city in Scotland has sports centres and gyms catering for every conceivable sporting activity, with great coaching and competition opportunities in a variety of sports. Scotland even has its own Tennis Academy at Gannochy Tennis Centre, based at Stirling University. Small wonder we're producing international sports stars of the calibre of Andy Murray.
There are also the more traditional sporting pursuits. People from all walks of life enjoy our unparalleled shooting and fishing. Today, over a century later, the Highlands are still the world's number one destination for these activities, while other Scottish traditions like bagpiping, Highland dancing, caber-throwing and the tug-o-war find their ultimate expression in the Highland Games, which are held at various locations across Scotland throughout the summer months.