By Samantha Allan
Summer has just begun, so you might have absolutely nothing but endless hours of Orange is the New Black written on your ‘To-do’ list. Bliss, eh? Snap out of it! Drag yourself off the sofa and get your blood pumping. If the thought of exercise makes you want to go and hide under a rock, remember that exercise doesn’t have to just involve the gym or going out for a run. There are some pretty wacky sports out there ready to take your breath away. And who knows, you might even end up with some pretty impressive guns by the end of it.
Also known as ‘sphereing’ or ‘sphereballing’ (seriously), Zorbing is basically like a human hamster ball. You get harnessed in either by yourself or with a wisely chosen non-travel sick friend, and you zoom down a steep hill. If you fancy it you can check out Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre, in Dumfries and Galloway. If rolling down a hill in a giant ball wasn’t enough, it also offers water balling where a few buckets of water are added into your zorb to create a truly unusual experience, if not slightly ominous sounding.
Remember when everyone was desperate for a trampoline as a kid (or perhaps you still are)? If you didn’t get the chance back then, make sure you have a go now. Airspace in East Kilbride (see the Scotcampus team’s attempt here) offers you the chance to take part in a range of trampoline activities. Try free jumping where all the walls are covered with trampoline material so that you can jump in any way that you want. Go with a group of friends and try dodgeball on the trampolines. Jump away from incoming balls, or try and be sneaky by aiming at your friends from above.
Explore the countryside and see stunning mountain scenery without the faff of climbing over hills and rocks with horse riding. Most places are happy to take anyone for a complete novice to the more experienced rider, although you’ll take different routes. If you want to see the Cairngorms then check out Newtonmoore Riding Centre where you can choose to go out for as little as an hour. If you’re more of an experienced rider, try a gallop along the beautiful golden sand of Lunan Bay in Angus. Seahorse Stables will provide you with the perfect opportunity to do this.
Fencing requires you to be quick and to try to outwit your opponents. It can be as physically challenging as you like as most clubs have beginners groups, so no need to be a master swordsman! Bellahouston Fencing Club near Glasgow is the perfect place to begin your quest. Protective clothing is also provided so need to worry about literally slaying your foe.
This is a great way to pretend you are in The Little Mermaid. It’s recommended that if you haven’t had the chance to snorkel before that you get some instruction first, as you definitely don’t want to be breathing in the water!
Swimming with Sharks
If you’re up near Oban then why not try swimming with sharks? You don’t have to worry about being in a scene from Jaws as it turns out basking sharks don’t eat people (phew). You can find more info from Basking Shark Scotland.
This is relatively new to Scotland and is similar to canyoning (which involves climbing along the edge of the coast), as the sport explores inlets and involves you jumping into the sea. As well as being exhilarating it can also be physically challenging, so you might want to avoid if you’re looking for a less taxing sport. Adventure Carrkick in Girvan offers you the chance to explore the coastline at the Firth of Clyde and explore the mysterious Sawney Bean’s cave. In case you didn’t know, Sawney Bean was Scotland’s equivalent of Hannibal¸ a cannibal who is reported to have killed over 1,000 people. Chilling.