Cairngorms National Park Adventure guide

The Cairngorms National Park is the largest national park in the UK and is located in northeast Scotland in the heart of the Highlands. The park is a vast upland plateau with five of the six highest mountain in the uk.

It’s a massive outdoor playground with huge range of adventurous activities, it’s divided into five main areas Aviemore and CairngormsTomintoul and GlenlivetRoyal Deeside and StrathdonAngus glensAtholl and Glenshee

Adventure Highlights

  1. Summer Mountaineering – Remote Ben McDui is the second highest mountain in the UK with views over the Cairngorm plateau
  2. Winter Mountaineering – Imposing Creag Meagaidh is one of Scotland’s greatest winter climbing venues
  3. Mountain Biking – The infamous Burma Road is a 25 mile challenging circular route from Aviemore
  4. Canoeing – Beautiful River Spey is an ideal canoe touring river
  5. Skiing – Cairngorm Mountain, Glenshee or Lecht, just take your pick

Mountain Walks

  1. Lairig Ghru A classic wild walk through a pass dissects the Cairngorms
  2. Cairn Toul – Braeriach traverse A remote and arduous walk along the edge of the vast Cairngorm plateau
  3. Lochnagar One of the finest mountains in Scotland sitting in the Royal Balmoral Estate
  4. Atholl and Beinn a’Ghlo Five Munros in one walk in the southern Cairngorms
  5. Morrone A Corbett near Braemar with spectacular views over Deeside and Grampian Mountains

Mountain Biking

There is a huge range of mountain biking in the Cairngorms from long remote trails to purpose made parks.

  1. Visit Cairngorm guide to the best mountain biking areas
  2. MTB trail guide to 13 trails from  10 to 32 Miles
  3. Trails in the Glenlivet estate
  4. Larig Ghru trail from Mountain Bike Rider magazine
  5. Laggan Wolftrax forestry commission bike park

Watersports

  • River Spey is one of the most beautiful rivers in Britain, flowing through the Cairngorms and into the Moray Firth
  • Loch Morlich nestling in Glenmore Forest under Cairngorm mountain with a long sandy beach
  • Loch Insh watersport and mountain activity with a range of accommodation
  • Kingussie activity center offers canoeing, kayaking, gorge walking and windsufing

 Family Activities

  1. Royal Balmoral Castle and Braemar Castle on Deeside
  2. Cairngorm Mountain Center. Catch the funicular railway to the top of the mountain for some superb views
  3. Cairngorm Reindeer Center. Farm visits, trekking and daily guided visits to the mountain herd
  4. RSPB Loch Garten Osprey Reserve. Fantastic views of these magnificent birds on the nest from a secluded hide
  5. Highland Wildlife Park. Scottish wildlife and endangered animals of the world’s mountains
  6. Highland Folk Museum. Open air museum showing how highland people lived and worked from the 1700s

Best short walks

Rainy day exploring

Ski Centers

  • Cairngorm Mountain  Uk’s most popular ski area with 12 lifts, 11 green runs, 11 blue, 10 red and three black pistes
  • Lecht  Good for beginners and intermediates with 12 lifts and a magic carpet travelator for novices
  • Glenshee Largest center in Scotland over 3 valleys and 4 mountains

Activity centers

  • Cairngorm Adventure Guides Mountaineering, winter skills, canoeing and adventure holidays
  • Active Outdoor Pursuits Adventures, outdoor activities, training and holidays
  • Full On Adventure Professional guides providing water sports and mountain sports adventures
  • Talisman Guided walking, mountaineering, winter skills and rock climbing
  • G2 Outdoor Located near Inveness, offer a huge range of outdoor activities
  • Loch Insh center for watersports, mountain sports and high class accommodation
  • CragganOutdoors Family and group oriented adventure activities

 Distilleries

  1. Glenlivet Tours, exhibition and smugglers trails
  2. Dalwhinney Tours and tasting in the highest distillery in the UK
  3. Tomatin A range of tours in this remote distillery near Inverness dating back to 1897
  4. Tomintoul Visitors by appointment
  5. Royal Lochnagar Neighbouring Balmoral Castle with four tours to choose from

Accommodation

Youth Hostels and Bunkhouses

There are a good selection of hostels in the Cairngorms. The Scottish Youth Hostel association has six hostels including three affiliate hostels.

The Hostel Scotland website has 12 independent hostels catering for individuals up to large groups

Campsites

Bothies

There are 8 bothies in the Cairngorms, details can be found on the Mountain Bothy association together with a code of conduct regarding their use

The five areas of the Cairngorm National Park

  1. Aviemore and Cairngorms Aviemore is an excellent base for exploring the Cairgorms National Park and the wider are of Badenoch and Strathspey
  2. Tomintoul and Glenlivet Tomintoul, the highest village in the Highlands, lies at the heart of Glenlivet – part of the Crown Estate
  3. Royal Deeside and Strathdon The area is famous for its royal connections including the Royal Family favourite Balmoral Castle
  4. Angus glens five glens from West to East like the fingers of a hand – each one with its own special characteristics
  5. Atholl and Glenshee Unique lanscape when compared to other highland areas of Scotland, with deep, flat, fertile glens supporting agriculture and thick forests.

Estates

  1. Royal Balmoral on Deeside, Eastern Cairngorms
  2. Blair Atholl  one of Scotland’s best-known Highland estates, dating back to the 13th century
  3. Invercauld located near Braemar
  4. Mar Lodge covers 7% of the Cairngorms including the four highest mountains in the UK
  5. Alvie and Dalraddy  traditional highland Estates 4 miles south of Aviemore
  6. Glentrium  Self catering holiday and luxury accommodation in authentic Highland Estate
  7. Strathspey Acomodation and country sports
  8. Inshriach House Edwardian country house in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park

Cairngorm Links

Scotland Links

 

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