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Wilderness Walking – Cairngorms National Park & Royal Deeside

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Price from: £945

Next trip: 9th May

Duration: 6 night(s)

View prices & departures

Location: Cairngorms and Central Highlands

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: 3

8 review(s)
  • Discover the majesty of the deep glens, clear rivers and wild lochs on expertly guided walks each day as we explore a National Park named as one of the 50 Great Places on Earth by National Geographic
  • Hike on ancient whisky smugglers trails and visit Scotland’s first licensed distillery
  • Experience genuine Highland hospitality at the end of each day, as we stay in Strathspey and Royal Deeside

Green Graded Walking Holidays

Our Green grade walking trips involve straight forward hiking, following generally good trails with no major ascents.

These walks are pretty leisurely and will last for around 5 hours each day. The terrain underfoot will usually be on paths or hill trails, which may still be muddy or rough in places. The daily walks are mainly glen and coastal hikes, with some ascents of low level hills, up to around 1,500 feet / 450m high. So to help you decide if you are fit enough for this trip, ask yourself:

Can you comfortably hike for 6 miles (10km), including some ascent, with rough ground in places? Have you done this recently?

We spend our nights in welcoming and friendly country house hotels: the first 3 nights in Royal Deeside and the next 3 nights in Strathspey.

Both accommodations are owner-managed and our hosts enjoy the great outdoors almost as much as we do! A warm welcome is assured, and you can choose to spend the evenings in the lounge next to the wood-burning-stove or in one of the village’s local pubs.

Accommodation is in twin or double rooms with en-suite bathroom facilities. Single rooms are may be available on request and attract a supplement of £150 per person. Early booking is recommended for single rooms.

Food is of paramount importance and our meals are prepared from the best of local produce. We’ll enjoy wonderful home-cooked meals each evening, with good, healthy portions. Naturally, vegetarians and other dietary requirements are willingly catered for – simply let us know at the time of booking.

You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide in the centre of Inverness Railway Station at 1000 on Day 1 of your trip. We aim to return by 1600 on the last day. For full details on how to get to Inverness, please see our website: Travel to Scotland.

100% Unedited Reviews

Our clients receive a feedback survey automatically after finishing their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us.

Once it's submitted the review is automatically published on our website just as soon as our database updates. We read all our client's reviews and although we don't respond to all of them, where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience and if it's glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.

5 star 6

4 star 2

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

by Celine Hoffmann 19/05/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Thanks for the really complete list of things to bring. I also liked to receive some emails before departure, and the fact that my questions were answered really fast.
Trip Comments
I have really like this small group trip, the weather were quite nice, almost no rain which wasn't expected ! Every walk was really different from the other, in such beautiful landscapes. Some steep heights once or twice but so rewarding, otherwise quite easy walks!
Accommodation and Food
Thanks for the really complete list of things to bring. I also liked to receive some emails before departure, and the fact that my questions were answered really fast.
Your Guide
Simon was a really nice guide, lot of knowledge in the wildlife of Cairngorms. I enjoyed the walks he choosed with / for us !
The Bottom Line
Really enjoyed this trip and already thinking about the next one !
Leaving everyone on the last day was quite hard for me !!!

by David Whitford 07/10/2013

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
I was a bit surprised about having to do bank transfers rather than just using a credit card. Perhaps I'm still a bit suspicious of doing business over the web but it all worked out fine although I did check the bona fides of Wilderness Scotland with the Scottish Tourist Board (or some such agency) and they were very complimentary!
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
I was a bit surprised about having to do bank transfers rather than just using a credit card. Perhaps I'm still a bit suspicious of doing business over the web but it all worked out fine although I did check the bona fides of Wilderness Scotland with the Scottish Tourist Board (or some such agency) and they were very complimentary!
Your Guide
I was very impressed by Jeremy. Not only was he laid back and friendly and indeed everything one might expect from a guide, he was also knowledgeable and very accommodating of the varying needs and abilities of the group members. Amazing really when you consider his New Zealand heritage ! :-)
The Bottom Line
A very memorable holiday (in a positive sense!). Before the trip, my wife and I felt a little apprehensive but we had a great time due significantly to the makeup of the group, impossible to predict ahead of time, and the qualities of our guide to say nothing of the beautiful Highlands!

by Sabine Reinhart 07/10/2013

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
The Bottom Line

by Jennifer Kearns 04/10/2013

4Pre-Trip Service

0Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
The Bottom Line

by Linda Whitford 30/09/2013

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
We were not really sure as to whom our guide was going to be. We were also told that the trip was 'easy' which I would not say it turned out to be.
Trip Comments
The low points were that I was not physically ready for the walk. I found the walk v. challenging. The high point was seeing the beauty of Scotland.
Accommodation and Food
We were not really sure as to whom our guide was going to be. We were also told that the trip was 'easy' which I would not say it turned out to be.
Your Guide
Our guide was Jeremy. He was knowledgeable on many subjects, esp. Jacobite history. I did wonder sometimes if he did consider that we weren't as fit as he was.
The Bottom Line
I had a really good time meeting different people from different walks of life on the trip. I realised it was a challenge and I met the challenge.

by Graham Kearns 27/09/2013

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
All information was accurate, timely and comprehensive.
Trip Comments
No low points. Just being out in such wonderful surroundings was the highlight plus being with a great guide and a great bunch of fellow travellers.
Accommodation and Food
All information was accurate, timely and comprehensive.
Your Guide
The guide, Jeremy, was fantastic. He was knowledgeable, accommodating and everyone was impressed with him.
The Bottom Line
Visiting the Cairngorms opened us up to a whole new outdoor experience. This was our second Wilderness Scotland trip and I recommend you every time I tell people about our holiday.

by Carole Robinson Oliver 23/09/2013

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
It was great to receive early confirmation of the meeting-up spot, plus contact info for our guide. Also, any questions thst I raised were alwsys promptly answered.
Trip Comments
The high points were numerous. Simply making it through each walk was a high point for me! The weather was not the greatest in that it rained 5 days out of 7. But somehow it didn't matter and it
fact added to the whole experience. After all, one doesn't come to Scotland for relentless?sunshine. That can be found in Spain!
Accommodation and Food
It was great to receive early confirmation of the meeting-up spot, plus contact info for our guide. Also, any questions thst I raised were alwsys promptly answered.
Your Guide
Jeremy was the perfect guide. He was able to size up the group quickly and adapt each day's programme to our abilities and particular interests. In addition to being exceptionally personable, he has a great sense of humour nd the rare gift of being able to anticipate problems that might lie ahead and take steps to avert them.
The Bottom Line
One day, after countless episodes of taking off and putting back on my waterproof jacket through intermittent rain and sunshine, I looked at the misty landscape and said to myself "This is Scotland!" And felt happy to be there. When sunshine is in short supply, one truly feels grateful for a few moments of warmth.

by Derek Salway 08/07/2013

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Not really a problem but contacting by email I seemed to have replies from various team members.Also perhaps, more feed back about the make up of the group would have been appreciated - minor concern only.
Trip Comments
My first trip to Scotland - I am glad that I chose the highlands. The scenery was spectacular and contrasted moorland and hills,forests, rivers and lochs. Also with the breeze there was no midge problem.
Accommodation and Food
Not really a problem but contacting by email I seemed to have replies from various team members.Also perhaps, more feed back about the make up of the group would have been appreciated - minor concern only.
Your Guide
Tim was first class as a leader. He cared for the well being and safety of the group. His background knowledge of the area and of the fauna and flora added much enjoyment to the experience.
The Bottom Line
Spectacular scenery with highlights of seeing red squirrels and ospreys. A great balance of walking and sightseeing in a small group of different individuals who quickly became friends. The visits to the Glenlivet distillery and Blair castle were much appreciated.

Prices and Departures

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
9th May - 15th May 2015
£945
Places available
13th Jun - 19th Jun 2015
£945
3 place(s) left
12th Sep - 18th Sep 2015
£945
Places available
26th Sep - 2nd Oct 2015
£945
Places available

Trip Details

Hiking in the Cairngorms National Park is a special experience, as we explore a region named by National Geographic as one of the 50 Must Visit Places on Earth.

From the majesty of Royal Deeside (where the Queen has her Scottish residence at Balmoral Castle) to Strathspey, where the high plateau rises above the charming villages, flanked by some of Scotland’s oldest forests, Cairngorm National Park delights at every turn.

On this walking holiday, we enjoy some of the best easy hikes in the Cairngorms National Park as we explore Strathspey, Royal Deeside and Highland Perthshire on a two-centre circumnavigation of Scotland’s largest National Park. There is a huge variety of possible hikes to choose from but wherever we venture, we’ll enjoy the fantastic scenery, sense of wilderness and rich history and heritage.

As well as savouring its wilderness, we’ll discover its heritage as we visit a whisky distillery, a 13th century Highland Castle and a wildlife reserve on this memorable walking holiday.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Hiking the Whisky Smugglers Trails

From Inverness, a short transfer south-east takes us to eastern Strathspey, Scotland’s most famous whisky-making region. We’ll enjoy a short walk, following the ancient trails once used by whisky smugglers, keen to avoid the law! We finish up at one of Scotland’s most iconic distilleries, where we enjoy a private tour (with samples!) before transferring south into Royal Deeside and our guest house accommodation.

Day 2 – Hiking Royal Deeside: The Shadow of Lochnagar

This superb circular hike explores Glen Muick, which lies in the shadow of the famous peak of Lochnagar. It takes us through ancient pine forest, past one of Queen Victoria’s hunting lodges and beneath towering cliffs as we circumnavigate beautiful Loch Muick.It’s also a great spot for spotting wildlife – look out for red deer and golden eagles!Overnight Royal Deeside.

Day 3 – The Cuckoo Glen and the Devil’s Punchbowl

This circular hike is one of the best in Royal Deeside. We follow a good trail north to the edge of the Cairngorm plateau, where some of the highest peaks in Scotland rise from the deep glens. The wilderness is striking and the beauty is all around. The rivers are a real highlight with the striking rock features of the Linn of Dee and the Devil’s Punchbowl most notable. Overnight Royal Deeside.

Day 4 – Highland Perthshire and Strathspey

We transfer west into Highland Perthshire, where we make our way to a 13th century castle for a hike on its vast estate. We enjoy a level route through a beautiful forest in a steep-sided glen. We finish back at the castle, with time for a tour of its interior and perhaps the gardens too. A short transfer north takes us into Strathspey and our base for the next 3 nights, a small hotel in a sleepy Cairngorm village.

Day 5 – Into Glen Feshie

Despite being considered by many to be the most beautiful of all the Cairngorm valleys, Glen Feshie is overlooked by many hikers, meaning that a walk here is one which has a real wilderness feel. Our circular route follows the banks of the bubbling River Feshie, through ancient pines to an old mountain hut. The route offers great wildlife-spotting potential with red deer golden eagles and even the rare capercaillie being found in the glen.

Day 6 – Abernethy Forest and Wildlife Reserve

The Abernethy Forest is thought by many to be the most beautiful in Scotland, with beautiful lochs surrounded by ancient Scots Pine trees and framed by views of the high mountains. We’ll enjoy a circular walk, perhaps taking in a section of the Speyside Way long distance trail, and finishing at a wildlife reserve where we’ll hope to see red squirrels and many bird species including, in the early part of the summer, the osprey.

Day 7 – Hike in Cairngorms National Park

There are so many great walks in the Cairngorms that we like to keep the itinerary flexible and decide which hike to take in on the day. One option is a hike close to our hotel, a favourite of the locals. It ventures into the eastern edge of the Monadh Liath mountains on a circular route to Loch Gynack. It’s a wild and beautiful place, so an apt location to end our trip. After the hike, we complete our circumnavigation of the Cairngorms National Park by transferring north back to Inverness for the trip end.

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Prices and Departures

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
9th May - 15th May 2015
£945
Places available
13th Jun - 19th Jun 2015
£945
3 place(s) left
12th Sep - 18th Sep 2015
£945
Places available
26th Sep - 2nd Oct 2015
£945
Places available

Trip Photos

Cairngorms & Royal DeesideCairngorm National Park & Royal DeesideCairngorm National Park & Royal DeesideCairngorms-deeside-1Cairngorm National Park & Royal DeesideCairngorms & Royal DeesideCairngorms Royal DeesideCairngorm National Park & Royal DeesideCairngorm National Park & Royal DeesideCairngorms & Royal DeesideCairngorms-&-Royal-DeesideCairngorm National Park & Royal DeesideCairngorms & Royal DeesideCairngorm National Park & Royal DeesideCairngorm National Park & Royal DeesideCairngorm National Park & Royal DeesideCairngorms-&-Royal-Deeside.
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Trip reviews

100% Unedited Reviews
Really enjoyed this trip and already thinking about the next one !
Leaving everyone on the last day was quite hard for me !!!

Celine Hoffmann
19/05/2014

5

A very memorable holiday (in a positive sense!). Before the trip, my wife and I felt a little apprehensive but we had a great time due significantly to the makeup of the group, impossible to predict ahead of time, and the qualities of our guide to say nothing of the beautiful Highlands!

David Whitford
07/10/2013

5

Rated 4.8 out of 5 based on 8 review(s) of Wilderness Walking – Cairngorms National Park & Royal Deeside

5 star 6

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