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      Wilderness Walking
      Cairngorms National Park & Royal Deeside

      73 review(s)

      Next Trip(s): 11th May | 8th Jun Duration: 6 night(s)

      From £1,525 View Prices & Departures

      Trip Details & Highlights

      Trip created by Stevie Christie
      View Stevie's Profile

      Location: Cairngorms and Central Highlands
      Trip Type: Wilderness Walking
      Comfort: Classic

      Difficulty:

      All you need to know about your trip, this essential document is a must for all adventures.

      Download Itinerary

      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 Highlights

      • Hike on ancient whisky smugglers' trails and visit Scotland's first licensed whisky distillery.
      • Discover the majesty of the deep glens, clear rivers and wild lochs on expertly guided walks.
      • Enjoy the huge variety of wildlife to be found in the Cairngorms National Park.

      Day by Day 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. (L, D)

      Walk details: 6km/ 4 miles | 100m/ 320 ft of ascent | approx. 3 hours

      Day 2 – 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 place for spotting wildlife – look out for red deer and golden eagles. Overnight Royal Deeside. (B, L, D)

      Walk details: 12km/ 7 miles | 200m/ 650 ft of ascent | approx. 5 hours

      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. (B, L, D)

      Walk details: 17km/ 10 miles | 200m/ 650 ft of ascent | approx. 6 hours

      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 B&B in a sleepy Cairngorm village. (B, L, D)

      Walk details: 9km/ 6 miles | 100m/ 320 ft of ascent | approx. 4-5 hours

      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 found in the glen. (B, L, D)

      Walk details: 12km/ 7 miles | 250m/ 820 ft of ascent | approx. 5-6 hours

      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. (B, L, D)

      Walk details: 8km/ 5 miles | 100m/ 320 ft of ascent | approx. 4-5 hours

      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 accommodation, 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. (B, L)

      Walk details: 8km/ 5 miles | 200m/ 650 ft of ascent | approx. 5 hours

      Download Detailed Itinerary

      If you would like to instantly download a copy of our PDF Trip Itinerary which contains full details about this itinerary, please complete the form below:

      The telephone field is not required but if you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

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      What's Included

      Accommodation - Accommodation in carefully selected guest houses and hotels Read More

      ACCOMMODATION
      We spend our nights in welcoming and friendly guest houses: three nights in Royal Deeside then three nights in Strathspey. Accommodation is in twin or double rooms with en-suite bathroom facilities. 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.

      SINGLE ROOMS
      There is no supplement charged to solo travellers, however, you will be required to share a room with another person of the same sex. If you request a double room for single occupancy, a supplement of £225 is charged.

      Due to the nature of the accommodations we use, single supplements are limited and are allocated on a first come first served basis.

      Meals - Meals Info (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner) Read More

      This tour is all-inclusive.

      Food is of paramount importance and our meals are prepared from the best 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.

      On this trip, we generally eat dinner as a group however if you would like to make alternative arrangements you are free to do so. Your guide will have an evening off during this trip where they do not eat with the group. They will recommend options for dinner that evening and will help you make any necessary reservations.

      Travel - All transport throughout the trip Read More

      ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE
      You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide at Inverness Railway Station at 10.30am on Day 1 of your trip. You will be returned to Inverness station for 5.00pm on the last day. Alternatively, if you are heading South by train, we can arrange to drop you off at Aviemore station around 4.00pm.

      Trip Dates & Prices

      Trip Dates for 2019 Availability Status Price Book
      11th May - 17th May 2019 6 place(s) left CONFIRMED £1,525 Book Now
      8th Jun - 14th Jun 2019 6 place(s) left CONFIRMED £1,525 Book Now
      20th Jul - 26th Jul 2019 7 place(s) left UNCONFIRMED £1,525 Book Now
      24th Aug - 30th Aug 2019 4 place(s) left CONFIRMED £1,525 Book Now
      21st Sep - 27th Sep 2019 8 place(s) left UNCONFIRMED £1,525 Book Now
      5th Oct - 11th Oct 2019 4 place(s) left CONFIRMED £1,525 Book Now

      Make This Trip Private

      Sometimes it's nice to get family and friends together and travel privately for some quality time. This means you benefit from all the features of the group departure, including hand-picked accommodation and expert local guides and we'll take care of it all. Then you can make your choice of departures dates and we'll get back to you to finalise the details.

      Speak to an Expert

      As an avid adventurer, Stevie has life-long experience in Scotland’s outdoors. He’s Co-Owner and Head of Adventure with Wilderness and been with us for over 15 years in a variety of roles, with innovative trip design being both a passion and a speciality. In his spare time Stevie runs the Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival, bringing the world’s most inspiring adventure filmmakers and athletes to an audience of over 1,500 each year. His experience of living in the Cairngorms National Park for over 7 years has helped design this exciting walking trip.

      - Stevie Christie

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      Meet Your Guide

      Trip Reviews

      Rated 4.96 out of 5 based on 73 review(s) of Wilderness Walking – Cairngorms National Park & Royal Deeside

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      Every client receives a feedback survey when they return from their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us. Once completed the review is published on our website just as soon as our database updates. The little touches and details are important to us and where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience.

      That’s why we read each of our client’s reviews and although we don’t respond to all of them, if it’s glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.

      MM

      Michelle Mowery

      Reviewed on 12/11/2018

      Age: 60 - 70
      Country: United States
      Trip Date: 06/10/2018
      Trips Taken: 1

      The Bottom Line

      The Bottom Line

      Excellent trip. When we were researching outfitters for hiking in Scotland, two friends gave Wilderness Scotland high marks as well so it was clear to us which outfitter we should select. We were not disappointed.

      CM

      Colin Macdonald

      Reviewed on 10/10/2018

      Age: 50 - 60
      Country: Canada
      Trip Date: 22/09/2018
      Trips Taken: 1

      The Bottom Line

      SL

      Susan Lundahl

      Reviewed on 08/10/2018

      Age: 70 - 80
      Country: Canada
      Trip Date: 22/09/2018
      Trips Taken: 1

      The Bottom Line

      TH

      Theresa Hall

      Reviewed on 08/10/2018

      Age: 70 - 80
      Country: Canada
      Trip Date: 22/09/2018
      Trips Taken: 1

      The Bottom Line

      The Bottom Line

      I have already recommended you to several people and I hope to take another trip with you as well.

      WS

      Wendy Sarazyn

      Reviewed on 05/10/2018

      Age: 70 - 80
      Country: United States
      Trip Date: 22/09/2018
      Trips Taken: 1

      The Bottom Line

      The Bottom Line

      Anyone looking to get out and experience Scotland's spectacular countryside should book a trip with Wilderness Scotland. The guide will help you get the most from your surroundings while keeping you safe, and the accommodations and food are top notch! Thank you Wilderness Scotland for exceeding our expectations!!

      Difficulty Grades Explained

      Green Graded Walking Holidays

      Green graded walking holidays are suitable for active travellers who are reasonably fit and enjoy moderate hikes. We walk at a comfortable pace and you can expect to be out for 5-6 hours a day. The terrain will be mostly good paths and hill trails but these can still be muddy and rough in places. Some hikes may involve an ascent up to a max of approx 1,500 feet / 450m. Distances will be typically 8-10km but there may be the odd slightly longer day. Daily hike details are available in the itinerary.

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