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Trip created by Rupert Shanks
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Venture into Scotland’s grandest mountain range – the mighty Cairngorms.
Hike among the majestic scenery of hills, forests and lochs while enjoying outstanding hospitality on this all-inclusive hiking tour.
High-level trailheads and a network of good paths mean that accessing the high summits of Cairngorms National Park is more achievable than they may first appear. Based at a private wilderness lodge in beautiful Glen Feshie, we’ll explore the northern and western side of this huge National Park. We’ll focus on hiking to some of the finest peaks in the area and enjoy wild mountain views everywhere we go.
With summits rising to 4000ft in height, the Cairngorm peaks are vast rolling hills connected by a dramatic plateau, and this high-level tundra is broken by steep-sided glens and corries, where the hills fall away to beautiful pinewoods, still lochs and grassy fields. The National Park is a haven for rare and iconic species such as ptarmigan, capercaillie, red squirrels and osprey.
We meet at Aviemore railway station at 10.30am and then transfer a short distance to enjoy a hike up a little mountain with big views. A short climb through pinewoods, steep in places, takes us to the summit at 487m. There are prominent views of Strathspey, and we can look across the valley at some of the other peaks we will take on during this week. Descending to pretty Loch Gynack, you will feel like you’re still in the wilderness – but we’re almost back in the village. A short transfer takes us to our private lodge, which is tucked away in an idyllic spot on the banks of the River Feshie. (L, D)
Walk details: 7km/ 4 miles | 275m/ 900 ft ascent | approx. 3-4 hours
Today we will do a classic Scottish hill walk – the Northern Corries of the Cairngorms, including Cairngorm itself. Starting from 600m we hike straight into a wild mountain environment. We pass under the cliffs of the Northern Corries keeping a look out for Scotland’s only herd of reindeer, which often graze here. A steady climb brings us to the main plateau amidst ever greater views. From here, we can pick our route, following the tops of the corries and maybe detouring to enjoy an elevated view of remote Loch Avon. A final climb takes us onto the summit of Cairngorm Mountain, the 6th highest peak in the UK. (B, L, D)
Walk details: 11km/ 7 miles | 775m/ 2540 ft ascent | approx. 6-7 hours
Glen Feshie is thought by many to be the most beautiful of the Cairngorm glens. Today’s hike takes us into the upper glen, passing through beautiful ancient Caledonian pine forests en-route to a remote and rarely visited peak. We’re almost guaranteed to have the summit to ourselves. As we hike, we’ll keep an eye out for golden eagles and red deer, which inhabit this glen. (B, L, D)
Walk details: 23km/ 14 miles | 785m/ 2575 ft ascent | approx 8 hours
Today we head slightly further south, but keep within the boundaries of Cairngorms National Park. We’ll take on two summits offering far reaching views. Despite starting next to a busy road, this is soon forgotten as we follow a trail alongside a bubbling burn, gradually gaining height as we go. A steep pull takes us onto the plateau and then we enjoy a high-level hike, connecting the two peaks and taking in wide vistas across Loch Ericht and Ben Alder, all the way west to Ben Nevis. (B, L, D)
Walk details: 16km/ 10 miles | 900m/ 2950 ft ascent | approx. 7-8 hours
At the northern reach of the Cairngorms are several peaks overlooking the wild Abernethy Forest. We choose one of these hills today – Meall a Buachaille (Hill of the Shepherd). We start our walk by passing through a steep sided pass and the beautiful ‘Fairy Lochan’. Beyond the pass, we turn left at an old bothy and start a steady ascent up a good trail that leads us directly to the summit. On the way down we enjoy the fabulous views of bigger hills to the south and Loch Morlich. (B, L, D)
Walk details: 9km/ 6 miles | 550m/ 1800 ft ascent | approx. 4-5 hours
Today we set out to climb the peak of Sgor Gaoith, which is prominent from our lodge. A good trail takes us through wonderful pinewoods before climbing up onto the plateau. On reaching the pointed summit, the land falls away suddenly and we find ourselves gazing down at remote Loch Einich and across it to the wild corries of Braeriach, the 3rd highest peak in Britain. This is a prized summit and one you’ll remember for many years. (B, L, D)
Walk details: 14km/ 9 miles | 915m/ 3000 ft ascent | approx. 7-8 hours
We enjoy an easy and reflective final day hike. A stone’s throw from our lodge are the Uath Lochans, favoured by bird-watchers and in-the-know locals. We’ll hike around the lochs and up to the little summit of Farleitter Crag, which offers expansive views across the pinewoods to the main Cairngorm plateau. Afterwards, a short transfer takes us back to Aviemore in time to connect with trains heading north to Inverness or south to Edinburgh and Glasgow. (B, L)
Walk details: 4km/ 2 miles | 165m/ 540 ft ascent | approx. 1-2 hours
This walking holiday enjoys accommodation in a private mountain lodge set in the beautiful surroundings of Glen Feshie. The area around the lodge has abundant wildlife to spot and the grass outside is grazed by Highland cattle.
Accommodation is a choice of double or twin rooms with ensuite facilities.
There is no supplement charged to solo travellers, however, you will be required to share a room with another person of the same sex. On this trip, there is no supplement for single rooms as we have exclusive use of the lodge.
Due to the nature of the accommodations we use, single supplements are limited and are allocated on a first come first served basis.
There is no single person supplement charged to solo travellers however, you may be required to share a room with another person of the same sex. If you require a single room please request this at the time of booking and we can check to see if one is available for you. On this trip there is no supplement for single rooms as we have exclusive use of the lodge.
All meals, from lunch on Day 1 through to lunch on Day 7 are included.
Breakfast and evening meals will be fully catered at the lodge and packed lunches will be provided each day.
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE
You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide at Aviemore Railway Station at 10.30am on Day 1 of your trip. We aim to be back at the station by 1.30pm on the final day. It’s a small station so you should find the group and guide quite easily!
|Trip Dates for 2021||Availability||Status||Price||Book|
|15th May - 21st May 2021||6 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||£1,675||Book Now|
|19th Jun - 25th Jun 2021||7 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||£1,675||Book Now|
|10th Jul - 16th Jul 2021||6 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||£1,675||Book Now|
|14th Aug - 20th Aug 2021||1 place(s) left||CONFIRMED||£1,675||Book Now|
|11th Sep - 17th Sep 2021||4 place(s) left||CONFIRMED||£1,675||Book Now|
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.
Rachael is a true gem and we regularly receive feedback thanking her for designing inspiring itineraries and for being such a pleasure to chat to. In many cases the people Rachael designs tailor-made trips for, actually become friends and she’s had more than one invite to far off lands as a result. Rachael lives in the Cairngorms National Park and is sharing the hidden gems that make this trip very special.
- Rachael GavanAsk Rachael a Question
Blue Graded Walking Holidays
Blue graded walking holidays are suitable for fit and experienced hikers. We walk at a good pace and you can expect to be out for 6-8 hours a day. You will not always be on a path and the terrain underfoot can be rough and boggy, including boulder fields and mountain tops. Some of the daily walks will involve a mountain ascent of over 3000ft / 900m high. Daily distances will be typically up to 16km but may be longer occasionally. Daily hike details are available in the itinerary.
Rated 4.91 out of 5 based on 22 review(s) of Wilderness Walking – High Points of the Cairngorms National Park
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.
Reviewed on 29/09/2019
Age: 60 - 70
Country: United Kingdom
Trip Date: 14/09/2019
Trips Taken: 2
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
Great prompt service.
Brilliant. Very comfortable lodge accommodation in the middle of nowhere! Surrounded by nature. I didn’t want to leave!
Mark was amazing. Great knowledge of the land, nature, geology and wildlife which he shared readily with us. I even had map reading lessons which I was thrilled with. He certainly went the extra mile with us. Always there encouraging us on. He even took us to a hill sheep farmer displaying his dogs rounding up sheep. Amazing! I throughly enjoyed Mark’s company. Great banter too. I’d definitely want to be on one of his trips again.
Great trip. Very exciting walking and fabulous comfy accommodation. This is the second time I’ve been walking with Wilderness Scotland and I can throughly recommend.
Reviewed on 11/09/2019
Age: 60 - 70
Trip Date: 24/08/2019
Trips Taken: 2
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
The Wilderness Scotland team was very responsive to our questions regarding the trip, and booking was straightforward.
Our guide, Malcolm, was excellent; he was very knowledgeable and experienced and developed a good rapport with the group. Our daily hikes gave us good exposure to the beauty of the Cairngorm Mountains. The accommodation and meals were outstanding.
Ballintean Lodge was ideal in that it was tucked away in Glen Feshie. It was quiet and relaxing, and the ensuite rooms and common areas were very comfortable. The owners were very friendly and accommodating.
Malcolm was a wealth of knowledge, not only in terms of the trails, but also the flora and fauna as well as the area history and environmental stewardship in the Highlands. He tailored our schedule and daily hikes based on weather conditions, and managed the various hiking paces within the group. He was enthusiastic, patient, and considerate and enhanced the experience by including side trips as time allowed.
We were completely satisfied, and the trip exceeded our expectations. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Wilderness Scotland to others.
Reviewed on 09/09/2019
Age: 30 - 40
Country: United States
Trip Date: 24/08/2019
Trips Taken: 1
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
The lodge was perfect and the food was delicious!
Malcolm worked hard to make sure the entire group was enjoying the hikes and I really liked how he presented different options each day for discussion with the group to determine what we would choose to do.
I loved the trip and would definitely recommend Wilderness Scotland!