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Wilderness Walking – High Points of the Cairngorms National Park

  • Explore the high reaches and hidden corners of the beautiful Cairngorm Mountains
  • Hike on good trails across the high tundra, looking out for rare wildlife as you walk
  • Enjoy the warm hospitality of our private lodge, with all meals included
  • 6 nights accommodation in a private wilderness lodge
  • All meals, from lunch on Day 1 through to lunch on Day 7 (Meals included indicated as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • The services of an experienced and knowledgeable guide / driver throughout
  • All transport throughout the trip starting and finishing in Aviemore

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.

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. Evening meals will be fully catered at the lodge each night and packed lunches provided for each day.

Single Supplement

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.

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 Details

New for 2018! 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 means 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.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – A Small Summit

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. Although just 487m high, there are prominent views of Strathspey and allows us to gaze across the glens at some of the other peaks we will take on during this week. Descending to pretty Loch Gynack, you’ll 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, approx 3-4 hours, 275m ascent

Day 2 – Classic Cairngorms Hike

Today we will hike a classic Scottish hill-walk – the Northern Corries of the Cairngorms, including Cairngorm Mountain itself. Benefitting from a trail-head at 600m altitude, we hike straight into a wild mountain environment. We pass under the cliffs of the Northern Corries – a hotspot for winter mountaineering – 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, approx 6-7 hours, 775m ascent

Day 3 – Into Glen Feshie

Glen Feshie is thought by many people 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 on 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: Flexible depending on route, up to 23km, approx 8 hours, 785m ascent max

Day 4 – Western Summits

We enjoy a change of scene today by heading slightly further south, but keeping within the boundaries of Cairngorms National Park. We’ll take on two summits which are located close to the heart of Scotland, offering far-reaching views across the land. 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, approx 7-8 hours, 900m ascent

Day 5 – Hill of the Shepherd

At the northern reach of the Cairngorms lie several peaks overlooking the wild Abernethy Forest. We choose one of these hills today – Meall a Buachaille or the 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, approx 4-5 hours, 550m ascent

Day 6 – Wild Cairngorms Peaks

From our lodge, we gaze across the River Feshie at the high summit of Sgorr Gaoith. The trailhead is less than 1km from the lodge but a 10 minute drive saves us wading across the river! 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, approx 7-8 hours, 915m ascent

Day 7 – Above the Forest

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, approx 1-2 hours, 165m ascent

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Prices and Dates

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2019 Trip Dates

Trip Date
Trip Status
22nd Jun - 28th Jun 2019
4 place(s) left
13th Jul - 19th Jul 2019
8 place(s) left
24th Aug - 30th Aug 2019
8 place(s) left
14th Sep - 20th Sep 2019
5 place(s) left
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Trip Reviews

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Rated 4.83 out of 5 based on 12 review(s) of Wilderness Walking – High Points of the Cairngorms National Park

5 star 10

4 star 2

3 star 0

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1 star 0

by Julie Lane 29/08/2018

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Great trip - wonderful lodge in a beautiful location, fabulous walks, great company. Its just a pity the weather on the tops could not be guaranteed but we had one glorious day and only two miserable ones so not bad for the Cairngorms!

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by Allen Shaw 27/08/2018

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

This was a great trip. I am sure there are things that could be tweaked (like the weather) but I have no complaints.

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by Simon Fraser 27/08/2018

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Terrific walking with a lovely group of people and a great guide who made it a pleasure to be out on the hills, even on the days of mist and rain!

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by Ken Stewart 21/08/2018

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Excellent trip in all respects; very glad I was there. Compared to some others, prices may be a bit high (which is why I might hesitate to recommend to all) but very good quality. In the past I've tended to view WS trips as rather too easy for me, but being now 76, I'm finding the level more suitable. This trip was exactly the right level for my current ability. I hope to manage some others in future years.

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Price from: £1,525

Next trip: 22nd June

Duration: 6 night(s)

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Region: Cairngorms and Central Highlands

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: 6

12 review(s)

Trip Photos

River Feshie, Glenfeshie, Cairngorms National Park, Scotland.Ballintean LodgeBallintean Lodge loungeNearing Ben Macdui summitThe ancient Glenmore forestLoch AvonBlack GrouseRoaring StagRelaxing in the hillsApproaching the peaksRiver in spateAncient Caledonian pineDynamic light over Uath Lochans, Glenfeshie, Scotland.Ballintean lodge from outsideMisty dawn over Loch Insh, Cairngorms, Scotland.Loch an Eilean
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