We Narrow Down the Best Things to do in the Cairngorms
Here at Wilderness Scotland we’re incredibly lucky to live and work in the Cairngorms National Park.
Not to brag or anything but the Cairngorms is an area home to lush forests, adorable wee Highland villages, fantastic wildlife, wild open spaces and of course it’s very own arctic mountain plateau!
We’ve got plenty of adventurous inspiration all around us. Leave our office doors and you have Loch Morlich, Rothiemurchus forest, Cairngorm Mountain and of course the mighty Spey within easy access.
As residents we’ve spent many weekends and lunch breaks exploring the local play spots. In this blog I’ve gathered our 7 favourite things to do in the Cairngorms National Park.
1. Go outside and play (obviously)
It’s not surprising that the population in the Cairngorms National Park swells in the summer months.
Tourists flock from all over to hike, bike, canoe, kayak and climb their way across the park. There is something here for every adventurer no matter what age, interest or level of experience.
- Fancy a climb? There are several places to go summer climbing in the park but my favourite is the picturesque Kingussie Crag. It has panoramic views of the surrounding valley and the crag has routes ranging from difficult to E4.
- In the mood for some whitewater kayaking? Who isn’t? The Cairngorms is home to over 25 sections of paddle-able river. The options range from grade 2-3 on the Feshie all the way to grade 5 on the Falls of Muick!
- Wild Danny MacAskill sightings are not unheard of in the Cairngorms. Which is not surprising with the range of mountain biking trails in the area. Have a look at My Favourite 7 Biking Routes in the Cairngorms for some inspiration for your own biking adventures.
- With a mix of mountain roads and quiet roads through forests and past fields there is great road cycling to be had as well. The Best Road Cycling Routes in the Highlands features 4 Cairngorm routes.
- Prefer to keep your adventures a bit simpler and less adrenaline-fuelled? There is no point trying to list all of the amazing hikes here as they are endless. However, Wilderness guide Peter Grant, a native Highlander, has sussed out 5 great walking routes for all levels of fitness. Get the first in a series of 5 here. Each blog contains a route description and GPX file.
- Explore The Cairngorms National Park with us and enjoy hiking the area with a knowledgable Wilderness Guide.
- For the long-distance walkers amongst us there is the 65 mile long Speyside Way, one of the four official long-distance routes in Scotland.
2. Go the distance
The route currently starts in Spey Bay and finishes in our own Highland boom-town of Aviemore. There are plans to extend the route to Newtonmore. Due to the relatively short distance and easy terrain, the Speyside Way is good for the trekker new to the sport and wanting to ease into the experience. The Speyside Way passes disused rail stations, beautiful moorland and a Highland coo or two.
Tip: Not keen on dedicating several days and 65 miles to a hike? The route consists of 8 sections so you can pick and choose just one to do for a day. The section between Boat of Garten and Aviemore is a great 2 hour walk or short bike ride. It includes beautiful views across to the Cairngorms, heather heathland, photogenic Scots Pines and a birch tree forest.