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    Self Drive Collection
    Cairngorms National Park

    Duration: 5 Days / 4 Nights

    From £675

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    Travel Planning and Advice

    Trip created by Rachael Gavan
    View Rachael's Profile

    Region: Cairngorms and Central Highlands
    Trip Type: Self Drive
    Comfort: Classic
    Deposit From: £168.75 £168.75
    Difficulty: Your Own Pace

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

    Download Itinerary

    Covering over 4,500km2 and with 5 out of the 6 highest peaks in the UK the Cairngorms National Park is the largest in the UK. Home to wild mountains and glens, beautiful lochs and winding rivers as well as rare and endangered wildlife, there is much to discover and enjoy during your nature-based self-driving short break.

    As you hike, cycle and paddle through the varied landscape you will experience each day from a different perspective, safe in the company of your expert guide. Spend your evenings in warm and welcoming Highland accommodation and enjoy fresh local produce. Learn about the rich history and culture of the Cairngorms by visiting historical sites and museums in your free time.

    The Cairngorms National Park trip is part of our exciting collection of self-drive itineraries. You can enjoy this trip as a short break, or choose to extend your holiday by adding on one or more of our other itineraries in this range. Suitable for families, couples and groups of friends, the exciting and varied activities on these trips will be tailored to your interests and preferences, making them accessible to all ages and levels of experience. With the option to upgrade accommodation and add on extra days and activities, you are sure to find your perfect adventure.

    As this trip is self-drive it starts from anywhere. You can bring your own car or hire ahead of time. Please get in touch for recommendations. The below self-drive itinerary starts and finishes in Aviemore.

    This price is based on a group of 4, prices will vary depending on group size. Please get in touch with the team to confirm the trip price for your group.

    Trip Highlights

    • Discover the majesty of the mountains and lochs of the Cairngorms National Park
    • Enjoy a combination of hiking, cycling and paddling through the heart of the Cairngorms
    • Seek out the native wildlife
    • Explore at your own pace with self-guided options and time to relax

    Day by Day Itinerary

    Day 1 - Travel to the Cairngorms

    Make your way through scenic mountain landscapes and native woodlands into the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. Your destination is the Strathspey valley where you will have time to explore the surroundings, visit some of the small towns and villages or simply enjoy a short walk to stretch your legs before settling into your Highland accommodation.

    Day 2 - Guided Hiking in the Cairngorms

    The Cairngorm mountain range boasts five out of six of the highest peaks in the UK as well as miles of awe-inspiring native Caledonian pine forests, tumbling rivers and magical lochs. There are numerous fantastic hikes to choose from and along with your guide, you’ll decide what suits best. You could challenge yourself to “bag a Munro” (climb a mountain over 3,000ft/914.4m), which is easier than you may think if you head up Cairn Gorm from the ski road, marvelling at the stunning views of the spectacular Northern Corries. Ben Macdui is the second highest peak in the UK, and within reach, if you are an experienced hillwalker. For those preferring low level walks there are many delights to discover, including a fine short walk round one of the most beautiful lochs in Scotland, complete with a ruined island castle. (B)

    Day 3 - Guided Biking in the Cairngorms

    Meet your guide for a bike fitting before heading out on your cycling adventure. Trail riding is a great way to explore deep into the landscape and the route will be tailored to your experience and the distance you want to cover and be suitable for all ages and abilities. Choose a gentle forest ride, land-rover trails or technical single tracks. Your guide will take you through spectacular scenery on some of our favourite local routes. Today is guaranteed to be a fun and exciting way to experience the wild Cairngorm landscape. (B)

    Day 4 - Canoeing the Lochs

    Meet your guide on the shores of a beautiful loch surrounded by native forest. Under the expert tuition of your guide, you’ll practise different strokes and get comfortable before venturing out to explore the water and shoreline. Canoeing provides you with a unique opportunity to view this wild, mountainous corner of Scotland from a different perspective as well as the chance to spot wildlife. After your morning paddling adventure, enjoy a free afternoon to explore the national park at your own pace. Options include an open-air museum, a Highland safari park, or sites of historical interest. (B)

    Day 5 - Depart

    After a free morning to relax and explore you can start your homeward journey or extend your trip by adding one or more of the additional activities on offer. You may also want to link this trip with one of our other Self-Drive Collection itineraries for a longer adventure. (B)

    Optional Extra - Guided Road Cycling

    The Cairngorms National Park offers some of the best road cycling in Scotland. Our expert local guide will design and take you on an exhilarating route that will reflect your ability and preferences.

    Optional Extra - Fly Fishing with a Ghillie

    Discover some of the lochs and rivers of the National Park by fly fishing with a local Ghillie. Whether you are fishing for salmon on the famous River Spey or trout fishing from a boat in a secluded highland loch, you can be assured of a memorable day. All equipment provided.

    Optional Extra - Private Cookery Workshop

    Spice up your trip with some Scottish Mezze. Based in a remote croft in the Glenlivet hills, you’ll join a skilled chef who combines local Highland ingredients with mouth-watering flavours from far-flung corners of the world to create incredible dishes. Cooking – and eating – these dishes together, surrounded by magnificent views, is an experience you will never forget.

    Optional Extra - Whisky Tour

    With over 50 distilleries Speyside is the largest, and possibly the most famous, of Scotland’s whisky regions. Your tour will include several well-known distilleries, as well as visits to some lesser known local favourites.

    Let us know your preferred tipple as well as any requests to upgrade the tours, and we’ll take care of all the transport so you can enjoy the Highland’s Water of Life.

    X
    Self Drive
    Cairngorms National Park

    To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

    Fields marked with * are mandatory

    The phone number 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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    Price from: £675
    Duration: 5 Days 4 Nights

    What's Included

    Accommodation Read More

    You will be based in the Aviemore area at one of our excellent, hand-picked accommodation partners.

    The accommodation on this trip is Classic standard and will generally be in a small hotel or guest house. However, if you would like to upgrade the accommodation on this trip to deluxe or 5* luxury please get in touch.

    Meals Read More

    Throughout the trip, you can enjoy fresh local produce prepared locally and with regards to the season.

    Breakfasts are included at your accommodation each morning. Packed lunches are not included but can usually be ordered from your accommodation the night before or from a local cafe/deli. We will be more than happy to make local restaurant suggestions.

    Inclusions Read More
    • 4 nights accommodation with breakfast each day
    • 1 day of guided hiking with a qualified and experienced Wilderness Scotland Guide
    • 1 day of guided mountain biking plus equipment hire, led by a qualified and experienced Wilderness Scotland Guide
    • 1 day of guided canoeing plus equipment hire, led by a qualified and experienced Wilderness Scotland Guide
    • Personalised trip design and delivery
    • Expert local suggestions for restaurants and activities
    • Detailed trip itinerary and map
    • Pre-trip care and 24 hour in country support from the Wilderness team
    Upgrade and Customise Your Trip Read More
    Guided Road Cycling

    The Cairngorms National Park offers some of the best road cycling in Scotland. Our expert local guide will design and take you on an exhilarating route that will reflect your ability and preferences.

    Fly Fishing with a Ghillie

    Discover some of the lochs and rivers of the National Park by fly fishing with a local Ghillie. Whether you are fishing for salmon on the famous River Spey or trout fishing from a boat in a secluded highland loch, you can be assured of a memorable day. All equipment provided.

    Private Cookery Workshop

    Spice up your trip with some Scottish Mezze. Based in a remote croft in the Glenlivet hills,
    you’ll join a skilled chef who combines local Highland ingredients with mouth-watering flavours from far-flung corners of the world to create incredible dishes. Cooking – and eating – these dishes together, surrounded by magnificent views, is an experience you will never forget.

    Whisky Tour

    With over 50 distilleries Speyside is the largest, and possibly the most famous, of Scotland’s whisky regions. Your tour will include several well-known distilleries, as well as visits to some lesser known local favourites.

    Let us know your preferred tipple as well as any requests to upgrade the tours, and we’ll take care of all the transport so you can enjoy the Highland’s Water of Life.

    Photo Gallery

    Difficulty Grades Explained

    At Your Own Pace

    On this adventure, you will be accompanied by a Wilderness Scotland hiking guide for several days, who will be able to suggest and lead you on a range of hikes from gentle low level rambles to challenging days visiting remote summits. Just let them know what type of hike you would like to do and they will be ready!

    On the other days of the trip, you will self guided and can explore at whatever pace you feel comfortable.

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