Covering almost 5,000 km2 the Cairngorms National Park is the largest of its kind in the UK, branching out into parts of Moray Speyside, Aberdeenshire, the Highlands, Angus, and Highland Perthshire. Sharing the startling beauty of the fantasy Scottish kingdom seen in Disney•Pixar's Brave, these regions include regal castles, snow-capped mountains and beguiling hillsides.
The areas the park reaches out to encompass impressive castles that share a deep heritage with the monarchy, none more so than Balmoral Castle in Royal Deeside. Found near the village of Crathie, the enchanting 10 km estate is often used by the current Royal Family as a summer holiday home. Slightly to the northwest lies Corgaff Castle, a striking fortress with a medieval tower house surrounded by a unique star-shaped perimeter wall that dates back to the 18th century.
Also make sure you visit Braemar Castle in Aberdeenshire. The former garrison has impressive turrets and unique antiques, including a piece of plaid worn by Bonnie Prince Charlie. To the south in Perthshire discover the stately Blair Castle, home to the Atholl Highlanders and a mighty Grand Fir that is said to be the second tallest tree in the UK.
The Cairngorms is also teeming with tremendous wildlife-spotting opportunities. Be it catching a glimpse of elusive red squirrels, watching noble ospreys at the Loch Garten Osprey Centre or visiting exotic Siberian Tigers at the Highland Wildlife Park.
If you are looking to experience the region's rugged landscapes, then exploring the Angus Glens - from the sweeping Glen Prosen to the breathless beauty of Glen Esk - is mesmering. The Mar Lodge Estate offers some equally pretty surrounds. Marked by ancient Caledonian pine forests and gentle heather-filled moorlands, the expansive estate occupies almost 7% of the Cairngorms National Park. Utah Lochan to the southwest of Aviemore also provides some captivating forests and wonderful pine trees in the nearby Glen Feshie.
Thanks to its amazing array of scenery, wildlife and castles, the Cairngorms National Park and surrounding regions offer visitors an experience of Scotland that truly captures the essence of Disney•Pixar's Brave.