The Cairngorms National Park is a corner of Scotland we know and love. These suggestions are not just for visitors - if you're lucky enough to call this region home, then these ideas are for you too!
A region bursting with outdoor splendour, a day out walking is one of the best things to do in Cairngorms National Park. Have you tried some of these quiet and lesser known routes?
- Gynack Mill - Go on stroll through leafy woodland along the Gynack Burn and explore the history of Kingussie. Did you know Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of Treasure Island, spent his holidays here in the 1880s?
- Uath Lochans - This wee adventure up a picturesque path is fun for all ages. The name is pronounced 'wah lochans' and means hawthorn small lochs.
- Craig Leek - This small hill explores the Invercauld Estate and has excellent views up and down Deeside.
- Morrone - Climb this scenic Corbett near Braemar for excellent views over Royal Deeside and into Glenshee as well as other Cairngorm peaks.
Explore more walks in the Cairngorms.
The popular wildlife-watching operator, based in the Cairngorms National Park, is broadcasting live sessions via Facebook Live. Our wildlife doesn't believe in physical distancing, and still wants to come out and say hello this summer - so don't miss out!
Did you know you can do these virtual experiences right now?
- You can join a new wildlife identification course to learn about the sheer diversity of Scottish wildlife which inhabits this stunning area located between the Highlands and Aberdeenshire.
- Tune in via the Facebook page to hear the live-streamed chorus of local birds at dawn and dusk and choose from an ever-expanded series of mini-masterclasses on various bird species and other creatures. Share your sounds using #dailybirdsong.
Discover Speyside Wildlife.
Go stargazing in Tomintoul and Glenlivet
Glenlivet and Tomintoul are some of the best spots to gaze at the night sky in search of stars and constellations. The high quality of the night skies here has earned the area a prestigious award by becoming Scotland's second International Dark Sky Park.
- The Tomintoul & Glenlivet - Cairngorms Dark Sky Park is not only the darkest park in the UK but it is also the most northerly Dark Sky Park in the world.
- Look out for constellations, shooting stars, the Milky Way and maybe even the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis).
- Learn more about Scotland's Dark Skies - we have a downloadable toolkit and video tutorials to help you stargaze in Scotland.
Uncover Glenlivet and Tomintoul.
Highland Wildlife Park
What do polar bears, macaque monkeys, amur tigers and wary wolves all have in common? You'll find them all at the Highland Wildlife Park at Kincraig.
- The park is now open again, but everyone must book online in advance to ensure safe visits for all.
- With the park having been closed in recent times, donations and animal adoptions are always most welcome to support the charity-funded park.
Loch Insh Watersports
Nestled in the stunning Kincraig countryside, Loch Insh Outdoor Centre is home to a fantastic range of watersports and activities that the whole family will love. Open for day tickets at the moment, this gorgeous Lochside location also features a rustic Boathouse beer garden, serving up a variety of delicious takeaway dishes - the perfect refuel after a day on the water! Get involved in…
- Mountain biking
Visit Loch Insh Outdoor Centre.
Highland Folk Museum
In the amazing Highland Folk Museum, you will be able to step back in time and catch a unique glimpse into 18th century Highland life, at this amazing open air museum, which stretches a mile long, near Newtonmore.
Here's a little more about it:
- Learn how Scottish Highlanders lived, how they built their homes, dressed and more.
- Meet the Highland cows that happily greet visitors at the museum who graze in the nearby fields surrounding the museum.
Drive the Snow Roads Scenic Route
The Snow Roads Scenic Route passes through some of the finest elements of the eastern Cairngorms National Park. At 90 miles in length, the route owes its name to the highest public road in Britain, and boasts some of the wildest, most dramatic Highland scenery imaginable. It's also a route where you can really take your time to soak in the views . Take a picnic and enjoy the stellar viewpoints, admire the art installations along the way, or stay overnight for a relaxed winter week-end:
- Still by Angus Ritchie is a mirrored boxlike feature overlooking Tomintoul which you can stand inside.
- The Watchers by John Kennedy at Corgarff are seats which stand at over 2.2 metres in height and feature a hand-crafted seat made from Scottish Larch.
- Connecting Contours features a perfectly situated stand where you can expertly position your device or camera and take an envy-inducing shot from the infamous 'Devil's Elbow' looking down into Glenshee. Don't forget to tag #snowroads.
Uncover the Snow Roads Scenic Route.
Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve
The Muir of Dinnet is a beautiful place to explore, with connections to Scotland's ancient past as well as plenty of natural beauty to admire.
- There are several walking trails and paths to explore through a diverse landscape of wetlands, woods and moors. It's a haven for wildlife with dragonflies and damselflies to spot in the summer and birdlife on Loch Kinord.
- The Kinord Pictish Stone can be found here. A Pictish Christian monument dating back centuries, with a beautiful, ornate Celtic cross covering the stone.
- Explore the geological pothole, the Burn o' Vat. Please be mindful of physical distancing as you make your way through the narrow crack in the rock to see this natural wonder.
Find out more facts about the Cairngorms National Park.
With so many places to visit across Scotland, will you head to one of your favourites or try somewhere new?