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Scottish loch wins top tourist award

Written by Fiona June 17 2010

Beautiful Loch an Eilein. (Pic from Visit Scotland)

I love Aviemore. (I’ve written about the Scottish town and the surrounding area many times.) It’s a great place for all kinds of reasons – and for all sorts of people. But mainly I love it for the scenery and the wealth of outdoor activities on offer, both summer and winter. I think the town is my most visited destination in Scotland. And I have visited with a great range of friends, some quite outdoorsy and some extremely outdoorsy. In particular I am a fan of the nearby Cairngorms and the Rothiemurchus Estate.

Rothiemurchus is a fantastic place for walking and off-road cycling. The estate includes the largest natural forest in the UK, which is part of the ancient Caledonian forest. The ruined castle on Loch an Eilein (Loch of the Island) was the Osprey’s last refuge in the UK before their return many years later.  There is a wonderful network of trails through woodland and around lochs that could see you whiling away days with the family or friends.

And now other people are recognising Rothiemurchus as a great destination. A recent  competition saw Loch an Eilein being voted as the UK’s favourite picnic spot. The stunning loch received an unprecedented number of votes from around the UK in the competition run by  by Warburtons.

Rothiemurchus beat off some stiff competition for the title of Britain’s Best Picnic Spot including other regional winners, Stewart Park in the North East, Hollingwoth Lake in the North West, Carnon Hall Park in Yorkshire, Park Hall in the Midlands, Greenwich Park in London, Bridge End Garden in East Anglia, Southsea Common in the South East, Gnoll Country Park in Wales and Mallards Pike Lake in the South West.

Philippa Grant, of Rothiemurchus, is clearly delighted with the accolade. She said:  “Visitors to Loch An Eilein know how very special the area is – not only as a picnic spot for our visitors – but also as home to rare species of wildlife, many of which are unique to this area. And now the special place has been named as the UK’s favourite place to picnic. We are thrilled! ”

Loch an Eilein truly is a hidden gem within the forest of Rothiemurchus. The majestic Cairngorm mountain range provides a dramatic backdrop to the area and highlights the romantic castle ruin situated in the middle of the loch.

Philippa added: “Winning an award such as this, allows important messages about caring for our wonderful living landscape to reach a wider audience across the UK.  This amazing scenery is a result of hundreds of years of commitment to the exceptional bio-diversity in Rothiemurchus.  It takes dedication and long-term planning to enable 125 species of birds, 27 species of animal and 400 species of flowers, among many others, to thrive here.”

Now you know where to head this summer!

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