What I love about the Cairngorms
I’ve enjoyed many great adventures in the Cairngorms National Park, from walking on forest trails and low level paths to Munro hikes, and also mountain biking, road cycling, downhill skiing, ski touring and Canadian canoeing. I reveal 10 great things to do in the Cairngorms.
A bit about the Cairngorms
The Cairngorms National Park was founded in 2003 in north-east Scotland. It is the second of two national parks established by the Scottish Parliament, after Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.
The Cairngorms National Park covers an area of 4,528 km2 (1,748 square mile) and takes in the regions of Aberdeenshire, Moray, Highland, Angus and Perth and Kinross Regions. The landscape is wide and varied including glens, hills, mountains, a large unique upland plateau, forests, rivers and lochs.
The main outdoors town is Aviemore and it takes around 2.5 to 3 hours to reach by car or train from Glasgow or Edinburgh.
Top 10 outdoors activities in the Cairngorms
1 Trail running
There are so many off-road routes criss-crossing the Cairngorms National Park but a couple of my favourites for trail runs include the paths of Rothiemurchus, near Aviemore, especially around Loch an Eilein and the Speyside Way between Aviemore and Boat of Garten (get the Strathspey steam train one way if you fancy a shorter run!).
2 Munro bagging
There are close to 60 Munros in the Cairngorms National Park, not to mention the many Munro tops, Corbetts and other mountains and hills. I have enjoyed bagging most of the Munros, including Sgor Gaoith and Mullach Clach a Bhlair, as well as Glas Tulaichean and Carn an Righ. I still have around 12 to summit and I’m looking forward to the challenge and the amazing views.
3 Canoe the Spey
Spirit of the Spey guide Canadian canoe trips on the River Spey. These trips offer a lovely perspective of the landscape and wildlife and because you travel in pairs they are not too daunting.
4 Ski touring
When the snow comes, many people head to Cairngorm Mountain Resort. I have also enjoyed a couple of stunning ski tours in the Cairngorms. Getting off the beaten track on skis is an amazing thing to do.
5 Road cycling
There are many quiet roads to explore by bike and at cycling speed you se the perfect amount of countryside. There are quite few hills to ride up but the rewards come in some fabulous descents, including the ride down the Cairngorm ski road on a bike
6 Cycle Sportive
Taking part in a sportive offers the chance to experience new routes and to ride with other like-minded people. Take a look at the Etape Royale in the Cairngorms for example.
7 Mountain biking
8 Llama trekking
Llama trekking is perfect for families. Take a walk with these furry beasts and learn how they are cared for, their likes and dislikes and why they are living in the Cairngorms. See Llama trekking.
9 Tree climbing
Another great family activity is Treezone Aerial Adventure at Rothiemurchus. It’s also a fun activity for grown-ups!
10 Winter skills course
Walking in winter demands a range of more specialist skills such as knowing how to use crampons and ice aces and survival should something go wrong.
Glenmore Lodge is one of a number of places that offer winter skills courses in the Cairngorms.
See VisitCairngorms and #visitcairngorms