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5 great walks while staying at Lagganlia in the Cairngorms

Written by Fiona

July 10 2019

A short break at Lagganlia, in Feshiebridge, near Kincraig in the Cairngorms offered the opportunity to explore the area on foot. I have visited the Cairngorms numerous times and again I was delighted by the variety of walking routes and trails for all types of people.

Anderson self catering lodge at Lagganlia.
Anderson self catering lodge at Lagganlia.

What is Lagganlia?

Lagganlia Centre for Outdoor Education is owned by City of Edinburgh Council and used for school residential groups, as well as trips by the Scouts etc. The VisitScotland 3-star activity centre is also available for booking by private groups with a range of self-catering lodges, a main house and also a number of camping pods to choose from. There is also a wealth of on-site outdoor activities to try.

Hot tub at the rear of Anderson lodge.
Hot tub at the rear of Anderson lodge.
Cute sleeping pods at Lagganlia.
Cute camping pods at Lagganlia.

I stayed with friends in the four-bedroom Anderson Lodge, with a bathroom, shower room, kitchen and living-dining room. This is a back-to-basics kind of accommodation with bunkbeds and utilitarian facilities but there is everything that you need and it’s clean and simple.

Find out who Anderson was.

As my friend Ellen pointed out: “Sometimes you stay in places where you are so worried about messing something up or a child breaking an item that you can’t relax. This style of accommodation is perfect for families and friends because it’s set up to be robust and durable, yet with everything you could want.”

The addition of a new hot tub on the back decking was truly a bonus. We had not expected to use it but we all found it very attractive to relax in the warm bubbling water after a day of outdoors exercise.

A barbecue hut at Lagganlia.
A barbecue hut at Lagganlia.

We made full use of the kitchen, although we wished we had brought barbecue food and utilised a nearby BBQ hut. Oh well, next time…

To conclude, the accommodation is practical and relaxing to spend time in and comes with all the basic essentials.

20% discount

Take advantage of a 20% discount at Lagganlia with this special code: FIONAOUTDOORS20. Use it at the booking stage.

Natural Cairngorms. Credit: Herbert

Where to walk close to Lagganlia

I have chosen a range of walks, suitable for different people and timescales.

Uath Lochans.
Uath Lochans. Credit: Graeme Churchard

Uath Lochans loops

There are two waymarked trails to follow at the beautiful lochans.

Start: Both walks start at Uath Lochans Forestry Commission car park in Glen Feshie.

Tranquil Uath Lochans. Andrew Tryon

Uath Lochans Trail

Distance: 1.5 miles

Time: An hour.

Follow a path with mostly gentle gradients and a few slightly steeper sections on a gravel path – as well as boardwalk sections – around the main loch and through lovely woodland.

Farleitter Crag Trail

Distance: 2.5 miles

Time: 1.5 hours

This is a hillier route with steeper slopes but the surface is generally good and the rewards are the views. There are lots ofl trees, rocky outcrops and a superb panorama over the Spey valley and the Glen Feshie hills.

truim falls
Falls of Truim. Credit: Jennifer Jones
truim falls
Truim waterfalls. Credit: Peter Bond

Falls of Truim

Distance: 5.5 miles

Time: 2 to 3 hours

Start: Falls of Truim car park, just off the A9

To reach the start of the trail you need to walk back from the car park along the road towards the A9 and take a turning to Crubenbeg. You’ll spot a kissing gate and a signpost for the Falls of Truim.

The Falls are pretty and it’s worth taking the time to stop for a while to enjoy the views. The route continues through lovely countryside towards Truim Woods and a viewpoint.

In total, the route takes in around 300m or so of ascent. It also provides great views of many Cairngorm mountains and lochs.

Sculpture Park. Credit: Herbert
Great views. Credit: Herbert

Kincraig to Aviemore, East Highland Way

Distance: 10.5 miles

Time: 3.5 to 5 hours

Start: Kincraig Post Office.

The final section of the 82-mile East Highland Way offers a surprisingly flattish walk of 10.5 miles from Kincraig to Aviemore.

The walk is not signposted so you do need to have map and compass for navigation (also download a GPX of the route via a website like Walk Highlands).

Early on in the walk there is a chance for a short detour to see the impressive Frank Bruce sculpture park before reaching Inshriach National Nature Reserve.

Tree-lined paths. Credit: Herbert
Atmospheric woodlands. Credit: Herbert
Great trees. Credit: Herbert

Inshriach  Forest is an important area for endangered capercaillie, the world’s largest grouse. Walkers must keep dogs on leads here because of the capercaillie. Keep a keen eye on the countryside to catch a rare sighting of these birds.

Then it is on towards Loch Gamha and the popular path around Loch an Eilein. There is a ruined castle on an island in the picturesque loch.

Before reaching Aviemore, where you can get a bus or a taxi back to Kincraig, there are the fabulous Caledonian Pines of Rothiemurchus to enjoy.

Meall a' Bhuachaille
Meall a’ Bhuachaille with friends.
A clear signpost at the start of Meall a' Bhuachaille.
A clear signpost at the start of Meall a’ Bhuachaille.
The obvious path on  Meall a' Bhuachaille.
The obvious path on Meall a’ Bhuachaille.

A Corbett: Meall a’ Bhuachaille

Distance: 5 miles

Time: 2.5 to 4 hours

Start: Glenmore Forest Park visitor centre

A wonderfully accessible walk that does not require the usual “long walk in” of many other Cairngorm mountains yet still offers wonderful views, the Corbett Meall a’ Bhuachaille is a great half-day outing.

I have walked this at last twice and via a clockwise circular route. I think clockwise from the visitor centre is the easier way to ascend this mountain.

Heading to the summit of  Meall a' Bhuachaille.
Heading to the summit of Meall a’ Bhuachaille.
Gorgeous green lochan.
Gorgeous green lochan.
More wonderful woodlands.
More wonderful woodlands.

The summit of 810m is reached by a very obvious path, first through tall trees of the Queen’s Forest and via Allt Coire Chondaich and then on to more open slopes.

The gradient rarely lets up and is steep in places but it’s short and manageable, even for children.

On my most recent walk there were young children setting a good pace on the climb up.

A large cairn and a low-walled stone shelter are found at the top. I usually descend to the east on a steeper rockier path before reaching Ryvoan bothy and joining the flatter track through Ryvoan Pass and past the curious “green loch”, An Lochan Uaine.

There are all sorts of theories as to why the water is a beautiful shade of green.

Walking on Sgor Gaoith.
Walking on Sgor Gaoith.
Closing in on the summit of Walking on Sgor Gaoith.
Closing in on the summit of Walking on Sgor Gaoith.

The Munro: Sgor Gaoith

Distance: Around 8 miles

Time: 4 to 5.5 hours

Start: Allt Ruadh bridge, Glen Feshie.

Sgor Gaoith is a fairly straightforward Munro located only a few miles from Lagganlia. It can be walked as an out-and-back route or as Walk Highlands suggests as a loop. 

The first section follows a well-trodden track that through a pine planation before joining a narrower path to ascend through more beautiful trees, including beech and Scots pines.

On reaching more open moorland, the path climbs at a steeper incline and fairly directly towards the summit. You can’t see the top until you gain a higher point but the views are rewarding over an ever-widening landscape of Badenoch further below.

View over beautiful Loch Einich from the summit of Sgor Gaoith.
View over beautiful Loch Einich from the summit of Sgor Gaoith.
View over beautiful Loch Einich from the summit of Sgor Gaoith.
The craggy summit of Sgor Gaoith.
Stunning Scots pines.

You will easily see the Munros of the Monadhliath to the north-west. The path comes and goes a bit higher up the slope but in fine weather it’s easy to see the right direction.

It is not until you are almost upon the summit that you become aware of the stunningly dramatic setting on the edge of precipitous crags that fall away to beautiful Loch Einich far below.

The views from the 1118m top are breath-taking.

The easier option for the return is to retrace your steps. For more of a loop, follow a rougher path that descends tot the north-west along a wide and rough ridge, undulating over a couple of high points and bealachs.

A heathery slope from the summit of Geal Charn is rather frustrating, although as soon as you meet the well-trodden path back to the car park again it is soon forgotten.

Find out more

Check out Walk Highlands for more walks in the area and see Experience Outdoors for details of Lagganlia.

See a blog about another Experience Outdoors property near Dunoon on the Cowal Peninsula.

20% discount

Take advantage of a 20% discount at Lagganlia with this special code: FIONAOUTDOORS20. Use it at the booking stage.

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