What is it and where is it?
The Cairngorms National Park Scotland is a 5,400 square metre area in the Highlands of Scotland. Visitors can access the park from a variety of towns and settlements, with one of the most popular access points being Aviemore which boasts a variety of accommodation for visitors to the park.
The best things to do in Cairngorm National Park Scotland
The Cairngorms National Park Scotland is a paradise for adventure seekers, families, wildlife observers, but also for people who would just like to leave the “normal” world behind for a day, a weekend or even a couple of weeks. Here are ten of the top 10 activities and sights in the Cairngorms National Park Scotland:
- Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore: This visitor attraction received the best visitor attraction award in 2010, and is very popular with people who would like to learn more about the history of Scotland without getting bored. The Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore is a great example of living history, i.e. you get to see reproductions of historic buildings like cottages and a school house. This will make it a lot easier to imagine what life has been like in the past. Adults and children alike will love it!
- Tomatin Distillery: If you would like to visit a distillery, then the Tomatin Distillery in the Cairngorms National Park is a good choice. Not only is it one of the highest distillery in the country, but it also offers you a good insight into the working methods of a distillery and the history behind it.
- The Speyside Centre: People with an interest in gardens should not miss the chance to visit this fantastic centre that has quite a few things to offer to their visitors. The Speyside Centre has a gift shop, teaches visitors about heather, offers a lovely art gallery and an antique shop, and also has a wildlife viewing area. The Speyside Centre also offers excellent food, so you might want to plan your visit around lunch time.
- Loch Garten Osprey Centre: Bird lovers will love a visit to the Loch Garten Osprey Centre. It will give you the unique chance to get a really good look at the life of the Osprey. The Loch Garten Osprey Centre installed CCTV cameras close to nesting sites of the birds, so you will be able to see the birds breeding and feeding their chicks without having to disturb the birds by intruding into their zone. The best time for a visit is from April to August. There are also guided walks available.
- Highland Wildlife Park: A visit to the Highland Wildlife Park is undoubtedly one of the highlights during a visit to the Cairngorms National Park Scotland. In the park, you can see pine martens, red deer and otters amongst other wild animals. You can explore the Highland Wildlife Park in one of the vehicles that the park provides, walk around or book one of the park’s Landrover tours.
- Braemar Castle: Braemar Castle is the only castle in Scotland that is operated by the community. Local guides offer daily tours (check for times before your visit). This castle is a good example of a castle that is still well maintained.
- Kildrummy Castle: Unlike Braemar Castle, Kildrummy Castle is a ruin. It is well worth a visit as much of the castle can still be seen, and the scenery surrounding it is also worth a visit.
- Funicular Railway – Cairngorm Mountain: The funicular railway takes visitors up to 1097m. This fun railway ride is a safe option for people to go up on the mountain without having to worry about the weather and equipment. There are various options, e.g. walking up to the summit and then taking the train down to the bottom, or just going for a train ride. The Funicular Railway also offers an exhibition, wild gardens, and plenty of expert knowledge about Cairngorm Mountain and the surrounding area.
- The Cairngorm Reindeer Centre: If you ever wanted to get close to a reindeer, then the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre gives you the chance to do just that. A ranger will lead you on the way to the only free-ranging reindeer herd in Britain. There is also an option to go on a half day trek, leading your very own reindeer (for half a day only, of course).
- Camera Obscura – Cairngorm Mountain: The Camera Obscura is a fantastic option for a rainy, cold day. The entry is free, but the attraction is only open during the summer months. It would be ideal to combine a visit to the Camera Obscura with a ride on the funicular railway as it is close by.
Luxury self catering in the park
Kirkstone Lodge – Sleeps 8 – with Hot Tub & Sauna
Hillview Cottage – Sleeps 14 – with Hot Tub