The Cairngorm National Park is one of the best places in the Scottish Highlands and no matter if you are staying in the heart of it at our epic, Kirkstone Lodge with its large space and awesome hot tub. Of if you are a bit more on the outskirts having one huge family and friend filled wee break at our, Hillview property, you are going to be in for an amazing time. While many people love to come here during the summer months to take part in all kinds of cool stuff such as mountain biking, rock climbing, white water rafting and many more adrenaline filled activities. The Cairngorm Mountains is during the winter one of the most beautiful places in Scotland.
There is plenty of things to get up to here and staying during the winter months is just such a different experience. Waking up in one of our gorgeous properties and looking out at the snow covered landscape is truly amazing. Just down below we are taking a wee gander at some of the really fun things that you can get up to here during the winter. Now if my family are coming here during the winter it is usually December we go, but I do know a few people who love to go at the beginning of the year as well.
The Ski School
The Ski School is just perfect if you are coming to the Cairngorms with the kids or a bunch of friends and have never been skiing before. As far as I am aware this is actually the only place in the Cairngorm Mountains that offers proper tuition to total beginners. So if you have never been skiing before then this is the place you want to go. Best of all they teach you in a fun and friendly way and will have you out on the snow pretty much right away. As well as skiing they also offer snowboarding. In my experience most kids these days are way too cool for skiing and will always pick snowboards. I used to love skateboarding when I was a kid and I thought the skills that I had some 15 years ago would serve me well with snowboarding……… let’s just say they did not. They offer a number of different packages here so be sure to do some proper digging around their site before you book.
This is probably my favourite place to go and each December I always try to get up here for a weekend. Lecht 2090 has plenty of different runs and it is just ideal for those of you who have actually been skiing or snowboarding before. What I really love about this place is how they cater for people who are new to this type of thing, people who know what they are doing and people like me….. which is classed as people who think they know what they are doing. It has a real ski lodge type of feel to it here and having a few drinks and some good food after or during a wee refreshment break is very nice. They do offer some tuition here so if you are a bit rusty or are not to confident then I recommend checking this out the staff are all really nice and will bend over backwards to help you out. I would say if you want the proper ski resort type of experience, but without having to spend a fortune going to the states then this is as close as you are going to get to it. I really cannot praise this place highly enough and I am already trying to come up with a scheme for why we need to go here this year.
Wow did I have a hard time selling this one to my boys, but by the end of the day they were really enjoying themselves and had stopped moaning about not being able to go snowboarding. Nordic Skiing is basically going on a long and exciting trek, but on skis. You get to see the Cairngorms in a very interesting way and it is actually pretty exciting. The really cool thing about a session of this is that it is catered to you. So if you are doing this with your mates who are all super fit then you can fly through and make this an exciting kind of workout. Whereas if you are like me and are doing this with the kids then they will make sure the trek is more slow paced and all about having fun. One thing I will tell you is that is bloody tiring and you will certainly be well and truly shattered by the time the evening rolls around. Still this is a lot of fun and it is more relaxed and slow paced than what skiing or snowboarding offers. It is an activity that not too many people know about or even consider, but if you are up here for a few days then I highly recommend you look into it.
Winter Quad Bike Trek
The last one I want to suggest to you is not suitable for really young kids, but man did me and my eldest have a great time taking part in this winter quad bike trek. I have only done this once, but it is something that when my other son is a bit older we are certainly going to do again I also think that this would be something my other half would really enjoy. I have been quad biking many, many times, but doing it in winter is just so different. First of all the quad bikes handle slightly differently, especially if there is a lot of snow, but the whole, overall experience is just as cheesy as it sounds more special when the woods are covered in snow. You may even get lucky and see some wildlife, we were a bit unlucky when we did this as the group before us saw some deer, but they took off before we managed to see them.
Some Advice About Staying Here In The Winter
It Is Cold!!!!!
No duh!!! I can hear many of you saying right now, but wow is it cold up here! I am sure many people will be shocked at just how cold it can be so make sure that you pack accordingly. Buying warm winter gear does not have to be expensive as long as you stay away from the over priced brand name stuff.
Bring More Than One Pair Of Gloves
Many years ago had a lads weekend away during the winter here and I only took one pair of gloves….. they got soaking wet, I did not dry them properly and the next day I had no gloves, to say this was a huge mistake and made my day miserable is an understatement. Now I make sure that me and the kids at least have three pairs of gloves. It may sound excessive, but trust me you are better to have spare gloves and not need them than trying to brave the cold without them.
This Can Be A Very Tiring Type Of Holiday
I am not exaggerating when I say that we were already for bed by 9 PM most nights. These types of activates and I think how damn heavy winter clothing is does take a toll on you and by the time you take your snow boots off and are ready to relax in one of our epic properties, you are well and truly done in. Kirkstone Lodge has a hot tub and sauna and let me tell you from personal experience that hot tub is a god send after a long day on the slopes.
Rent Before You Buy
It can be tempting to get really caught up in the hype and buy a set of skis, snowboards and a whole host of other things. If you are coming here once a year or more then maybe at some point you will want your own gear. But if you are only coming here occasionally or especially if this is your first time the just rent all the gear you need.