The Cairngorm National Park is a 452 800 ha Wildlife sancuary in Scotland. Although there are over 17000 people living and working within the National Park, it is incredible to see how it is being managed so well. With breath-taking scenery and amazing activities to get involved in, this is a stop worth making!
Here is a short video of my travels Exploring the Cairngorm National Park.
I tried to go on a budget and for three days really had an experience that could as easily been spent on a meal out in town. That included the running costs of my vehicle and a trip up the Cairngorm Mountain Funicular.
Here is the video from that experience too – AMAZING!
The roads around the Cairngorm National park are in very good condition. There is a main road which splits the park on the West side but doesn’t really interfere with the National Park at all. It is a way of getting to your destination quickly if you had one place in mid that you wanted to visit.
If you are like me and want to explore, there are many little side roads that lead into the forest or mountains. Many lead no-where and you have to make a u-turn, but they are little glimpses of how beautiful this National Park is.
Activities range from seeing wildlife in the Highlands Wildlife park, visiting the Reindeer or taking a ride on a dog sledge. You can go on Land Rover tours, Argocat tours, or just visit the little towns and villages and admire architecture that has stood for many years.
If you like your hill walking this is the place to come. Walking into the interior of the park will require some experience as it is a remote place and requires appropriate clothing and footwear along with provisions. There are guides offering their services to take you up and around these parts.
Aviemore, Lecht and Glenshee offer skiing in the winter. There are some great runs I was told and although not a skier myself it certainly gave you an amazing view from the top of the slopes!
There is rafting too, and plenty of places to mountain bike. So something for everyone.
Watch out for the wildlife. You may see the endangered Red Squirrel or an Osprey returning from their stay away in Africa during the winter months. Get up early and see the sun rise on a landscape that is being managed perfectly and get some morning scenery on your camera.
In total for the 3 days I visited I drove approximately 311 miles. That was starting early and finishing late. Taking every small road I could find and missing some too! I think if I was to visit I would target different areas of the Cairngorm National Park. Perhaps the wildlife park and Aviemore one season and then the Northern and North Eastern Spey side for the distillery trips. Then the South Eastern.
Obviously if you are hiking, you will be here for a long time. It is huge and there are well marked paths as well as wild spots too. Camping areas are located around the park for that all important hot shower.
I stayed at the Cairngorm Lodge Youth Hostel and can only sing their praises. The old lodge has some history too (but you’ll have to visit to find out). The beds were comfortable and the location was great for being outside of town and near to the slopes. A peaceful area set in the woods. You will need to pay for wifi though as it is through satellite.
Braemar is the home of Balmoral Castle. You cannot get a great view of it from the road, but you can visit the castles in the area. Don’t stop where you like either as it is a fast road that could cause some serious accidents!
Another castle I visited was Drumin Castle near GlenLivet and had a walk around, but you can watch the video by clicking Drumin Castle.
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Have you been, want to add a story or adventure, then why not push back and give us your take on how amazing this place is. (or just click Cairngorm National Park)
If you have photos or videos you want to send to me to be part of the gallery, please email me at [email protected] and I’ll add them to the gallery.