Advice/ideas for Cairngorms trip please

  • Thank you Ian, I noted the smiley face but was still Mmmm, unsure. I also did not know about the spelling of Whisky (Scots) and Whiskey (Irish), you live and learn. Cheers, no pun intended!

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  • Whenever we've visited the Cairngorms, we've stayed around Nethy Bridge (not far from Aviemore).  Lots of nice walking in the area (check the Walk Highlands website for suggested walks). A walk on Cairngorm itself may get you Ptarmigan, Loch Insh for Osprey (you can get pics at Loch Insh, Loch Garten nest is too far away from the centre even with a long lens).  The forests around Loch Garten are good, all manner of interesting stuff there.  The steam railway in Aviemore does meals on the train (dinner in the evening or afternoon tea for example) which is lovely if you have a date to celebrate.  A bit of a trek over to the coast, but Troup Head is basically Bempton Cliffs with no people (the car park takes around 6 cars!).  That's all June stuff though, we've not been earlier in the year

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  • Hi Christine

    Bear in mind that Aviemore is a very well-known name on the way north (or south), and in my experience the prices do reflect this in the town. I’m sure you will, but perhaps you’d be wise to check prices in the likes of Kingussie or Newtonmore (or other as have been mentioned) as you may find the same level of accommodation at a reduced cost.

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  • In reply to Paul A:

    Hi Paul and thanks for taking the time to reply. We have now booked a lovely hotel in Carrbridge which is a quietish place but pretty central for setting off from. We did want to avoid the centre of Aviemore.

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  • In reply to Whistling Joe:

    Thanks for that Whistling Joe - we have now booked a hotel in Carrbridge which is between Aviemore and Grantown on Spey - pretty central for setting off from. We decided on June in the end so that we would have more daylight and with a bit of luck, better weather. Thanks for the tip about Loch Insh as opposed to the Loch Garten nest. I quite like the sound of dinner on the train too (especially as I will have just had one of those birthdays!!)

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  • Christine, one thing to note is that your sat nav may not work perfectly around the area. When I was last there in 2017 at one junction my car sat nav said "turn left" and my phone said "turn right"! When chatting to locals about this, they said that being misdirectetd by sat nav was not uncommon. Ian
  • Hi Christine, I'm no expert on the Cairn Gorms, though I have visited many times over the years an hoping to make a visit (the first post major surgery) in April.

    But, one thing I do know, from June onward, those nasty little midges are out to feast on any blood they can find!

    That aside, it is a lovely part of the country and one I'm having deep withdrawal symptoms from, and one where I've had the pleasure to to enjoy the mountains as well as the valleys during my more mobile days.

    I've stayed in Kingussie, which is just off the A9, a quiet lovely little village, and a little further west is Newtonmore, another lovely place. Aviemore is a bit more busier, but also an interesting place to wander around, and if you like the hustle and bustle, Inverness is an interesting place to visit.

    Loch Ness, Loch Inch and many other Lochs and places are worth visiting. If you wish to travel further north, then the long drive to John O'Groats is a fabulous drive once you get north of Wick.

    The Highland Folk Museum just outside Newtonmore, is a fabulous place to visit, and you can enjoy almost spending a full day there, looking at how Highland folk used to live in their Crofts and slightly more modern buildings.

    Whisky.......

    Hmmmm, lovely....

    There are lots of distilleries, many of which do tours and a complimentary shot of their own whisky. We did the Dalwhinnie Distillery tour, and I have to say, I was taken aback on how smooth the Dalwhinnie Single Malt was, is....

    Sadly the Funicular is not operational up Cairn Gorm, or I would suggest taking a ride up and having a cuppa and nibble from the Ptarmigan Cafe, taking in the views around, looking down on the world. However, if you're feeling adventurous, and assuming the Ptarmigan Cafe is still open, you could walk up Cairn Gorm, but it is a good long steep walk, as an ex-mountaineer, I'd advise all weather gear and plenty of sustainable rations to keep you going up. Remember once up there, you've got to get back down!

    However, there is a nice cafe in the Ski Centre, which is a lot less energetic, and very close to the car park.

    I can't comment on the nature reserves, never having visited any, but I'll certainly be making a visit or two, or three, when we're up there in April.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to Mike B:

    Hi Mike and thanks for all the info in your post. Dalwhinnie is one of my husband's favourite whiskies so I have a feeling we may end up doing the tour of that distillery! It sounds as though I may need to take my jungle strength insect repellant with me too. You've given us lots of ideas there - I'm really looking forward to the trip.

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  • In reply to ChristineB:

    ChristineB said:
    jungle strength insect repellant

    I have read that Avon 'skin so softly' products can help repel the little blighters too Christine!

     

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