The Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms National Park

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The Cairngorms is simply inspiring!

It has something for everyone, from exploring nature and wildlife in the mountains, to adventures in ancient woodlands or taking a dip in one of our freshwater Lochs.  

The Cairngorms National Park has spectacular landscapes from wild, high mountains, to heather moorlands, magnificent forests, lowland farms and crofts, wetlands and rivers which wind through the flood plains – as the biggest and most northerly National Park in Britain, it is simply awe-inspiring.

Key activities

Walking
Activity

Walking

Set in spectacular scenery there are short low-level walks, longer hikes through woodlands and mountains,  multi-day long distance walks and mountain top routes to choose from, where ever you are in the Park.

Wildlife watching
Activity

Wildlife watching

Come to the Cairngorms to see Scotland’s rare and iconic wildlife for yourself.  Keep your eyes peeled for darting red squirrels and soaring ospreys, go out with a guide or watch from a hide – the choice is yours!

Outdoor Activities
Activity

Outdoor Activities

The Park offers something for everyone – water sports, snow sports, incredible walking and cycling routes, plus 12 golf courses. It even has the first permanent bridge-based bungee jump in the UK.

Special qualities

Special qualities

10 reasons why the Cairngorms is a special place

Adventure – Cycling and biking is one of the many ways to explore and discover the sights, nature and wildlife in the Park. All types of cycling is catered for from family-friendly routes, stunning rides on quiet roads to some of the best mountain bike trails in Scotland for all ages and abilities.


Castles & Gatherings – Explore the past by visiting our castles and historical sites, immerse yourself in the culture of the Cairngorms through our local music, ceilidhs and highland games.


Dark Skies – The Tomintoul and Glenlivet area is one of the best places to see a night sky brimming with stars. Some brilliant vantage points and vast horizons have seen the area awarded the prestigious status of International Dark Sky Park and is the most Northerly Dark Sky Park in the world and among the darkest skies in the UK!


Family Fun – The Cairngorms National Park is a world-renowned area where both residents and visitors, especially families, can enjoy an unparalleled range of outdoor recreation opportunities with something for everyone no matter what age, ability or interest.


Food & Drink – Few regions in Scotland encapsulate the traditional and world-famous cuisine of the country as well as the Cairngorms – venison from deer that range across the hills, beef from Highland cattle and hardy rare breeds, salmon and trout from pristine rivers and lochs and whisky from age-old distilleries.


Hospitality – Providing a warm welcome and exceptional experiences to people from near and far is part of our culture in the Cairngorms National Park.  Voted one of the top destinations in the world, visitors ‘love this place’.


Landscapes – The Cairngorms National Park is hugely diverse; it is a living, working landscape from the wild high mountains, to the heather moorlands and peatlands, to the magnificent forests, the farms and crofts, and the wetlands and rivers which wind through the flood plains.


Scenic Routes – Whether travelling by bike, car or on foot, there are plenty of places to stop and take in the natural beauty of the landscape.


Stories & Culture – Separated by the great bulk of the mountains, different areas of the Park have their own distinct identity and cultural traditions, but they share deep connections to the same environments. Explore Scotland’s Gaelic language through our place names and unique stories that they tell of the Park.


Wildlife – The wildlife in the National Park is outstanding. It is a stronghold for many rare and endangered species, living in some of our most natural landscapes.


Did you know?

The Cairngorms is the largest, most northerly National Park in the UK and has the highest range of mountains - sitting high above sea level you would be forgiven for thinking you were in the Arctic on some of the highest plateaux in the world. It is home to some of the most iconic wildlife species, some living high up on the mountain tops of the Park.

Wild and Wonderful

The Cairngorms is celebrated as a place of wildness. The feeling of being surrounded by wildlife and natural habitats helps us reconnect with nature, and refreshes the mind and body.  It is hard to describe the outstanding nature and landscapes of the Cairngorms National Park, its importance for the people who live and work here, the people who visit and enjoy the area and the significance of the wildlife and habitats supported by this special place.  This is a place hugely valued by many people as well as wildlife. The Cairngorms is home to a quarter of the UK’s rare and endangered species. It contains Scotland’s largest, most natural habitats and is where the country’s most ambitious, landscape-scale conservation action is taking place.  It is home to 18,500 residents and welcomes over 2 million visitors each year.

Plan your visit

Whether you are looking for adventure, fun for the whole family or a break from the everyday – the Cairngorms National Park has a lot to offer so let us help you plan your visit. Situated in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, the National Park is easy to reach by road, rail, plane or bike. We have direct train links to Inverness, Glasgow, Edinburgh and London.

Travelling on a budget

There are many things to see and do in the Park that won’t break the bank and some that are completely free.

A park for all

If you or a family member have accessibility requirements, there are plenty of easy-access paths to enjoy, accessible activities and attractions to visit as well as accessible facilities and services available to you. For more information visit Access for All in the Cairngorms National Park. We look forward to welcoming you to our special place!

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