Planning a vacation in the Cairngorm mountain resort in Scotland, with all the activities available can be a great choice.
The Cairngorms activities mentioned in my list are all located in the eastern area of the Scottish Highlands. Inverness is the main town in the area about 40 miles north.
Although the Cairngorm range of mountains take the name from the mountain of the same name Cairn Gorm, it is not the highest in the range as many people think.
That honour goes to Ben Macdui at 4,295 feet (1,309m) and Cairn Gorm 4,081 feet (1,244m). Ben Macdui is the second highest in the UK with Ben Nevis the highest of course.
Of the places to stay in Cairngorms area, most folk will arrive at and stay at Aviemore just off the main route north on the A9.
Here you can find hotels with bed and breakfast as well as self-catering accommodation places to stay.
Cairngorms National Park Things to Do – My 7 Suggested Activities
The park has something to suit all tastes for all seasons and age groups. I have made a list of suggestions that will suit all members of the family.
- Cairngorms for Skiing, Snowboarding and Sledging
- Trip on the Cairngorm Mountain Funicular Railway
- Leisure Cycling and Mountain Biking Aviemore
- Cairngorm Mountain Resort Reindeer Centre
- Cairngorms Hiking – Best Walks In Scotland
- Cairngorms National Park For Wildlife Watching
- Loch Morlich the Beach in the Highlands
Cairngorms for Skiing, Snowboarding and Sledging
For skiers and snowboarders the Cairngorm mountain resort offers some of the best skiing in Scotland. It is the second largest of the ski resorts with Glenshee further to the east being the largest. The Gorm as it is more often called has built a reputation of having good reliable snow.
Accessibility is excellent being only 10 minute away from Aviemore the main holiday resort town. The funicular train plus 12 lifts are great for getting you up on the top to begin your runs. Plus the welcome facilities of the Ptarmigan restaurant at the Top Station offers some tasty bites and beverages.
The great thing for the novice is the amount of equipment and clothing available for hire. Having got yourself up to the top and you fancied having a go at snowboarding, skiing or perhaps even a bit of sledging now’s your chance. Even have some professional tutoring from the instructors who are available for hire. Perhaps pre-booking in advance would be best to avoid disappointment.
Trip on the Cairngorm Mountain Funicular Railway
For those unable or who don’t have the time to do the accent up Cairn Gorm Mountain an excellent option is a trip on the Funicular Railway. This will whisk you up to the Top Station to feast your eyes on the spectacular surrounding views. Just bear in mind that unless you are going skiing etc. or with an organised party of hill walkers, you won’t be allowed to venture out onto the mountain.
Pop into the Ptarmigan Restaurant for a refreshing drink and a bite to eat either indoors or out in the viewing terrace. You can even pop your postcards into the highest post box anywhere in the UK at a height of 3,500 feet.
It can be quite a surprise as you meet others up at the top here with clothing not normally associated with having climbed to these altitudes. The normal seasoned hill walker at these levels would be dressed quite different and of course would be more heavily laden. And yet here we are having got here in around 30 minutes.
Certainly it will be that much cooler up here and depending on the time of year you choose to go up, could be a different country altogether. So dress accordingly.
Leisure Cycling and Mountain Biking Aviemore
Cycling has become a popular pursuit in the area with a selection of trails available.
These routes can open up a great area to explore the views as well as the wildlife.
There is a variety of surfaces which include, the tarmacked ones suitable for leisure cycling and paths that take you through the forest trails.
The tarmacked paths are ideal for families although it’s wise to plan routes prior to setting off to ensure that it’s not too hilly or to long for all members of the group.
The forest trails on the other hand offer some great challenges of jumps etc. Just what the cyclists in this group seek out while mountain biking.
Cairngorm Mountain Resort Reindeer Centre
A visit to see the 100 or so strong herd of Cairngorm reindeer can be a worthwhile trip especially for the children.
There is a choice of going up the mountain to see them in their natural habitat or see them in the paddock lower down. Obviously you need to take into account the ages of the children and the ability of your party which choice to make.
Reindeer are majestic animals with a calm temperament that enjoy being stroked and will be more than happy to allow you to feed them.
Cairngorms Hiking – Best Walks In Scotland
Cairngorms hiking and walking trails are plentiful and a popular activity of many visitors.
Whether you prefer to walk between some of the local Highland villages in the area or taking in some of the many hiking trails like the Lairig Ghru, there are plenty to choose from.
Hiking through the many hill tracks of the Cairngorms require some experience and the proper equipment. Equipment should include maps and compass as well as suitable clothing and footwear.
The weather can change quite suddenly in these hills so you need to keep an eye open and be aware of the changing weather.
Munroe baggers will be on their element here. As the Cairngorms National Park offers more than 50 of the 282 Monroe’s in Scotland to add to their list. Among them are the two mentioned earlier, Cairn Gorm and Ben Macdui. Munroe’s are Scottish mountains over 3000 feet.
Cairngorms National Park For Wildlife Holidays Scotland
As our natural species of wildlife in the UK diminishes such as plants, insects and animals the Cairngorms National Park can proudly boast to be home to 25 per cent of them.
Not so remarkable you might think until you bear in mind that the park is barely 2% of the whole UK area.
Indeed some of these self-same species cannot be found outside of the park. So it offers a haven for those trying to seek them out. They range from the more well-known wildlife that live in the park, such as the Pine Marten, Scottish Wildcat, Golden Eagle, Osprey, Capercaillie to the less well known like the Dotterel, Scottish Ccrossbill and the Black Grouse.
Artic-alpine flora which are under threat, such as the Alpine Milk-vetch, Alpine Blue-sow-thistle and the Trailing Azalea are being closely monitored by the authorities. Their aim is to educate others about the conservation needs of such plants.
Loch Morlich the Beach in the Highlands
The loch is a beautiful place to visit in all seasons of the year. Whether you want to go sightseeing or to enjoy the activities it offers.
If you are planning a visit to the area I recommend you list this among your Cairngorms National Park things to do.
Throughout the United Kingdom we have plenty of superb beaches we can visit but these are all found by the sea.
Loch Morlich is a fresh water loch with beautiful sandy beaches spread out around its shore with a backdrop of forests and the Cairngorm Mountains.
Activities on the loch include yachting and other water sports such as kite surfing and canoeing. There is a nice walk around the loch. The distance is about 3.5 miles and is well marked with marker posts.
What Cairngorm Mountain Resort Ativities Are You Planning
As you can see with the list above there is a good choice of activities available to you here.
Depending on the time you have during your visit, it might take more than just one visit to Aviemore and the Cairngorms to do them all. Still that’s no bad thing.
As the memories of your first visit will stay with you for a while and urge you to return time and time again.
This could be to do something new such as skiing and snowboarding or do some walking next time. Or even repeat what you done before once again or tackle some new walking or cycling routes.
Perhaps your visit to see the reindeer needs to be repeated. This time in winter with the young kids at Christmas time to make their Christmas that bit more special.
Perhaps Loch Morlich has left an impression on you and it needs to be revisited at another time of the year.
It may even just be the peace and quiet that the place has to offer? As with many people living their busy lives, these wild beautiful places that the Cairngorm Mountain Resort provide can recharge their batteries one more time.
If you enjoyed reading this post then you may enjoy reading this one which is quite similar, the Nevis Mountain Range Gondola which is Scotland’s only Gondola.