Cairngorm Hills and Highland Life
‘ Fantastic scenery and views both at loch level and from the viewpoint on Cairn Gorm mountain. ’
The Cairngorms National Park is traversed by very few roads and is therefore able to preserve its natural beauty and habitat. On a fair day the scenery and views in the park are exceptional. At the lower levels ancient Caledonian pinewoods run down to the loch shore whilst from the mountain viewpoint, uninterrupted vistas radiate towards the distant Nevis Range.
Sightings of mountain hare, red squirrel and red deer are all possible though wild animals are seldom predictable. Ptarmigan, pine martin and capercaillie are around but are far more elusive.
This tour will be tailored to suit your hotel location and your personal interests / preferences. Refreshment and lunch stops are planned for places of interest or good viewpoints.
Meet up and collection at your Hotel.
- A9 heading North (Photo stops)
We take in classic stunning Perthshire views all along the route to the Cairngorms National Park crossing its southern boundary at Blair Atholl. A hamlet noted for its traditional highland castle and backdrop of Carn Liath mountain
- Glen Garry and The Pass of Drumochter
Our route follows General Wade’s military road through this desolate mountain pass, guarded by two opposed mountain peaks called the ‘Sow of Atholl’ and the ‘Boar of Badenoch’
- The Highland Folk Museum - Kingussie (Museum visit)
Visit the 80 acre site of a living museum that shows how life used to be in the highlands for the people, their livestock and the buildings. Recreation of their 1730’s township was used as a film set for Outlander.
- Ruthven Barracks (Photo stop)
A prominent large ruined barracks built originally to house government troops sent to pacify the Highland Clans after the 1715 rebellion. It now stands guard over the sprawling Insh Marshes nature reserve.
- Glenmore and Loch Morlich (Photo stop) (Lunch stop)
A stunning location in amongst the native Caledonian pinewoods of Rothiemurcus that surround the sandy shores of Loch Morlich. From the loch side (where we normally have the picnic lunch) you get great views of loch, the peak Cairn Gorm and the surrounding mountains
- The Reindeer Centre (Exhibition and paddocks visit)
A short visit to the paddock/exhibition to see an animal that really enjoys the harsh Scottish winters. The main herd of over 100 reindeers is free roaming across the adjacent mountains
- Cairn Gorm Mountain (Photo stop)
A drive part way up the side of the mountain, Cairn Gorm (+1,345m) to experience the far reaching vistas over the National Park and Loch Morlich. Windy days are even more exciting!!
- Boat of Garten (Photo stop)
A short visit to the RSPB nature reserve to see the ospreys (April to August) and other native species. Also a chance to maybe see the steam engines of the nearby preserved Strathspey Railway
- Carrbridge Photo stop
View the Old Packhorse Bridge near Bogroy - possibly the best surviving example of a Scottish stone arch bridge, this one being built in 1717 over the River Dulnain, by mason John Niccelsone.
Depending on weather conditions and time on reaching Boat of Garten an alternative route back south may be available as outlined below. If not available return route would be a reverse of the morning route on the A9 but via Aviemore and Dalwhinnie.
- Bridge of Brown, Tomintoul and Cock Bridge (Photo stops)
This scenic route south (sometimes impassable in autumn / winter) passes through these villages before tackling the intimidating hill descent at Cock Bridge. The countryside varies between scree clad hills and heather grouse moors before giving way to the lovely green Scots pine forests of Deeside.
- The highland village of Braemar (Photo stop)
A small highland village made famous for its 900 year old Highland Gathering held each September attended by the Royal Family. Just outside the village we pass the 17th century Braemar Castle.
- Glen Shee and the Cairnwell Pass (Photo stop)
The route takes us over the highest ‘A road’ pass in Scotland (the Cairnwell Pass) past the ski slopes of Glen Shee and then drops down towards Bridge of Cally and Blairgowrie, the berry capital of Perthshire. Interesting views all the way.
Return to your Hotel
The price for this tour is £175 per person.
This price includes:
- Collection and return to your hotel
- Luxury tour transport
- Mid morning coffee and shortbread
- Al-fresco picnic lunch (see menu)
- Mid afternoon tea and pastries
- Entry fees at tour visit stops
- Tour information pack
Tour timings are flexible to suit your day though normally within the window;
Pick up 8.45am
Approx tour mileage is 195 miles (315km)