Walks in the Cairngorms
The Cairngorms National Park is my favourite area in the Highlands of Scotland for walking, hiking and backpacking activities. You will be sure to enjoy a guided walk and your time here.
There’s plenty walks in the Cairngorms to choose from for all abilities. From a easier walk in the forest or hiking on a mountain in the Cairngorms. If your looking for walking guides near the Highland towns of Aviemore,Boat of Garten, Grantown on Spey look no further.
On the North side of the Cairngorms National Park,lying south of Inverness is the town of Aviemore on the banks of the River Spey.
Situated in the centre of Strathspey in the national park, it’s a great base for a day or more walking. There’s plenty accommodation and places to eat out and as much walking routes you could ever want.
There is so many walking options and other activities to explore the great outdoors of the Cairngorms. The hardest part is choosing which path to walk.
Family Walks from Aviemore,Boat of Garten and Grantown on Spey
There are lots of family walks and routes for wee legs in the pine forests of Rothiemurchus and Glenmore to pick from near Aviemore.
Loch Morlich and Glenmore
Loch Morlich is stunning part of the park with its sandy beach and beautiful caledonian pine trees.The route around it is beautiful with views of Cairngorm mountain and the surrounding hills.Its easy to reach from Aviemore in around 10 minutes. There is a large car park at the Glenmore end of the loch with toilets nearby.The walking is easy and on mostly a flat path.
No visit to this part of the park is complete without a visit to the Green Loch or Lochan Uaine in the Pass of Ryvoan. The water is reputedly green because of the fairies washing their clothes in it.The walking is on good tracks and there are plenty of options to park nearby.
Visit the romantic setting of Loch a Eilien with its ruined island castle.The path is good round the loch and its a great introduction to walking for families.
This route can be extended to take in the small summit of Ord Ban.The views from this modest hill over Aviemore and to Cairngorm are unbelievable for such a small mountain.
The route can also be extended if you want to take in the small lochan of Loch Gamhna. The path on this part of the walk is not maintained and can be boggy after rain. It’s well worth getting muddy feet though on this quieter part of the circuit.
Loch Garten near Boat of Garten is famous for its Osprey which make their way back to the national park each year to nest.If you are lucky you may get to see them in their activities hunting fish and feeding their young. The walking here is great with signposted trails through the forest.
Guided Walks from Aviemore and Grantown on Spey
Meall a Buachaille
For a great introductory guided walk, the Meall Buachaille circuit route from Glenmore gives a great day out with views of the Northern Corries and out over Strathspey. The hill has a well maintained path the walk has everything that there is to like about the Cairngorms area. Mountain views,beautiful forest,enchanted green lochan and even a bothy! At 810 metres high Meall a’Buachaille is a fantastic vantage point with sweeping views for miles in every direction.
The Ben Macdui path from the Ski Centre gives plenty options to explore the arctic like plateau wilderness. The last remaining wilderness in the UK.The magic of this route is that we have lots of flexibility for our walk back from Ben Macdui. Whether it’s back the way we came on our outward route. We can also do a detour to have a look at the one of the most beautiful lochs in Scotland.Surrounded by the high mountains of Cairngorm and Beinn Mheadoin,Loch Avon nestles between the mountains with its white sands and torquoise waters.Its the perfect place to take a photo. On our hiking adventure we can also include an ascent of Cairngorm. There’s plenty to choose from to make the walk back longer or shorter depending on the conditions. Ensuring you will never forget your visit to these big and special mountains.
Royal Deeside Guided Walks
On the other side of the Cairngorms National Park on Royal Deeside is the quaint village of Braemar. Famous for its Highland games which the Queen usually attends.
Its well worth to take a longer stay to explore the quieter less touristy side of the Cairngorms National Park.
Guided Family Walks on Royal Deeside
There are many good day walks to do with kids including visiting the Earl of Mar’s Punchbowl on the River Quoich or the Linn of Dee and Glen Lui. Lots of great spots for a picnic or a short walk.
Braemar Riverside Walk is lovely with views up Glen Dee to the high hills and mountains of the park.
The Morrone Birkwood Circuit is a great wee circuit to take in very beautiful birch woods.
Guided Mountain Walking on Royal Deeside
For the more adventurous there’s around 40 Munros within easy reach making Braemar the perfect place to centre yourself for a walking holiday.Some of them are a fairly long walk into the mountains covering many miles before you even start climbing a hill. Some of the more accessible Munros are round Glenshee. Personal favourites to walk include the Munros of Devils Point, Derry Cairngorm, Carn a Mhaim and of course Royal Lochnagar.
Long Distance Walks in the Cairngorms
The Cairngorms boasts some of the best long distance backpacking country anywhere in Scotland. There are miles of old cattle drovers routes and high passes to travel through and link together.
The Lairig Ghru and The Lairig an Laoigh
One of the most famous routes is called the Lairg Ghru. The highest pass anywhere in Scotland. It makes its way between the Munros of Ben Macdui and Braeriach. Its a long day out hiking to do its full length and 2 cars are needed.One at either end of the route to make our return journey easier.
It is also possible to link in with the slightly lower Lairig an Laoigh doing a full circle of the main Cairngorms massif. A tough couple of days hiking where we cover a lot of miles but equally rewarding.
It also makes for a great backpacking route at a more leisurely pace. Taking the time over a few days and carrying our gear as we make our way. Camping each night in the wilderness of the Cairngorms and truly immersing ourselves in the mountains.This is truly the best way to experience the magnificence of these mountains.
With over 20 years of exploring this amazing area, I can definitely come up with a guided walk for your visit or tour to the largest national park in Scotland. Please feel free to get in touch with me to discuss routes or for further information on possible walking and hiking activities.
Did you know Steall Waterfall is often called Glen Nevis waterfall by mistake? Have a look at my two Steall Waterfall trips below they are most worthy of a guided walking trip.
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