Inspiration on and Guide to the Cairngorms for Cottage Holidays
Why Choose the Cairngorms National Park for a Self-Catering Break?
The Cairngorms National Park in Scotland spans across parts of Morayshire, Aberdeenshire and the Scottish Highlands. With a wild soulful landscape of mountains, hills, forests and lochs, the Cairngorms is an inspirational place for a cottage holiday, particularly for those who love big open skies, naturally beautiful landscapes and for those who are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Enjoy taking things slowly on a self-catering break in the Cairngorms, there’s no hurry here, take things at your own pace and soak up the scenery. Those who enjoy wildlife watching should have a great time looking out for wild deer, eagles soaring in the skies and even wild cats.
Top Things to Do whilst on a Cottage Holiday in the Cairngorms
1. Wildlife Watching; There are excellent opportunities to enjoy wildlife watching in the Cairngorms National Park. Home to a quarter of Britain’s endangered species, this area of Scotland is home to a variety of wildlife not seen elsewhere. Wildlife you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of include wild cats, pine martens, ospreys and golden eagles. Walking or hiking in the national parks can be a wonderful way of seeing wildlife or alternatively you can visit nature reserves for more wildlife watching opportunities.
2. Walking and Hiking; The Cairngorms with its wide open spaces is a great place for those who like to don their walking boots and explore on a cottage holiday. There are some 43 Munros within the Cairngorms, some of which are quite remote. There are paths and trails that you can follow but for the more challenging routes, a guide may be advisable for your safety and security.
3. Skiing; In season, the Cairngorms can be a wonderful place to enjoy a spot of skiing. Skiing can usually be enjoyed between the months of December and April but it does depend on the weather which as we know can never be guaranteed! There are around 30km of ski runs at the Cairngorm Mountain Resort and a number of lifts and pistes. There is also a snowboard park. A funicular train takes you all the way up to the top of Cairngorm Mountain from Aviemore. Other places to ski in the Cairngorms include Glenshee where there are some 40km of pistes and the Lecht near Tomintoul. For the best of ski-holidays why not book a cottage in the Cairngorms with a hot tub where you can soothe your aching muscles after an invigorating day of skiing?
Towns and Villages of the Cairngorms
Aviemore is conveniently located for the Cairngorm Mountain Resort and is a popular well established tourist town with a choice of eateries and bars. The Strathspey Steam Railway can be picked up at Aviemore and the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre is bound to be a hit with the kids.
Ballater is a small pretty village by the River Dee is in the heart of Royal Deeside, conveniently close to Balmoral Castle and is best located for those looking to enjoy some skiing at the Lecht whilst on a self-catering holiday. Read more about cottage holidays in Royal Deeside if you are keen to explore this area of Scotland.
Braemar is an attractive village surrounded by the scenery of the Grampian Mountains. Situated some 16 miles from Ballater, Braemar is well located for exploring Royal Deeside close by. Skiing is possible at the Lecht which is about 40 minutes’ drive away.
Grantown on Spey
Grantown on Spey is a very attractive town with fine Victorian buildings which is located in the north of the Cairgorms. This is a very charming town which is 15 miles from Aviemore. This town is only around 18 miles from Speyside where you visitors can enjoy doing the Whisky Trail, visiting whisky distilleries and tasting a variety of fine malts on a self-catering break.
Renowned for being the highest village in the Cairngorms National Park, Tomintoul is a traditional Scottish village with stone-buildings. Tomintoul is located around 45 minutes’ drive from Aviemore and only 15 minutes’ drive from the Lecht ski resort and 40 minutes’ drive from Balmoral Castle making this village a great base for discovering some of the best of the Cairngorms on a cottage break.