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Cairngorms National Park has inspired writers and wanderers for centuries. Embark on an adventure teeming with Celtic charm as you take late-summer strolls along rolling hills, historic railways, renowned whiskey distilleries, and the highest peaks in the British Isles, all in or around the UK’s largest National Park. Heading out of your home base, a guest house in the quaint Highland town of Aviemore, your will walk poets’ footpaths and panoramic mountains, sprawling beaches, and scenic forest parks, with plenty of off-time time to enjoy the good life in spas, local restaurants, and traditional pubs.
Uncover a wide array of landscapes in the UK’s largest National Park
Walk among some of the highest summits in the British Isles
See, stroll through, and sample Scotland’s legendary Whiskey Country
Arrive at the Cairngorm Guest House in Aviemore and get settled in. You will meet your guide for a briefing at 3 pm, have a walk around the area, and enjoy a welcome dinner at a nearby restaurant.
On the morning of day 2, take public transport into the heart of Glenmore Forest Park. Enjoy a spectacular introduction to the views and wonders of the Cairngorms by climbing the Corbett (a Scottish term for mountains over 2,600 ft/ 800 m in height) Meall A’Bhuachaille. The name means “Hill of the Shepherd” in Gaelic, and your guide will happily explain why. Take in the epic vistas over the Cairngorms, the surrounding forest parks, and the Highland lochs.
Hiking: 9 km/ 5.6 miles
Elevation gain: 550 m/ 1,800 ft
Venture further onto the Cairngorm plateau as you follow the footsteps of the Scottish poet Nan Shepherd. Nan roamed the Cairngorm hills all her life, and the beautiful words from her book ‘The Living Mountain’ will accompany you for the day’s walk. Depending on snow conditions, you might even tackle a higher summit.
Hiking: 11 km/ 6.8 miles
Elevation gain: 800 m/ 2,625 ft
Board the steam train along the Strathspey Steam Railway between Aviemore and Broomhill in Strathspey, restored in 1978. Enjoy a blast from the past and do a little exploring at the quaint Highland village of Boat of Garten. Then, join The Speyside Way, a famous distance path, and return to Aviemore on foot. Once back, you’ll have some free time to relax, try the local spa, do some shopping, or if you’re still up for it, go for another wander.
Hiking: 10 km/ 6.2 miles
Elevation gain: 50 m/ 165 ft
Time for a day trip through Speyside Whisky Country and all the way to the coast, sampling the lifeblood of Scotland and an integral part of the country’s history. Enjoy a scenic drive through the rolling Speyside hills, past many famed whisky distilleries, cruising along the River Spey. You’ll be heading for the Morayshire, dubbed ‘The Scottish Riviera’ for its mild climate and gorgeous sandy beaches.
Hiking: approx. 10 km/ 6.2 miles
Elevation gain: minimal
After a non-guided morning walk, it’s time to leave Scotland. For some extra time enjoying the views, your guide recommends taking the Caledonian Sleeper train from Aviemore to London.
This was my first time with Walking Women and I have to say it was just great getting together with a bunch of like-minded women enjoying the walks, the scenery, the chats and of course the cream teas! Chrissie was a great host and walk leader. I will certainly be looking to 2020 for another walking holiday. Keep up the great work.
Would highly recommend this holiday. The organization and guides were brilliant. It was all accessible and lots of fun.
This is my fourth walk, and I brought two more Canadians with me. We all left feeling we could do it all over again. Anita’s energy, compassion, and sense of humor set the tone for the week. Wonderful walks, good conversation, lots of laughter, even singing at the dinner table. Loved the little hotel, very accommodating, good food, and pleasant rooms. All in all a huge success. Looking for a 2020 calendar! Thanks Anita.
What you get on this adventure:
What’s not included:
This hiking tour is beginner-friendly, but it does require a good level of fitness. You will be hiking for 6-10 hours a day for several consecutive days, covering distances of up to 7 miles (11 km). You will be hiking on occasionally rugged terrain and tackling daily ascents of up to 2,600+ ft (800 m) while carrying a daypack with the things you’ll need throughout the day. However, with some preparation and willpower, you should be able to handle this tour no matter your age or skill level.
If you’re a more advanced hiker looking for a challenge, check out this hiking tour in the Cuilin Hills or these hiking tours in the Isle of Skye.
Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:
Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.
Group sizes and prices:
Hiking the Cairngorms can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.
Min. age requirements:
If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
A £200 GBP ($250 USD) deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 3 months (90 days) prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies.
To get to the Cairngorm Guest House in Aviemore, the starting point of the tour, most people fly into Aberdeen International Airport 3 hours away. From there, you can take a train or local flight to Inverness, and a bus or another train to the station in Aviemore.
Alternatively, if you’re up for an extra adventure, your guide recommends taking the Caledonian sleeper train from London to Aviemore, with spectacular views of England and the Highlands. The train arrives in Aviemore at 9 am on day 1 of your tour.
Once you arrive at Aviemore, get settled into your accommodations in the Cairngorm Guest House and meet your guide for a briefing at 3 pm, marking the start of this adventure.
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, their guides, and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Cairngorms National Park, Scotland, please refer to the Cairngorms National Park COVID-19 guidelines and the official COVID-19 guidelines for travel into the United Kingdom.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!