skiing in scotland


10 reasons to drive the Snow Roads in winter

The Snow Roads Scenic Route is a 90-mile journey which takes you from the picturesque market town of Blairgowrie to the traditional Highland town of Grantown-on-Spey. The route traverses the highest public road in Britain taking you through some of the most outstanding landscapes in the eastern Cairngorms, linking the communities of Braemar, Ballater and Tomintoul.

We drove the whole route in the summer (you can read about that here) and wanted to take another look in the winter! This is when the route really lives up to it’s name and becomes even more special with a winter backdrop.

Here are our top 10 reasons to drive the snow roads in winter. Share yours with us #snowroads.

Disclaimer: Always check the weather forecast and road conditions before you set out. The road is remote in places and can at times be snowy. Be fully prepared and drive according to conditions.

1. The sunsets are extraordinary and there is snow to play in! With two ski centres enroute, Glenshee and the Lecht, there is no excuse not to stop and have a slide or a sledge.

2. Porsche test its vehicles not just on the Snow Roads but on the snow roads ski slopes!

3. The scenery is just beautiful and it ‘s a real adventure to navigate up and down the route. The roads are kept open as much as possible and although there can be lots of snow on the landscape, the roads are generally black.  Make sure you keep an eye on Traffic Scotland for weather and travel updates.

4.  There is history and royal connections.  The Invercauld Bridge over the River Dee just East of Braemar was built in 1752 by infantry regiments to continue the military road that leads North to Corgarff Castle. A new bridge was constructed further upstream when Queen Victoria decided to build her new castle at Balmoral and wanted more privacy. The road moved from the South of the River Dee to the North and made use of the new bridge.

5. Special things happen along the route. The amazing landscape draws all kinds of people and animals.  On this day these newlyweds were captured on film with memories to last forever. You might also be lucky enough to spot a Golden Eagle, a stag or red squirrels scurrying up the trees.

6. There are some amazing walks along the route. Loch Muick near Ballater is a big favourite for the locals and visitors to the area. This half-day walk passes the Glas-allt Shiel house which was built by Queen Victoria after the death of Prince Albert.

7. The winter days are short but the light is amazing. Bring your camera or your drone and you can capture some amazing shots!

8. The castles along the route look even better in photos against a snowy backdrop and winter skies. Can you imagine living in these cold stone structures hundreds of years ago?

9. You will get your tartan fix one way or another! You might not meet the Lonach Highlanders marching in the snow or come across a Highland Games in the middle of winter but you are sure to see some tartan. Drop into Lamont Sporrans in Braemar to find out if your family has its own unique Scottish fabric.

10. Stop off at the three scenic route installations along the Snow Roads. The position of these installations takes full advantage of the amazing views over Tomintoul, Corgarff Castle and at the Devil’s Elbow at Glenshee. Look out for the Cairngorms scenic photo-posts at each installation, take a pic, upload it and allow us to capture the changes in the landscape.

Check out the full details of the route on our map here.

Share your pictures and stories of the snow roads online with the hashtag #snowroads.

Follow us and tag us. #VisitCairngorms @VisitCairngorms

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