A major reason why holiday-makers love the Cairngorms, and return year after year, is for its scenery and landscape. But another popular reason is for adventure.
Why not combine the two and choose an adventurous mode of transport in order to take in the stunning scenery?
Here are some ideas.
Seeing the Cairngorms from the water gives you a whole new perspective. You’ll be immersed in nature and able to witness wonderful wildlife, like jumping salmon and paddling otters, if you’re lucky.
A range of activity providers, such as Craggan Outdoors and Loch Insh Watersports Centre, offer guided day trips along the River Spey. If you want to add an even greater sense of adventure, then why not add whisky into the experience with the Spirit of the Spey’s trips which ‘blend’ canoeing and a stop at a distillery?
Some of the day canoe trip routes are also possible by paddle board like, for example, the river trip from Kingussie to Loch Insh, which can be organised for you by Loch Insh Watersports Centre. Paddle boards can also be hired at Loch Morlich Waterspots Centre. For those of you that want a core work-out, this activity is perfect! Strathspey SUP specialise in all things Paddleboarding and offer group, private and open lesson on the rivers and lochs.
By Ranger-Driven Landrover Defender
These ‘Landrover Safari’ tours, provided by the likes of Rothiemurchus and Atholl, are great ways to see behind the scenes of a Cairngorms estate. From the friendly ranger, you’ll hear stories of the characters and history of the estate, as well as how it operates today. It’s a fun (albeit sometimes bumpy!) ride during which you’re bound to witness wonderful views and a few of the locals, like the heilan coos and red deer!
In Chaffeur-Driven Luxury
It seems only fitting, if exploring Royal Deeside, that you do it in style and, indeed, a popular way to peruse this side of the Park is in comfort, via luxury Landrover Discovery or, even, Morgan sports car. For instance, characterful guides at Yellow Welly Tours and Braemar Highland Experience can tailor tours to suit your interests, taking in the scenery, as well as the history, culture, local characters and Royal connections.
By Touring Ski
Ski touring, or ‘back country skiing’ as it’s also called, is a unique, free way to explore the Cairngorms, allowing you to quickly get out into the mountainous wilderness. Best done with a guide, you can access courses for all levels at providers such as Glenmore Lodge, Active Outdoor Pursuits and G2 Outdoor.
Experiencing the Cairngorms landscapes by horseback will make you feel like you’re stepping back in time and you’ll be able to almost feel the history seeping from the land (especially if you’ve watched Outlaw King or Outlander recently!). You can even hire a horse and carriage to get around from some providers, like Highland Horse Fun!
There are many tracks across the moors and high passes that are used for horse riding hacks today, taking you into the less beaten tracks of Badenoch and Strathspey.
There are a range of providers in the valley who cater for every rider from beginner to expert. For a full list, see here.
By Quad Bike
If you like your adrenaline pumping, then bumping along the moorland tracks on a quad bike is the perfect way to see the Cairngorms scenery. At Rothiemurchus you will have some hairy friends to meet along the route!
For a list of providers, see here.
Electric bikes enable you to stay out a lot longer and cover a lot more ground than on an ordinary bike. They’re also more inclusive as they accommodate for less fit members of your group. E-bikes are becoming increasingly popular in the Cairngorms as they’re an environmentally friendly, fun way to get around.
You can hire e-bikes from Mike’s Bikes in Aviemore and guided trips are also available.