winter breaks


Where Winter Comes To Life…Let’s Make It Magical 

Welcome to our ‘Where Winter Comes to Life’ series – a celebration of the Cairngorms through the winter.  Choose a winter break full of adventure or a winter to recharge…the Cairngorms is the perfect backdrop. 

Winter in the Cairngorms is like no other – the magical moments captured in the softer light of winter, wrapped in those extra layers and knowing that there is a cosy fire waiting for us at the end of the day make everything that little bit more special.

There are generations who’s favourite memories are encased in the mountains, lochs and cosy nooks of the National Park…and there are so many more moments to capture this winter. This blog just scrapes the snow covered surface (hopefully) of what you can see and do in the Cairngorms.

The Cairngorms is the UK’s original winter destination and it will bring your winter to life, this winter break visit the Cairngorms National Park and make yours MAGICAL

Walking with Reindeer

winter breaks
A hill visit to the Reindeer Herd

We are lucky to share the Cairngorms with a whole array of majestic animals. But the most magical at Christmas has to be the reindeer herd who have been roaming the hills of the Cairngorms since 1952! If you’ve met a reindeer elsewhere in the UK, they are most likely to be Cairngorm reindeer. Why don’t you visit all 150 of them in the Cairngorms!

Walk with the reindeer on the popular Hill Tours and listen out for the repetitive clicking noise their hooves make and find out why. For a more accessible visit that doesn’t require a 2 hour round trip, the Paddocks experience is wheelchair and pushchair friendly.

Highland Wildlife Park

winter breaks
Victoria the polar bear. Image: RZSS

The Cairngorm plateau is the most extensive range of arctic landscape in the UK. Which makes the surrounding area an ideal place to protect endangered animals of the world’s mountain and tundra environments.

The Highland Wildlife is home to a range of animals, from native species such as the Scottish wildcat to those from further afield such as the amur tiger and polar bear. A magical experience and one the finest family attractions in the Highlands.

Magical moments from our past

Easter Delfour Ring Cairn at Alvie Estate

Did you know ancient stone circles are found across the Cairngorms and often, you’ll have them all to yourself? 

These ancient monuments are a direct connection to the past, but their purpose is often clouded in mystery. From ancient cupmarks driven into rock to a Pictish fort at Dun da Lamh by Laggan, these are just a few of the sites you can visit. One of the most magical is Delfour Ring Cairn on the Alvie Estate, which you can visit all year round.

You can discover the fascinating history of the area of Badenoch, through the Badenoch and Storylands app.

Strathspey Railway

winter breaks
Boat of Garten Station in the snow

Our very own heritage steam train that travels from Aviemore via Boat of Garten to Broomhill gets the magical winter treatment. Well nothing less than Mince Pies and Mulled Wine!

While we can’t promise you a trip to Hogwarts (you’ll have to ask Santa for that) the wintery landscape of the Cairngorms will leave you gazing in wonderment. Sit back in your carriage enjoying a glass of something special, while you rock back and forth to the rhythmic motion of the steam train, m-a-g-i-c!

Scottish Forest Walks

winter breaks
Walking through the pine trees

The forests of the Cairngorms are home to some of the last remnants of Scotlands ancient caledonian forest. We have miles of paths that wind through the trees, and you can often spot red squirrels jumping in the trees! With the snow often falling at this time of year, it’s even easier to see these wee red beauties. From the Muir of Dinnet in the east to the Green Lochan in the west you’ll be treated to a magical setting.

This is just a snapshot of some of the magical experiences you can have in the Cairngorms. There is a winter full of wonder, joy and amazement awaiting to be discovered in the Cairngorms National Park. Read our other blogs from the series to learn why this is where winter comes to life.

Read our other blogs in the Where Winter Comes to Life Series

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