Walking & Hiking

The Cairngorms is one of the best places in the world for hiking because it offers such variety, to suit all, in terms of length and difficulty, all set in stunning surroundings…

Walking in the Cairngorms is by far the most popular activity in the National Park. The joy of hiking here is that whether you are a beginner starting out in search of a scenic lowland trail, or an experienced Munro-bagger on the hunt for your next big challenge,  you will find an adventure that will live with you long after you leave. 

There are some great walks on local path networks around the National Park…

There are leaflets available on local path networks around the National Park.

Ranger Services throughout the National Park run many guided walks and events.

Walk Highlands is a very useful resource detailing many different walks for different abilities throughout the Park.

The East Highland Way connects Fort William with Aviemore in the Cairngorms National Park.

Walking in the Cairngorms is not just varied in terms of length and difficulty, but also in terms of surroundings.

The sheer size, scale and remoteness of the Cairngorms make them one of the most dramatic and harsh mountain environments in Britain, a challenge to even the most seasoned hillwalkers.

However, you don’t need to undertake a serious expedition to enjoy the hills of the Cairngorms.

Many of the 50+ Munros (that’s at least 3,000 ft / 914.4m), including five of the six highest mountains in Britain, can be tackled in a day with basic equipment and navigation experience.

And, by following the old drove roads and passes, the wild heart of the National Park can be experienced without trekking over summits.

The Glenmore area and Rothiemurchus Estate have a great selection of paths that take you through the ancient and mysterious Caledonian pine forests and some of the most stunning scenery in Scotland.

The Speyside Way starts at Aviemore and follows the majestic Spey all the way to Spey Bay in the Moray Firth some 65 miles away.

There are several outdoor activity providers who provide guided summer and winter walks and expeditions in the area. You can also take the opportunity, during your stay, to enhance your mountain craft, survival and navigation skills by booking yourself onto a course. If you don’t fancy walking, why not take a pony trek and enjoy the views that way instead?

walking in the Cairngorms


Can you recommend some good walks in the Cairngorms?

Yes! So many. One reason we get so many return visitors to the Cairngorm is the sheer variety of walking, to suit all ages and abilities, available here. You’ll find plenty of inspiration and articles on this site about the best walks for beginners and families or – for the more advanced – advice on Munro bagging and harder peaks to tackle.

There are also fantastic hill walking guides operating in the Park which are a good option if you are at all nervous about venturing out on your own, or if you want to push out of your comfort zone or if you like to walk and learn about the local area as you go. Browse our listings for providers.

Are there many hikes that are suitable for kids?

Yes! The Cairngorms National Park has hikes to suit all ages and abilities and is a great starting ground if you are looking to get kids interested in hiking. You’ll find lots of inspiration on this site for suggested walks with children – lowland and in the mountains.

What are the highest peaks in the Cairngorms?

The Cairngorms is the UK’s largest expanse of high ground. The area is loved by hikers because it has so many Munros (over 914 metres) and Corbetts (between 762 and 914 metres) on offer to climb. The highest peaks are Ben Macdui (1,309 metres), Braeriach (1,296 metres), Cairn Toul (1,291 metres) and Igor an Lochain Uaine (1,258 metres).

#VisitCairngorms to join locals and visitors on their own journey of discovery!

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