Highland Cow in the Cairngorms


Where to meet a Highland Cow in the Cairngorms

The Highland Cow ‘Heilan Coo’ is one of the most popular animals in Scotland for good reason. These beautiful animals with big horns and flowing coats originated in Western Scotland but can now be seen all over the world. They are a very hardy breed and so thrive well in the Cairngorms with its harsh winter environment.

Here we take a look at where you might find them on your travels throughout the Cairngorms.

1. Rothiemurchus Hairy Coo Safari

Take a walk down to the farm to meet the wonderful hairy heilan coos! The Ranger will call the cattle over and they will come right up to the fence to be fed. Enjoy a ‘Hairy Coo Safari’ all year round on the estate.

2. Blair Castle

Look out for Highland cattle in the surrounding fields as you approach Blair Castle along its majestic drive, lined with Lime trees that were planted by the Duke in the 18th Century.

3. The River Spey

Take a slow journey down the River aboard a canoe or raft, with providers like Ace Adventures (see pic to right) and you might be lucky enough to see Highland Cows grazing the bonnie, bonnie banks of the Spey.

4. Highland Folk Museum

This mile long site has a 1700s township (which features in historical TV drama Outlander) at one end and a working 1930s croft at the other. Say hello to the Highland Cows as you explore the museum. Open April-October.

5. Muckrach Country House Hotel

The Highland cows, who have grazed at Muckrach for the past couple of decades, have become a firm favourite with passing tourists everyday, who stop by Muckrach Country House Hotel, to take their photo.

6. Castle Roy, Nethy Bridge

Murdo the Highland Cow is the guardian of Castle Roy in Nethy Bridge. He was rejected at birth and was hand-reared, so he is used to people but we definitely suggest that you do not approach him on your own! Murdo would love some support. Find out ways you can do that here.

7. Ruthven Barracks

Ruthven Barracks were built by George II’s government between 1719 and 1721 following the Jacobite rising of 1715. They were to house garrison infantry to police the area and enforce the Disarming Act of 1716. The barracks sit high up on a mound surrounded by grazing land where you can see Highland Cows.

8. Your Cairngorms Accommodation!

With such a variety of accommodation available in the Cairngorms, many are in easy reach of Highland Cows! And your providers will likely be able to tell you the nearest place to spot them. For example, Highland Cows are even reared by the owners of the Croft House at the Roundhouse, Laggan and you can book a tour to meet the herd. Or, if you prefer your cows ornamental, then Aviemore’s Ardlogie Guest House is famous for its wooden carvings of Archie the Heilan Coo! He is renowned for his straight talking Scots, so keep him happy and make a donation in his box for the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue team!

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