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Overall Experience

Cairngorms Visitor information


An Introduction to the Cairngorms

The Cairngorms National Park is the largest in Britain, covering 4,528 kilometres of beautiful and unspoilt countryside. Over 17,000 people live and work in the towns and villages throughout the Park. The Cairngorms contain a variety of scenery, from wild moorlands and soaring mountain peaks to rivers and tranquil lochs.

Things to do in the Cairngorms

The Cairngorms are home to many rare species of wildlife, such as ospreys, which can be frequently seen; as well as many areas in which to fish for trout and salmon. On the Lochs you can go sailing, windsurfing, rafting and canoeing or hiking and pony trekking over the mountainous region. It is home to 5 of Scotland's 6 highest peaks. On these peaks you can also participate in winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding. It is also recommended to visit at least one of the many Whisky distilleries in the valleys.

Getting to the Cairngorms

By Train

Scotrail and East Coast Trains operate train services in the area with railway stations in the west of the National Park at Dalwhinnie, Newtonmore, Kingussie, Aviemore and Carr-Bridge. Trains between London's Kings Cross and Inverness stop at either Kingussie or Aviemore in the National Park. Aberdeen is the nearest railway station to the Royal Deeside area in the east of the National Park. 

By Coach and Bus

National Express coaches from London Victoria and all over the country make the journey up through Scotland to the Cairngorms National Park in the west and to nearby Aberdeen in the east. You can also travel with Citylink and Megabus. Local bus timetables are operated by Stagecoach and Maynes Coaches.

By Air

The nearest airports to the Cairngorms National Park are at Aberdeen, which is an 1 hour drive to the Royal Deeside area in the east of the National Park and Inverness which is a 30 minute drive to the Badenoch and Strathspey area of the National Park.

By Car

The journey from London to the Cairngorms is over 8 hours, via the M6, and the main routes within the region are the A9, A86, A95, A939, A944, A93 and A97.


Cairngorms History


The National Park opened in 2003, is the largest in Britain, having been inhabited for 7,000 years, with traces of these cultures found today, such as burial mounds and forts. The mountains were formed 40 million years before the last ice age and hold an ancient woodland, which is home to many rare species of plant, animal and bird.

From the culture of the Celts and the Picts the clan system was born, the way of life in the Cairngorms from the 10th to the 18th centuries. The Clan way of life was dismantled after the Jacobite uprising. Military barracks and roads were built, forests were planted, planned towns were created, new industries flourished, and the glens were emptied to make way for sporting estates and sheep.

One of the biggest changes in the Cairngorms came with the railways and the Victorians’ love of the Highlands. Tourism flourished during this period. 

The following events are occuring in the area


Universities in Cairngorms

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