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.