+44 (0) 1479 831 331 info@scotmountainholidays.com

Adventure Blog

Top 10 cyclist friendly cafes in the Cairngorms

Top cafes in the Cairngorms

On August 4, 2016 By Rebecca Field In All things biking Suggested things to do

Top 10 cyclist-friendly cafes/bars in the Cairngorms

Graeme McLean of Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland recently described Aviemore to me as having a “cycle culture”. At the time this meant nothing to me, until they went on to explain that when you visit Aviemore you become seduced into cycling just because it seems to be the thing to do. When everyone else seems to be cycling around this must mean that it is the thing to do. Hence in our area it is not difficult to come up with a list of cyclist friendly cafes.

Certainly here at Fraoch Lodge we have noticed a definite increase in the number of people driving around the area with bikes mounted on the car and also a definite increase of bike use on the tracks.

These are the cafes we are most familiar with and are therefore almost all on the north side of the Cairngorms, in and around Aviemore. However, we will be in Deeside for a week in July and will be very happy to update our list after 16th July with some additions from Braemar, Ballater etc – if we find anything which meets our criteria: superb food (especially cakes), somewhere to safely leave your bike locked, somewhere to work on your bike, bike/cycling route advice, bike/cycling related reading materials, maps for sale.

After consultation with my fellow members of Petal Power (the Cairngorms area female mountain biking group), I’ve come up with the following list.

Listed in order of their proximity to Fraoch Lodge:

  1. Osprey Cafe (Boat of Garten)

    The Osprey cafe has come on in leaps and bounds under the management of the Dow family. They now offer a wide range of food from a full cooked breakfast to an ice cream counter serving a selection of scoops of … ice cream in cones and tubs.

Routes close by: Speyside Way, Burma Road, Ryvoan Pass plus numerous local routes through the woods.

Cycle friendly cafe in Boat of Garten. Outdoor stables and bike stand available.

Cycle friendly cafe in Boat of Garten. Outdoor stables and bike stand available.


2. 1896 Cafe and Art Gallery (Boat of Garten)

– very relaxing cafe with calm atmosphere and a log burner to take away the chill of autumnal/winter biking. Excellent cakes, but also serving soup. Limited menu but good quality food in beautiful surroundings. All the art and crafts are for sale and range from trinkets and jewelry you can take away to larger paintings and even some select hand crafted furniture.

Routes close by: Speyside Way, Burma Road, Ryvoan Pass plus numerous local routes through the woods.

1896 Cafe in Boat of Garten. Cycle friendly and recommended.

1896 Cafe in Boat of Garten. Cycle friendly and recommended.

(Petal Power feedback) Good coffee and delicious cakes. ??? and they have wipeable seats for muddy bums 😉

3. Carrbridge Kitchen (Carrbridge)

Delicious smells were emanating from the door when I went by to take a peek at the menu. Great selection of hot food. Didn’t go in to see if there were any cake stop options. I suspect that the cake possibilities are amply covered by the Old Bakery across the road.

Recommended by Petal Power

 

Carrbridge has 2 options to choose between depending on if you would rather have cake or a light meal.

Carrbridge has 2 options to choose between depending on if you would rather have cake or a light meal.

4. The Old Bakery (Carrbridge)

Better options for sitting outside at the Old Bakery which concentrates on baking (it’s all in the name!).

Cycle friendly with outdoor seating for good weather.

Cycle friendly with outdoor seating for good weather.

(Petal Power recommendation) “Bike stands out front and outdoor seating. Good food, homemade cakes and friendly staff.”

5. Jack Drake’s (Inshriach)

The power of cake! The reputation of the potting shed at the nursery has spread far and wide. It is always busy during the summer months. The most prized seats are either out in the garden (on a fine day or at the picture window, perched on a stool, watching the birds and red squirrels at the many feeders set up on branches outside the window. There is always an excellent choice of cake. Many are very heavy on the cream. My favourite is usually the Lindt chocolate and raspberry – but Gregor has a fondness for their carrot cake. The strawberry and rhubarb versions are seasonal.

Staff have always been very friendly and have been very patient on the occasions when we have had to hole up in the cafe waiting for pick up a the end of a traversing route.

Routes close by: Rothiemurchus estate, Lairig Ghru, Glen Feshie and Glenmore to Inshriach

Cake & a cafe stop - Is it a reason for cycling?

Cake & a cafe stop – Is it a reason for cycling?

 

(Petal Power comments) Inschriach Nursery Cafe have always been very welcoming, even when wet and muddy.

6. Mountain Cafe (Aviemore)

The Mountain Cafe is almost a must-do in Aviemore now. They have built up an enviable reputation for the quality and variety of their food. The only thing to bear in mind is that you may have to queue for a table if you go at peak meal times. They probably to cake to go though if you’re in a rush. The menu is quite wide and varied if you want a hot meal.

Routes nearby: Burma Road, Loch an Eilean, Rothiemurchus estate, Speyside Way, Badenoch Way, Glenn Einich

Plenty of imaginative cake options at the Mountain Cafe. This particular cake is one of ours but the Mountain Cafe has spectacular offerings too.

Plenty of imaginative cake options at the Mountain Cafe. This particular cake is one of ours but the Mountain Cafe has spectacular offerings too.

7. Pine Marten Bar (Glenmore)

Another popular spot right next to Glenmore campsite and very convenient if you’re looping around Loch Morlich or more widely through Rothiemurchus estate or the Ryvoan pass. They have a bar but also do a roaring trade in coffee, hot chocolate and hot food plus they have a wee shop attached if you just want a snack. If you’re lucky enough to be out for a late ride you might even catch some of the live entertainment.

Routes nearby: Ryvoan pass, Glenmore Forest Park, Loch Morlich

8. Coffee Still (Glenlivet)

Being a purpose built MTB centre, the Coffee Still at Glenlivet ticks all the best practice boxes. Bike racks, wee track to keep the kids happy, trail maps for sale, bike hire available, range of food – not only cakes but hot food like pizza and burgers too. The trails are great too and very family friendly.

Routes nearby: Glenlivet MTB trails, Glenlivet Distillery routes, Kinkardine Hills, Ladder Hills

Cyclist friendly cafes

The Coffee Still at Glenlivet MTB trails – right next to a wee practice track which keeps the kids occupied while waiting for your order to arrive.

Humps and Bumps to keep the kids keen while the food is being cooked in true Slow Food tradition from the best of local ingredients. (Glenlivet MTB Trails)

Humps and Bumps to keep the kids keen while the food is being cooked in true Slow Food tradition from the best of local ingredients. (Glenlivet MTB Trails)

 

Not forgetting the south side of the park (nominated by Petal Power, an all-female mountain biking club in the Cairngorms, centred around Aviemore and Nethybridge)

9. The Bothy at Braemar

The Bothy is an excellent relaxing spot attached to Braemar Mountain Sports. Bikes can be hired here and the back of the cafe looks out over the river. The cakes and hot chocolate also deserve some praise. Plenty of choice at the cake bar.

cyclist friendly cafes

The Bothy at Braemar

10. The Bothy at Ballater associated with Braemar Mountain Sports

 

Honorary mentions nearby the Cairngorms

  1. Pottery Cafe (Laggan) – around the corner from Laggan Wolftrax

Linda, who runs the Pottery cafe and bunkhouse, has been baking bread and cake for more years than she cares to count. Her cakes are always light and the soup is delicious. The cafe is a hop-skip-and-a-jump from Laggan Wolftrax and though I haven’t eaten at Laggan so I can’t compare the two – Linda’s opening hours were longer and she’s open all year round. When I was at Laggan (before the main season opened) the cafe was closed.

Routes nearby: Laggan Wolftrax

2. Olive Tree Cafe (Logie Steading) – on the Dava Way, just outside Forres

Logie Steading is a collection of up-market operators selling all kinds of things from second-hand books to plants to pictures and not forgetting food. You can also catch up with

Across Scotland:

From the Daily Record: Top cycle friendly cafes in Scotland

Great cycling cafes in Scotland

Related blog posts

All content © Copyright Scot Mountain Holidays 2017

Responsive web design by Summit Web Solutions