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Adventures in Scotland

10 Easter days out in the Cairngorms

On March 20, 2024 By Rebecca Field

Easter Days Out from Your Base in the Cairngorms:

With the Easter holiday almost upon us, it’s time to plan some exciting day trips which might be an option if you are based at Fraoch Lodge, in the Cairngorms. From exploring the legendary Loch Ness to indulging in whisky tasting on a Speyside whisky tour, there’s no shortage of adventures waiting to be had. Let’s dive into some exhilarating options for your Easter getaway:

1. Loch Ness & Dolphins Tour:

Embark on a thrilling adventure to Loch Ness, famed for its mythical monster. While public transport is an option, self-driving offers more flexibility. Consider booking a boat tour with Jacobite Cruises to explore the depths of the loch and catch a glimpse of Urquhart Castle. Don’t miss out on off-the-beaten-track gems like Loch Ness Clayworks or a hike up Meall Fuar-mhonaidh for breathtaking views.

So long as you don’t decide to do the “grockle” tour all the way around Loch Ness, you should still have time to tag on a Dolphin Tour with Dolphin Spirit in Inverness.

2. Speyside Whisky Tour:

Indulge in Scotland’s liquid gold with a tour of Speyside’s renowned whisky distilleries. Immerse yourself in the rich history and craftsmanship behind Scotland’s national drink as you sample a variety of single malts. With distilleries like Glenfiddich and Glenlivet dotting the landscape, you’re in for a treat. We highly recommend Glenfarclas distillery if you like the more personal touch from a smaller, more family oriented distillery.

NB Some distillery tours can be pretty expensive now but if you’re looking for something a wee bit more special then the whisky and chocolate pairing which is a speciality of Dalwhinnie distillery is worth trying (but more out of the way than the other Speyside distilleries and will possibly form part of a different tour or a wet day option.

TOP TIP: make sure you have time for a visit/tour of the Speyside Cooperage at Craigellachie, just outside Aberlour. It is fascinating the see the coopers at work refurbishing and creating the casks essential for the whisky industry.

whisky tour

A cooper hard at work repairing casks at the Speyside Cooperage

3. Highland Wildlife Park and Sheep Dog Trials:

Get up close and personal with Scotland’s native wildlife at the Highland Wildlife Park. From red deer to Scottish wildcats, the park offers a unique opportunity to observe these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. Spring is a great time to visit the park as you’re in with a very high chance of seeing the baby animals. The park often has newborn additions around this time.

On your way back you could also call in at Leault farm to check out the sheep dog trials. The skill and agility of sheepdogs in action at the sheepdog trials is an experience not to be missed. Kids are also sometimes invited to help out with a bit of sheep shearing and to handle the puppies, if you’re lucky enough to be there when there are pups.

family adventure vacations

Meeting the puppies after the sheepdog demonstrations here in the Cairngorms National Park

4. Mountain Biking and Zip Trek Park:

For adrenaline junkies, head on mountain bikes to the zip trek park for an action-packed day of thrills. Zoom through the treetops on exhilarating zip lines or tackle challenging mountain bike trails amidst stunning scenery. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a novice adventurer, there’s something for everyone here.

5. Hiking or walking?

Explore the Cairngorms on foot with a scenic mountain hike or choose a more gentle stroll along the glen; round a loch; or through a forest. Choose from a variety of trails catering to all skill levels, from gentle strolls to challenging ascents. Be sure to pack a picnic and take in the breathtaking vistas along the way. Your hosts at Fraoch Lodge, Andy and Rebecca, thoroughly enjoy exploring the are on foot (and by bike); so much so that it is part of their sister business. Andy is a fully qualified mountain leader with more than 20 years experience in the Cairngorms National Park. He’s the one to ask if you’re looking for the best hiking experience possible. You can even book him as a guide if you’re keen to see more; learn more and explore as much as possible.

Hiking group poses at the top of one of Scotland's mountain peaks.

Hiking group celebrate reaching the top of one of Scotland’s many mountains

6. Loch Insh Spey Canoe:

Take to the waters of Loch Insh for a tranquil canoeing experience. Paddle along the serene waters surrounded by stunning Highland scenery, keeping an eye out for local wildlife along the shoreline.

7. Fort William & Glenfinnan:

Venture further afield to explore the historic town of Fort William and nearby Glenfinnan. Marvel at the towering peak of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles, and visit the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct, made famous by the Harry Potter films.

8. Wild swimming

With so many lochs around, not to mention the river Spey as well, wild swimming is certainly an option to consider (if that’s you thing). Since lockdown the number of people enjoying a “dook” has exploded and htere are now full on holiday options where you can explore several different swim spots (under guidance/with a group). If you’d like to plan/check the options available there are now guidebooks available which will also let you know of any potential hazards.

family adventure on the water

Canoeing on Loch Morlich in the Cairngorms

9. Wet Day Options:

If the weather takes a turn, there are plenty of indoor activities to enjoy. Head to The Ledge Climbing Centre in Inverness for some indoor rock climbing fun, or embark on a distillery tour to sample Scotland’s finest whiskies. For a relaxing day, unwind at the Aquadome and soak in the warm waters of the indoor pool.

10. Coastal adventures for your Easter days out

Head up in the direction of Elgin and work your way back along the coast to Forres or Inverness. At Elgin you can check out the ruins of the cathedral; the Johnsons of Elgin factory and tour; Elchies goat farm; and don’t miss out on Duffes castle which is a ruin but well worth exploring. The coast along here round Hopeman, Cummingston and Burghead is well worth exploring for the rock formations alone, let alone the bouldering and climbing opportunities. This is all part of the longer hiking path: the Moray Coastal Trail.

Work your way along the coast to Findhorn beach where we recommend you stop for ice cream or a pint/meal.

Top tip: try the seafood chowder at the Kimberley Inn

Moray coastal path

Playing on the beach at Findhorn.

With so much to see and do, your Easter getaway in the Cairngorms is sure to be an unforgettable adventure. Whether you’re seeking outdoor thrills or cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this stunning corner of Scotland.


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