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What does ‘off the beaten track mean to you’? Depending on how adventurous you are, the phrase can mean different things to different people. It can be scary to choose the path less travelled by, but the benefits from getting off the beaten track in Scotland are exhilarating.

Skye Munros - Scotland

Topping out on the Innaccessable Pinnacle in glorious sunshine weather, Skye May 2016

But, this certainly doesn’t mean you need to skip all the top sites like Loch Ness. For some, getting out of cities is rural enough and therefore Loch Ness is a great choice. But for those feeling adventurous and wanting to get a little more remote, we can help you there.

So, how to find a place where few people go?

Wanting to find a little peace and quiet is the most natural thing in the world whether you’re most at home surrounded by nature, a city dweller or somewhere in between. And arguably, there is no better place than the Highlands of Scotland. Known for its epic beauty, contrasting scenery and out of this world views, you’ll soon find yourself where the air and water are fresher and the most prominent noises keeping you company is nature at its finest.

The Cairngorm National Park is the ideal base for you to experience and explore the remoteness the Highlands can offer. Depending how far off the beaten track you want to get you’ll find an array of options suited for all fitness levels and ages. Offering options to be guided, or self exploration if you prefer, Scot Mountain Holidays has it all.

Mountain peaks

We understand that only you know what getting off the beaten track means. But, Scot Mountain Holiday trips, by definition are all off the beaten track. It’s unlikely you’ll see crowds of people during any typical day with us. Choosing one of our trips is a great way to decide if the more unusual spots and a more active vacation is the way forward for you.

Whether you’re after hiking, mountain biking, walking or countryside relaxation, you’ll find it here.   We can help organise a tailor-made trip for you, friends and family. Or, you can join one of our scheduled trips where you’ll meet like-minded people and gain friends for life. The choice is yours.

Autumn seems to be racing up right now. Munro bagging in autumn has it’s own rewards. The day’s are starting to draw in but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. The leaves are starting to turn on some of the trees here in the Highlands bringing splashes of bright red to the landscape. The later start to the day means we’re approaching a time when we’ll be able to see the colours of dawn. We can already see the evening colours (when there are any) without being up late into the night. The cooler temperatures mean we can get the fire on once more and dust off the pie recipes.

It’s a fantastic time to get out in the hills and maybe bag a few Munros. Here’s a reminder of why autumn is a great time to be out and about if you can get away outside of the school holidays.

Review: Autumn Munros – munro bagging in autumn in the Highlands

Paul Chapman’s first walking holiday in Scotland was on the munro bagging week we run in Autumn. Paul has now been on several holidays with us including recent trips to Arran and the Outer Hebrides. Here’s his review:

MEMORIES OF SCOTLAND

My first walking holiday with Scot Mountain Holidays was “Autumn Munros”. I had never walked in Scotland before then and was looking forward to some excellent walking. I finished the holiday having experienced a lot more than that.

Wildlife sightings

munro bagging in autumn

One of the joys of walking in the mountains in the autumn weather is the increased chance of walking above the clouds

We were three days into the holiday doing Craiggowrie. It had been a lovely autumn day, the walking had been everything I hoped for. Late in the afternoon, with the light beginning to fade we started to make our way off the ridge and down into a corrie. As we started our descent; we saw a group of white snow bunting busily feeding among the heather.They were not really very bothered about us, but as we stood and watched they suddenly took off in alarm, flying low over our heads. Looking up we could clearly see a Golden Eagle soaring effortlessly above us. It had obviously spooked the bunting. You hear about these birds and see pictures of them, but standing in the heather on the side of a Scottish mountain watching one soaring effortlessly above you is an experience that can’t be forgotten.

We continued down towards the floor of the corrie, but then a couple of hundred metres ahead of us saw a group of red deer. There was a stag and a number of hinds. As I watched he calmly led his harem away from us, head held high displaying his magnificent antlers, confident that he was the monarch of the glen. At that point I knew what proud meant. As we stood and marvelled, a second stag with his own group of hinds appeared on our right, equally as majestic and again with a full head of antlers, and he too calmly led his hinds away from us and over the hillside.

Finishing the day

munro bagging in autumn

A herd of deer watch the munro bagging walkers nearby

We continued on, reaching the floor of the corrie as the light faded and soon had to use our head torches. As we walked out of the glen the light disappeared completely.We walked along the track in pitch black with just the light of our torches to show the way. As we walked I could see nothing except a small circular pool of light created by my head torch. Then I started to hear noises. It was a stag roaring in the night, seemingly not far from us. As we continued, more stags started to roar and I looked up. All I could see were the eyes of the deer, like red pin pricks shining through the black of the night.

The volume seemed to grow as we walked through that dark night. Although twenty minutes before there seemed to be two stags and a dozen hinds on the hillside. The deer seemed to be many hundreds of metres away from us. Now there seemed to be many, many, more, close to us, all bellowing into the night. Later I was told that they roared to control their harems. It was rutting season. Whether I was there or not was of no interest to them.

As I thought about the experiences of that day I knew I was hooked on Scotland.

I’ve been back 5 times now and never been disappointed. I may be a “townie” but always feel a lot nearer to nature when in those hills. Each day there is worth innumerable days in a busy, congested city. Now I just keep looking forward to my next visit.

Useful links

Check out the Autumn Munros itinerary

 

For full details on all our walking holidays

 

Have you tried any of our self-guided itineraries?

In the heart of the Cairngorms National Park lies it’s namesake, the Cairngorms. The Cairngorms, a range of mountain peaks adorning the skyline, are rich with historical importance, and full of nature and wildlife. The soul of the Cairngorms, boast four of the five highest peaks in the United Kingdom. Conveniently, this is located just a short drive from Fraoch Lodge, home of Scot Mountain Holidays.

Hiking Ben Macdui

Hiking Ben Macdui with Scot Mountain Holidays group tour

Hiking Ben Macdui

Ben Macdui, at 1309 metres was our destination. Departing Fraoch Lodge we set out for a full day of hiking with the group tour leader, Andy. As someone who hasn’t done much hiking I was in good hands. Scot Mountain Holidays offered plenty of advice, tips and tricks. I felt well equipped in handling the changing climate, the potential wet weather, and cool temperature ahead of us.

Guided Touring with Scot Mountain Holidays

Andy is knowledgeable in not only the secrets of the mountain, but also fauna, wildlife and navigation. This became increasingly comforting as the heavy fog set in the higher we climbed. Transforming the landscape into a world of grey, it wasn’t long before the dips, plains and landmarks of the mountain became a sea of similarity for me.

But, with what appeared to be second nature to Andy, we headed away from the path ready to experience the Cairngorms, raw and untouched. Appreciating the full benefits of guided touring, it was as simple as follow the leader. It’s also advised to keep a camera at the ready for wildlife that Andy has a knack for spotting. We also had Andy’s storytelling keeping us company as we rose higher, with stories of history and legends wealthy with detail and fascinating to hear.

wildlife spotting and hiking

Wildlife with a view

The secrets of Ben Macdui revealed

Before long, history came to life in the form of a plane crash memorial. Pieces of the aircraft littered the mountainside and somewhat eerily seemed almost untouched 70 years on from the impact. Andy’s knowledge of the Cairngorms secrets continued to be show cast during the ascent and decline. Continuing to hike away from the track we came across no one. Allowing us to appreciate the solidarity, and peacefulness of the mountainous environment. With gorgeous views, and amazing landscape treating us as the cloud cover ebbed and waned. The experience of hiking Ben MacDui was memorable and a great combination of challenging and rewarding.

After a full day of hiking we returned to the homely comforts of Fraoch Lodge. Arriving to a roaring fire and well-deserved coffee o’clock it was a warm and welcoming homecoming. Rebecca’s home cooked meal, delicious and restaurant quality was the perfect way to finish a great day. Scot Mountain Holidays is a perfect blend of leadership, knowledge and homely comforts resulting in an amazing experience for group tour hiking.

Burma Road: Natural MTB Trails in the Cairngorms

The Burma Road route is a fantastic way to see spectacular views of the Cairngorms and the picturesque countryside of the National Park. Graded hard and requiring a high fitness level to complete, this 26-mile cycling route is achievable in four to five hours.

Trekking over a mixture of tarmac, dirt, grass and rocky tracks makes sections of the trail challenging. And with a three mile extremely steep climb the initial part of the route can come across as particularly challenging. But, overall it is worth the initial exertion.

Map of the Burma Road route.

Map of the Burma Road Route.

Distance:

26 miles/41km

Approx. calorie count:

1800 kcal

Time:

allow around 4 or 5 hours cycling time.

Ascent:

2123ft/647m

 

Scot Mountain Holidays route

The official start point of the cycle begins in Aviemore, an enjoyable and relatively easy 6-mile ride from Fraoch Lodge across the countryside. Once reaching Aviemore it’s as simple as following the main road through town, crossing the A9 and following a single tarmac road to the Scripture Union Centre at Alltnacriche. Having followed the route through a forest gate this is where things begin to get difficult.

The Burma Road views

Views from the Burma Road Classic

The climb

The climb is very steep and walking is often quicker then riding at a gradient of this level. Certainly, you wouldn’t be alone in getting off your bike and pushing. The climb stretching over 3-miles levels out at points, but you will likely spend the uphill section hopping on and off your bike. Make sure to turn around regularly during the ascent as the view is well worth the exertion.

Once you have reached the top, the path down is quick and steep. The route in this section is made up of gravel and loose stones caused from water erosion. This will limit your speed, and you will need a fair amount of control and concentration to get down safely. The end of the descent can be celebrated once you reach a wide bridge. This also signifies the countryside section of the route having crossed the bridge.

The Burma Road Classic route

During the Burma Road classic

The countryside

From here it’s as simple as following the path alongside the left hand of the river. The path is overall a wide and good one. But, you will find small patches of boggy ground, grassy paths and several gates to go through. After a very enjoyable ride through the countryside the very end of the path is marked by a T intersection. Take the track leading right and you’ll pass over a bridge, up a small hill and you’ll find yourself back on tarmac.

The last stretch

Mostly downhill and with limited traffic the road to Carrbridge is one of the easiest sections of the day. About halfway along you’ll see a sign on the left hand side of the road to Sluggan bridge. This impressive structure is well worth the short 1-mile detour.

Sluggan Bridge

The Sluggan Bridge

After continuing on and reaching Carrbridge, make sure you stop for the iconic pictures of the bridge. And perhaps even a well-deserved pint at the local pub.

Burma Road

The 18th century packhorse bridge of Carrbridge

Boat of Garten is only 5 miles further from Carrbridge and it’s as simple as following the ‘7’ bike route back to base.

Map of the Burma Road route.

Map of the Burma Road Route.

 

External links:

More pictures and description of the route from Dave Banks

Share and compare the route

The route reviewed in The Herald newspaper

The Burma Raod in the Inverness Courier

Walking is one of the best forms of exercise being gentle, easy and free. It’s something everyone can do, and extremely beneficial to your wellbeing. So, it’s no wonder masses of people are beginning to introduce walking to their daily lives. But to keep the habit up it’s important to ensure you’re not letting your walking become a chore. So to avoid this, try these easy steps to turn a walk into an adventure.

Mountains and Malts - whisky themed hiking

Hiking in the Highlands exploring the footsteps laid by smugglers of old

Turn a walk into an adventure

Walking has been proven to assist you in maintaining a healthy weight, prevent or manage various conditions including heart disease and high blood pressure and additionally, it strengthens your bones and muscles. Not only this, but it’s extremely positive to your mental wellbeing. And, it’s a great excuse to take some time for yourself.

Take the road less travelled by

Firstly, it’s time to get off the beaten path. Head away from the pavement and hit the trails. The Cairngorm National Park is full of gorgeous forest, river and mountain walking so you’re rich for choice.

Switch off

Once you’re away from the roads, and traffic of the world, take some time away from technology. Leave your phone at home, turn the music off and appreciate the beauty of nature. This will not only be a refreshing break and an opportunity for you to restart. But, you will find yourself so much more connected to nature, and you’re much more likely to spot wildlife and fauna. This will add a level of appreciation, and excitement to your walks.

Walk the Lairig Ghru

Self-guided Lairig Ghru logistics

Follow your instinct

This goes hand in hand with switching off. If you have some sense of direction, try to avoid planning out your route prior to your walk. Follow your instinct, keep things fresh and go somewhere new each day. Making a split second decision at each fork you come to, will add a sense of exhilaration to your walking adventures.

These three easy to do steps will be just the thing to turn your walking into memorable adventures.

 

 

 

Scotland is rich with history and the stories and legends passed down through the generations by campfire storytelling is a huge part of Scottish folklore. The Cairngorms, is abundant with it’s own tales and we take a look at our favourite stories and legends from the Cairngorms.

Stories and Legends from the Cairngorms

winter sunset Cairngorms

Glorious sunset colours across the snow of the Cairngorms

The Big Grey Man of Ben Macdhui

Ben Macdhui standing as the tallest mountain in Scotland has long been home to popular folklore stories. And one of the most famous, tells of The Big Grey Man of Ben Macdhui. A legendary being that has haunted the Cairngorms for centuries. The collection of stories from hikers tells of a supernatural presence often felt at the peak of Ben Macdhui. The most famous story dates back to 1891 and was told by accomplished mountaineer, the late Professor Norman Collie.

Following this account, experiences of The Big Grey Man describe the feeling of being watched, the crunch of snow as steps fall three times as long as the average man and the allusion of a tall grey figure in the winter mist. Each story while slightly different, has one thing in common. All accounts describe an overwhelming feeling of fear and the urge to flee the mountain. While eerie, we can take comfort that no real evidence of The Big Grey Man of Ben Macdhui exist. Scot Mountain Holidays offer guided tours on Ben Macdhui where you can learn more about the history and legends of the Cairngorms.

The Monster of Loch Garten

Boat of Garden home of Fraoch Lodge is also home to the legend of The Monster of Loch Garten. A large carnivorous water monster. Described as a mixture between a large bull and a stallion, with a jet black mane, big head and gleaming eyes. Furthermore, the monster only ever appeared at night and preyed on small children and lambs.

The story goes, that a local once tried to capture the beast. Hitching a rope around an enormous boulder he bated a gaff with a lamb and at dusk, tossed it into the centre of the loch. As the story goes, roaring, lightening and snarls were heard by the infuriated monster throughout the night. But, in the light of the day, the boulder was gone and only a deep rut heading into the loch remained of the boulder. It is said, the monster was never seen or heard off again.

Loch Garten

Looking to the hills beyond Loch Garten

The Old Man of Garten

Another legend that comes from the Boat of Garten region tells the tale of The Old Man or Spectre of Garten with a feeling of dread. Over one hundred years ago many people allegedly came forward testifying to the existence of this supernatural being. The legend describes a spirit roaming the countryside surrounding Loch Garten and Loch Mallachy giving warnings of impending death. Never seen but heard, stories describe being awaken for no apparent reason to the overwhelming sense of apprehension. This is quickly followed by the dreaded high-pitched scream of the spectre warning them of an approaching death.

There are many more legends and stories from the Cairngorms region that hold a place in folklore history. The stories, sure to delight children and adult alike tare an amazing addition to your Scotland holiday.

The United Kingdom is treacherous when it comes to weather. One minute the sun is shining and the next its dreary, cold and you’ve retreated inside. Getting at least one wet day on your Scottish holiday no matter what the season is quite likely. But don’t let it dampen your day. No matter what the season we have the perfect wet weather inspiration for you.

Strathspey Steam Railway

Steam railway, Scotland

Strathspey Steam engine heading to Aviemore from Boat of Garten

The Strathspey Steam Railway is a major attraction in the Cairngorms National Park, and for good reason. This is a must do activity regardless of the weather. Jump aboard and enjoy the stunning scenery of the Cairngorms from the comfort of inside as well as a unique dining experience, and a piece of history. An activity the entire family will enjoy with the added bonus of it being a piece of history.

Loch Ness

Visit Loch Ness

Castles and historical landmarks

The Cairngorms National Park and Scotland in general is full of historical sites, such as castles and museums. Exploring castles and learning about Scottish history is the perfect way to spend a wet weather day. Made especially easy if travelling with a vehicle. Within easy reach of Fraoch Lodge are Balmoral, Braemar, Blair and Ballindalloch castles.

Braemar Castle

Braemar Castle, Royal Deeside

Breweries and Distilleries

Scotland is famous for it’s whisky and home to many delicious beers and other liquor. There are plenty of breweries to choose from depending on personal preference all within easy access some of which offer free tours and have gift shops. A tasting day and a bit of history is a great way for some wet weather inspiration.

Glenlivet distillery offer free tours on demand and can offer tours in a range of languages.

Cairngorm Brewery offer a very affordable tour and are quite liberal with their tastings. Make sure you are hiking, on public transport or have a designated driver as there are quite a range of beers on offer.

Scottish whisky distillery

Sample a snifter or two of the water of life at one of the many Speyside dislleries

 

Eat and Drink

Nothing is quite as enjoyable as enjoying local food and watching the world go by. It’s also a lovely way to spend a wet and cold day. Whether you head to a coffee shop and enjoy some delicious Scottish treats or a nice pub lunch of some haggis it’s the perfect excuse to take you indoors. Or, if you don’t want to leave at all join Fraoch Lodge for a delicious home cooked meal served family style.

If you’re out and about we recommend the Copper Dog in Craigellachie or the Rowan Tree just outside Aviemore or for a family meal with plenty for everyone try La Taverna for excellent pizza and pasta choices.

Cake O'Clock - although on this day it was biscuits!

Cake O’Clock – although on this day it was biscuits!

Indulge in some shopping

There are plenty of opportunities in Aviemore to check out the latest outdoor fashions. Mountain Warehouse and Blacks both have large stores in the village centre along with numerous independent (like Mountain Spirit) and smaller chain stores (like Nevisport).

Alternatively if you would like to pick up some souvenirs there are plenty of excellent art and craft galleries, including our own excellent gallery and coffee shop 1896 Gallery in Boat of Garten.

Visit a mountain bike trail centre

Mud is a feature to many a good day out on a bike. The more spattered you are, the more fun you’ve had. There are also many wee skills areas which you can use for free to practise your balance and bunny hops etc.

Take a crafty slant on the day

There are also craft workshops and demonstrations like “Throw a Pot” at Loch an Eilean pottery, weaving or spinning at Knockando Wool Mill or a tour of the Cashmere factory at Johnston’s of Elgin (tours are free). Interactive crafts can easily be arranged for groups, please contact us for full details of the options available.

Quiet day

If you’re on holidays you’ll most likely want some down time. And a rainy day is the perfect excuse. Stay inside, read a book, enjoy an open fire and take some time for yourself.

Scotland is a destination to be appreciated, and like anywhere the weather can be a little disruptive. But Fraoch Lodge is the perfect base for a number of inside activities and you’re sure to have an amazing time regardless of the weather.

Relax by the fire (whisky optional)

Relax by the fire (whisky optional)

So you’re considering going on a hiking holiday? Firstly; great choice. Not only is hiking extremely beneficial to your health and wellbeing. But it’s also a cheaper way to travel and allows you to experience the essence of a place. Hiking holidays are becoming increasingly popular, but there is the question, how to choose a hike in Scotland when there’s such a wide range available?

mountains of scotland

Stac Pollaidh, Assynt, Scotland – north of Inverness

How to choose a hike for you

The first thing to consider is if you want to go on a hike or a walk.

Do you want or need a guide? Fortunately, Scot Mountain Holidays have a range of group hiking holidays, tailor made tours, and private guiding options available, so you’ll definitely find the right hike for you. But to ensure you’ve found the perfect hike you do need to consider certain aspects.

Are you intending to go on an inn-to-inn hike? Follow a long distance trail? Or do you want to get into the mountain wilderness areas and have a truly unique and off the beaten track experience?

Are you quite happy hiking on your own but you’d like some guidance on choosing routes, support with transport? Find out about Scot Mountain Holidays self-guided options for the more adventurous.

 

Availability

Tours with Scot Mountain Holidays range from weekend getaways to seven days long. With tours running throughout the year, all that is required is for you to decide on your availability.

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

Choose a season

Choosing a season is one of the most important decisions in finding the right hike for you. Spring and summer are the most popular hiking periods and also provide the most pleasant hiking conditions. Perfect for those with families or first time hikers. Autumn is a wonderful season for hiking due to the beautiful colours, the changing environment and lack of climbing traffic. Autumn is suitable for everyone, and ideal for those who prefer a cooler temperature. Winter is considerably more difficult to hike in, and we recommend winter hiking for those confident in their abilities. This is due to the additional gear required and the added challenges of often hiking through snow. Winter is however often a more rewarding experience, with the raw beautiful scenery, clear winter views and the satisfying sense of accomplishment.

Level of difficulty

Scot Mountain Holiday tours are graded on a level of difficulty from two to five, with five being the most difficult. When considering how to choose a hike in Scotland it’s important to take into account your own level of fitness and choose a tour suited to you. For an overview, refer to the Scot Mountain Holidays grading system.

All Scot Mountain Holidays tours are all inclusive. So, all you need to do now, is chose a hike. To ensure the experience pre, during and post hike is completed stress free for you, Scot Mountain Holidays will take care of the rest.

Narrowing down the destination for your yearly holiday can be difficult. Trying to decide between relaxation and adventure often leaves you straddling the fence. And factoring in whether you’re approach should be take it as it comes or plan ahead so you have a full day of activities can often be exhausting. So that leaves the question, what is a winning holiday formula?

Liathach, Torridon

The Pinnacles on Liathach, Torridon. A classic view of one of the premier ridge walks in Scotland

Here at Scot Mountain Holidays we think adding a little of everything creates the perfect recipe. The best of both worlds, if you will. Our perfect formula incorporates relaxation time and adventure. Amazing food, but cooked in the homely style that makes you feel like you’re home away from home. And finally, the kind of holiday where you have plenty to do, but don’t have to plan or think about any of it.

And the solution? Simply book a holiday with Scot Mountain Holidays.

Our fully catered walking, hiking or cycling holidays means there is no stress on you. Not only does it allow you to experience parts of Scotland not often seen and get really under the skin both culturally and historically. But you’ll also have the perfect balance of adventurous activity and down time. Based from the Cairngorms National Park, Fraoch Lodge, run by Scot Mountain Holidays, is the perfect base for your holiday. The national park will give you opportunity for serene country strolls, stunning views and quiet afternoons by the fire. And the guided tours will satisfy all your adventure needs with the added bonus of activity (hiking and/or mountain biking for the most part, though other options are available) and breathtaking scenery. Incorporate restaurant quality food served in a homely style we all love and you’ve got yourself the perfect holiday.

Relax by the fire (whisky optional)

Relax by the fire (whisky optional)

So take away the stress of planning and booking your holiday. Scotland no matter what the season is an incredible destination. And if you book with Scot Mountain Holidays, you really will have a winning holiday formula.

 

Located in the heart of Scotland, the Cairngorms National Park is voted one of the top 20 places to visit in the world by National Geographic Traveller Magazine. Offering activities for all types of travellers it’s no wonder people flock from all around the world to see this little piece of paradise.

Wild scenery of Scotland

Glorious wild scenery for the Cairngorms National Park

So why visit the Cairngorms National Park?

  1. Accessibility

Easily accessible from Scotland’s major cities, Inverness, Edinburgh and Glasgow. The Cairngorms are incredibly well connected and easy to navigate by all sources of public and private transportation. While in the national park you’ll find many walking/cycling paths for all levels of fitness connecting villages and towns making it exceptionally easy to explore.

Not all footpaths are waymarked, particularly on the high hills. If you’re unfamiliar with the area or if you want to learn a bit more about the Cairngorms and their history, geology, habitats, wildlife etc; then it is always a worthwhile investment to book:

  1. Attractions

No matter what your age or situation the Cairngorms offer attractions for everyone. You’re sure to feel the culture of Scotland with many historical castles to visit.

  1. Balmoral castle
  2. Braemar castle
  3. Corgarff castle
  4. Ballindalloch castle
  5. Loch an Eilean castle (ruins)
  6. Drumin castle, in Glenlivet

And on the outskirts of the Cairngorms:

  1. Cawdor castle
  2. Urquhart castle
  3. Brodie castle
  4. Balvenie Castle (ruins)
  5. Huntly Castle
Castles in the Cairngorms

Pipers welcome visitors to Braemar Castle

There are also distilleries aplenty producing the famous whisky the region is known for. (We’re at the beginning of the famous Speyside Whisky Trail and our tours often include a visit to Glenlivet distillery and/or the Speyside Cooperage  – where the oak barrels are made for the distilleries.) The national park is also home to endless outdoor opportunities. Because of this, walking, hiking and cycling are fantastic day activities, as well as endless outdoor choices and wildlife spotting opportunities. As a result, you’ll visit the best locations along amazing hiking trails when joining Scot Mountain Holidays on a guided tour. And, with Andy as your guide you’ll learn so much more about the region and the wildlife.

 

Autumn hiking

Hiking in the autumn (Cairngorms, Highlands)

  1. Seasonal options

No matter what the season, the Cairngorms offer fantastic attractions. Water sports and water based activities are a great option in summer and spring. In winter and late autumn there are snow sports and more complex hiking options to choose from. And wildlife watching and incredible hiking and cycling trails are available all year long. Because the Cairngorms are so well connected, Scot Mountain Holidays have options to experience all parts of Scotland. Giving you the best of both worlds.

Whether you’ve been before or a first time visitor, The Cairngorms National Park is a place you’ll grow to love. Fraoch Lodge, the heart of Scot Mountain Holidays will give you a base near all of the major sites. And Scot Mountain Holidays will help you to experience the Cairngorms in all their glory.

wild blueberries in the Cairngorms

Wild blueberries abound in mid-summer here in the Cairngorms

4. Hiking for everyone

There are hikes suitable for the wee ones, the ancients, the enthusiasts and the dabblers. Wildlife and nature walks to backpacks across the park. You can lose yourself in the “backwoods” or “wilderness” of the Cairngorm hinterland or saunter at your leisure through stunning scenery with the dog, the kids or on your own. There are certainly enough paths to choose from that you can choose solitude if you wish. The multitude of options can be confusing if you’re not familiar with the area, but here at Fraoch Lodge, we pride ourselves on choosing the best option to give you memories which will be the highlight of your visit to Scotland.

Reindeer in the Cairngorms

Visit the Cairngorm Reindeer herd in the natural environment (Cairngorms)

Walking in the Cairngorms

Beautiful views and a clear path on the ascent of Meall a'Bhucaille

Wild scenery of Scotland

Glorious wild scenery for the Cairngorms National Park

Hiking in Scotland

Hiking through the varied habitats of the Cairngorms

5. Variety of activities

There are numerous activities in the Cairngorms, particulary for those who enjoy the outdoors:

 

All these options are open to guests based at Fraoch Lodge – Andy and Rebecca are here to guide you on what is possible in your available time.

6. Discovery tour

If you are short of time you may want help putting the highlights of the Highlands, particularly the Cairngorms, into a time frame to make the most of your visit. We have an ideal 3 day experience of the Cairngorms which will get you hiking, biking and experiencing some of the crafts which have been a part of daily life in Scotland for hundreds of years. Use the Cairngorm Discovery tour as your introduction to the Highlands or as a base for your own Off the Beaten Track experience.

crafts in Scotland

Sheep have been a major influence on the HIghlands as has their fleece!

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