Classic Winter Cairngorms

6 days, 7 nights
Tour Type:
Guided Walking holiday
Group size:
4 out of 5

A challenging week of guided winter walking in the wintry Cairngorms. You’ll be hiking up the main peaks under the guidance of our expert leaders.

The Cairngorms are renowned for their winters. Isolated from the warming waters of the Atlantic and home to way more high ground than any other range, they’re a chunk of the arctic moved south. Sometimes hostile but never dull and often incredibly beautiful. Jack Frost never fails to entertain with his creations. This really is the time that the Cairngorms come into their own. It is a unique and challenging environment which never fails to provide intricate and beautiful sites.

If you’re looking for a challenge in winter, you should look no further than guided winter walking in the Cairngorms National Park. Going with a qualified, local, experienced guide with provide an added level of security and comfort, which will mean you can undertake challenges which you might not feel capable of on your own.

Going from east to west this lodge based guided winter walking holiday takes in all the major peaks of the northern Cairngorm massif. It is a trip that takes you right to the heart of big winter mountains. The week starts with the necessary revision in ice axe and crampon skills for safe movement in the winter hills.



  • 7 nights accommodation at Fraoch Lodge
  • 5 days guided winter walking
  • basic winter skills training
  • 1 day of rest to explore or relax on your own
  • transport to the walks
  • experienced, qualified local guide
  • all meals included
  • pick up from Aviemore station or Inverness airport


  • Cairngorm
  • Ben Macdui
  • Braeriach
  • Bynack Mor
  • Sgor Gaoith


I love walking in winter but I’m looking for a guided trip

I’ve never been walking in winter. What are the pitfalls? 

Why go walking in winter?



White Christmas in Scotland

A White Christmas is more of a reality in the Cairngorms than most other places in the UK.

Day of Arrival: Aim to arrive before 8pm if you can so you can relax and get to know the group before dinner.

Day 1: Winter Skills training and an ascent of Cairngorm
675m of ascent and 4.5 miles (7km) on snow covered footpaths and rough ground with some moderately steep gradients. Approx walking time excluding breaks and skills training: 3:30

Day 2: Ben Macdui
950m of ascent & 10miles (16km) on snow covered footpaths and rough ground with some moderately steep gradients. Approx walking time excluding breaks: 6:45

Day 3: Bynack Mor
900m of ascent & 10.5miles (17km) on snow covered footpaths and rough ground with some moderately steep gradients. Approx walking time excluding breaks: 6:40

Day 4: Rest day

Day 5: Braeriach
12.5 miles (20km) & 1400m of ascent on snow covered footpaths and rough ground with some steep but mostly moderate gradients. Approx walking time excluding breaks: 7:30

Day 6: Sgor Gaoith
900m of ascent & 9.5 miles (15km) on generally moderate gradients on snow covered footpaths and rough ground but with some steeper ascents. Approx walking time excluding breaks: 6:00

Day of Departure: Most guests choose to depart at some point after breakfast. Drop offs at Aveimore station and Inverness airport will be arranged for those who need them.

guided winter walking in Scotland

Ascending a snow covered Cairngorm peak

We asked our guests what sets Scot Mountain Holidays apart, why they return year after year:

“the social aspect”  –  “the camaraderie, food and conversation”   –
“the company of the hosts”  –  “so warm and welcoming”  –  

 “a profound sense of belonging”  –  “the welcome of Rebecca’s home cooked meal”  –  “Andy’s skills as a guide, naturalist and leader”  –  “stewardship, sustainability and a small footprint”  –  “in harmony with the land”  –  “a slice of rural Scottish life”

Scot Mountain Holidays is the ONLY adventure tour operator in Highlands of Scotland with a combined home and guest lodge. We strive to be more than just an tour. We aim to provide you with a ‘home away from home’ on your adventures. We thought of no better way of doing this than to welcome you into our own home.

Enjoying a candle lit dinner at Fraoch Lodge

Enjoying a candle lit dinner at Fraoch Lodge

We have owned and operated Fraoch Lodge as our home base and business since 1999. In that time, we have come to embrace our guests as members of our extended Highland family.

We source our meals from locally produced and home grown ingredients to provide you with the most delicious flavours and traditions the area has to offer (while minimising our impact on the environment, too). Our dining room and lounge are shared spaces where we gather with guests and friends to share in the holiday and offer you extensive knowledge of your tour.

No matter the season, the Cairngorms and Fraoch Lodge is a place to relax and explore all its beauty and comforts, and we hope to make you feel as at home as we are.

Snow covered Fraoch Lodge

Snow covered Fraoch Lodge in the depths of winter

We have achieved Gold Star Awards from the world’s most highly respected green accreditation scheme, Green Tourism, and were awarded Highly Commended in their Green Star Awards 2013 for both Scot Mountain Holidays and Fraoch Lodge. We offer a Green Travel Discount of £15 to any guests who travel to us by public transport. Our primary aim is to minimise the carbon footprint of our holidays, and to this end we donate 1% of the price of our tours to the RSPB’s Abernethy Reforestation project.

It is a holistic approach we have to the care of the environment. Andy your adventure guide has a passion for the natural world – whether it’s the flora, fauna or fungi. He has a background in geology and a lifelong interest in natural history, as well as being a keen gardener.  He knows a Golden Plover from a Dotterel, a Green Shank and a Dunlin. He also makes no apologies to being very excitable upon spying a Golden Eagle!

For further information, please don’t hesitate to check out our Environmental Responsibility page, or contact us directly at

Gold award - Green Tourism

Gold standard for Green Tourism

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