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Full Name


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Holiday Name

Spirit of the Cairngorms

Holiday summary

Guided walking break in the Cairngorms - culture and walking series


spring and autumn


3 days, 4 nights

Meeting Points

We tend to group pick ups as much as we can. Please notify us as soon as you have booked your transport so we can co-ordinate the pick ups as efficiently as possible. We will pick up once from Inverness airport (if required) but can make more than one run to the station as it is only 6 miles from our home base. If the airport and train pick ups conflict, we would advise you of somewhere warm and comfortable to wait for your pick up

All Inclusive



3 out of 5

Tour Highlights

"I just wanted to say thank you for the lovely holiday we had with you. Lloyd and I enjoyed it - the food was wonderful, the company as well , and the walks were just what we had wanted. Still excited about the badgers and pine martens." Laura and Lloyd Mackinnon

Hiking in the Cairngorms with a family

Ascending Meall a’Bhucaille with 2 x 7 year olds and 1 x 4 year old.

Day of Arrival
You arrive to a warm welcome at Fraoch Lodge, in front of a roaring open fire before settling in and a lovely home cooked evening meal.
Day 1
From Source to Spirit – we walk through the hills along routes that smugglers must have followed to reach the Glenlivet Distillery After a tour we follow the River Livet to complete the circuit before dropping in at Tomintoul’s renowned and specialist whisky shop, The Whisky Castle, for a tasting and a unique angle on Scottish whisky.

460m of ascent and 8.5 miles (14km) on footpaths and tracks with some moderate gradients. Approx walking time excluding breaks: 4:30
Day 2
Fruits of the Forest – Our route takes us through the beautiful Abernethy Reserve where the yellows of Birch and Aspen contrast with the deep green of the native pines. Nature’s larder provides us with gourmet delights – Chanterelles and Porcini, Cowberries, Cloudberries and Bleaberries to later be sampled in some of Rebecca’s fantastic home cookery! We plan to visit the Strathspey Badger Hide before twilight.

420m of ascent on very gentle gradient and 10 miles (16km) mainly on footpaths and tracks with a little rough walking. Approx walking time excluding breaks: 4:45

Yellow fungus in spring

Photo caption: Nature bursting back into life during spring hiking.

Day 3
High mountain wildlife and geology. We ascend from hidden glens, Cairngorm’s “Shangri-la’s” and up to the Argyll Stone for tales and spectacular panoramas across Glen Einich to Braeriach. Andy, your guide, is a mine of information when it comes to natural history. We descend through the stunning Rothiemurchus estate to head back to base to freshen up and a wonderful meal at neighbouring Andersons Restaurant.

682m of ascent and 10 miles (16km) on footpaths, tracks and rougher mountain terrain with some steeper gradients. Approx walking time excluding breaks: 5:30
Day of Departure
Depart Fraoch Lodge after breakfast. We’ll drop you off at Aviemore station or Inverness airport for your onward travel.

Click here to request the tour dossier

Wildlife sightings

Badgers, pine marten, roe deer

Four deer are spotted on a walking trip

Wildlife spotting during a guided walking tour

accommodation in the Cairngorms

Fraoch Lodge in it’s autumn plummage

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.


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.


Stocking up with pellets

Stocking up with pellets

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 minimize 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 info@scotmountainholidays.com.

Gold award - Green Tourism

Gold standard for Green Tourism

Booking Procedure

Departure Guarantee

We are proud to continue to offer our unique departure guarantee*. If your booking is confirmed by Scot Mountain Holidays you can be assured that your holiday will run. We can offer this guarantee as we are unique amongst walking holiday operators in Scotland by providing all the parts of your holiday (guiding, accommodation and catering) in-house.
* Scot Mountain Holidays reserves the right to alter the venue and itinerary of holidays advertised as based away from Fraoch Lodge.

We work with Worldpay to process our online transactions now so you can rest assured that your payment will be processed securely. We accept the following cards:

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Booking online is straightforward and enables us to confirm your reservation immediately. We also accept bookings by telephone, email, and post.

Attention! Don’t forget to read our trip dossier and booking terms and conditions, BEFORE you complete the booking process!

A deposit of 50% is required at the time of booking unless you are booking less than 28 days before departure. In this case, full payment of the trip price is required

Your Financial Protection

In compliance with the UK Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 a client deposit account has been arranged with the Royal Bank of Scotland to protect monies paid in respect of travel arrangements offered in the Brochure and to cater, where necessary (and subject to the terms of the insurance policy), for a refund of such monies in the unlikely event of our financial failure. The balance of payment is due 28 days prior to the commencement of the course. Credit/debit cards accepted are: Visa, Visa Electron, Mastercard, Switch, Non-refundable deposits will be debited on receipt of the booking form. Balance of payment reminder will automatically be sent out to you. Please be prompt in paying the balance. If you decide to pay by internet bank transfer please use your own name or booking number as a reference for the payment so it can be reconciled.


It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical and personal accident risks. This must include cover for the activities to be undertaken during the trip. We also recommend that you take out insurance which includes cancellation and baggage cover.

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