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Cairngorms National Park
Cairngorms National Park

Cairngorms National Park

Free admission
Cairngorms National Park, Aviemore

The Basics

The dramatic landscapes of the Cairngorms National Park were formed 40 million years ago, before the last ice age. The park has five of Scotland’s highest mountains and attracts outdoor enthusiasts looking to hike to the top of Cairngorm’s namesake mountain, which can also be reached via a funicular.

Stay in the resort town of Aviemore in the heart of the park, and enjoy the dramatic castles, mysterious stone circles and ancient Caledonian pine forests of Braemar Highland; sip whiskey at Dalwhinnie Distillery; or, in winter, hit the slopes near the mountain’s ski center. You can also opt for a single- or multi-day tour of the Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh or Glasgow that includes time in the park.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Glasgow

star-5
Whisky distillery and Cairngorm National Park
Kristina_N, Sep 2021
Cairngorms National Park and Speyside Whisky Small-Group Day Tour from Inverness
I can totally recommend this tour! The distillery tour was affordable and very interesting, same goes for the tasting afterwards. Exploring the Cairngorm National Park was a highlight as well. Seana is a wonderful guide and gave us valuable information.
star-5
Although there were only 2 of us...
peglyngul, Nov 2017
Cairngorms National Park and Speyside Whisky Small-Group Day Tour from Inverness
Although there were only 2 of us, Rabbies still took us on a wonderful journey. It is a new addition to their tours but our driver, the awesome Emily, did a fantastic job and was very knowledgeable about the area . The Cairngorms had its first dusting of snow and it was beautiful, cold, but beautiful. Absolutely loved the scenery and definitely recommend this tour, you wont be disappointed. Go Emily
star-5
Truly a full immersion experience...
James F, Jul 2017
Cairngorms National Park and Speyside Whisky Small-Group Day Tour from Inverness
Truly a full immersion experience. Our guide Duncan did an excellent job discussing relevant history of the areas we drove through and visited, as well as discussing current topics that are impacting the area. He had tracks of different types of local music, both past and current that he played for us. He bent over backwards to make the trip enjoyable for the whole family.
star-5
I can definitely recommend this...
George K, Aug 2017
Cairngorms National Park and Speyside Whisky Small-Group Day Tour from Inverness
I can definitely recommend this tour! It was a lot of fun.The stops we made were very relaxed and we were able to take our time to eat, drink and look around. Our tour guide was very enthusiastic and knew so much about everything! It was great!
star-5
Great tour, Duncan wa a fantastic...
Cherie F, Aug 2018
Cairngorms National Park and Speyside Whisky Small-Group Day Tour from Inverness
Great tour, Duncan wa a fantastic tour guide, loved cairngorms, a true gem in the highlands. I'm not a whiskey fan, but the glen fiddich tour was very interesting and the wee dream tasting at the end was a very nice ending to the dat.
star-5
This was a really enjoyable full day...
Russell H, Jul 2017
Cairngorms National Park and Speyside Whisky Small-Group Day Tour from Inverness
This was a really enjoyable full day tour, led by a young, very enthusiastic, knowledgeable tour leader. The visit to the Cairngorms was really interesting, as was the tour through Glenfiddich Distillery. The company who ran the tour, uses only small buses, therefore making for small tour numbers. There were plenty of stopping places for toilet visits, morning tea and lunch.
star-4
Great tour guide and places that we visited, the Findhorn beach is especially amazing!
Sherin_T, Oct 2020
Cairngorms National Park and Speyside Whisky Small-Group Day Tour from Inverness
Overall, I would recommend the tour, Duncan was very interactive with us and definitely a conservationist when it comes to taking care of the nature! He brought us to many lovely places, such as Loch Morlich, FindHorn, etc.! Very happy with the tour! Just one on thing on the whisky distillery tour, which was supposed to be Glenfiddich, but because it was closed, we went to Glen Moray. Not the best, as it can be improved with an actual tour around the distillery (ie process wise), instead of just a sit-down sampling without even any explanation by the staff. Glen Moray staff were not particularly knowledgable about their own products, and that is quite a disappointment. As I was looking forward to the tour instead of the sampling, a heads-up can be given so that I can choose to opt out.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Don’t forget waterproof shoes and raingear; the ground may be soft underfoot.

  • The national park is home to many endangered birds, so bring your binoculars if you want to do some birdwatching.

  • There are often snow-related road closures in the park in winter.

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How to Get There

It’s easy to reach Aviemore from Scotland’s major cities: The town is approximately a 30-minute drive from Inverness and a 2.5-hour drive from Edinburgh or Glasgow. Trains and buses run to the park for these cities as well. You can also opt for a guided tour that includes transportation from Edinburgh or Glasgow.

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When to Get There

Cairngorms National Park is busiest during the summer, when international travelers join locals in their highest numbers. That said, the park offers a variety of sights and adventures in any season, including skiing in winter. Be prepared for rain at any time of year.

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Royal Appeal

The famous Balmoral Castle is also located in Cairngorms National Park. The castle and the park around it were purchased for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert in 1852 and have belonged to the royal family ever since. Queen Elizabeth II spends every summer here, and visitors can tour the estate at certain times of year or even rent a small cottage on the grounds.

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