Next on the list of Scottish Exploration is Aviemore. It’s somewhere I have been going most of my life. I have family up there. Most people I know have family up there. For such a small town, it is a place with an abundance of things to do for all ages.
Known mostly for it’s snow sports as well as hiking, biking and many more outdoor activities, it’s situated in the Caringorms National Park. There is a Funicular Railway that gets you up the Cairn Gorm mountain in 10 minutes. Not to mention the Wild Reindeer herd that are very domesticated and are known to get very close!
In this post I will talk a bit about my favourite things to do and see in Aviemore.
Cairn Gorm Mountain:
One of the Munros and the sixth highest mountain in the UK. I was lazy and got the Funicular up for £12 (which gives you a day pass so you can go up and down as often as you like). The views as you go up are incredible! But when we got to the visitor center/cafe at the top we weren’t actually allowed to go out onto the mountain as it’s a protected landscape and wouldn’t be on the allocated walking paths. Next time I’ll definitely commit to the hike!
*There is also a Camera Obscura on the Mountain just before you start on the trail. A Camera Obscura is “a small round building with a rotating angled mirror at the apex of the roof, projecting an image of the landscape on to a horizontal surface inside.” Quite smaller than the one I visited in Edinburgh – You will get some incredible 360 degree views of the Cairngorms. Also it’s free!
A beautiful Loch at the foot of Cairn Gorm (You can actually see it in the above picture) As well as have a watersport center, there are also cycling routes around the loch. You can get the bus from Aviemore Town Centre for £2-3 return. You no longer feel like you’re in Scotland when you are on it’s sandy beach!
(As I was reading up about Loch Morlich for this post I came across this little piece of history: “When examined closely the sand of these beaches contains large amounts of broken glass. However, this glass does not come from careless tourists discarding bottles irresponsibly, but is in fact left over from the Second World War when the area around Loch Morlich was used as a commando school. In particular it was used as a training area for the Kompani Linge (the Norwegian Independent (army) Company”)
The Cairngorms is home to 25% of Britain’s threatened wildlife species. There are many tours you can enjoy that take you around and tell you more about the animals. You can also just try your luck and go for a wander. You are likely to come across something. I was eating in the cafe at the top of the Funicular and a herd of Reindeer strolled by. Other wildlife to look out for are Osprey, Red Squirrel, Snowy Owl, Wild Cat, Otter and many more. Camera at the ready!
A nature reserve accessible right from the heart of Aviemore by the YHA with incredible views of the town and The Cairngorms. The path is very well marked with the optional trail up to the viewpoint, which can get a bit rocky. But so worth it!
Thunder in the Glens:
The largest Harley Davidson Rally in the UK passing through Aviemore every year in late August. I’m not majorly into motorcycles but it seemed to always be happening with I was in Aviemore growing up so it’s just something I associate with the town. As the rally rolls through the Main Street it’s as if the whole town comes out to cheer!
A very chill atmosphere with amazing food! Very close to the Train Station/Bus Stop so a good spot to hang out while you wait.
Last time I was in Aviemore I realised just how much there is to do and see! The surrounding landscape is absolutely breathtaking. But hey, that’s Scotland for ya! Here’s to many more trips in the future.
Have you ever been to Aviemore? Have I missed your favourite thing to do off my list?! Let me know in the comments below 🙂
Disclaimer: All pictures are my own unless stated otherwise.