15 Best Things To Do In Aviemore, Scotland

15 Best Things To Do In Aviemore, Scotland

By will

Aviemore, a charming town nestled within the breathtaking Cairngorms National Park, offers an array of exciting activities and experiences that will leave you spellbound. From hiking through the majestic mountains to exploring ancient castles, there is something for every adventurer in this Scottish paradise.

As I ventured through Aviemore, I was captivated by the lush forests, scenic trails, and the sheer beauty of nature that surrounded me at every turn.

One of the highlights of my visit was the opportunity to hike in the Cairngorms National Park. With its rugged terrain and stunning landscapes, this park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. As I trekked through the trails, I was in awe of the panoramic views of the mountains and the sparkling lochs that stretched out before me.

The fresh mountain air filled my lungs, invigorating me as I soaked in the beauty of nature. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a novice, the Cairngorms National Park offers a variety of trails suited for all levels of experience. From gentle walks to challenging hikes, there is an adventure waiting for everyone.

Hiking in the Cairngorms National Park

General Wade's Road near Milehouse of Nuide, Cairngorm National Park
Photo by Andrew Tryon

You’ll love exploring the stunning hiking trails in the Cairngorms National Park, where breathtaking views and exhilarating adventures await you.

As you lace up your boots and set off on your hike, you’ll be surrounded by a landscape of majestic mountains, crystal-clear lochs, and lush forests.

The park offers a wide range of trails, catering to all levels of experience and fitness.

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker looking for a challenging climb or a beginner seeking a leisurely stroll, there’s a trail for you in the Cairngorms.

One of the most popular hikes in the park is the ascent of Ben Macdui, the second-highest mountain in Scotland. The trail takes you through stunning alpine meadows and rugged granite slopes, offering panoramic views of the surrounding peaks. It’s a challenging hike, but the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when you reach the summit is unparalleled.

For those looking for a more relaxed hike, the Loch an Eilein trail is a perfect choice. This circular route takes you around a picturesque loch, with the towering Cairngorms as a backdrop. Keep an eye out for the resident wildlife, including red squirrels and ospreys.

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting out, hiking in the Cairngorms National Park is an experience not to be missed. The beauty of the landscape, the sense of adventure, and the tranquility of nature all combine to create a truly unforgettable hiking experience.

So grab your boots and get ready to explore the stunning trails of the Cairngorms.

Exploring Ancient Castles

Blair Castle
Photo by Michael Garlick

Discovering ancient castles in Aviemore is like stepping back in time, where you can immerse yourself in the rich history and marvel at the architectural wonders.

One of the must-visit castles in the area is the stunning Blair Castle. As I walked through its grand entrance, I was instantly transported to a different era. The castle’s imposing stone walls, adorned with intricate carvings, stood tall against the dramatic backdrop of the Scottish Highlands. Exploring its many rooms and corridors, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of awe at the centuries of stories that this castle holds within its walls.

From the opulent drawing rooms to the cozy bedrooms, each space was beautifully preserved, giving visitors a glimpse into the lives of the castle’s former inhabitants.

Another fascinating castle to visit is the hauntingly beautiful Cawdor Castle. As I wandered through its ancient halls, I couldn’t help but be enchanted by the sense of mystery that lingered in the air. The castle’s well-preserved medieval architecture, complete with turrets and winding staircases, was truly a sight to behold. I found myself imagining knights in shining armor and noble ladies wandering through the corridors.

The castle’s surrounding gardens were equally enchanting, with vibrant flowers and tranquil ponds adding to its charm. Exploring these ancient castles in Aviemore is an experience that truly transports you to a different time and allows you to appreciate the rich history that Scotland has to offer.

Scenic Trails through Lush Forests

Woodland north of Aviemore
Photo by Richard Webb

As you meander through the picturesque landscapes of Aviemore, be sure to explore the scenic trails that wind their way through lush forests, immersing you in the beauty of nature. These trails offer a truly enchanting experience, allowing you to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and connect with the tranquility of the Scottish wilderness.

As you step onto the trail, you’ll find yourself surrounded by towering trees, their branches reaching towards the sky like nature’s own cathedral. The air is crisp and fresh, carrying with it the earthy scent of pine and the gentle rustling of leaves. Sunlight filters through the canopy, casting dappled shadows on the forest floor. It’s a place of serenity and peace, where the only sounds you’ll hear are the songs of birds and the rustling of small creatures in the underbrush.

As you continue along the trail, you’ll come across hidden gems such as cascading waterfalls and tranquil streams, adding to the magical atmosphere. The trails are well-maintained, making them accessible to both seasoned hikers and beginners alike.

So whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply seeking a moment of tranquility, these scenic trails through the lush forests of Aviemore are a must-visit. Allow yourself to be captivated by the beauty of nature, and let the trails guide you on a journey of discovery and serenity.

Immersing Yourself in Nature’s Beauty

Immersing yourself in nature’s beauty, the lush forests of Aviemore offer a serene escape from the chaos of everyday life.

As you wander through the dense foliage, you’ll be enveloped by the sights, sounds, and scents of the wilderness.

The towering trees create a natural canopy overhead, casting dappled sunlight onto the forest floor.

The soft rustling of leaves and the melodic chirping of birds create a soothing soundtrack that accompanies your journey.

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As you delve deeper into the forest, you’ll discover hidden gems at every turn.

Majestic waterfalls cascade down moss-covered rocks, their gentle spray refreshing your senses.

Vibrant wildflowers dot the landscape, adding pops of color to the lush green surroundings.

The air is crisp and clean, invigorating your lungs with each breath.

It’s a true sensory experience, where you can fully immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.

Aviemore’s forests offer more than just a visual feast; they provide opportunities for exploration and adventure.

Hiking trails wind through the woods, leading you to breathtaking viewpoints and panoramic vistas.

You can challenge yourself with a strenuous climb or opt for a leisurely stroll, taking in the sights at your own pace.

Along the way, you may encounter wildlife such as deer, squirrels, and even elusive birds of prey.

The forests of Aviemore are a nature lover’s playground, inviting you to disconnect from the outside world and reconnect with the natural wonders that surround you.

Skiing and Snowboarding on Exhilarating Slopes

Get ready to hit the slopes and experience the thrill of skiing and snowboarding on Aviemore’s exhilarating slopes.

Aviemore is a paradise for winter sports enthusiasts, offering a range of slopes suitable for all levels of experience. Whether you’re a beginner looking to learn the basics or an expert seeking a challenge, Aviemore has something for everyone.

With its stunning mountain scenery and abundant snowfall, Aviemore provides the perfect backdrop for a day of skiing or snowboarding. The slopes are well-maintained and offer a variety of terrain, from gentle slopes for beginners to steep, adrenaline-pumping runs for the more experienced.

As you glide down the slopes, you can feel the rush of the wind on your face and the exhilaration of conquering the mountain. The crisp, fresh air and breathtaking views make the experience even more memorable.

Aviemore is also home to a number of ski schools and rental shops, making it easy for visitors to get started or upgrade their equipment. Whether you’re new to skiing or a seasoned pro, you can find professional instructors who can help you improve your skills or teach you the basics.

Additionally, the ski resorts in Aviemore offer a range of amenities, including cozy lodges and restaurants where you can relax and refuel after a day on the slopes.

Skiing and snowboarding in Aviemore is an unforgettable experience. The exhilarating slopes, stunning scenery, and range of options for all skill levels make it a must-visit destination for winter sports enthusiasts. So grab your gear, hit the slopes, and prepare for an adventure you won’t soon forget.

Mountain Biking Adventures

For an unforgettable adventure, hop on a mountain bike and explore Aviemore’s thrilling trails. With its rugged terrain and stunning landscapes, Aviemore offers some of the best mountain biking experiences in Scotland.

As you pedal your way through the trails, you’ll feel a rush of adrenaline as you navigate the twists and turns, conquer challenging climbs, and descend steep slopes.

Aviemore’s mountain biking trails cater to riders of all skill levels, from beginners to seasoned pros. If you’re new to mountain biking, you can start with the easier trails that offer a gentle introduction to the sport. These trails are well-maintained and provide a smooth ride, allowing you to enjoy the breathtaking scenery as you pedal along.

For more experienced riders, there are advanced trails that will test your skills and push you to your limits. These trails feature technical sections, rocky descents, and thrilling jumps that will leave you with an exhilarating sense of accomplishment.

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, Aviemore’s mountain biking adventures offer something for everyone. So grab your helmet, strap on your pads, and get ready to embark on an adrenaline-fueled journey through Aviemore’s captivating trails.

Golfing in Picturesque Surroundings

Golf course with a view, Aviemore

Golfing in Aviemore’s picturesque surroundings is an experience that will leave you in awe of the stunning scenery. As you make your way through the course, you’ll be surrounded by lush green fairways, towering pine trees, and breathtaking mountain views.

The combination of natural beauty and the peacefulness of the surroundings creates a truly magical atmosphere.

Aviemore offers several golf courses that cater to golfers of all skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, you’ll find a course that suits your needs. The courses are well-maintained and offer a variety of challenges, including strategically placed bunkers and water hazards. You’ll have the opportunity to test your skills and improve your game while enjoying the stunning surroundings.

One of the highlights of golfing in Aviemore is the chance to spot some wildlife. As you navigate the course, you may come across deer grazing in the distance or squirrels scurrying across the fairway. It’s a unique experience to play a round of golf while being surrounded by nature’s wonders.

After a rewarding day of golfing, you can relax and unwind at one of the many charming pubs or restaurants in Aviemore. Enjoy a delicious meal and raise a glass to a day well-spent on the greens.

Golfing in Aviemore’s picturesque surroundings is an experience that combines the love of the game with the beauty of nature, creating a truly unforgettable golfing adventure.

Wildlife Spotting in the Cairngorms

As I explore the Cairngorms, I’m constantly amazed by the incredible wildlife that crosses my path. From the majestic red deer to the elusive Scottish wildcat, this national park is a haven for nature enthusiasts.

One of the best ways to spot wildlife in the Cairngorms is by taking a guided tour with a knowledgeable local guide. They know all the best spots to see species like the red squirrel, golden eagle, and mountain hare. As we venture through the rugged landscape, the guide shares fascinating facts about each animal, their behavior, and their importance to the ecosystem. It’s truly a thrilling experience to witness these creatures in their natural habitat.

In addition to guided tours, there are plenty of opportunities for wildlife spotting on your own. The Cairngorms is home to several designated nature reserves, such as the RSPB Loch Garten Osprey Centre. Here, you can observe these magnificent birds of prey as they soar through the sky and dive into the water to catch fish. The reserve also provides a chance to see other bird species, including crossbills and crested tits.

As you wander through the ancient Caledonian pine forests, keep an eye out for the elusive pine marten and red squirrel. These charismatic creatures often make appearances if you’re patient and observant. Wildlife spotting in the Cairngorms is an adventure like no other, and it’s an experience that will leave you with lasting memories of the incredible diversity of Scotland’s natural wonders.

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Fishing in Pristine Lochs

After spending time wildlife spotting in the beautiful Cairngorms, I couldn’t resist the allure of the pristine lochs that surround Aviemore. Fishing in these tranquil waters is truly a serene and rewarding experience.

With my fishing rod in hand, I set out to explore the abundance of fish that inhabit these picturesque lochs.

As I cast my line into the crystal-clear water, I couldn’t help but marvel at the breathtaking scenery surrounding me. The lochs in Aviemore are nestled amidst rolling hills and majestic mountains, creating a peaceful and idyllic setting for fishing. The stillness of the water mirrored the tranquility of the surroundings, creating a sense of harmony that allowed me to fully immerse myself in the experience.

As I waited patiently for a bite, I couldn’t help but appreciate the diversity of fish that inhabit these waters. From trout to salmon, the lochs of Aviemore offer a variety of species for anglers to target. The thrill of feeling a tug on my line and the excitement of reeling in a prized catch made each moment on the lochs truly memorable.

Not only did fishing in Aviemore provide me with a rewarding outdoor activity, but it also allowed me to connect with nature in a unique and intimate way. The peacefulness of the surroundings, combined with the thrill of a potential catch, created a sense of serenity and excitement that is hard to find elsewhere.

Whether you’re an experienced angler or a beginner looking to try something new, fishing in the pristine lochs of Aviemore is an experience that shouldn’t be missed.

Enjoying Water Sports on Aviemore’s Lakes

Immersing oneself in the exhilarating world of water sports on Aviemore’s lakes is an experience that will leave you breathless. With its crystal-clear waters, stunning natural surroundings, and a variety of activities to choose from, Aviemore is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced adventurer, there’s something for everyone here.

One of the most popular water sports in Aviemore is kayaking. Picture yourself gliding through the calm waters of Loch Morlich, surrounded by majestic mountains and lush forests. The feeling of freedom and serenity as you paddle along is truly unparalleled.

If you’re up for a challenge, you can try your hand at white water rafting on the River Spey. Get ready for an adrenaline rush as you navigate through thrilling rapids and feel the power of the river beneath you.

For those seeking a more laid-back experience, stand-up paddleboarding is a fantastic option. Cruise along the tranquil waters, taking in the breathtaking scenery at your own pace.

Whether you choose to kayak, white water raft, or paddleboard, Aviemore’s lakes offer an unforgettable water sports experience that will leave you wanting more.

In addition to the excitement of water sports, Aviemore’s lakes also provide a perfect setting for relaxation and leisure. After an exhilarating day on the water, unwind on the shores of Loch Insh, basking in the glorious Scottish sunshine. Bring a picnic and enjoy a leisurely afternoon with family or friends, as you soak in the beauty of the surroundings.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even take a refreshing swim in the cool waters of Loch an Eilein. With its sandy beaches and calm waters, it’s the ideal spot to cool off and recharge.

Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, Aviemore’s lakes offer a multitude of options to make your visit truly unforgettable.

Visiting the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre

When you visit the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre, you’ll be captivated by the enchanting sight of these majestic creatures roaming freely in their natural habitat. The centre is nestled amidst the stunning Cairngorms National Park, offering a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with these beautiful animals.

As you enter the centre, you’ll be greeted by knowledgeable guides who will provide you with fascinating insights into the reindeer’s behavior, habitat, and conservation efforts.

One of the highlights of the visit is the guided tour to see the reindeer in their natural environment. Led by experienced herders, you’ll embark on a scenic walk through the picturesque landscape, surrounded by breathtaking mountain views. As you approach the reindeer, you’ll feel a sense of awe as their graceful presence fills the air. You’ll learn about their social structure, their adaptations to the harsh environment, and the challenges they face in the wild.

The Cairngorm Reindeer Centre also offers the opportunity to hand-feed these gentle creatures. It’s an incredible experience to have these majestic animals eating from the palm of your hand, their velvety noses tickling your skin. You’ll have the chance to capture memorable photographs and create lasting memories. The centre’s dedication to the welfare of the reindeer is evident in the care and respect shown towards these magnificent creatures.

Visiting the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre is an unforgettable experience that provides a unique insight into the lives of these captivating animals. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an animal lover, or simply seeking a memorable adventure, this is a must-visit destination in Aviemore, Scotland. So, come and immerse yourself in the magic of the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre, where the beauty and grace of these reindeer will leave you in awe.

Discovering Local History at the Highland Folk Museum

After experiencing the joy of visiting the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the rich history of Aviemore. That’s why I made my way to the Highland Folk Museum, a place that beautifully showcases the local history and heritage of the area.

Stepping into this living museum felt like stepping back in time, as I immersed myself in the fascinating stories of the Highland people. As I wandered through the museum’s various exhibits, I was captivated by the authentic buildings and artifacts that brought the past to life. From traditional croft houses to a working blacksmith’s forge, every corner of the Highland Folk Museum told a different tale.

I couldn’t help but imagine what life was like for the people who once inhabited these spaces, as I learned about their daily routines, skills, and customs. It was truly a journey of discovery, as I gained a deeper appreciation for the resilience and resourcefulness of the Highland community.

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The Highland Folk Museum also offered interactive experiences, allowing me to try my hand at traditional crafts and activities. From spinning wool to trying on historical costumes, I felt like an active participant in the history I was learning about. The knowledgeable and friendly staff added to the experience, eagerly sharing their insights and answering any questions I had.

By the end of my visit, I felt a stronger connection to the local history and culture of Aviemore, and I left the museum with a renewed sense of appreciation for the rich heritage of this beautiful Scottish town.

Taking a Steam Train Journey on the Strathspey Railway

As I board the vintage steam train at the Strathspey Railway, I’m immediately transported to a bygone era.
The rhythmic chugging of the locomotive and the gentle swaying of the carriages create a nostalgic atmosphere that fills me with excitement.

As we slowly make our way through the picturesque Scottish Highlands, I’m captivated by the panoramic views that unfold before my eyes.
Rolling green hills, majestic mountains, and winding rivers stretch as far as the eye can see, creating a breathtaking backdrop for this unforgettable journey.

The Strathspey Railway offers a unique opportunity to experience the golden age of steam travel.
The meticulously restored carriages and the authentic steam locomotive take me back in time, allowing me to imagine what it was like to travel in a bygone era.
The friendly and knowledgeable staff on board provide fascinating insights into the history of the railway and its significance to the local community.

As I sit back and relax in the comfortable seats, I can’t help but feel a sense of wonder and gratitude for the opportunity to embark on this incredible steam train journey.

Overall, taking a steam train journey on the Strathspey Railway is a must-do experience for anyone visiting Aviemore.
It’s a chance to step back in time, immerse oneself in the beauty of the Scottish Highlands, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply seeking a unique and memorable adventure, this steam train journey is sure to leave you with a sense of awe and a newfound appreciation for the magic of train travel.

Shopping for Souvenirs in Aviemore’s Unique Stores

Immerse yourself in the charm of Aviemore’s unique stores and discover the perfect souvenirs to treasure your unforgettable journey through the Scottish Highlands.

Aviemore is home to a variety of one-of-a-kind shops that showcase the best of Scottish craftsmanship and culture. From traditional tartans and kilts to handcrafted jewelry and local artwork, there is something for everyone in these stores.

As you wander through the streets of Aviemore, you’ll find a treasure trove of souvenirs that capture the essence of this picturesque town. Step into a cozy shop and be greeted by friendly locals who are passionate about sharing their love for their craft.

Browse through shelves filled with beautifully woven tartan scarves, warm woolen blankets, and intricately designed kilt pins. Each item tells a story and has a connection to the rich history and traditions of the Scottish Highlands.

In addition to traditional Scottish goods, Aviemore’s unique stores also offer a range of contemporary souvenirs. Discover modern interpretations of Celtic designs in the form of stylish jewelry or take home a piece of Aviemore’s stunning landscape with a locally inspired artwork. Whether you’re looking for a small trinket to remind you of your visit or a statement piece to display in your home, Aviemore’s stores have something to suit every taste and budget.

So, take some time to explore Aviemore’s unique stores and find the perfect souvenirs to remind you of your time in the Scottish Highlands. Immerse yourself in the local culture, support local artisans, and bring home a piece of Aviemore’s charm.

Indulging in Delicious Scottish Cuisine at Local Restaurants

After exploring Aviemore’s unique stores and finding the perfect souvenirs, it’s time to satisfy your taste buds with some delicious Scottish cuisine.

Aviemore is home to a variety of local restaurants that offer a range of dishes showcasing the best of Scottish flavors. From hearty traditional dishes to contemporary twists on classic recipes, there’s something to please every palate.

One of the must-visit restaurants in Aviemore is The Old Bridge Inn. Located in the heart of the town, this charming eatery offers a warm and inviting atmosphere, making it the perfect place to unwind after a day of exploring. Their menu features a selection of mouthwatering Scottish dishes, such as haggis neeps and tatties, Cullen skink soup, and venison casserole. Each dish is prepared using locally sourced ingredients, ensuring the freshest flavors and a truly authentic experience.

For those craving a taste of the sea, The Winking Owl is the place to be. This seafood restaurant prides itself on serving the finest Scottish seafood, with dishes like smoked salmon, Loch Fyne oysters, and grilled langoustines. The cozy interior and friendly staff create a welcoming atmosphere, allowing you to fully enjoy the flavors of the ocean. Don’t forget to pair your meal with a glass of fine whisky or a local craft beer for the ultimate Scottish dining experience.

Whether you’re a fan of traditional Scottish dishes or looking to explore new culinary flavors, Aviemore’s local restaurants have something for everyone. Indulge in the delicious cuisine, soak up the warm atmosphere, and create unforgettable dining memories in this picturesque Scottish town.

Conclusion

In conclusion, my time in Aviemore, Scotland has been nothing short of incredible. From hiking in the stunning Cairngorms National Park to exploring ancient castles, every moment has been filled with awe and wonder.

The scenic trails through lush forests have allowed me to immerse myself in nature’s beauty, leaving me feeling rejuvenated and inspired. One of the highlights of my trip was skiing and snowboarding on the exhilarating slopes. The thrill of gliding down the mountains, surrounded by breathtaking views, is an experience I’ll never forget.

Additionally, the Highland Folk Museum provided a fascinating insight into local history, allowing me to step back in time and learn about the rich heritage of the area. Taking a steam train journey on the Strathspey Railway was a charming way to see the countryside, and shopping for souvenirs in Aviemore’s unique stores added a touch of local flavor to my trip.

And let’s not forget the delicious Scottish cuisine I indulged in at the local restaurants. From hearty stews to fresh seafood, every meal was a delightful exploration of flavors.

In summary, Aviemore, Scotland offers a plethora of activities and experiences for every type of traveler. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, or food lover, this beautiful destination has something for everyone. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Aviemore.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.