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A fabulous opportunity to explore the best of the landscape and wildlife which make the Cairngorms National Park such a special place. We'll hike through the very different habitats of the park over 3 days from mountain to moorland.

Price:

£431 excluding transport to Scotland

Duration: 3 days, 4 nights
Departures: April to August departures
Start point: Fraoch Lodge, Boat of Garten
End point: Fraoch Lodge, Boat of Garten
 

Wild Cairngorms - guided walking in Scotland

Arrive: On the evening before walking begins, we recommend you try to arrive between 5 and 7pm so that you have time to settle in and meet the other members of the group before dinner at 7.30pm.

Day 1: Starts with a steady climb from native birch and pine woodland on the edge of the vast mountain moorland area of the Monadhliath. From the cries of Buzzards and with ever expanding panoramas we enter the realm of the Red Grouse, Mountain Hare and the Golden Plover as we ascend to the summit of Geal Charn Mor. With a grandstand views across the lochs, marshes and fields to the high peaks of the Cairngorms we descend back to the woodland and the fields to complete a great circuit. After one of Rebecca’s delicious home cooked meals and as dusk beckons we head to a local wildlife hide. On the wonderful Rothiemurchus Estate we discover the nocturnal habitats of the Pine Martin, Badger and Red Deer.

Day 2: One of the great unsung gems of the Cairngorm’s is the native pine woods. They are the last remnants of the once great Forest of Caledon and home to species like the Crested Tit, Crossbill, Siskin and Capercaillie. This easier route takes us through arguably the most attractive woodland anywhere. Home to over 4500 different species, the forest of the RSPB Abernethy Reserve feels as if little has changed in the last 10 000 years. From lichen draped pines to the great expanse of heather moorland, we enter the territory of the Black Grouse. Passing the ruins of long abandoned black houses, the views open up to the Cairngorm peaks beyond as we join the crystal clear waters of the River Nethy for lunch by its beautiful waterfall. Skirting the mountain flanks our route gently descends back through the pines to complete this wonderful circuit. On the way back we pop into the RSPB Osprey Centre for the latest comings and goings of the Loch Garten Ospreys. In the evening we’re off to Anderson’s, our fantastic local restaurant a few doors down the road.

Autumn itinerary: The Ospreys have already departed for their long migration south to East Africa so we turn our attention to the Red Deer. October is the prime month to spot these magnificent beasts in their full glory and attempting to attract the females by roaring through the glens in full voice.

Day 3: From 2000ft (600m) up we ascend a further 500m amongst dramatic mountain and cliff scenery to the Cairngorm Plateau, home of the Ring Ouzel, Dotterel, Ptarmigan and Snow Bunting. We skirt the plateau edge above the huge glaciated trough of the Loch A’an basin. Ringed by 1000ft cliffs it‘s the most dramatic of big mountain scenery. We take time to appreciate the alpine flora like, Moss Campion, Creeping Azalea, Butterwort and Starry Saxifrage as we then make the final pull up on to the summit of Britain’s sixth highest peak, Cairngorm, for vistas across mountain after mountain. After an early dinner it’s off to a local hide to watch Otters and Ospreys fishing.

Depart: on morning after walking finishes, after breakfast.

What price includes

 
  • Fraoch Lodge our home base in the Cairngorms (4* hostel)
  • all meals at Fraoch Lodge
  • guiding on all the walks
  • transport to the walks
  • transfers from Aviemore station
 

Location

 

Plan your journey by train

Meeting point:
Fraoch Lodge, Boat of Garten

Nearest train station to meeting point:
Aviemore station

Transfer to meeting point:
Operator collects guests from station

 
Plan your journey by train to Aviemore
 

Plan your journey by train

Finish point:
Fraoch Lodge, Boat of Garten

Nearest train station to finish point:
Aviemore station

Transfer to finish point:
Operator drops guests off at station

 
Plan your return train journey from Aviemore