Cairngorms National Park - Highland Perthshire, Aviemore, Glenlivet, Royal Deeside

Cairngorms National Park. Welcome to the Cairngorms Park accommodation and holiday blog. On Cairngorms-Park.com you'll find the widest range of self-catering holiday homes, hotels, guest houses, B&Bs, hostels and caravanning/camp sites situated in the Cairngorms Park, from Blair Atholl to Aviemore, into Glenlivet and Royal Deeside. You'll also find details of all the villages and tourist attractions in the Cairngorms Park, information on active-, water- and snow sports, including every annual event and festival. Look for our definitive guide to the Cairngorms National Park's golf courses, places to eat and drink, the best nightlife, distilleries and other world class visitor attractions. Your Cairngorms Park holiday starts here!

Set against the spectacular backdrop of the Cairngorm mountains and ancient Scots Pine Forests, Aviemore and The Cairngorms National Park remains Scotland's favourite all year round visitor destination. Whether you're skiing, snow boarding, climbing, walking or just touring, you'll be doing it in some of Europe's finest and most spectacular National Park.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

The Cairngorms National Park

The largest of the parks at 3800 sq kilometres in area, the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland is a breathtaking haven for unique wildlife and plants, moorlands, forests, rivers and lochs, situated in a stunning mountain landscape.



The Cairngorms National Park is towards the north-west of Scotland and stretches from Grantown on Spey to the heads of the Angus Glens, and from Ballater to Dalwhinnie. It is served by several main ‘A’ roads, including the A9, A93 and A939. Towns within the park area include Dalwhinnie, Newtonmore, Aviemore and Ballater.

The park has breathtaking scenery, and many opportunities for walking and hiking, golf, mountain biking, canoeing and climbing, not to mention skiing on Cairn Gorm mountain, which has some of the best snow-holding records in Scotland.

There are also sites of historical interest, including the splendidly crenellated Scone Palace which was built from red sandstone in 1802 and stands in beautiful grounds surrounded by 300 acres of parkland.

Balmoral Castle, the Scottish home of the British Royal family, is also situated in the park between Braemar and Ballater. Queen Victoria called it 'my dear paradise in the Highlands' spending as much time as possible there after the death of Prince Albert in 1861.

Other highlights include numerous heritage centres, historical houses and estates such as Rothiemurchus and Glenlivet, the Glenlivet and Lochnagar distilleries, the Strathspey Steam Railway, the RSPB Osprey Centre at Boat of Garten, the arts and crafts shops at Tomintoul, and Braemar Castle.


The park is 40% larger than the famous Lake District National Park

It contains the largest area of arctic mountain landscape in the British Isles, including four out of five of the country’s highest peaks

The forest contains a rare kind of pinewood only found in Scotland and Norway

The park is home to 25% of Europe’s threatened animal, bird and plant species

The TV series ‘Monarch of the Glen’ was filmed in the park around Dalwhinnie

At Leault Farm, Kincraig, you can watch duck-herding demonstrations!
Looking for accommodation? Why not check out - www.HighlandHolidayCottages.com or www.cairngormsholidaycottages.com

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Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Iceland visit the Cairngorms National Park

A delegation from Iceland are expected to arrive in the Highlands on Wednesday for a special fact finding tour.
Iceland shares many geographical similarities with Scotland and the team are keen to see Scottish developments in renewable energy and tourism.

Over the next three days, the group - which includes the Mayor of the Municipality of Hornafjordour - will visit several businesses.


They also plan to visit the Cairngorms National Park to examine the effects it has on tourism in the area.


Iceland has a number of its own national parks including Vatnajokull National Park, which is the largest in Europe.


On Thursday, the team will meet representatives from the Cairngorms Chamber of Commerce and tour the Rothiemurchus Estate.


On Friday they will meet the Cairngorms National Park Authority at Grantown on Spey before visitng Tomintoul and then going on to Royal Deeside for a tour of the Glen Tanar Estate.
Stephanie Andersin, of HIE, said: "We are delighted to be welcoming the Icelandic group to the Highlands and Islands to look at the innovative work being carried out here.


"They view Scotland's progress as an excellent example of a small country like their own capitalising on what is unique in order to grow the economy and compete at an international level."

Friday, 24 April 2009

How does the Budget affect Holiday Cottage Owners


2009's Budget, announced yesterday, includes scrapping the Furnished Holiday Lettings (FHL) rules. Currently, owners of holiday homes and cottages in the UK enjoy several benefits, but the Budget 2009 revealed that these advantages are set to be repealed in 2010. However, until then the rules will be extended to other European countries.At present, owners of UK and other holiday properties can offset any trading losses from their second home, such as loss of rental income, against any other income they may have.




Furthermore, capital gains tax (CGT) on a holiday home can be postponed by investing in another property within three years of selling the original home. Owners may also be able to benefit from Entrepreneurs' Relief and pay the business rate of CGT.As well as CGT relief and offsetting trading losses, the FHL rules include 'capital allowances'. Such allowances allow you to deduct a certain percentage for the cost of each item of furniture or equipment provided in the property. This is normally 50 per cent of the cost in the year it was purchased and 25 per cent of what is left for each year after the initial purchase.However, Alistair Darling, Britain's chancellor of the exchequer, announced that the FHL rules will be repealed from 2010-11 and owners will no longer enjoy such benefits. Nevertheless, the Budget 2009 also revealed that until these changes come into force, the FHL rules will be extended to other countries within the European Economic Area (EEA). This means that anyone liable to UK tax with properties in these countries will qualify for the tax advantages for a short period.In order for a property to qualify for the FHL benefits until 2010, it must meet certain conditions.


These include being situated in the EEA and the business being a commercial venture with a view to making a profit. The property must be available for commercial letting as holiday accommodation for a minimum of 140 days per UK tax year and let for at least 70 days. Lets of over 31 days to the same person cannot be included.


It is all just a but much, why not take a holiday check out http://www.highlandholidaycottages.com/
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Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Storm over BBC weather forecasts

INACCURACIES with the BBC on-line weather forecasting service is causing storm clouds to gather over one of the Highlands and Islands most popular tourist attractions. Bosses at Landmark have complained to the Beeb they are constantly predicting rain for Carrbridge which is home to the forest adventure park.


They claim that the BBC's weather website gives the forecast of a wet day when in fact it turns out that there are only a small number of isolated showers – and sometimes no rain at all.
Manager Danny Fullerton said that they relied on the BBC to get the forecast right to help bring in more visitors to Landmark which attracts around 130,000 people every year.
He said that the weather phraseology used by the broadcaster on their website was very ambiguous and that the medium term forecasts in particular were unreliable.
Mr Fullerton said: "We check the weather site for Carrbridge PH23 3AJ every day and we refer our potential visitors to it for checking local weather before they set out for us or for planning a few days ahead of their trip.


"A major problem is the accuracy of forecast for this area – it is often changed radically over the immediate two to three days meaning planning in advance is impossible.
"We would be as well waiting to the day and looking out of the window."
Mr Fullerton is also unhappy about the phraseology used on the site: "On days where there is a chance of slight rain passing over the area the forecast refers to 'showers' or 'showery'.
"This implies that the predominant condition is rain. I am urging the BBC to change this to the true meaning of showers which is mainly dry."


He said that the BBC's incorrect forecasts were not only continually hitting the attraction in the pocket but also created headaches in catering for visitor numbers.
Mr Fullerton added: "We use the weather forecast to plan staffing levels, stocking levels for foods, drinks, ice creams and so on and we can be left high and dry by inaccurate forecasts."
He added: "I am watching the new BBC weather site to see if it is going to be any different. It is too early to say right now but I will be monitoring their forecasts closely."
Other members of the Carrbridge Business Association also agree that the BBC's inaccurate forecasts are a source of frustration including those given on the TV.
Alice Buttress, who runs Carrbridge Studios which sells wooden sculptures, said: "Other sites may be more accurate but unfortunately it is the BBC site that most people use.
She said: "Anyone looking at the BBC forecast for over the Easter Weekend would surely have had second thoughts about coming here.


"Rain was forecast for almost the entire holiday period - but more annoyingly even although they were getting it completely wrong they still didn't change their forecast.
"I think it is time we all started to complain and perhaps someone at the BBC might take notice."
Andrew Kirk, who runs The Cairn Hotel with his wife, Susan, agreed and continued: "My other gripe – apart from the tilt of the UK which makes the Highlands look insignificant and the South-west of England huge – is the phrase 'it will be raining in Scotland. Really; from Wick to Stranraer and Tongue to Eymouth? I doubt it."
A BBC spokeswoman defended their record. She said: "Our aim at BBC weather is to present the forecast as clearly as possible and to increase the speed and frequency with which we can update it.

"We are confident that we are using the best source of forecast data, which we obtain from the Met Office. However, the nature of our climate is such that there are times when the weather behaves in unpredictable ways.
"Our terminology aims to be as clear as possible, and we constantly review it following our audience comments and feedback."
A spokesman for the broadcaster's complaints department said they feed back concerns about forecast inaccuracy to the Met Office and also put pressure on them to improve their accuracy.

Why not stay at a Cottage in the Cairngorms

Holiday time is around the corner and its time to plan where to go and what sort of holiday you prefer. If you dislike the hustle and bustle of busy hotels or living in a self catering city apartment what are your options!

You can rent a caravan or hire a tent, or you could decide to take a cottage holiday. Holiday cottages come in all shapes and sizes tiny ones for two people or large ones for ten to twelve people or more. They can be quaint and crooked or up to date with all the mod cons.

You can find one with a loch view which is every ones picture of a real country cottage, or many of them have a hot tubs or games rooms for kids!



They can be in the depth of the Cairngorms National park away from it all, where woodland and wild flowers are in abundance, or in a small village where the local shop sells anything and everything.

If you like the idea of farming life where the children can see the animals and feed the hens, you’re in luck because many highland farms rent out the little cottages on their land some even have a horse to ride.

Climbing and hiking holidays are very popular for the fit and hardy in the Cairngorms National Park, you can find a cottage or a cozy wooden chalet on the side of a Cairngorm Mountain in the Scottish Highlands.

Lochs and rivers are always popular, although they are not a perfect environment for young children so families should steer clear of these

Cottages are everywhere and it is not only the summer time when they can be enjoyed. Even in the middle of winter you can curl up in front of a real log fire or wrap up warmly and face the elements of a wintry countryside.

Many cottages allow dogs; imagine their delight with so much open space and all the different smells that send them ecstatic with joy.


Cairngorms Holiday Cottages, the first web site solely dedicated to listing all self-catering cottages, houses, lodges, bungalows, log cabins and bothies in the Cairngorms National Park. With interactive map search, advanced search engine, quick check and enquiry system. The site will also list what's on every month, places to see, do and visit in the Cairngorms National Park,

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Four new affordable homes unveiled in Cairngorms National Park

Four new affordable homes which have a reduced carbon footprint have been unveiled at Ardgeal in the Cairngorms National Park by local MSP Fergus Ewing. The homes for sale have been built on land sold to The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust by Forestry Commission Scotland as part of its National Forest Land Scheme.


Three of the four homes are already sold to local purchasers who otherwise would not have been able to afford to buy suitable homes in what is still an expensive local housing market. Purchase prices have been kept low through a combination of the Trust using its Rural Housing Burden to take a 35% equity share in the properties, in return for a large discount, and substantial individual Rural Home Ownership Grants from the Scottish Government. A combination of solar panels, wood burning stoves, exceptionally high levels of insulation and careful design ensures that the homes will have low running costs and a much reduced carbon footprint compared to most modern homes.

The Milehouse development was delivered by the Inverness-based Trust, a rural housing charity, in partnership with the Kincraig & Vicinity Community Council. The project received financial contributions towards the cost of site acquisition and a project feasibility study from the Cairngorms National Park Authority and Highland Council. RBS provided approximately half of the total project development finance with additional lending from the Highland Housing Alliance Charitable Trust. The remainder of the project costs were funded from the Trust's revolving landbank fund originally funded by Highland Council. Tom Hainey, CEO of the Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust said: "It has taken a lot of hard work to reach this point and we have learned an awful lot along the way. "We will be taking time to learn those lessons before we proceed with Ardgeal phase 2 hopefully later this year."He added: "I look forward to working more closely with the Forestry Commission and Park Authority on a range of other innovative projects."Mr Ewing said: "This development is a model of co-operation between The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust, the Forestry Commission as the landowner and the Cairngorms National Park Authority. "The developers have praised the Park Authority for the way in which the planning process was handled.



The vision of the local community was obtained and I understand that the development has proceeded without a single problem." Mr Ewing said that he hoped the next phase of the project could now proceed so more local people had a chance of affordable housing, adding that all the firms involved in the design and creation of the homes, including Grantown-based builders AW Laing, had done an excellent job. CNPA board member Anne MacLean said: "We feel what we have done at Ardgeal could be replicated elsewhere in the National Park conjunction with the housing provider and the Forestry Commission and possibly also in other areas of Scotland too. "This development shows how well the Park's partnerships are working and delivering on the ground."Fiona Munro, the CNPA's Housing Officer, said: "We want to learn from the project and see whether it can be repeated elsewhere in the National Park."Tree felling was necessary to carry out the Ardgeal project but a significant planting scheme for new trees will be implemented by the new owners within a year of occupation.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Grantown-On-Spey, Cairngorms National Park

If you want to see a traditional Scottish town, then fantastic Grantown-on-Spey, Cairngorms National Par, is the destination for you. Scottish tradition and culture are all within an easy reach once there, and the town itself exudes friendliness and warmth at every turn. Also, as an example of a Georgian Era town, there are almost none finer to be found.

Grantown-on-Spey itself is a town that resides in the Highland Council Area in Scotland, which is a part of the United Kingdom. Counting only about 2,200 people in its year-round population, Grantown nestles beside the river Spey. It's scenically close to the awesome Cairngorm Mountains, along the northern edge.

Formed of the union of three parishes in the 16th century, Grantown has a distinguished history in the so-called Highlands of Scotland ("Scottish Highlands"). It also is an attraction that brings in many tourists via use of national and international chartered bus services. This is because the area and the town are achingly beautiful and a real testament to the proud Scottish heritage.
Grantown sits amid picturesque woodlands teeming with local wildlife.

There is also an abundance of hiking and walking trails for people of all ages and abilities, and which give views of the surrounding hills and mountains. The town also hosts an award-winning museum that shows the visitor the beginnings of Grantown and its evolution into a popular holiday destination.

If shopping and sightseeing are for you, then the town's main thoroughfares offer more than their fair share of interesting shops and businesses which sell all manner of wares and items, most of which do a great job of imparting a bit of the Scottish love of their ancient and proud nation.

Grantown-on-Spey and the Highland area are sparsely populated, mainly due to the sheer size of Highland, which is the largest local government area in all of Scotland and England. With a total population of only 215,000 or so people, overcrowding when sightseeing will definitely not be a problem.


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Monday, 13 April 2009

Aviemore Snowsports

Aviemore is based in the highlands of Scotland, with impressive mountain views, and surrounded by country-side it stands 26,000 feet above rural farmland. The area is renowned for skiing, having recently had British Army Competitions on its snowy peaks in the last two months. The ski resorts success, with professional skiing has also lead to success with tourists, having thousands people hitting the slopes each month. These massive numbers are also attributed to snowboarding, with boarding specific parks on one side of the mountain.



Aviemore recently commissioned a state of the art ski train that can travel up to 15 miles per hour, withstand winds in excess of 110 miles per hour. The amazing structure travels from the base to the top and is certainly an amazing sight for any avid skier

Aviemore is an unfortunate to only have snow for 4-5 months in the year, ruling it out of hosting many competitions, and really placing Scotland up their with as one the top skiing destinations in Scotland. The skiing destination has recently hosted the snowboarding freestyle championships


With a thriving economy that survives largely of the tourism industry, Aviemore had the facilities to bed over 2,000 people a night. The reasons for this is largely down to its proximity to a local villages that are able to provide bed and breakfast and self-catering accommodation.

If you have never been to Aviemore then I recommend you visit, whether or not you are a skier. The fact is, the views are amazing, the fresh clear air is refreshing and the people are fantastic. If you have never skied before, then what better place to learn than Aviemore.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

braemar castle reopens

A HISTORIC Deeside landmark is to welcome its first visitors of the new season this weekend.
It is the second year that Braemar Castle has been open to the public since a major restoration project began.

The castle will open in a blaze of musket and cannon fire today as the Fraser’s Dragoons re-enact a 17th-century battle between the Covenanters and Royalists.

Volunteers have recently been granted nearly £250,000 towards the second phase of work from Historic Scotland and the Cairngorms National Park Authority.

Match-funding must be found before the essential repairs to the castle roof and harling can be made.The castle and living history camp of Fraser’s Dragoons opens at 11am today and tomorrow and battle will take place from noon to 4pm
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Friday, 10 April 2009

Ballater Bike Bash

AN annual event which is expected to attract more than 300 cyclists to Ballater is taking place next weekend.


The third annual Ballater Bike Bash will take place on Saturday, April 18. The event brings around 60 high-end mountain bikes to the CycleHighlands store in Ballater for demonstration rides.Cyclists can try out the range of bikes with the assistance of trained guides, who will lead riders through the range of short trails around Ballater. Children will also get the chance to enhance their cycling with a mini skills course outside the CycleHighlands shop.


The event will begin at 10am and there will be a barbecue at 11.30am. A three-hour cycle, guided by Ballater Bike Club, will also be provided on the morning of Sunday, April 19. Keen cyclists can put the demonstration bikes to the test on some of Ballater's most challenging hill trails. This event is the only one of its kind in the North-east.Richard Watts, director of CycleHighlands, said: "This event is a must for those who enjoy cycling. Last year, around 300 people came to Ballater for the day and we hope that we can attract even higher numbers this year."There are also more exhibitors taking part this year, with some of the best mountain bikes available to try. The setting for the event is second-to-none, the natural terrain of Royal Deeside makes it perfect for mountain biking - from easy forest trails to challenging hill climbs, there are routes to suit all abilities. And with the magnificent Royal Deeside scenery in the background, we are confident that people will enjoy the whole experience!"Further information can be found at: www.cyclehighlands.com or by calling (013397) 55864.CycleHighlands is holding its annual Ballater Bike Bash on Saturday, April 18.
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Thursday, 9 April 2009

Strachan's ...an end of an era.

Two people, understood to be the shop's owner and his son, were injured in the blaze at Strachan's grocery and hardware store in Aboyne. They are believed to have suffered minor burns. 14 people were safely evacuated from the area. Famous for it arcade machines and great stop off on the way to camping and hiking trips.



The fire broke out at around 3.15pm on Wednesday. People reported hearing an explosion moments before.


60 firefighters from Grampian Fire and Rescue Service battled the blaze into the evening. Windows were smashed and the roof was believed to have caved into the ground-floor building on Ballater Road.

Fire appliances from Aboyne, Ballater, Banchory, Stonehaven, as well as North Anderson Drive, Dyce and Central Fire Station from Aberdeen, attended the blaze.

Let hope they reopen bigger and better than before......

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Tuesday, 7 April 2009

The Outsider Festival 2009 announces Sunday Headliner Teenage Fanclub

We are delighted to announce Teenage Fanclub as Sundays headline act at this years Outsider Festival at Rothiemurchus near Aviemore!



The band, from Bellshill, emerged about 20 years ago from Glasgow’s C86 scene and have released 8 albums. Liam Gallagher famously described them as “the second best band in the world"

** Outsider Comedy **

The Outsider comedy programme is coming together and we can officially announce the first acts! Fred MacauleyMiles JuppKevin BridgesShazia MurzaAaron Counter
more to be announced soon…



Why not stay at http://www.highlandholidaycottages.com/ or check our http://www.cairngormsholidaycottages.com/ for selfcatering accommodation in the Cairngorms National Park.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Cairngorms National Park Holiday Accommodation

Cairngorms National Park is a paradise for families, with its child-friendly culture, summer sunshine, great mountains, lochs and rivers and good value food and the Cairngorms Holiday Cottages village guides suggests a whole range of holiday ideas. Self catering, for instance, Family Business is a good, easy-going option for a low cost family holiday. Scottish self catering homes offer excellent facilities, lots of family fun and the chance for adults and children to explore the Cairngorms National Park.



For teenagers, self-catering is the perfect option. Relax in a big, rambling country house where the whole family can enjoy the garden, satellite TV, cycling and sightseeing. Young children, too, are blissfully happy with this type of break and the website has plenty of properties in all parts of Cairngorms National Park.

The web site also suggests fun and informative theme parks to visit when based at a Cairngorms Holiday Cottages, self catering holiday property, from magical Waltzing Waters to the fascinating Kingussie / Newtonmore Highland Folk Museum or fun and learn park at Landmark, located in Carrbridge.

Families traveling in a large group can holiday together and save money. The price per person at a generously sized self catering property in rural Cairngorms National Park can be amazingly low.

Driving to or in Cairngorms National Park? Many holiday makers choose to drive through Cairngorms National Park to their holiday destination. Taking the car can now prove swift, comfortable and trouble-free, using the new Driving in Cairngorms National Park guide at www.CairngormsHolidayCottages.com

There are tips on planning your journey, finding quiet roads, and sightseeing trips. Traveling by car, you can usually take more luggage than on a plane or train - and enjoy some of the scenery and culture of Cairngorms National Park along the way. Highland roads are generally of high quality with little congestion, so driving can be a real pleasure.
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This web site is supplied free of charge to all Cairngorms National Park accommodation owners and offers a list of the best Hotels, Self Catering, B&B, Hostels & Camp/Caravanning in and around the Cairngorms National Park area. If you own or manage a accommodation in National Park and wish to advertise for free please click on www.cairngorms_park.com to find out more.

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