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!
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