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, 31 December 2009

Best skiing in 14 years at resort

A Highlands winter sports centre said it has had its best Christmas holiday season in 14 years.

CairnGorm Mountain said over a four-day period following Christmas Day it has had more than 8,000 skiers and snowboarders using its runs.

The resort in the Cairngorms near Aviemore said blizzard conditions forecast for Thursday were expected to give way to bright sunshine on Friday.

Further snowfalls were expected over the weekend.

in reference to:

"A Highlands winter sports centre said it has had its best Christmas holiday season in 14 years.CairnGorm Mountain said over a four-day period following Christmas Day it has had more than 8,000 skiers and snowboarders using its runs. The resort in the Cairngorms near Aviemore said blizzard conditions forecast for Thursday were expected to give way to bright sunshine on Friday. Further snowfalls were expected over the weekend."
- BBC News - Best skiing in 14 years at resort (view on Google Sidewiki)

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Avalanche risk in Scotland raised by crystals

Unusually calm and extremely cold weather has raised the risk of avalanches in Scotland's mountains.

Members of the Sportscotland Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) have been monitoring surface hoar, a phenomenon rarely seen in Scotland.

The snow crystals form a slippery layer when buried under snow and are the cause of many avalanches in the Alps and North America, according to SAIS.

Mark Diggins of SAIS said the Northern Cairngorms was one affected area.

He said hoar surface had formed over about 10 days of calm and extremely cold weather.

'Soap flakes'

Normally the crystals, which are created by vapour rising up from layers of deposited snow and then freezing on the surface, are destroyed in a thaw or by high winds.

Mr Diggins said: "What we have got is an unusual climate because of this prolonged cold spell. This has been throwing up some unusual things, one of them being hoar surface.

"The crystals can be quite dangerous if buried by further falls of snow as they form a very, very weak layer.

"The crystals are a bit like soap flakes and create a very slippery layer."

SAIS teams have been checking for hoar surface during routine assessments of avalanche risks in Northern Cairngorms, Southern Cairngorms, Lochaber, Creag Meagaidh and Glencoe.

SAIS provides avalanche forecasts for the five areas which are popular with climbers and skiers online and via mobile phone text messages.

An image of the crystals found in Lochaber has been uploaded onto the service's website.

in reference to:

"Unusually calm and extremely cold weather has raised the risk of avalanches in Scotland's mountains.Members of the Sportscotland Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) have been monitoring surface hoar, a phenomenon rarely seen in Scotland. The snow crystals form a slippery layer when buried under snow and are the cause of many avalanches in the Alps and North America, according to SAIS. Mark Diggins of SAIS said the Northern Cairngorms was one affected area. He said hoar surface had formed over about 10 days of calm and extremely cold weather. 'Soap flakes'Normally the crystals, which are created by vapour rising up from layers of deposited snow and then freezing on the surface, are destroyed in a thaw or by high winds. Mr Diggins said: "What we have got is an unusual climate because of this prolonged cold spell. This has been throwing up some unusual things, one of them being hoar surface. "The crystals can be quite dangerous if buried by further falls of snow as they form a very, very weak layer. "The crystals are a bit like soap flakes and create a very slippery layer." SAIS teams have been checking for hoar surface during routine assessments of avalanche risks in Northern Cairngorms, Southern Cairngorms, Lochaber, Creag Meagaidh and Glencoe. SAIS provides avalanche forecasts for the five areas which are popular with climbers and skiers online and via mobile phone text messages. An image of the crystals found in Lochaber has been uploaded onto the service's website."
- BBC News - Avalanche risk in Scotland raised by crystals (view on Google Sidewiki)

Flocked to slopes

Scottish ski industry said the snow and sub-zero temperatures had helped it experience its best start to the season for years.

Thousands of skiers and snowboarders have flocked to the slopes at Cairngorm, Glenshee and the Lecht, and the operators of the Nevis Range centre near Fort William said conditions could not get much better.

The Glencoe ski area was open for business for the first time since the centre closed earlier this year amid fears about its future.

Forecasters have predicted that the cold snap will continue for the next few days, with the possibility of more snow in some areas.

in reference to:

"Flocked to slopes"
- BBC News - Travel warnings issued over wintry conditions (view on Google Sidewiki)

Monday, 28 December 2009

Aviemore Ski Resort


Located about two hours from Edinburgh or Glasgow– Cairngorm Mountain Ski Resort near Aviemore is perhaps the first destination that comes into the mind when you are thinking of a wonderful ski holiday in Scotland. Along with a range of other activities such as, sledging, snowboarding, swimming, husky dogs racing, ice climbing, and infamous Aviemore Reindeers – Aviemore offers excellent options for an enjoyable ski holiday.


With its majestic Cairngorms Mountains, each scaling a 3,000 Aviemore is the biggest as well as the most exceptional ski destinations in UK. The cairngorms mountain range together provide more than 700m vertical drop of skiable terrain, as well as over 30 marked trail in order to ski in.
Almost half of the slopes are for beginners and intermediates. Coire Cas, straight up from the Main Car Park, has plenty of green and blue slopes for the intermediates and advancing novices. The M2 is a good long blue run starting from the Ptarmigan Centre at the top all the way down to the Car Parks.  The rest of the slopes are red and more experienced skiers enjoy the challenge of the Ciste Gully. The most challenging run, the only black, is the West Wall at Coire na Ciste. The White Lady provides an extra challenge when it’s covered in moguls.


Cairngorms Mountains are also home to some of the most advanced high speed funicular, apart from two amazing back country bowls, all of which collectively serve as a perfect base for a great skiing and snowboarding.  In addition to skiing in Cairngorm mountains Aviemore , skiing or snowboarding in the close by Lecht in Glenlivet  and Glenshee Royal Deeside,  ski resorts – is also enthralling and very much worth a visit.  In 2009/2010 all resorts have agreed to offer a 5 day ski pass for all the resorts at a discounted price.  This is very much worth purchasing if you intend to stay in the Aviemore and Cairngorms Area a 7 or 14 day snow sports self-catering holiday or vacation.



Aviemore provides excellent choices for all types of skiing such as alpine skiing, free ride skiing, cross country skiing, and snowboarding.  In free ride skiing, also known as off piste skiing, you float through the powdered snow as well as cut through the roughest conditions.  However, it is recommended for skiers with advanced abilities. A subset of the Nordic skiing sport – cross country skiing is both easy and fun when compared to other skiing type.   There a number of Nordic ski centres in the National Park such as Glenmore Centre near Aviemore.

For adventurers, this ski resort has fantastic options in the form of guided / instructor skiing and snowboarding. Guided skiing or snowboarding is usually undertaken by a local from the Aviemore area, which a great way to explore the resort with the assurance you will not get lost and also hit all the good spots.
One of the prime specialties of this fabulous skiing destination is that it has superb alternatives for all abilities, no matter if you are a beginner or an old hand. A great range of schools exclusively designed for skiing operate here to cater ski enthusiast of every level and need. Many of them offer specialist lessons.


There are also ski schools providing specialized classes for kids aged between 3-4 years.  In addition, these schools tailor the lessons according to the requirements of the skiers. With these enjoyable skiing options amid dramatic scenery and spectacular views, it is no wonder than hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the world flock to Aviemore every year.
The main centre for nightlife is Aviemore High Street, (Grampian Road) which has a good choice of pubs and hotels and really seems to come alive when it has a covering of snow. The Vault, the local nightclub is the place to go if you want to party into the early hours, or for the slightly older the night club in the back of the Winking Owl, only at weekends. Whilst many of the bars and hotels have live music. The Cairngorm Hotel, The Winking Owl, RD's, MacKenzie's and Mambo's are all popular with the tourists and locals alike. The other villages in the area, from Kingussie in the south to Grantown-on-Spey and Carrbridge in the north, have a small variety of bars and nightlife.



Accommodation is aplenty in this skiing destination, with a wide range of cottage houses and log chalets to suit any taste and budget. There are also hotels in the area. In order to make your ski holiday comfortable and pleasurable, many of them even provide packages covering everything from accommodation and food to ski equipments and service of expert staff. Also, many of them are located within the easy reach of the ski bus routes from Aviemore. Some of them even offer discounts for some kind of packages. Above all, many of them provide choices to make bookings online. Just check www.CairngormsHolidayCottages.com for all you Scottish skiing holiday packages.



Aviemore Hogmanay 2009

Stay in Aviemore, for your New Year celebrations

 

If you are looking for somewhere that you can have a great New Year party in a beautiful setting with a lively atmosphere then you may want to head to, Aviemore. The Cairngorms National Park encompasses the highest landmass in Britain and includes five of the six highest summits in the UK.  The Cairngorms National Park includes a wide range of very diverse communities and villages. However Aviemore is classified d as the party town of the Cairngorms National Park. Aviemore destination has got everything that anyone could want for their New Year's Eve celebrations from fantastic restaurants, to lively bars and lots of friendly and relaxed Scottish people.  With beautiful mountains and lochs to adrenaline-filled activities, this is also a great place to stay for a few days in the New Year - so why not enjoy a self catering cottage holiday in The Cairngorms National Park?

 

Where to party in Aviemore

 

If you start the night off in your self-catering Aviemore Holiday Cottage there are many places to head to - Aviemore has everything from chill out bars (Mambos), intimate cafes (Mountain Cafe) with live music, to rocking nightclub (The Vault) with huge DJs and stunning mountains top bars (Cairngorm Mountain). The area comes alive when the sun sets and Aviemore becomes the party capital of the Cairngorms National Park.

 

For visitors who are after a big night out then Winking Owl night club is a must,  a small but intimate club split into two levels, with the bar up-stairs and club downstairs - is a great night out.

 

There is also the big venue Cairngorm Hotel, they always have live music and offer some true highland new-year festivities and is located in the centre of town across from the train station.

 

The Doo Below is another great place to spend the night as it is a chilled snow sports themed bar/dinner with some good snacks on offer.

 

Wherever you choose to count down to midnight, in Aviemore you are guaranteed a great atmosphere and lots of fun.

 

Bringing in the New Year

 

Aviemore is not just a great party town, but it is also a lovely place to relax for a few days and a nice way to bring in the New Year is to spend some time walking in the area.

 

It might be an idea to look for Aviemore cottages to rent and then use this as a base to explore the surrounding area.

 

Some of the activities on offer include walking, mountain biking (WolfTrax), climbing, fishing (Rothiemurchus) and Husky Dog Racing.

 

Visitors who want to relax can also soak up the chilled-out vibe in Aviemore and treat themselves to a spa package at the Aviemore MacDonald’s Highland Resorts.

 

 

 

Saturday, 26 December 2009

A selection of the distilleries around Grantown on Spey nr Aviemore, which beg to be visited and a wee highland souvenir purchased.  Aberlour, due to the increasing interest in and appreciation of malt whisky, a greater range of whisky is being produced by this distillery using the soft water rising from the granite of Ben Rinnes. www.aberlour.co.uk Glenfiddich The Glen of the river Fiddich gives its name to this biggest-selling single malt whisky in the world.. www.glenfiddich.com  Balvenie Next door to Glenfiddich and founded by the same company in 1892 - added Kininvie in 1990 and remains a family firm. www.thebalvenie.com Cardhu, on a hillside near the Spey, was rebuilt by one of several women prominent in the whisky industry in 1872. www.malts.com Glenfarclas One of the best known, respected and fiercely independent distilleries of Speyside. www.glenfarclas.co.uk Glenlivet, the distillery is situated on the River Livet which flows into the Spey, deep in the mountains. www.theglenlivet.com Macallan Became part of the Highland Distillers group in 1996 which group inherited a distillery of very high standards. www.themacallan.com Knockando, an unusual name for a very elegant whisky with strong influence in the J&B blends www.malts.com Strathisla this is the oldest distillery in the north of Scotland which has been producing whisky since 1786. www.chivas.com

 

Cairngorms National Park's architectural heritage

Cairngorms National Park – Built History

 

The natural beauty of the Cairngorms National Park is renowned and rightly so, but very little of this beauty has not been shaped and influenced by human activity. As the way that generations make their living from the area changes so does the landscape and the mannerin which people occupy it. The resurvey of the historic buildings and structures within the Park has shown the more recent patterns of this development, starting the story where the archaeology leaves it. The landscape which is so instantly identifiable to many, even those only slightly familiar with it, is reflected in the buildings too. This regional identity is hugely important to the sense of place, pride and belonging which marks a thriving community. It is also an important part of this part of Scotland’s story. The special nature of the buildings, towns and villages in the Cairngorms played a key role in achieving National Park status. The role of Historic Scotland is to safeguard the historic environment. This is a serious responsibility, as not only do we need to think nationally but locally too. Evolution and change is vital to communities and should not be stifled by a lack of vision. It is with this in mind that Historic Scotland works closely with local authorities to ensure that sensitive change is made possible and that while adapting buildings the very essence of the Cairngorms remains reflected in the style, quality and character of the Park’s best buildings.

 

The listing team in Historic Scotland’s inspectorate have undertaken a survey of historic buildings in the Cairngorms National Park and this blog contains a selection of the rich architectural heritage they encountered. Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Executive and is charged with maintaining lists of buildings of special architectural or historic interest on behalf of Scottish Ministers. The lists ensure that the planning process takes into account the needs of the historic environment and as such they guide the management of change. The system operates under the terms of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997. Within Historic Scotland’s inspectorate we have a dedicated listing team which researches and assesses all the listing proposals received by the agency. Historic buildings enrich Scotland’s landscape. They help to create the distinctive character that shapes our nation’s identity and make a major contribution to Scotland’s, economy not least as an important part of our tourism industry. One of Historic Scotland’s roles is to protect this valuable national resource through the lists of buildings of special architectural or historic interest. Around 47,000 buildings have been listed by Historic Scotland for their special architectural or historic importance.

 

Cairngorms National Park Castles

 

Appearing first in the 12th century, the defensive Scottish castle lingered until the 17th century when more settled conditions under central government allowed lairds and wealthy landowners the freedom to turn their attention to building mansion houses and country residences more suited to the enlightened times. Some of the best examples of castle building in the Cairngorms National Park date from the 16th or 17th centuries. Often built as square- or rectangular plan tower houses, as at Muckrach and Braemar, the basic castle design was frequently extended to form an L-plan, and subsequently the much-favoured strongly defensive Z-plan as at Glenbuchat and Castle Grant. Strategically sited at the entrance to Glenbuchat and overlooking the River Don and the Water of Buchat, Glenbuchat Castle, an attractive fortified house of 1590, has its main rectangular structure flanked by two square towers at diagonally opposing corners. It was built for John Gordon of Cairnburrow and his second wife Helen Carnegie, whose marriage is commemorated in a carved lintel above the entrance. The corbelled turrets and gunloops leave no area of the castle undefended. Incorporated within the vaulted ground-floor rooms is a kitchen with a large semicircular-arched fireplace and salt boxes. Very similar fireplaces have been located in a few modest farmhouses and cottages throughout the north-eastern side of the Park.

 

Where to stay when visiting castles Cairngorms, Aviemore, Glenlivet, and Royal Deeside

 

CAIRNGORMS HOLIDAY COTTAGES - Self-catering holiday properties in Cairngorms National Park & Aviemore.  We have the widest range of self-catering holiday homes and cottages, all situated in the Cairngorms Park, in and around all the park villages, from Aviemore to Royal Deeside. Guaranteed Best Rates You book direct with the owner, save £££!. Best Properties - We have the largest selection of properties in the Cairngorms. Holiday Planning- Plan all your outings and things to do, using the site. Cairngorms National Park self-catering accommodation options in and around the Park are wide ranging.  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,  quick check,  advanced search engine and enquiry system we have all information you need to plan your Cairngorms Holiday.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Cairngorm key worker homes win an award

A pair of semi detached houses built for rent to key workers in the Cairngorms National Park, Scotland, have won an award from Inside Housing. Creagan Gorm Cottages won The Sustainable Smaller Social Housing Project of the Year (25 homes or fewer) category of the Sustainable Housing Awards, 2009. The cottages are built from local timber, with carbon emissions at 48 per cent below building regulations, which is equivalent to level 4 under the code for sustainable homes.

http://www.greenbuildingpress.co.uk/images/articles/large/glenmore.jpg

he homes were built for Albyn Housing Society, designed by John Gilbert Architects, and constructed by McLeod Building Ltd. The judges said.. ‘This is not just environmental box ticking: sensitive and interesting.’ --‘You’d want to live there - it has design quality as well as locally based sustainability and innovative use of local materials.’--‘It was creating a place, it talked about real people as well as being very good to the environment.’

The judges loved this scheme because it is visually pleasing, takes a holistic approach to sustainability and involved the local community in really creating a place. Nestled amid the pines of the Cairngorms National Park, these two homes will weather over time to blend beautifully with their surroundings.

The lucky key workers that get to live here will have views over Scottish mountains to the south and over ancient forest to the north. The three-bedroom homes are built from local timber and additional native trees were plated around the site. The houses meet level 4 under the code for sustainable homes on energy and have a host of water-saving facilities. This scheme isn’t just an attempt to tick boxes and get eco-kudos, but is rather a thoughtful look at who will be living in the homes and where they are, with good design and technologies added accordingly. The local economy and community have also benefited, with materials and workers coming from as near to the site as possible.

The homes are for families who have grown up in the area but who have been pushed out of the market by second home owners around the national park area.

Some of the winning features are:-

* Local sourcing of materials, especially Forest Stewardship Council timber mainly from Scotland. Doors and windows which could not be obtained locally so were imported from FSC-approved sources abroad.
* Only four main materials were sourced outside the UK, for quality reasons.
* Very highly insulated walls, roof and floor: carbon emissions 48 per cent below building regulations, which should vastly reduce heating needs. Roof: 400mm cellulose 0.12 W/m2K. Walls: 195mm cellulose and 60mm wood fibreboard 0.15 W/m2K. Floor: 100mm insulation 0.17 W/m2K
* Multi-fuel stove heating for main rooms.
* Oriented to gain maximum benefit from the sun for light and heat.
* Rainwater harvesting to feed toilets and washing machines, as well as creating a sustainable urban drainage system - there is a 5,000 litre storage tank for each house.
* Low flush toilets and showers.* Two year post-occupancy evaluation planned, with airtightness testing, energy monitoring and tenant interviews.
* Waste minimisation policy with all materials from demolition of toilet and showerblock on the brownfield site removed to a local yard for separation and recycling.
* Local arboriculturalist employed to oversee the work on trees and more than 70 native species trees planted around the site.
* Scottish Natural Heritage made surveys of red squirrel populations, and their habitats were protected during the work.

in reference to:

"he homes were built for Albyn Housing Society, designed by John Gilbert Architects, and constructed by McLeod Building Ltd. The judges said.. ‘This is not just environmental box ticking: sensitive and interesting.’ --‘You’d want to live there - it has design quality as well as locally based sustainability and innovative use of local materials.’--‘It was creating a place, it talked about real people as well as being very good to the environment.’ The judges loved this scheme because it is visually pleasing, takes a holistic approach to sustainability and involved the local community in really creating a place. Nestled amid the pines of the Cairngorms National Park, these two homes will weather over time to blend beautifully with their surroundings. The lucky key workers that get to live here will have views over Scottish mountains to the south and over ancient forest to the north. The three-bedroom homes are built from local timber and additional native trees were plated around the site. The houses meet level 4 under the code for sustainable homes on energy and have a host of water-saving facilities. This scheme isn’t just an attempt to tick boxes and get eco-kudos, but is rather a thoughtful look at who will be living in the homes and where they are, with good design and technologies added accordingly. The local economy and community have also benefited, with materials and workers coming from as near to the site as possible. The homes are for families who have grown up in the area but who have been pushed out of the market by second home owners around the national park area. Some of the winning features are:- * Local sourcing of materials, especially Forest Stewardship Council timber mainly from Scotland. Doors and windows which could not be obtained locally so were imported from FSC-approved sources abroad. * Only four main materials were sourced outside the UK, for quality reasons. * Very highly insulated walls, roof and floor: carbon emissions 48 per cent below building regulations, which should vastly reduce heating needs. Roof: 400mm cellulose 0.12 W/m2K. Walls: 195mm cellulose and 60mm wood fibreboard 0.15 W/m2K. Floor: 100mm insulation 0.17 W/m2K * Multi-fuel stove heating for main rooms. * Oriented to gain maximum benefit from the sun for light and heat. * Rainwater harvesting to feed toilets and washing machines, as well as creating a sustainable urban drainage system - there is a 5,000 litre storage tank for each house. * Low flush toilets and showers.* Two year post-occupancy evaluation planned, with airtightness testing, energy monitoring and tenant interviews. * Waste minimisation policy with all materials from demolition of toilet and showerblock on the brownfield site removed to a local yard for separation and recycling. * Local arboriculturalist employed to oversee the work on trees and more than 70 native species trees planted around the site. * Scottish Natural Heritage made surveys of red squirrel populations, and their habitats were protected during the work."
- Cairngorm key worker homes win an award (view on Google Sidewiki)

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Ballater Walking Festival 2010

Ballater Walking festival 2010 in the Cairngorms National Park

This is our thirteenth walking festival (we hope none of you are superstitious) and
we have put together another varied programme of walks. Following requests from some of our walkers, this year we have included, within our strenuous programme, the Glen Tilt walk which was last done in 2005 and, new to the festival, a walk involving Mount Battock and Clachnaben.


Loch Muick, Ballater - Braemar in Royal Deeside

Within the medium and easy programme we have included some old favourites, as well as introducing newwalks which we hope will appeal. We continue to attract high numbers to our festival, with the consequence that many of the popular walks filled up as early as February. We are limited to fixed numbers -on health and safety grounds -for some of the walks (mainly strenuous) and we therefore urge you to book as early as possible for those walks that interest you. The categories of walks on each day are chosen to reflect the different capabilities of walkers, and we ask you to look at the descriptions of each walk carefully, before signing up for any individual walk, to ensure it is within your ability.

Our walks are chosen to showcase the wonderful countryside of Royal Deeside, and whether your passion is for mountains, rivers, forests or wildlife, there should be something for everyone’s taste. We look forward to welcoming regulars and newcomers to our festival in 2010, where you can be assured of a warm welcome from everyone involved.



Ballater Walking Festival offers a programme designed for walkers of all capabilities from Munro-bagging to
pleasant rambles. Each walker can choose to take part in whatever grade of walk they feel suits them best and can participate on as many as six days or as few as one. Most of the walks are situated within the Cairngorms National Park, though a few enter parts of West Aberdeenshire or the Angus Glens which border the Park. Each day, three categories of walk are available: Easy, Medium and Strenuous. Easy walks are up to six or seven miles long and normally have a minimum of gradient; Medium walks typically measure around ten to twelve miles and may include some substantial hills or the occasional Munro. Strenuous walks either include several hundred metres of ascent or are of considerable length. A professional mountain guide normally leads theStrenuous walks. Other walks are led by local residents or full-time rangers from Aberdeenshire Council or Balmoral Estate, many of whom have special knowledge of the wild life, vegetation or local history which they are happy to share with visitors.

An evening entertainment programme starts with the formal registration and reception on the Saturday. This
enables participants to mix with each other, the leaders and local residents who will accompany them on the
walks. Other highlights include dinner, probably on Tuesday, at a local restaurant and the week is rounded off
on Friday with the popular traditional ceilidh

For more info - www.ballaterscotland.com/walkingweek



For all your accommodation needs check www.BallaterHolidayCottages.com

Friday, 18 December 2009

Lots of snow!..Ski and Boarders are still waiting, as both the Lecht & Glenshee in the east of the Cairngorms National Park, confirmed there was not yet sufficient snow for winter sports.  Cairngorms will again be open this weekend. Check  http://twitter.com/skicairngorms for regular up-dates

 

SNOW and icy conditions swept across the north and north-east yesterday, with more wintry weather on the way. Temperatures dropped as low as -2C last night throughout Aberdeen city and shire. The Met Office forecast more snow for today and over the weekend and urged people to wrap up warm. A spokeswoman said last night: “During the night it will drop to below freezing, at around -1 or -2 C. “In the morning the roads will be quite frosty and icy and it will continue to be very cold. There is a chance of sleet and snow showers going on until the afternoon. “It will stay very cold, with the maximum temperature reaching about 1C. “Over the next few days the temperature will stay about the same, reaching below freezing most nights. “We could see some snow on Saturday. “Our advice is to keep up to date with the local forecast and keep well wrapped up and take extra care on the roads.”

 

The latest cold snap has shortened odds on Aberdeen enjoying a white Christmas to 6/4, according to bookmaker William Hill. Snow sport enthusiasts were disappointed, however, as both the Lecht and Glenshee confirmed there was not yet sufficient snow for winter sports. In Tayside and Angus, towns including Forfar, Montrose, Arbroath and Kirriemuir were covered in a blanket of snow from 10am yesterday. The snow eased off in the afternoon, and Angus Council confirmed that no disruption had been caused to services and roads in the county. Dundee also experienced around half an inch of snow. The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for parts of the central belt over the coming few days but it is not predicting any heavier snowfall throughout Angus and Tayside this week.

 

The Cairngorm Mountain was snowy and windy yesterday...pictured above.

 

Read more: http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1530559?UserKey=#ixzz0a1telLVS

 

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Eco Holiday Accommodation, Aviemore & Cairngorms


Crubenbeg Highland Holiday Cottages near Aviemore, Cairngorms National Park retain Gold Eco-rating in the Green Business Tourism Awards for 2010.



Cameron Bain owner of Crubenbeg commented “Ecotourism is about connecting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel.  Along with our continued upgrade of existing facilities, Highland Holiday Cottages agree that in today’s current climate, “improved environmental performance” equates to “enhanced business development”.  We therefore committed to the implementation of proactive measures to help protect and sustain the local environment. Highland Holiday Cottages aims to achieve the objective of improved environmental performance through pollution prevention, increased customer / supplier awareness and continuous improvement.”   

Highland Holiday Cottages strategic aim is:

To be in the top quartile in the Cairngorms National Park with regard to environmental performance for self catering accommodation, without affecting Quality.

Cameron added “To do this Highland Holiday Cottages made an early decision to develop the Environmental documents which provides us with an integrated approach to identifying, managing and improve environmental performance”

Our latest document for 2010 are

Highland Holiday Cottages Environmental Policy 2010

Highland Holiday Cottages Environmental Plan 2009-2010

Highland Holiday Cottage -  Carbon Reduction Plan

GREEN NEWS  - They now only supply Ecover Cleaning products or similar E products, made from plant extracts, along with recycled kitchen roll and toilet paper in our cottages. All there 4 Star luxury cottage have energy saving Eco kettles. 50% of all radiators now have silver energy reflecting backing.  A number of bicycles are also available and a pick up and drop off service is also supplied from the local train stations. Finally we are also proud to announce that Crubenbeg have planted over 100 Trees in 2009.


Cameron Bain  and his team have also developed the first Cairngorms National Park holiday accommodation portal, and in line with Green Business awards offer all other member 10% discount on advertising.
They also have a page solely dedicated to Green Tourism in the Cairngorms National Park.

2010 Adventure Travel World Summit, Early Bird Deadline Set, “Suggest a Speaker” Process Introduced

Early Bird Registration Announced

For the Adventure Travel Trade Association’s October 4-7, 2010 Adventure Travel World Summit in Aviemore, Scotland, the ATTA has set its Early Bird special pricing registration to expire April 15, 2010. Already, more than 50 adventure travel industry executives have pre-registered for the annual gathering which is expected to sell out early at 600 delegates. The First Minister of Scotland will be opening the event, the networking will be as powerful as always, media are lining up, the ATTA has identified great speakers and entertainment, and delegates will get the first-hand opportunity to experience the great outdoors in the legendary Scottish Highlands.

For the ATTA’s 2009 Adventure Travel World Summit in Quebec, there were 535 registrations representing 43 countries – an event which achieved a 95%+ very satisfied/satisfied rating from nearly 200 detailed survey responses.

Register for the 2010 Adventure Travel World Summit now to guarantee your spot.
New for 2010: Summit Speaker Nomination Process Introduced

The ATTA is encouraging the community to suggest innovative thinkers, field and business discipline experts and compelling storytellers for consideration as guest speakers at its Adventure Travel World Summit events, most immediately for the 2010 Adventure Travel World Summit set for October 4-7 in Aviemore, Scotland.

Each year, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) combs the globe seeking compelling individuals who can bring new thought, fresh dialog, in-depth expertise, authentic and raw subject matter to the table.

Check www.adventuretravelworldsummit.com for more info & www.AviemoreHolidayCottages.com for your accommodation requirements when attending.

in reference to: Updates: 2010 Adventure Travel World Summit, Early Bird Deadline Set, “Suggest a Speaker” Process Introduced | Adventure Travel News (view on Google Sidewiki)

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Scottish avalanche warning service's season starts

Climbers are warned!! AVALANCHE

 

With the heavy snow due later today and the snow sports season getting under way.  An avalanche warning service covering five mountain areas has started its latest season. The Sportscotland Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) posts reports and forecasts online. It provides assessments for North Cairngorms, South Cairngorms, Lochaber, Creag Meagaidh and Glencoe.  In January, three people lost their lives in one of Scotland's most serious avalanche incidents, which happened on Buachaille Etive Mor at Glencoe. Brothers John Murphy, 63, from Portrush and Eamonn Murphy, 61, from Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, along with Brian Murray, 46, of Monifieth in Angus, died. The three killed were members of the An Teallach Mountaineering Club and among nine people caught by the avalanche. The SAIS is run from Glenmore Lodge, near Aviemore. The incident was one of 112 avalanches recorded by the SAIS last winter.

 

Snow this weekend...Aviemore, Royal Deeside and Glenlivet


Cairngorms Weather Station 10 days ago

Scotland, Cairngorm Mountain, above Aviemore remains open with a dusting of fresh snow, and more snow forecast over the next few days, more so in the East, which could be good news for its neighbouring Eastern Cairngorms ski areas of Glenshee and The Lecht which have not been open to open so far. The west coast Glencoe and Nevis Range still await the white stuff. For more info on snowsports in the Aviemore and Cairngorms click here.

Country Tracks - Cairngorms National Park

Ben Fogle goes on a journey through one of the wildest and most impenetrable landscapes in Britain.

At Chapeltown, Ben learns how the production and trade in illegal whisky was rampant in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Next he heads for the Caledonian Forest, home to 200 pairs of breeding osprey, and after climbing the mighty Cairngorm itself, in the company of two junior rangers, his journey ends at Newtonmore, with a traditional game of shinty.

Check this for more info http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00k4l44

in reference to: BBC - BBC One Programmes - Country Tracks (view on Google Sidewiki)

It’s snowing in the Cairngorms....and it's the holidays!

It’s snowing what will I do with the kids?


Up to 10cm of snow is forecast in areas as a continental front moves in to the Aviemore & The Cairngorms National Park this weekend 18th December 2010. After an overnight snow, the kids have started there Xmas holidays and are off school for Xmas 2009. They will be excited to get out and play in the snow. You on the other hand, you're not quite as excited. You're not sure what to do with them and you know they have way too much energy to stay in the house. There are a variety of activities you can do with children in the Caimgorms Park to keep them thinking and having fun in the snow.

Sledging at the Cairngorm Mountain.



Ski spectators are more than welcome to visit the Cairngorm mountain and as well as plenty of fun and fresh air you can ride the train, watch the skiers, enjoy the mountain exhibition and take a spot of lunch in the Ptarmigan Restaurant. Depending on weather and snow conditions you can also enjoy sledging in the sledge park or simply have some fun in the family fun area building an extension to the snow castle. Sledging and the snow castle are located outside the Ptarmigan Top Station within view of the Ptarmigan Restaurant. Please ensure you are dressed for winter mountain weather. Gloves, hats, warm jackets and snow boots are a must.

In your Holiday Home Garden
Get your whole family involved and build a snow hut. As an igloo requires a certain kind of hard packed snow capable of making strong blocks so a snow huts might be a bit easier. You can pile snow up with shovels and then dig out the hut or build up walls. Get your kids involved and let them help to "engineer" the hut.

Make some Snowshoes
You may not have snowshoes, but that doesn't mean you can't build them. This is another great project that will get your children's minds working as they have fun in the snow. All you need is some old rackets, and string those swing ball ones work well. Spend some time crafting the snowshoes with your children and then go outside and test them out.

Nature Walk

A nature walk around the woods can be done with or without the aforementioned snowshoes. Take your kids on a walk in the snow to look for animal footprints. If you have a footprint guide (these can be bought at the Heather Centre near Grantown-on-Spey) , bring it along to help identify any tracks that you find. If not, it's a great opportunity for your kids to use their imagination--even a cat or dog footprint could appear to be made by an exotic animal! Or why not head to the Kincraig Wild life park so see some real big snow prints, such at the Tiger, or Mercedes the Polar Bear....

Check out the Reindeer
The Cairngorm Reindeer Herd is Britain's only herd of reindeer, found free ranging in the Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland. These extremely tame and friendly animals are a joy to all who come and see them. Reindeer are not just for Christmas but they do look the best in some snow!

The (new) Old Bridge Inn

Ladies and Gentlemen I would like to introduce the new landlords and landlady of the Old Bridge Inn. Forged in the kitchen furnaces and broiling pots of celebrity yachts, Stevie Matson is the exceptionally talented chef. Still fresh from the Insider and finely honed on the whetstone of Ord Ban is Gordon Reilly and freeing themselves from the smoke and dirt of the city in pursuit of a life of quiet reflection and moderation are Owen Caldwell and Kim Plimley. They are here for the next decade and plan on taking the Old Bridge to new heights, with a fine menu, live music and proper beers.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_U_ESJOtstzk/SyeKYeHmUXI/AAAAAAAAAZk/QLljp3RK93A/s1600-h/IMG_1121.JPG

All of them currently reside on or within 200 yards of Inshriach so last night a good dozen neighbours donned the overalls, took up the rollers and by half two this morning the (new) Old Bridge was born.

The launch party is this Friday with live music from Alasdair Roberts, Washington Irving and The French Wives. You can get the lowdown here and become a fan of the Old Bridge on Facebook for news of future events.

in reference to: Inshriach House: The (new) Old Bridge Inn (view on Google Sidewiki)

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Cairngorms National Park

If you want to get the special chance to wake up to one of earth's grandest mountain range displays, then mark north east Scotland on your map. Cairngorm National Park is tourist magnet perfection, carved by both nature's and man's gentle hands. Here, you can behold of the beauty of the mountains and bask in the essence of the wilderness while experiencing the tranquillity of synergistic living. The famous Cairngorm National Park, the largest in British Isles, covers a wide mountain range and the surrounding hills, which is home to diverse ecosystems of both flora and fauna.

Getting to Cairngorm National Park does not have to be a long and taxing process. You may simply take advantage of the Internet to find travel agencies offering package tours to Cairngorm. Since this tourist destination is known worldwide, it would not be very difficult for you to find connecting flights that can take you to north east Scotland and finally to Cairngorm. To enable easier transactions, just make sure that you choose a well-established travel agency that can efficiently assist you in planning for your travel spree to Cairngorm.

As for your accommodation, the website www.cairngormsholidaycottages.com holds the answer. This website contains a comprehensive listing of recommended holiday accommodations in Cairngorm, making it easier for you to find the right one to suit your preferences. Take note that to be able to make the best out of Cairngorm's natural ambiance, it would be best to opt for a holiday cottage instead of a hotel accommodation.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Reindeer in Scotland, Aviemore & Cairngorms National Park

Not all reindeer live at the North Pole or in Scandinavia.  If the kids want to see the high-performance animals that power Santa’s sled, take them to the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre in Scotland’s Cairngorms National Park. Introduced to the country in 1952, 50 of the country’s free-range herd live in their natural environment on the Cairngorm Mountains and the Cromdale Hills. Throughout December, a cold-weather program includes a 10 a.m. breakfast date in the paddocks watching the reindeer being fed, and an 11 a.m. visit to the herd in the Cairngorm Mountains. On weekends, Santa visits between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. Between May and September, the warmer weather also allows for a 2:30 p.m. hill visit. Entry is 9 pounds for adults, 4.50 pounds for children 6 to 16 and free for children younger than 6.  For hikers, a four-hour reindeer trek can be organized through the park’s open moorland and along mountain trails. Each person can lead his or her own halter-trained reindeer on an easy-paced hike. The cost is 45 pounds per person. Find more details at www.reindeer-company.demon.co.uk. Why not find your perfect self catering holiday accommodation at www.AviemoreHolidayCottages.com

 

Friday, 11 December 2009

Cairngorms — It was enough to freeze the smile on any snowboarder or skier's face — literally on the Cairn Gorm mountain on Wednesday 9th.

 

A two-day snowstorm moved out of the Cairngorms mountains last week, leaving a good early cover of fresh snow on Cairngorms Mountain over a two-day period. Clear skies and frigid temperatures over the last 5 days have kept the snow at higher ground. But this is very patchy  (see picture), as such only the brave and skilled are advised to head up this weekend. This and the mid week plunging mercury didn't keep skiers and snowboarders off the slopes, though.

 

Cairngorm Mountain Crews plan to fire up all the available tows on Saturday once they have carried out some serious bashing to ensure the gun barrel is kept open, ensuring Caimgorms is open on Saturday. Train times, first train up 09:00am, last train up 3:20pm and last train down 4:00pm.

 

More snow and cold

 

Though clear skies with patch freezing fog dawn over Cairngorms this morning,  Friday 12th of December, more snow is in the forecast later in next week this temp remaining well below zero on the summit for the next 7 days. So is a continued deep freeze. Wednesday and Thursday this week brought the coldest mornings of the year so far in western Cairngorms National Park.  The wind chill will mean continued bitter cold on Sunday, according to the weather service.

 

Après Life –

 

I would advise catching a half day ticket grab a few runs, then head straight to one of the Aviemore pub and bars for some serious après evening fun, why not drop by the Woodshed bar on your way, located in the Coylumbridge Hilton on the ski road.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Cairngorms National Park Castles


The natural beauty of the Cairngorms National Park is renowned and rightly so, but very little of this beauty has not been shaped and influenced by human activity. As the way that generations make their living from the area changes so does the landscape and the mannerin which people occupy it. The resurvey of the historic buildings and structures within the Park has shown the more recent patterns of this development, starting the story where the archaeology leaves it. The landscape which is so instantly identifiable to many, even those only slightly familiar with it, is reflected in the buildings too. This regional identity is hugely important to the sense of place, pride and belonging which marks a thriving community. It is also an important part of this part of Scotland’s story. The special nature of the buildings, towns and villages in the Cairngorms played a key role in achieving National Park status. The role of Historic Scotland is to safeguard the historic environment. This is a serious responsibility, as not only do we need to think nationally but locally too. Evolution and change is vital to communities and should not be stifled by a lack of vision. It is with this in mind that Historic Scotland works closely with local authorities to ensure that sensitive change is made possible and that while adapting buildings the very essence of the Cairngorms remains reflected in the style, quality and character of the Park’s best buildings.

The listing team in Historic Scotland’s inspectorate have undertaken a survey of historic buildings in the Cairngorms National Park and this blog contains a selection of the rich architectural heritage they encountered. Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Executive and is charged with maintaining lists of buildings of special architectural or historic interest on behalf of Scottish Ministers. The lists ensure that the planning process takes into account the needs of the historic environment and as such they guide the management of change. The system operates under the terms of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997. Within Historic Scotland’s inspectorate we have a dedicated listing team which researches and assesses all the listing proposals received by the agency. Historic buildings enrich Scotland’s landscape. They help to create the distinctive character that shapes our nation’s identity and make a major contribution to Scotland’s, economy not least as an important part of our tourism industry. One of Historic Scotland’s roles is to protect this valuable national resource through the lists of buildings of special architectural or historic interest. Around 47,000 buildings have been listed by Historic Scotland for their special architectural or historic importance.



Appearing first in the 12th century, the defensive Scottish castle lingered until the 17th century when more settled conditions under central government allowed lairds and wealthy landowners the freedom to turn their attention to building mansion houses and country residences more suited to the enlightened times. Some of the best examples of castle building in the Cairngorms National Park date from the 16th or 17th centuries. Often built as square- or rectangularplan tower houses, as at Muckrach (see above) and Braemar, (see above) the basic castle design was frequently extended to form an L-plan, and subsequently the much-favoured strongly defensive Z-plan as at Glenbuchat (see below) and Castle Grant. (see below)





Strategically sited at the entrance to Glenbuchat and overlooking the River Don and the Water of Buchat, Glenbuchat Castle, an attractive fortified house of 1590, has its main rectangular structure flanked by two square towers at diagonally opposing corners. It was built for John Gordon of Cairnburrow and his second wife Helen Carnegie, whose marriage is commemorated in a carved lintel above the entrance. The corbelled turrets and gunloops leave no area of the castle undefended. Incorporated within the vaulted ground-floor rooms is a kitchen with a large semicircular-arched fireplace and salt boxes. Very similar fireplaces have been located in a few modest farmhouses and cottages throughout the north-eastern side of the Park.

Why not book a self catering holiday cottage, home or even castle at www.CairngromsHolidayCottages.com

ballater highland games

SHCGB Aviemore sled dog race 'can be tough on canine feet'

Mushers planning to take part in the Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain’s (SHCGB) forthcoming sled dog race near Aviemore have been advised the trail can be tough on canine feet if there is no snow.

 

For this reason, competitors have been told to take extra care during the two-day rally, which is set to kick off on January 23rd 2010.

 

Held in Glenmore Forest Park, the event will be will take place on a circuit which has been designed for cross-country skiing.

 

A clearly defined route, the trail has a demanding start but eases off as it passes a local loch on the way to the finish line.

 

Racers are only able to enter in one class and a full brochure is available to those who send a self-addressed envelope to organisers.

 

SHCGB’s recent Tentsmuir Rally saw Paul Keen win the B Class Race, with Matt Emery, Sandra Hulme, Gareth Bowyer, David Ezzi, Suzanne Alexander, Stuart Lindsay, Will Heatlie and Jim Taylor also triumphing in their events.

 

http://www.snowpawstore.com/news/2009/12/shcgb-aviemore-sled-dog-race-can-be-tough-on-canine-feet/

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Golf Courses in Badenoch and Strathspey

Golf - Fancy some stick and ball?

 

There are several world class golf courses within easy reach of Aviemore. We have taken the liberty to rank our top four, they are all different and each course has it own unique challenges. All eight courses in the Valley participate in the Badenoch and Strathspey Golf Pass Scheme, which is a scheme to encourage golf tourists. There is an initial charge (currently £20) and you then get 30% off - you can enquire at the individual Golf Clubs.

 

Cams Number 1 - Spey Valley Championship Course

Aviemore%20Gcourse

 

Spey Valley Championship course, designed by Dave Thomas, opened on the 1st July 2006.  Set in some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Scottish Highlands, if not the world, it's predicted to be one of Scotland's leading golf venues and destined to be in the top 5 rankings.

 

We have played Golf all over the world including Gleneagles and trust us, this is the best and hardest Golf Course you are ever likely to play. Worth every penny, even if you do lose 10 balls in the heather. 

 

www.speyvalleygolf.com                                                                   01479 815 100

Cams Number 2 - Boat of Garten

http://www.boatgolf.com/5thhole.JPGthe 17th with heather in full bloomhttp://www.boatgolf.com/12th%20Hole%20small.jpg                                                                       

 

 

 

 

"The Boat", established in 1898 and designed by one of the grand masters of golf course architecture, James Braid, is not only a demanding test of sporting skill but also a magnificent setting for the game. If you are not hitting straight this course can gobble you up and spit you out!

 

www.boatgolf.com                                                                             01479 831282

 

Cams Number 3 - Kingussie

Click to view 1st  fairway and 18th green.jpg
Click to view After a Round.jpg Click to view 15th  Green  07-05.jpg
 

 

 

 

 

 


Kingussie golf course offers moderately easy walking on upland terrain, with a few hard climbs at the 4th and 8th holes. In general the fairways are of a generous nature, but the course is deceptive and position off the tee is an important factor and key to a low score. The course is kept in immaculate order and offers excellent greens and fairways. Overall, the course provides an excellent test of shot making, and is suited to all levels of ability and has one of the nicest and oldest club houses.

 

www.kingussie-golf.co.uk                                                                01540 661600

 

Cams Number 4–- Newtonmore

Newtonmore Golf Club Logo View of the Golf Course Newtonmore Golf Club Location Map
 

 

 

 

 

 


Our local course lies along the banks of the River Spey in the heart of Monarch of the Glen country. It is surrounded by some of the most dramatic and beautiful highland scenery, a definite hazard for those trying to concentrate on their golf. The golf course plays to 6041 yards, with a premium on keeping the ball in play. Only one par five is complemented by a clutch of tight par fours and challenging par threes. Play to your handicap and you will have played well.

 

www.newtonmoregolf.com                                                            01540 673878

 

Other golf courses in the valley include:

 

Carrbridge Golf Club

Provides a nine-hole golf course with full facilities in the Highlands of Scotland. It is a lively, vibrant, dedicated Scottish Golf Club amidst some of the most beautiful scenery you will ever wish to see.

 

www.carrbridgegolf.com                                                                 08444 14 14 15

 

Abernethy Golf Club

Established in 1893, this Golf Club is located on the B970 road between Grantown-on-Spey and Coylumbridge, just north of Nethybridge. On most days, it is possible to "walk on", without a reserved tee time.

 

www.abernethygolfclub.com                                                          01479 821305

 

Grantown on Spey Golf Club

This eighteen-hole golf course was formed in 1890 and is situated in Strathspey, approximately thirty five miles south east of Inverness.

 

www.grantownonspeygolfclub.co.uk                                           01479 872079

 

 

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