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

Cairngorms National Park. Welcome to the Cairngorms Park accommodation and holiday blog. On 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.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

More than 100 march in support of folk museum

More than 100 people joined a march through a Highland village yesterday to show their support for a local museum.

Residents of Newtonmore walked along the main road to the Highland Folk Museum to voice their concern that the facility could be closed due to budget cuts by the local authority.

Highland Council is seeking to make millions of pounds of savings in the next three years and it is feared that museums, galleries and swimming pools will fall victim.

They are now proposing to transfer all leisure facilities to an arms-length organisation, a move which they claim could save £700,000 a year.

Adults and children from Newtonmore waved placards as they marched through the village, led by riding centre proprietor Ruaridh Ormiston and his Highland pony pulling a traditional crofters cart.

in reference to: More than 100 march in support of folk museum - Press & Journal (view on Google Sidewiki)

Thursday, 29 July 2010


Set yourself a goal for 2010 and sign up for the WildHearts WolfTrek, an epic outdoor challenge taking place across 45 miles of Highland wilderness, from Forres on the magical Moray Firth Coast all the way to monstrous Cairngorm Mountain! Now in its third year the WolfTrek has been named one of ‘9 Events Everyone Must Do’ by Men’s Fitness Magazine and described as ‘Epic…One of a kind’ by Men’s Health Magazine. The spectacular WolfTrek route was created by the WildHearts team (you won’t find it on any map) and due to the unique conservational sensitivities of the terrain it passes through can only be held on ONE weekend a year. Demand for this year’s event has been huge, so get together with your friends or colleagues and register your team now!

The WolfTrek is the only event in the UK that:
• Plunges you into Scotland’s most spectacular scenery, including remote lochs, ancient Caledonian forest and desolate moors where the wolves roamed
• Immerses you in Highland history, from abandoned distilleries to ancient crofts, across long forgotten clan territory
• Lures you to a mysterious moonlit Werewolf Gathering on the shores of black Lochindorb, by the eerie ruined Castle of a medieval tyrant, the Wolf of Badenoch (Is it really haunted? You'll find out!)
• Rewards you with a roaring reception at the UK’s highest bar, where you can howl with your fellow wolves to celebrate your conquest!
• Helps you battle global poverty with WildHearts by creating your own unique online fundraising page to promote your team's efforts

The WolfTrek is open to teams of 3 or more who can choose to tackle the full 45 mile WolfTrek challenge or take part in the Wolf Relay, walking around 15 miles each to complete the spectacular route. Alternatively, teams can choose to do the 17 Mile Midnight March and walk from Forres to the eerie shores of Lochindorb. Find out more by clicking on one of the event options below or click “sign me up” to register now!

in reference to: (view on Google Sidewiki)

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The Big Tent Festival 2010

Last weekend saw the arrival of the fifth Big Tent festival in the beautiful grounds of the Falkland Palace in Fife. The Big Tent Eco Festival is a three day celebration of sustainable living featuring music from around the world, green workshops, and camping in Fife just north of Edinburgh.

 The weekend is aimed at getting people to a fun festival with a purpose, which is to increase awareness in climate change and other green issues. And they didn’t disappoint. The festival was well laid out, and easy to navigate and everyone was very helpful when asked (my) amateur questions! There was so much information about all the advancing green energy technologies that are available for everyone. You can’t help but start thinking about your impact on the environment. All this presented with the back ground sounds of music and laughter and consumption of organic liquids and food; including organic whisky served up by the Black Isle Brewery team.

To mention but a few of the people that had come to present there were wind turbines, beautiful wooden carved seats from sustainable wood sources, armadillos (no, I didn’t know what an armadillo was either!). It’s a wooden structure that the makers say have several different uses.... anything from a kids’ playhouse to garden shed to hen house (a very luxurious hen house I might add!).

Saturday was glorious weather, until about six in the evening unfortunately, when the humidity had risen so much that something had to give and the clouds burst releasing a very heavy shower! People were seen running for cover under the many grand and great oak and other broad leave trees in the grounds of the palace.  This did not dampen the sprits and both young and old were back out dancing to the sounds of Brazilian beats at the main stage with views of the grand Falkland Palace in back ground!

I liked the subtle but ever present eco theme, such as the recycling bins that were provided. The organisers had recycling for everything under the sun, virtually! All organised through Fife Council, which is encouraging to those of us who think we are banging our heads against a brick wall when it comes to the council recycling, well done Fife Council!

Even from the start of the ticket buying process you can pledge how green you want to be. They give users a discount if they pledge to help the charity that is organising the event, the Falkland Centre for Stewardship, which in it’s own right is an incredible charity.  

More than just a music festival Big Tent may be – but it should still be top of the list for all festival-goers in search of inspirational live bands, kids activities and great food. For more information on the Big Tent 2010 and of course, in preparation for next year’s event visit:

Thanks to Big Tent for inviting Cairngorms -Park

Monday, 26 July 2010

Dolphins warning after police alert

THE Moray Firth's bottlenose dolphin colony have been delighting wildlife watchers along the coast over the past few weeks. But the influx of visitors has led one wildlife organisation to issue a plea for the public to act responsibly to ensure Scotland remains the number one place in Europe for dolphin watching.

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society is concerned following reports of harassment.

Sightings of dolphins in the Moray Firth were reported on 19 days in June from the Dolphin and Seal Centre at North Kessock and on 25 days at Spey Bay.

Harbour porpoises and minke whales have also been reported from the WDCS wildlife centres and other shore-based watching sites around Scotland.

in reference to: Dolphins warning after police alert - Highland News (view on Google Sidewiki)

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Great Local Produce in the Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms Park and surrounding Scottish Highlands are wealthy in seasonal produce as well as scenery. Soft fruit is world class, at Alvie Estate near Aviemore they grown the Elsanta variety of strawberries and Glen Ample raspberry; these are the most outstanding varieties in terms of texture, appearance, taste and shelf life. When travelling through the National Park in early summer you will see signs everywhere advertising the sale of Alvie soft fruit, from the petrol station in Newtonmore to the butchers on Aviemore high street.  Alvie soft fruit is gaining a real name for quality and flavour.  Elsanta are dessert strawberries grown by the estate and are particularly sweet, large and firm with a glossy red appearance.


The seafood especially is exceptional with the opportunity of tasting scallops, langoustines, mussels and other delicious offering all caught just an hour or two drive from the Cairngorm s Nation Park in the west coast.  The Park has a good share of quality restaurants where local ingredients are treated with the respect they deserve and served to perfection.  Freshness is paramount when it comes to seafood and that you can be assured of when you eat at the excellent Crannog Seafood Restaurant on the pier at Fort William, just 40mins drive from the Cairngorms village of Laggan. The wonderful location is matched by the fare on offer, the tantalising menu featuring the best of west coast seafood. Another outstanding aspect of Crannog is that they have a smokehouse where locally caught fish are smoked in the age old Scottish tradition. Many of the fine wine & dine restaurants such as The Cross, Ord Ban, Andersons, Green Inn, in the National Park offer a wide varieties of seafood from this region.


Why not try some of the superb craft beer brewed in the cairngorms park? The region is fortunate in that it has two award-winning independent breweries - Cairngorm brewery and  Deeside Brewery -  both giving tours to visitors.


The Deeside Brewery, situated close to the pretty village of Lumphanan in Royal Deeside, surrounded by the magnificent Grampian Mountains, this micro brewery produces a range of traditional ales using age old brewing practices, the finest ingredients and the soft, clear, delicious waters of the sparkling River Dee.   In the beginning, the recipes were perfected in the kitchen of a croft and sold to local farm shops and village stores.  However, in no time at all, word had spread and demand grew, which meant larger premises were required.  So the brewery folks moved over the hill.  They named their new premises ‘Deeside Brewery’ and opened for business in early 2009.


The Cairngorm Brewery in Aviemore also excels with the excellent Trade Winds and other quality offerings. The Cairngorm Brewery Company, established in 2001, is situated in the village of Aviemore within the Cairngorms National Park in the Highlands of Scotland.  They brew traditional ales with a fresh new edge, by using well established brewing methods, the finest malted and roast barley, hops and crystal clear mountain water.


Sunday, 18 July 2010

Crubenbeg Holiday Cottages - Summer Deals

Dear Guest


Great £££ saving deals this summer at Crubenbeg.


Why not come and enjoy a 7 night stay in one of our newly refurbished one bedroom cottages.  All of our one bedroom cottages have now had up-grades with new solid handmade wooden king-size beds, new carpets and new bathrooms. Just check our web site to see the new pictures at


We would like to let you know about our summer deals at Crubenbeg - we are now offering seven nights in one of our one bedroom cottages this summer for the mid season rates, normally £450 per week now only £395 per week, saving you £55.00.


We have the following one bedroom cottages available in July and August:


23rd-30th of July - Ash or Birch Cottage

6th-13th  of August - Birch Cottage

7th-14th of August - Pine Cottage

13th-20th of August - Ash or Cedar Cottage

14th-21st of August - Larch Cottage

21st -28th of August - Larch Cottage


We look forward to hearing from you and hope to see you at Crubenbeg, email us at


Friday, 16 July 2010

British Snow Tour Announces New Dates and New Sponsors for 2010

The British Snow Tour is back and raring to go with a line-up of 14 prestigious British Champion events kicking off from September. Stopping at four of the UK's top snowsport hotspots - Norwich, Glasgow, Milton Keynes and Castleford - with two new sponsors onboard, a smartprice 3 for 2 offer and a hefty £20,000 combined prize purse, the 2010 British Snowboard & Freeski Tour is set to be a banger.

"We're stoked that a host of the industry's biggest brands continue to appreciate the impact of the British Snow Tour, as protection heavyweight Giro and boardwear specialist Protest join in the action to complement our long-serving friendships with Trespass, SNO!zone, Snow + Rock and Cushe Footwear... Here's to the continued invasion of new participants and the developments of UK rippers... bring it on!" - Spencer Claridge - Director Soulsports / British Snow Tour


British Artificial Championships:
- 11th & 12th September - British Dryslope Championships, Norfolk Snowsports Centre.
Featuring Giro Big Air, Protest Slopestyle & Trespass Ski/Snowboardcross Championships.

British Indoor Championships:
- 18th September - Trespass Ski/Snowboardcross Championships & Rail Jam, Glasgow SNO!zone
- 25th September - Giro Big Air Championships, Milton Keynes SNO!zone
- 9th October - Protest Slopestyle Championships, Castleford SNO!zone

British Invitational Championships:
- 22nd October - London Ski & Snowboard Show

in reference to: British Snowboard & Freeski Tour inc The Brits - 2010 Events & News (view on Google Sidewiki)

Walk @ The Top - Managed Cairn Gorm Walks in July

The Walk @ The Top is a 90 minute guided walk taking visitors on a circular route to the summit of the UK‘s 6th highest summit – Cairn Gorm . Visitors take the funicular up to the Ptarmigan Top Station and exit the building accompanied by a guide at all times. The route is approximately 2 miles long, on rough, uneven surfaces and includes a steady ascent in altitude of 486ft (148m). Visitors, in small groups of 10 will walk with the guide up onto the largest land mass above 3,000 ft in the UK. You must remain with your guide at all times and return back into the Ptarmigan building. With its ancient glacial landscapes, and weather similar to that nearer the Arctic Circle, the Walk @ The Top is your opportunity to experience the Cairngorms up close and personal. Access to any other parts of the mountain is not permitted.

Am I fit enough to do this walk?

- If you can walk steadily for two hours without a break and do not suffer from any serious medical conditions you should comfortably complete the walk. You will require waterproof outer clothing and walking boots or trail type shoes to participate.

Can children take part in the walk?

- The walk at the top is suitable for children aged 6 years and over. We also recognise that some children under this age are able to walk for two hours without a break and these children are welcome to join the walk too. Toddler & babies in backpacks may also participate as long as weather conditions are deemed suitable by the guide.

- The footpath conditions are not suitable for strollers, buggies or wheelchairs.

Can dogs participate in the walk?

- Registered assistance dogs only.

Why is this walk so special?

- The Cairngorm Mountains are one of Europe’s largest wilderness providing a unique habitat for many arctic/alpine plants and wildlife not normally associated with the UK. Most of the land surrounding the ski area is protected under European and UK Environmental Law.

- CairnGorm Mountain Ltd has been granted permission by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the Highland Council (THC) to allow managed numbers of funicular passengers exit the Ptarmigan Top Station to take part in a series of guided walks as part of a carefully managed trial.

- The trial concludes on the 31st October 2010, when the mountain railway operators will report back to SNH and THC. All being well the report will conclude that the managed programme did not impact the heart of the National Park in a negative way. Every participant in the trial Walk @ The Top programme will be invited to provide their own feedback on this trial.

in reference to: Cairngorm Mountain - Walk @ The Top (view on Google Sidewiki)

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Cairngorms Star Gazing

When you're planning a visit to the Cairngorms Park, don't overlook the dark side. No, we aren't suggesting you join forces with Darth Vader, but many parks offer a great opportunity to enjoy a view that's unfortunately becoming increasingly rare in much of the country—the night sky. 

Many of us live in or near cities, where the wonders of the night sky are obscured by artificial light. Some the best remaining spots to enjoy celestial views are in the Highlands, prompting us to remind visitors, "On your next Cairngorms Park visit, remember that a spectacular sunset is just the prelude to the wonders of the night sky.
You don't have to make a long trek to a remote location in the Cairngorms Park to take part in efforts to understand and protect night skies. Just a few miles out of any of the parks village will be enough to appreciate the wonders of Astronomy.
You can also check out the Dark Skies  at  The web site has tips on lighting, energy conservation, posters, post cards, teacher packets, measuring the night sky, and information on how light pollution affects animals.
The night sky is every bit a part of the Cairngorms Park as land, water, wildlife and those famous sunrise and sunset scenes. It’s all our responsibility to preserve the night sky for this and future generations. One of the best locations for viewing the Stars is the Newtonmore area, why not stay at the luxury cottages at Highland Holiday Cottages or for other accommodation and activities in the Cairngorms National Park,  check out

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Police appeal for big cat sightings near Kincraig

Police have appealed to hillwalkers to report sightings of a "very large black cat" seen by a member of the public in woodland in the Highlands.

Northern Constabulary said the animal was reportedly seen in woods at Inshriach, Kincraig, at about 1115 BST.

Police said: "The person who reported the sighting was certain the animal was a cat and was the size of a German shepherd dog."

Officers have been unable to confirm the report.

in reference to:

"Police have appealed to hillwalkers to report sightings of a "very large black cat" seen by a member of the public in woodland in the Highlands. Northern Constabulary said the animal was reportedly seen in woods at Inshriach, Kincraig, at about 1115 BST. Police said: "The person who reported the sighting was certain the animal was a cat and was the size of a German shepherd dog." Officers have been unable to confirm the report."
- BBC News - Police appeal for big cat sightings near Kincraig (view on Google Sidewiki)

Saturday, 10 July 2010

native american given key role at Abernethy Games

BERNETHY Highland Games, claimed by many to be one of the best traditional games in Scotland, will have a native American Cherokee as chieftain this year.

The games, which incorporate the international Clan Grant Rally, is at the games field Nethy Bridge on Saturday, August 14, from 10.30am.

Among the international visitors will be a special delegation from the US of members of the Cherokee Nation, led by their Principal Chief, Chad “Corn-tassel” Smith, who will be games chieftain this year.

Chief Smith is a direct descendant of Ludovick Grant, who sailed to America in the 1700s.

Continuing the international flavour, this year the spectacle of the massed pipe bands will include a visiting German band.

As well as all the traditional heavy and athletic events, the Highland dancing, piping and drumming, the RSPB 10-mile race is always well contested and the children’s fun events in the morning have become a major attraction.

There is a beer tent and catering service, from light snacks to full lunches.

The field is surrounded by an array of interesting stands and amusements, with local organisations and good causes well represented, making it a truly grand day out for all the family.

Visitors can choose to arrive by train as the Strathspey Steam Railway provides a service at 10.30am from Aviemore via Boat of Garten, to Broomhill, where a complimentary bus takes passengers up to the games field.

Special all-inclusive tickets are available from the steam railway.

Games admission is adults £6, children £4, and a family ticket £16. Free car parking

Read more:

in reference to: Games get Cherokee chieftain - Press & Journal (view on Google Sidewiki)

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Aveimore will not make a big splash!

DAREDEVILS will have to keep their dodgem cars, water "skis" and bathtubs locked up for at least another year. Organisers of The Big Splash - based around self-confessed "idiots" launching themselves off a ramp into the River Spey at Aviemore - will not be going ahead later this summer.

Last year's event attracted over 1,000 spectators but organiser Mike Gale said he simply does not have the time or resources to put on this year's gathering. Participants take the plunge off a 25ft ramp into the Spey using a variety of contraptions which have also included snowboards, canoes and rollerskates in the past. Organised by Aviemore-based outdoor sports firm G2 since 2005, the Big Splash has proved a popular tourist draw and a success with locals looking for a day out with a difference. But the event attracts no public funding and has failed to find a major sponsor following an appeal at the end of the last year's bash which took place on August 21-22.

A Facebook campaign has been launched to try and persuade him to hold The Big Splash once again this summer. Supporters have left pleading messages to get it back on, but Mr Gale said: "By having a year off we might keep it fresher." However, he remains optimistic about the future of the fun event. Mr Gale has encouraged anybody interested in sponsorship for The Big Splash 2011 to approach him.

For other annual events such as the Soap Box Cairngorm Downhill click here.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Summer Holiday in the Cairngorms

Holiday time is around the corner, kids are on summer holidays, and it’s time to plan where to go and what sort of holiday you prefer. If you dislike the hustle and bustle of a city or going overseas, 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. If you are looking for accommodation in the Cairngorms Park, then Cairngorms-Park if for you.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Castles and Buildings of Interest in the Cairngorms

Castles began to appear from about the 12th century and lingered until about the 17th century when permission was given by the central government at the time to build mansions and country houses, which were more applicable to the time.  The castles of the Cairngorm National park were built in either the 16th or 17th centuries.  These are mostly built as rectangular or square tower houses with a L and Z shape to suit their defensive design.  Below is a brief detail about some of the castles present at the Cairngorm National Park.
The Glenbuchat Castle is strategically located at the entrance to Glenbuchat, it overlooks the River Don and the Water of Buchat.  This castle was built in 1590 and is a classic example of a Z plan, rectangular castle.  Today, the Glenbuchat castle is in a semi ruined state, not having any roof above the first floor.  Apart from that it has been well preserved.  This castle was built for John Gordon of Cairnburrow and Helen Carnegie, his second wife.
The Castle Grant was built in 1536 with further expansions being made in the 17th and 18 centuries.  Initially, it started out as a Z plan rectangular castle, but now resembles a tall tower house as a result of the expansions done in the 17 and 18th century.  These expansions were done to give a castle a more modern look at the time, as there was no need for the defensive houses which at the time was seen to be old fashioned and gloomy. 
There is the Muckrach Castle which is thought to have been built in 1598.  It has the shape of a typical Scottish tower house, comprising of 3 storeys and an attic and also the Braemar Castle which was built in 1628 by Earl of Mar. 
The Balmoral Castle was the home of the Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.  The castle was built in the 1850s.  Today the property provides displays, exhibitions, trails and walks and Land Rover Wildlife Safaris.  

Apart from the historically classic castles present.  Buildings inclusive of memorials, town halls are also buildings that are of interest to the park and are used for tourist attractions.  The Victoria Hall located in Braemar is an extraordinary building, built from granite with a glazing pattern that adds interest to the building.  This hall is still being used by the community.  The Strathdon’s Lonach Hall is another place of interest; this was built in the mid-19-century to uphold the tradition of the highland dress.  This building still flourishes today. 
There is also the classical town hall located in Kingussie, this building is beautifully decorated with a bracketed cornice over the door, and chimney stacks with decorative square cans and aproned window.  Another classical building made from granite is the Speyside House, which was established in 1795 as the Speyside Charity School.  The drinking fountain, is also another majestic site, it is made of cast iron and is located in the square of Tomintoul.  This was believed to have been built in 1915 as a gift to the people of Tomintoul.  
 Blair Castle stands in its grounds near the village of Blair Atholl in Perthshire  in Scotland. It is the home of the Clan Murray family, who hold the title of Duke of Atholl, though the current (11th) Duke, John Murray, (born 1929) lives in South Africa.

The Castle is said to have been started in 1269 by John I Comyn, Lord of Badenoch, a northern neighbour of the Earl of Atholl, who started building on the Earl's land while he was away on crusade. Upon his return, the Earl complained about the interloper to King Alexander III, won back his land and incorporated the tower that had been built into his own Castle.

It commands a strategic position on the main route through the Central Scottish Highlands. Lowland Clan Agnew held Blair Castle, seat of the Duke of Atholl, against the Jacobites who laid siege to the castle during the Jacobite uprising of 1745-1746. They were besieged to near starvation until the Jacobite forces withdrew to fight the British Government forces at the Battle of Culloden.

The Castle, one of Scotland's major stately homes, is open for visitors on a daily basis (entrance charge). Its many rooms feature important collections of weapons, hunting trophies, souvenirs of the Murray clan, ethnographica, paintings, furniture, needlework etc, collected by the Murray family over many generations.
A selection of the Cairngorms National Park’s architectural heritage

Boots N Paddles - Outdoor Adventure

We are an outdoor adventure activity company with bases in Inverness and Aviemore, in the Highlands of Scotland. We provide courses, instruction, holidays and fun days out in outdoor pursuits including archery, sea kayaking, open canoeing, winter mountain skills, mountain biking, hill walking, summer and winter mountaineering, climbing, abseiling, gorge walking and WoW Balls. We also cater for stag and hen parties, can organise mini Scottish Highland Games and wildlife holidays. Join us for an adventure in the breathtaking Highlands of Scotland.

Our goal is to help you to discover the fantastic Scottish outdoors in a fun, safe and active way. No prior experience or training is needed and we will provide all the equipment you need.

Our client base is hugely varied, ranging from school and youth groups, to families or individuals on holiday, to stag and hen parties, to corporate groups.

Our instructional staff all come highly recommended by friends in the outdoors and they all share our passion for Scotland and the Highlands. There are endless possibilities for playing in the great outdoors, whether that be chasing an adrenalin rush or relaxing with some tranquil wildlife exploration.
We can help you find accommodation in the area, or leave that to your discretion. Provided you have appropriate grounds for the activities in question we can even bring Boots N Paddles to your doorstep. Check for more info. For other outdoor activities check

in reference to: Accommodation Providers (view on Google Sidewiki)

Gruelling Corrieyairack event raises cash for charity

MORE than 460 athletes took part in Saturday’s gruelling Corrieyairack Challenge, a 43-mile bike, hike or run from Fort Augustus to Kincraig, near Aviemore, mostly on the remnants of the old military road built by General Wade.

Entrants could opt to make the high-pass crossing on foot for 17 miles before switching to bike at Barva Bridge for the final 26 miles, or tackling the entire route by bike.

The annual event is to raise funds for the Speyside Trust, a Scottish charity, based at Badaguish Outdoor Centre near Aviemore, providing quality respite care activity holidays for adults and children of all abilities.

Charity director Andrew MacKenzie said: “It was a super day although quite stormy at times.

“Fortunately, the cyclists had the wind behind them on the run towards the finish.”

Men’s Duathlon - 1 Stuart Macleod, 2 Drew Sharkey, 3 Doug Allan.

Women’s Duathon - 1 Keri Weatherhogg, 2 Morgan Windram-Geddes, 3 Lucy Colquhoun.

Men’s Mountain Bike - 1 Philip Kelman, 2 Marcus Shields, 3 Mark Cooper.

Women’s Mountain Bike - Katy Boocock, 2 Julie Nimmo, 3 Justina Stewart.

The winning men’s team was Ochil Hill Runners. (Doug Allan, Sean McFarlane and Eoin Disckson).

Women’s top team was Fife Trotters (Morgan Windram-Geddes, Cathy Sinclair and Sarah Legge).

Mixed mountain bike top team was Square Wheels, Strathpeffer (Peter Ferguson, Vince McGregor and Katy Boocock).

Mixed duathlon team winners - Your Late (Stuart Macleod, Drew Sharkey and Lucy Colquhoun) and men’s mountain bike team was Team VisualSoft ( David Cant, Paul Evans, David Mackay).

in reference to: Hundreds turn out for challenge - Press & Journal (view on Google Sidewiki)

Sunday, 4 July 2010

What is a National Park?

In the UK there are 15 members in the National Park family which are protected areas because of their beautiful countryside, wildlife and cultural heritage. People live and work in the National Parks and the farms, villages and towns are protected along with the landscape and wildlife. National Parks welcome visitors and provide opportunities for everyone to experience, enjoy and learn about their special qualities.


There are 15 members in the UK National Park family, these are -

10 in England - The Broads, Dartmoor, Exmoor, the Lake District, the New Forest, Northumberland, the North York Moors, the Peak District, the South Downs and the Yorkshire Dales.

2 in Scotland –  and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.

3 in Wales – the Brecon Beacons, Pembrokeshire Coast and Snowdonia.


A large amount of land within the National Parks is owned by private landowners. Farmers and organisations like the National Trust or Scottish Natural Heritage are some of the landowners, along with the thousands of people who live in the villages and towns. National Park Authorities sometimes own bits of land, but they work with all landowners in all National Parks to protect the landscape. For more info check out

Thursday, 1 July 2010

HIE helps Landmark get timber train rollercoaster ride and Rothiemurchus an aerial rope course

The popularity of the Aviemore area as a tourist destination has been strengthened following the addition of two attractions, both supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

The Landmark Forest Adventure Park at Carrbridge is unveiling a timber train rollercoaster ride to complement the wide range of family activities the centre currently offers.

The £800,000 attraction will comprise 250 yards of track and provide action-packed rides for up to 24 people at a time.

The park attracts about 140,000 visitors every year, chiefly from an area of 90 minutes to two hours’ drive from Carrbridge.

It has been particularly successful in drawing visitors back for repeat visits through its policy of regularly reinvesting in new attractions and this, in turn, is expanding its customer base to include visitors from as far afield as central Scotland.

HIE’s head of business growth with the Inner Moray Firth team Rhona Fraser said: “Tourism is considered one of Scotland’s key industries. Landmark provides a very popular day out for visitors from a wide catchment area, significantly adding to their overall holiday experience. Having such a successful facility contributes to the attraction of the whole area and for this reason HIE’s investment has potential to benefit not only Landmark’s offering, but operators in the wider area.”

The new ride promises to provide a combination of exhilaration and open-air fun which characterises many of Landmark’s attractions.

Landmark manager Danny Fullerton said: “We work to ensure that every year or so there is something new to experience at Landmark providing good motivation for people to return here, and the wider area, again and again.”

HIE has approved a £158,000 grant funding towards the new Landmark facility and has also invested in TreeZone, a new aerial rope course at Rothiemurchus which is proving a popular attraction for adults and children.

The agency has provided £30,000 funding assistance towards the £188,000 project undertaken by a subsidiary of outdoor activity business Boots n Paddles. Vicky Grant, development manager with HIE’s Inner Moray Firth team, said: “This aerial rope course supports the popularity of other businesses in the area and, as one of only three such facilities of its scale in Scotland, is a key attraction in its own right.

“TreeZone offers an opportunity to capitalise on an area’s existing success and provides good value for HIE’s investment.”

Mike Dunthorne of Boots n Paddles said the course was already proving popular with corporate clients, as well as tourists.

“It is not designed to be a ‘soft’ tourist pursuit such as ‘crazy golf’ – it’s a real challenge which is a good match for other pursuits available in the area. Corporate clients like the fact that we can design use of the course to suit their capability and time limits and, because we have different courses for adults and children, it’s also very popular with families on holiday here.”

in reference to: Two new attractions for visitors to the Aviemore area - Press & Journal (view on Google Sidewiki)

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