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, 30 October 2010

New member to Cairngorms National Park Authority

The Minister for Environment Roseanna Cunningham today announced the appointment of new member to Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA)


Professor Gordon Riddler lives in Ballater and is a Geologist and Chartered Engineer. He is Chairman of the Board of Ballater (RD) Ltd (BRD), a voluntary sector Development Trust. Professor Riddler brings expert knowledge of research and development relating to natural resources and business management with specialised knowledge in corporate strategy and experience in fundraising in the private and public sector to CNPA.


This appointments is for four years and will run from 1 November 2010 to 30 September 2014.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Local Produce in and around the Cairngorms National Park

If you ever get a chance to visit the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland, you should definitely try the local produce in and around the park. This can be found at one of the Cairngorms Farmers Markets. One of the major reasons for traveling and exploring new countries and cultures is the local dishes. You will never be disappointed if you try this local savory food produce. Not only will you enjoy the delicious taste of local food in and around Cairngorms, but you will gain experience of the local Scotland tasty food. Don’t worry about what you will be eating or if the food will suit your taste, because the relevant Cairngorms National Park authorities are taking steps to increase the amount of food and drink that are produced locally for the savory delights of the visitors to the Park.

The Cairngorms are steeped in traditional and contemporary culture with the area's rich heritage reflected in the spectacular mountain and moorland landscape.
It is also a natural larder providing some of the finest local produce from venison, beef and lamb to trout, salmon and seasonal game. There is a variety of home-grown fruit and vegetables along with herbs, honey, cereal and dairy products while the coast is virtually on the doorstep providing the best of Scottish seafood. The surrounding area is equally well known as being the home to some of the most famous whisky distilleries while the village of Aviemore even has it's own award-winning brewery.

A vast array of produce is readily available in local shops while an ever increasing number of restaurant, hotels and other dining establishments pride themselves on making the best use of the finest home-grown ingredients to create a real Taste of the Cairngorms.

The truth is most people who are visiting the area for the first time, will be pleased by the beautiful scenery, and they will also want to eat the local foods in and around the Park, especially if they are travelling green. The Cairngorms National Park officials are even calling on the food and drink sectors in the environs of the Park to join in the drive to produce more local produce for consumption by the Park’s visitors. In addition to this the relevant Cairngorms Park authorities are recognizing the great benefits that the Park can contribute to local producers in the area, and so they have called meetings with the producers to try and meet the ever rising demand by the Park’s visitors for locally produced low carbon food. The statistics are now showing that approximately 40 percent of the visitors to the Cairngorms National Park highlands are demanding local food and drink, now if the local producers can take advantage of this demand by providing a constant flow of local produce to meet this demand then there will be strong support for further economic growth.

If all goes well between the Cairngorms National, Park authorities and the local producers in and around the Park, then the tourists to the Park will ultimately benefit as well. The tourists will benefit has they will get the grand opportunity to eat locally produced food grown by the locals. While, on the other hand, the use of the Cairngorms National Park’s delicious local foods will help people to lead healthy lives and increase the standard of living, as many will get an opportunity to be educated, harness and develop their skills, others will get employment opportunities and the local food producers could also help to develop the Cairngorms national Park into a healthy low carbon National Park.
Will Boyd Wallis of the CNPA said: "Research shows that consumers want to see locally sourced, fresh produce on menus and in a place like the Cairngorms National Park where people can travel about and see deer or take part on stalking, it's great then see that wonderful local resource appear on local menus."

Another venison extravaganza is planned for the area later in the year with Scotland's first ever Venison Festival, organised by the Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms Destination Management Organisation, taking place from the 26-31 October. All being supported by the Cairngorms Farmers Market. For more info check

To keep up with what's on with food and produce in the Cairngorms Park ,a long with monthly Farmers Markets check out

Friday, 22 October 2010

Skiing the Cairngorms every month for a year

CairnGorm regular Helen Rennie has achieved her ambition to ski at the resort every month for a year
Fresh snow over the Cairngorms on 20 October proved irresistible to Inverness teacher Helen Rennie, who came to fame over the summer after posting videos of finding and skiing patches of snow at the Scottish ski resort on YouTube.

The snowfall meant Rennie could achieve a lifetime’s ambition of skiing for 12 consecutive months at Cairngorm after hiking up to the Marquis Wells area near the mountain summit and skiing half a kilometer down to the top of the Ptarmigan Tow lift.

“I have skied in all months of the year over the years but this is the first time I have ever skied every month in succession for 12 months” commented Rennie, whose latest achievement marks her 100th day of skiing at Cairngorm since 29 November 2009.

The winter season at Cairngorm begins in earnest in December but the resort has been known to offer snowsports earlier. Look out for more updates on Cairngorm when the Ski Club’s winter snow reports restart in November.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Yuri the Amur Tiger

It was with some sadness that on 11 October 2010, Yuri was put painlessly to sleep. Yuri arrived at the Park, along with his long time mate Sasha, from Edinburgh Zoo on 25 September 2008. The arrival of the tigers was both a clear signal of our expanded species plan to include cold weather adapted animals from around the globe and not just Scottish species, and the real trigger for our greatly increased visitor numbers.

Yuri was born in Duisburg Zoo in Germany on 13 June 1993, and was sent to Edinburgh Zoo in July 1999 as recommended by the European Zoo Association’s Amur tiger breeding programme, which is coordinated from London Zoo. Yuri was introduced to Sasha later that year and mating was soon observed. They had two litters whilst at Edinburgh of three cubs each time. A few months after moving to the Highlands, mating was observed and on 11 May 2009 Yuri and Sasha again produced and reared a litter of three cubs. Although Yuri and Sasha did not always see eye to eye and their “arguments” could be heard across the Park, he was incredibly gentle with all his offspring, especially when they were very small and just starting to stumble out of the cubbing den.

As this last litter of cubs grew and became more boisterous, Yuri was observed to be keeping a lower profile, and more importantly was seen to be drinking more than normal. At 17 years old, Yuri is an old boy and as is usual in big cats of this age, we suspected that he may be developing arthritis and his kidneys were beginning to fail. If this was the case, the only outcome for him would be increasing levels of discomfort and inevitably death, and not a very pleasant one. Through testing his urine, we ascertained that his kidneys were failing and after lengthy discussions with our veterinary colleagues and the keepers who have been caring for him, we concluded that the only option open to us was to put him to sleep before the symptoms started to compromise his welfare. Simon Girling, the Zoological Society’s head of veterinary services says of Yuri’s condition, “Kidney failure is extremely common in ageing cats, both wild and domestic, as are age-related arthritic problems and sadly Yuri is showing all the classic signs. Animal welfare has to be our top priority and so this decision, although a difficult one, is the right one.” In addition, Jane Harley, the Park’s local veterinary consultant has a similar opinion, “In common with many geriatric pet cats, Yuri has kidney failure and painful arthritis. His keepers and I have been monitoring him closely and although this has been a difficult decision for everyone involved with him it has been made with his quality of life as priority”

In life he played his part in both increasing the number of his endangered species and raising the profile of the plight of Amur tigers in the wild. In death, the exhaustive post mortem examination and the distribution of key biological samples to different conservation research institutions will help expand our knowledge of this magnificent animal and may offer further clues that might aid in saving the species in the wild.

in reference to: Highland Wildlife Park, Kincraig, Kingussie, Inverness-shire, Scotland, UK (view on Google Sidewiki)

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Highland Chieftain - Inverness to London Train may be saved

A UK government minister has dropped the strongest hint yet that direct train services between Inverness and London will be saved.

Although a decision on future rail provision will not be announced until later this month, rail minister Theresa Villiers has acknowledged the importance of through services to passengers as well as the - and indicated they could continue.

Her comments come amid growing support for The Inverness Courier's campaign to save the Highland Chieftain which provides a daily direct service between the UK and Highland capitals. Fears have been growing that it could be axed following an appraisal of plans to replace Britain's ageing high-speed trains with a new generation fleet fuelled by both electricity and diesel.

The review suggests one way to save money is for passengers from Inverness to swap from diesel trains at Edinburgh to electric locomotives bound for to London. A decision will be announced as part of the government's comprehensive spending review on 20th October.

But Ms Villiers has now acknowledged that if the new bi-mode train programme does not go ahead, a possible solution is to refurbish and extend the life of the existing High Speed Trains. Her comments come in a letter to Sir Robert Smith, the Lib-Dem MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, who has taken up the issue on behalf of business organisation the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI).

Monday, 4 October 2010

Visit Scotland Launch another grading - This time activity providers

Small activity businesses now get official rating

VisitScotland, the country’s tourist agency, has launched the world’s first activity provider grading scheme.

It means that dozens of small businesses – ranging from kayak instructors to fishing gurus and walking instructors to white water rafting guides – now have an official rating to help boost their bookings from tourists.

The scheme has been launched as Scotland plays host to the prestigious Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) which takes place this week in Aviemore.

Around 600 delegates from more than 50 different countries have descended on the Highlands to take part in the conference.

The event - which has been organised by the Seattle-based Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) – brings together tour operators, destination management organisations and a host of other industry experts as is the global adventure travel industry’s main annual conference.

Paul Easto, co-director of Edinburgh-based Wilderness Scotland which has just become one of Scotland’s first five-star activity providers, said: “Holding this major international summit in the Highlands is a once in a generation opportunity for Scotland to present itself to the world’s adventure travel trade.

It is the first time the ATWS has been held in the UK and only the second time it has been held in Europe. Guest speakers will include Tourism minister Jim Mather and VisitScotland chairman Mike Cantlay.

Cantlay added: “This fantastic event will help to enhance Scotland’s reputation as the adventure capital of Europe, bringing a healthy return on investment.

“Whether you are into rock climbing, bungee jumping or more easily accessible adventures such as taking a stroll and enjoying the stunning scenery, there are an enormous range of exciting outdoor activities available.”

VisitScotland said the new activity provider grading scheme will benefit the growing number of people who run their businesses without a visitor premises - those who meet their customers, for example, by a loch, on the beach or at the base of a mountain.

Up until now, businesses could be graded only as a visitor centre, meaning those companies without fixed premises could not receive a grading.

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