Cairngorms National Park Explorer 20212020-01-30T15:06:05+10:00

CAIRNGORMS NATIONAL PARK EXPLORER 2021

Trekking Group Tour

Hiking in the Cairngorms National Park is a special experience. Listed by National Geographic as one of the top 50 of the World’s Last Great Places, it is graced with lush forests, serene woodlands, charming villages, and a rich history and heritage.
LEVEL 2 – Moderate Hiking Style
Some difficult terrain. Multiple consecutive +5 hour hiking days. May be impacted by high altitude. Good fitness, health and hiking experience necessary.

TREK HIGHLIGHTS

  • Hike through glorious mountain scenery on the Queen’s Highland Estate
  • Discover the majesty of the deep glens, clear rivers and wild lochs on expertly guided walks
  • Enjoy the huge variety of wildlife to be found in the Cairngorms National Park
  • Taste Scotland’s national drink – malt whisky – in the heart of whisky country
Number of trekkers (WHW01): 20 trekkers

Day 1 Arrive Aberdeen, transfer to Royal Deeside

On disembarking the ship, our guides meet you (8am) and make the short transfer west for 90 minutes into Aberdeenshire and then Royal Deeside. Our base for the next 3 nights is the attractive Highland village of Braemar. On arrival, we settle into our accommodation then enjoy a leg-stretching walk around the village environs, before having the first dinner with your group.

Overnight Royal Deeside – No. 45 Guest House in Ballater or similar (B,L,D)

Day 2 Hike – Glen Muick

This superb circular hike explores Glen Muick, which lies in the shadow of the famous peak of Lochnagar. It takes us through ancient pine forest, past one of Queen Victoria’s hunting lodges and beneath towering cliffs as we circumnavigate beautiful Loch Muick. It’s also a great place for spotting wildlife – look out for red deer and golden eagles.

Total hiking distance 12 km (7 miles). Ascent 200 metres (650 feet).

Overnight Royal Deeside – No. 45 Guest House in Ballater or similar (B, L, D)

Day 3 Hike – Royal Deeside

This circular hike is one of the best in Royal Deeside. We follow a good trail north to the edge of the Cairngorm plateau, where some of the highest peaks in Scotland rise from the deep glens. The wilderness is striking and the beauty is all around. The rivers are a real highlight with the striking rock features of the Linn of Dee and the Devil’s Punchbowl most notable.

Total hiking distance 17 km (10 miles). Ascent 200 metres (650 feet).

Overnight Royal Deeside – No. 45 Guest House in Ballater or similar (B,L,D)

Day 4 Hike – Balmoral, Hike – Tomintoul. Transfer to Grantown-on-Spey

We start the day with a hike on the beautiful Balmoral Estate, home to Balmoral Castle – the Queen’s summer residence. Our hike takes us through ancient woodlands past a series of cairns and monuments erected by the Royal Family over the years. Afterwards, we transfer across the ‘snow roads’, enjoying incredible views, as we travel to Tomintoul, the highest village in the Highlands. We visit the ‘Whisky Castle’, possibly Scotland’s best whisky shop, before a short transfer takes us to Grantown-on-Spey, our base for the next 3 nights.

Total hiking distance 10 km (6 miles). Ascent 350 metres (1,150 feet).

Overnight Grantown-on-Spey – Strathspey at Ravenscourt House or similar (B,L,D)

Day 5 Hike – Glen Feshie

Despite being considered by many to be the most beautiful of all the Cairngorm valleys, Glen Feshie is overlooked by many hikers, meaning that a walk here is one which has a real wilderness feel. Our circular route follows the banks of the bubbling River Feshie, through ancient pines to an oldmountain hut. The route offers great wildlife-spotting potential with red deer golden eagles and even the rare capercaillie found in the glen.

Total hiking distance 8 km (5 miles). Ascent 100 metres (320 feet).

Overnight Grantown-on-Spey – Strathspey at Ravenscourt House or similar (B,L,D)

Day 6 Hike – Abernethy Forest

The Abernethy Forest is thought by many to be the most beautiful in Scotland, with beautiful lochs surrounded by ancient Scots Pine trees and framed by views of the high mountains. We’ll enjoy a circular walk, perhaps taking in a section of the Speyside Way long distance trail, and finishing at a wildlife reserve where we’ll hope to see red squirrels and many bird species including, in the early part of the summer, the osprey.

Total hiking distance 8 km (5 miles). Ascent 100 metres (320 feet).

Overnight Grantown-on-Spey – Strathspey at Ravenscourt House or similar (B,L,D)

Day 7 Hike – Ben Rinnes. Transfer to Aberdeen

For our final hike, we’ll aim to gain some elevation and hike up a peak which is a real local’s favourite. Ben Rinnes stands 841m high and offers commanding views of Strathspey. A good trail winds its way up the broad, heather-clad ridge to the summit, where granite tors hint at its glacial past. The 360-degree summit vista is a great way to reflect on the trip before we descend back to the valley. If time permits, we may pause in the whisky town of Dufftown, home to 7 whisky distilleries, before before transferring east back to Aberdeen, arriving at approximately 4pm.

Total hiking distance 8 km (5 miles). Ascent 540 metres (1,800 feet).

Overnight Aberdeen – Hotel TBC. (B,L)

Day 8 Aberdeen

After a leisurely breakfast, enjoy a transfer to airport or rail station to begin your onward journey. (B)

  • Transfer from Aberdeen to Royal Deeside on Day 1
  • Transfer from Grantown-on-Spey to Aberdeen on Day 7
  • Transfer to Aberdeen airport or rail station on Day 8
  • 8 breakfasts, 7 lunches & 6 dinners
  • 7 nights’ comfortable small hotel and guest house accommodation throughout
  • Luggage transfer for the duration of the trek
  • All guide fees, National Park entrance costs, and attraction entrance costs
  • English-speaking guide throughout

23-30 June 2021

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