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Glen Feshie, Cairngorms National Park (Credit: Ed Smith)
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A National Treasure - The Cairngorms National Park

Explore the lands of Badenoch and Strathspey in the Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms National Park is a national treasure. A land that is home to one quarter of the endangered species of the UK. A land featuring some of the last remnants of the ancient Caledonian pine forests. A land with a continuous mountain range which is the largest expanse of high ground in the country, where plants and animals are found that would also be at home in the Arctic Circle.

But along with our world renowned habitat, you’ll find communities who are proud to call the Cairngorms home and will give you a warm Cairngorm welcome. Come hear our stories and explore some of the many magical sites around the Highland region of our National Park!

On your journey, be responsible and respectful of local communities and wildlife and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

Ptarmigan Restaurant, Cairngorm Mountain
Image provided by Cairngorm Mountain


Start your journey at one of the highest locations in the UK, Cairngorm Mountain. You can travel up the mountain via the funicular railway all the way to the famous Ptarmigan Restaurant, which gives you the opportunity to gaze across the Cairngorm National Park in comfort.

You can step out onto the mountain paths on a guided tour led by a Cairngorm ranger. On your tour, you will hear the fascinating story of the mountain and the ranger's unique insight into the landscape and environment of the Cairngorms.


Descend down the mountain and stop into Glenmore Visitor Centre, the perfect place to learn about the Cairngorms National Park.

The centre has a variety of exhibits that tell the story of the National Park, from its geology and wildlife to its history and culture. There is also a large interactive area where you can learn about the different habitats, plants and animals that live here.

From here with your new found knowledge, you can take to the surrounding area and explore some of the finest forests in Scotland.

Glenmore Forest, Badenoch and Strathspey
Image provided by VisitScotland/Damian Shields
Rothiemurchus Estate, Cairngorms National Park
Image provided by via VisitCairngorms


Situated in the heart of Rothiemurchus Estate, Lochan Mor, or the Lily Loch to locals, is a wonderful spot to explore. The name Lochan Mor means 'big loch' in Gaelic and there are several walking trails around Lochan Mor, ranging from easy to challenging. The most popular trail is the Lochan Mor Loop, which is a 5km loop that takes in the best views of the lake. There is also a shorter trail that leads to the shores of the lake, where you can enjoy a picnic or simply relax and enjoy the scenery.


You’ve entered into the lands of Badenoch, where stories are part of the fabric of the communities here.

The Frank Bruce Sculpture Trail is a unique and fascinating place to visit. The trail is home to a collection of 16 sculptures created by the late artist Frank Bruce. The sculptures are made from reclaimed wood and stone, and they are carved in a style that the artist called "archetypal abstraction."

The sculptures on the trail explore themes of Scottish culture, history, and mythology. Some of the sculptures are representations of traditional Scottish symbols, such as the thistle and the kilt. The sculptures are beautiful and thought-provoking, and the woodland setting is peaceful and tranquil.

Frank Bruce Sculpture Trail, Badenoch and Strathspey
Image provided by via VisitCairngorms
Uath Lochans, Badenoch and Strathspey
Image provided by Cairngorms National Park Authority/David Clyne


The Uath Lochans are a group of four small lochs located in the Glen Feshie area, the lochans are fed by snowmelt from the mountains above. The lochans are set in a beautiful woodland setting with a mixture of pine, birch, and alder trees. The name Uath Lochans means 'hawthorn small lochs' in Gaelic.

There are two main walking routes around the Uath Lochans. The shorter route is a 2.4km loop that follows the white marker posts. This route is easy to follow and is suitable for all abilities. The longer route is a 4km loop that includes a climb to Farleitter Crag. This route is more challenging, but offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

The Uath Lochans are a great place to see wildlife. The lochans are home to a variety of birds, including ducks, geese, and herons. You may also see red squirrels, deer, and even otters.


Ruthven Barracks sit at the top of a hill with views for miles around, surrounded by flood plains, the area of Badenoch is known as the drowned lands in Gaelic.

The history of the barracks is bleak, it goes back to the Jacobite period as a Government base of occupation. It was used by Bonnie Prince Charlie after the Battle of Culloden, where he rallied his troops before fleeing into the Highlands, but not before he burnt the place to the ground. Before that a castle stood on the hill and was home to one of the most evil men in Scottish history, the Wolf of Badenoch. It was said the wolf played chess with the devil himself and the outcome was not favourable.

You can download the Badenoch The Storylands app to hear more about the stories of Badenoch, told by the people of Badenoch.

Ruthven Barracks, Badenoch and Strathspey
Image provided by James Stevens

Be immersed in shinty - Scotland's community sport.
Image provided by Fiona Young


The villages of Kingussie and Newtonmore are the largest settlements in Badenoch and only a few miles apart, but the villages have a fierce rivalry through their shinty teams! The game of shinty is a Highland tradition, going back to the 1700s, these two teams are two of the finest in Scotland.

If you can catch a game of shinty when you’re visiting you won’t be disappointed, the pace, flare and craic (Scottish word for good company) will be well worth the admission. Is the rivalry really just spirited friendship!?


The Highland Folk Museum is a great place to step back in time and experience the history and culture of the Scottish Highlands. It is home to a collection of over 30 traditional buildings, including croft houses, weavers' cottages, and a recreated Highland village.

If you are interested in learning more about the history and culture of the Scottish Highlands, the Highland Folk Museum is a great place to visit. It is a fascinating and informative experience that is sure to leave you with a deeper appreciation for the Highlands and its people.

Highland Folk Museum, Badenoch and Strathspey
Image provided by James Stevens
Dun Da Lamh, Badenoch and Strathspey
Image provided by James Stevens


Explore Laggan Forest and take to the trails on an ebike to help peddle around. It’s not everyday you can say you’ve walked around the walls of an ancient Pictish Fort, but you can here. The remains of Dùn da-Lamh still give you a sense of what the place would have looked like thousands of years ago. The Badenoch The Storylands app has an augmented reality feature to help bring the surroundings further to life.


Welcome to Kinloch Laggan - one of the most beautiful settings in Scotland, standing along a sandy beach gazing across a fresh loch looking out to mountains stretching as far as you can see.

Exploring the shores of the loch you’ll find the Creag Meagaidh National Nature Reserve, which has everything you’d find across the Highlands but in one stunning nature reserve.

Loch Laggan, Badenoch and Strathspey
Image provided by Daniel Arnold
Centre of Scotland, Badenoch and Strathspey
Image provided by James Stevens


You’ve heard of John O Groats and Land's End, but did you know you’ll find the middle of Scotland right here in the Cairngorms? With a huge stone and plaque marking the spot and with stunning views out towards the West Coast, catch a glimpse of the sun setting on your day. Listen to the story of the Centre of Scotland Stone to finish your time with us.

Our many thanks extend to VisitCairngorms for putting together this self-guided itinerary. VisitCairngorms is the local tourism body of the Cairngorms National Park, helping visitors plan their perfect trip to the Cairngorms. To explore more things to do and plan your visit, make sure to check out the VisitCairngorms website.

Keep up to date with VisitCairngorms on social media:

Facebook: @VisitCairngorms | Twitter: @VisitCairngrms | Instagram: @visitcairngorms

Image provided by VisitCairngorms

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