Map of Walk the Cairngorms in Winter including United Kingdom

Explore the Scottish Highlands the local way

Scotland is laden with loveable lochs, dreamy mountaintops and verdant countryside, ideal for experiencing in the winter months. Spend five days unearthing the secrets of the Cairngorms, walking between picture-perfect villages, hiking up ranges and past deep lochs and spending the afternoons nestled in a small pub. You’ll endeavour to locate the UK’s only herd of reindeer with a local ranger, enjoy a wilderness whisky tasting in a secluded tipi and stroll a section of the Speyside Way Trail to Boat of Garten. And with your base being the small Scottish town of Aviemore, you’ll neither be on the move nor stretched for time each day, with plenty of time to explore your way. Welcome to the Cairngorms – a gateway into the real Scottish countryside.


Start
Aviemore, United Kingdom
Finish
Aviemore, United Kingdom
Destination
United Kingdom
Style
Comfort
Theme
Walking & Trekking
Code
BMXS
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 4, Max 8

Why you'll love this trip

  • Hike your way through pine forests and paddocks during winter on your quest to locate the UK’s only reindeer herd, together with a local reindeer ranger.

  • Tasting what the Scottish countryside has to offer is only the beginning. Enjoy an afternoon testing out local beers in Aviemore and whet your appetite with lunch and a whisky tasting in a secluded tipi in the wilderness.

  • Take on a section of the scenic Speyside Way Trail from Aviemore to Boat of Garten, where on arrival you will have time to peruse this small village.

  • Learn about the natural beauty and conservation projects of the Cairngorms National Park – such as rewilding – from your expert local guide, ready to answer any questions you may have.

  • With a comfortable base at a guesthouse in Aviemore, you’ll be able to unpack and relax, giving you all the time to explore the best of the region.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Please ensure you consult your local government’s advice regarding domestic travel prior to booking this trip.

  • This trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

  • Please note that this trip runs in winter. Weather in Scotland can be unpredictable, so some aspects of the itinerary may require slight adjustments to ensure the best experience.

  • There are a number of planned winter walks on this trip, up to 3 hours in length. Be sure to pack adequate footwear and clothing to suit short hikes in the winter months.

Itinerary

Welcome to Aviemore! Today is simply a joining day, so make your own way to tonight’s guesthouse accommodation where you will stay for the rest of your trip in the Scottish Highlands. This is located only a kilometre or so from Aviemore’s railway station, however taxis are also available. Meet with your group and tour guide in the late afternoon for an all-important welcome briefing. Here, you’ll also get the local take on the best place for dinner or drinks tonight, so listen up!
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance and emergency contact details at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or guesthouse reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
This morning, take a short 20-minute drive by private vehicle to the beginning of your trail, where you’ll be met by a local reindeer ranger. Get ready to hike with the ranger as you aim to locate the only reindeer herd in the whole of the UK. If they prove to hard to find, do not fear – you will still enjoy a scenic hike in the Scottish countryside and stop by a paddock where some of the herd are sheltering. Return to Aviemore for some time at your leisure in the early afternoon. Afterwards, head with your group to a local microbrewery or pub for an all-important beer tasting. This afternoon is all about staying cosy in a local watering hole – is there anything more British?
Included Activities
  • Aviemore - Microbrewery visit
  • Aviemore - Guided reindeer hike
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s hike is approximately 6 kilometres, 2 hours, with around 150 metres elevation gain.
Join your guide this morning for a hike straight from your guesthouse along the renowned Speyside Way Trail, which runs over 100 kilometres from Aviemore to the Moray coastline. Take on a stunning section of the trail, walking with your group from Aviemore to the nearby village of Boat of Garten. You’ll pass by heather moors and Caledonian pine forests to this quaint village with small corner pubs, cafes and an art gallery. It’s just like out of your favourite classic UK dramas. Spend some time exploring Boat of Garten before taking a public bus back to Aviemore in the early afternoon (approximately 15 minutes). After this, the rest of the day is for you to continue to explore this slice of Scotland at your own pace.
Included Activities
  • Aviemore - Guided Speyside Way Trail hike
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s hike is approximately 9 kilometres, 2-3 hours, with around 50 metres elevation gain.
Today brings a quintessential Scottish experience – discovering just one of the region’s famed lochs. Enjoy a picturesque hike around a local loch off the tourist trail, complete with mountains framing the banks, pristine strands of ancient Caledonian Pine forest and a ruined castle sitting on a tiny island in its centre. Continue your wilderness hike on a short detour to a large tipi – a large tent – for lunch inside. A firebox, chairs and table will be set up, and you and your group will enjoy some locally sourced specialties, including sandwiches, fruit, cakes, tea and coffee. After you’ve polished off your lunch, experience a local whisky tasting inside the tipi. It is no wonder Scotland is world famous for this malty spirit. In the early afternoon, return to Aviemore and visit a local pub, settling in by the fire for an evening nestled in the wintery Scottish Highlands.
Included Activities
  • Cairngorms National Park - Guided Loch an Eilein hike
  • Cairngorms National Park - Local lunch & whisky tasting
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s hike is approximately 7 kilometres, 2 hours, with around 70 metres elevation gain.
With no activities planned for today, your Scottish adventure finishes after breakfast at your guesthouse. You’re free to discover the countryside at your leisure, or begin your homeward journey.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

4 breakfasts

Transport

Private minibus, Public bus

Accommodation

Guesthouse (4 nights)

Included activities

  • Aviemore - Microbrewery visit
  • Aviemore - Guided reindeer hike
  • Aviemore - Guided Speyside Way Trail hike
  • Cairngorms National Park - Guided Loch an Eilein hike
  • Cairngorms National Park - Local lunch & whisky tasting

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Walk the Cairngorms in Winter trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

1. This trip starts with a group meeting at 6 pm on day 1, and ends after breakfast on the final day. Please plan your arrival and departure accordingly. We are happy to book additional accommodation before or after the trip for you, subject to availability.
2. Aviemore is on the mainline and has regular trains south to Edinburgh, Glasgow and beyond, as well as north to Inverness (which is the nearest airport). It’s possible to travel to Inverness Airport by a combination of train and bus.
3. If you plan to arrive by car, our accommodation offers free parking space on first-come-first-served basis. In case the car park is full, there is plenty of on street free and safe parking just outside of the hotel.
4. A single supplement is bookable on this trip, subject to availability at the time of booking. If you would like to book a single supplement and enquire about availability, please speak to your booking agent.

Essential trip information

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