Area Guide - Cairngorms National Park

The closest parts of The Cairngorms are a little over an hour away from The Bridge Suite, and the furthest reaches of the area are a further 1.5 hours away but as with everywhere else around The Highlands the drive is so scenic that it hardly matters! From The Bridge Suite, The Cairngorms can be accessed by travelling north to Inverness and the following the A9 to the south east, or by travelling south to Spean Bridge and then following the A86 to the north east. Taking one route there, and the other on the way back, makes the trip into a great circular tour.

Being Britain's largest National Park there are far too many walks, forests, lochs, rivers, mountain trails, waterfalls and other outdoor experiences spread all around The Cairngorms to list here, but we have selected a few points of note that may not be so obvious or easy to find for visitors with a short time in the area.

The Cairngorms National Park is centred around the Cairngorm Mountain Range and the Cairngorm Mountain Centre is an obvious starting point when exploring the area. There are a range of winter sports, walking trails and other outdoor activities available here but even for the casual daytripper the scenery makes a visit worthwhile and a ride on the funicular railway to the top station at around 1,100m (3,600 ft) above sea level for a cup of coffee in the highest restaurant in the UK is a great experience. (please note that as of January 2019 the railway is currently closed for major maintenance and the operators have gone into administration so do check before making the trip)

On the road from Aviemore to Cairngorm Mountain are a number of other attractions; one of the most unique being the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre where visitors can be taken to meet, and hand-feed, Britain's only free-ranging Reindeer herd. Also along this road is the beautiful Loch Morlich which has a watersports centre, Glenmore Forest and Rothiemurchus Estate which has a range of activities available and also includes the very picturesque Loch an Eilein. The town of Aviemore is mostly geared towards snow sports enthusiasts but is pleasant enough to visit and The Cairngorm Brewery offer tours and tasting sessions.

The roads south from Aviemore lead to various places of interest. In the Kincraig area is Loch Insh Watersports Centre and the Highland Wildlife Park with its collection of wildlife from the world's mountains and tundra including polar bears. Around Kingussie can be found RSPB Insh Marshes and the impressive remains of the eighteenth century Ruthven Barracks. Further south at Newtonmore is the expansive Highland Folk Museum which displays a multitude of salvaged and restored historic buildings from across The Highlands, and the Newtonmore Wildcat Centre which offers information on both The Wildcat Trail (a 10km walk around the surroundings of the village) and The Wildcat Experience which challenges visitors to locate as many of the 132 painted wildcats that are located all around the village as possible - this is mostly intended for younger people but it's great fun and a good excuse for getting out for a walk, there's even a prize for those who locate more than 50 of the wildcat models!

The River Spey, which is probably most famous for being the water source for the large number of Speyside whisky distilleries, runs partly through The Cairngorms and there are a number of distilleries to visit in the area as a result. One that's lesser known though and, in our opinion, one of the most scenically located and best looking, is Dalwhinnie Distillery beside the River Truim. Following the A9 south from Dalwhinnie will bring you to the House of Bruar shopping outlet (and the nearby Falls of Bruar) as well as the magnificent Blair Castle.

On the far side of The Cairngorms (relative to the location of The Bridge Suite) are two more winter sports resorts Lecht Ski School and Glenshee Ski Centre. Between the two locations lies the town of Braemar where Braemar Castle is located and a little further to the east at Craithie is Balmoral Castle.

In the northern part of the National Park is Grantown-on-Spey which is a pleasant stop off with the popular Grantown Museum in the town. South of here along the A95 is the Speyside Centre which is a combination of plant nursery, tea room, gift shop and antiques shop with a wildlife feeding station (as of January 2019 the centre is in the process of a rebuild project after a major fire in 2016 but is still trading during the works). Further south still is RSPB Loch Garten where Ospreys have been nesting since 1950's and bring bird watchers from far and wide. If you'd like a good chance of getting a view of Ospreys in a far less crowded setting then ask us for location details during your stay!

Area Guides

Fort Augustus

Glenmoriston and Fort Augustus

A guide to the immediate surroundings and nearby facilities within the vicinity of The Bridge Suite including the villages of Invermoriston and Fort Augustus.

Loch Tarff

The Great Glen

The Bridge Suite is centrally located in this world renowned and much visited 62 mile slice of the Scottish Higlands that incorporates the very best that Scotland has to offer.

Inverness Pipe Band


Explore the attractions, shops, restaurants, cultural highlights, events and surroundings of The Scottish Highlands' capital city located on the Moray Firth coast at the northern end of The Great Glen

Snow on Ben Nevis from Corpach

Fort William

Located at the south-western end of The Great Glen and at the base of Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain, there are many reasons why Fort William is known as the outdoor capital of the UK.

Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye

Another world renowned tourist destination which is easily accessible as a day trip from The Bridge Suite, The Isle of Skye has a very different character from the mainland and many of our guests enjoy a day here.

Cairngorm Mountain Railway

The Cairngorms

The Cairngorm mountain range is at the heart of Britain's largest national park which has plenty to offer to visitors and can be reached, and explored, within a day trip from The Bridge Suite.