Travel review: Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

Respected campaigner and television presenter Sir David Attenborough describes the Cairngorms National Park as “one of the glories of wild Scotland.’’

And its easy to agree when you head up the A9 having left the big city of Glasgow behind. The A9 is a notorious for high speed as people eager to reach utopia, hit the pedal.

But with the introduction of average speed camera, motorists have started to slow down and actually enjoy the landscape around them.

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This area is remote, but special and when we headed up mid-March, there was snow on the hills, perhaps not enough for the hardy skiers, but ever so pretty for everyone else.

Macdonald Highlands HotelsMacdonald Highlands Hotels
Macdonald Highlands Hotels

The family, dad Kenny and children, Ruaridh (8) and Flora (5) had decided to see if Sir David was right in what he said, after all there are lots of nice places in Scotland and to reach The Highlands from Lancashire, you have a long drive ahead of you.

Aviemore is at the heart of the park and this slightly purpose build town has all the amenties a holiday-maker needs, from ski and walking shops to tourist havens for those looking for the obligatory tartan treat.

The Macdonalds Hotel chain has a large complex in the centre of the town with five different hotels catering for business men, families and those wishing to avoid children. The Highland Hotel is child-friendly, after all it has a state of the art childcare centre right next to it, which caters for the young up to pre-teens, with a smart playroom for the little ones and a music and games centre for the older ones. And next door is a pool, sauna and steam room, plus a fitness centre.

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The hotel itself boasts well-appointed rooms which have all the mod cons of a luxury spot, with Internet access, smart televisions and tea and coffee making facilities as well as impressive décor in the roomy accommodation. A first class breakfast which covers everything from continental breakfasts to a full Scottish breakfast sets you up for the day and there are lots of restaurants in the complex, from the Steak Club, which boast some tasty meats and treats to bar menus, for you to try. Spa and cinema facilties are also on site, so really you could spend all your time in the hotel.

But with so much beauty to explore, you have to get out and about. The area boasts a range of impressive attractions from The Landmark, an outdoor adventure park in the heart of woodland to the Strathspey Steam Railway, which offers a blast from the past.

But it’s getting bsck to nature which really attracts. On your doorstep, you have the beautiful Lake Morlich to enjoy. With water sports available and plenty of walking and cycling, you will have much to fill your day. Surrounded by the most impressive mountains and with a beach comparable to the Maldives, you will immediately find yourself switching off and enjoying some Attenborough therapy!


The Macdonald Highlands Hotel is right in the heart of Aviemore, the gateway to The Highlands of Scotland. It’s a four star hotel belonging to a chain which is well-known for its impressive hotels. With lots of offers available, log for the latest.

Tourist information is available via