The Cairngorms National Park: Voted one of the top 20 places to visit in the World by National Geographic Traveller Magazine. The Cairngorms National Park, in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, has everything from castles and distilleries to family attractions and endless outdoor fun. The UK’s largest National Park offers masses of things to do including watersports, snow sports, wildlife watching, and some incredible high and low level walking and cycling routes. There are lots of amazing places to go and things to do in the UK, so start planning your visit right now. This is why we love the Cairngorms – all this on our doorstep!
Don’t miss this year’s Cairngorms Nature Festival on 16 & 17 May 2015! With lots of free events for all ages and interests check the programme to see what takes your fancy – there are over 70 events to choose from with many just 30 minutes drive from Grantown-on-Spey. And on our door step The Bookmark has invited 5 nature writers to talk about their latest books: Chris Townsend, Jim Crumley, Neil MacGregor, Fi Martynoga and Sir John Lister-Kaye.
2015 is a very special year for Grantown-on-Spey as it celebrates it’s 250th Birthday with lots of special events taking place from 21st – 28th June – you can find out all the details at www.grantown250.org
The ski-season is well underway and Cairngorm Mountain has invested in new facilities at the base station for all visitors to enjoy. Highland Wildlife Park is also getting ready for its female polar bear to arrive … who knows we could have a little one later this year!
Spring brings the Speyside Whisky Festival 30 April – 4 May followed by the Cairngorms Nature Festival on 16 & 17 May – well worth keeping on eye on what is planned as details become available on www.cairngorms.co.uk
Plus there are the regular favourites – the Grantown Show and Games in August, Thunder in the Glen in August and all the wonderful walks, wildlife and cycling that is available all year round ! We also have a new addition to the Town – an Art Gallery and Coffee Shop just 5 minutes walk from Ardconnel House – check out their reviews on Tripadvisor.
We hope to see you in the Highlands this year – do come and visit us if you can.
June is great month to be up in the Cairngorms National Park. Cairngorm Mountain Walking Festival starts 23 June with daily ranger-led walks and with the longer days there is plenty of time to get to the remoter parts of the Park. Wildlife is also at its best with the young Osprey chicks at Loch Garten entertaining visitors as their parents bring in fresh fish regularly. The Highland Wildlife Park is also packed with young ones – wildcat kittens, lynx kittens, baby Red Pandas, young snowy owls and even a baby snow monkey ‘Princess’ and many more. And there is no better way to relax than with a dram – the Glenlivet Distrillery was voted ‘Best Visitor Attraction in Scotland during 2013 and is open every day – see our links page for more info.
Spring has sprung and with the longer, warmer days there is so much to see and do. EJ and Odin our resident Ospreys are back at Loch Garten, Capercaillie and Black Grouse are up early out on the leks and baby lambs are everywhere. The distilleries have re-opened for the season and The Spirit of Speyside Festival takes place 1-5 May 2014 with a some evening events taking place in Grantown-on-Spey. And there are lots of activities – the new Glenlivet Bike Trails are open, skiing is still underway at Cairngorm Mountain and the walking festivals get underway with the Aviemore Walking Festival from 11th May 2014. Why not visit us in Grantown-on-Spey to explore the wonderful Cairngorms National Park?
Frosty mornings and snow on the hills means winter has arrived! Winter in the Highlands is a wonderful time with warm fires to welcome people, delicious local food, beer and whisky and some exciting winter activities on offer. Skiing and snowboarding is already underway at Cairngorm Mountain, the resident reindeer are in great demand and the Santa steam train trips are very popular with children of all ages. Wildlife are also particularly active given the shorter days – mountain hare Ptarmigan and stouts are sporting their winter white coats, deer are venturing off the high tops into the forests and bird life are out and about feeding so that they are easier to spot in the wild and on local feeders. Ardconnel is fully booked for the Christmas and New Year period but we welcome guests over the winter period so if you fancy a romantic winter break or an action packed winter sports weekend check our availability page.
We are having such fantastic weather at the moment that our very own ‘springwatch’ is going strong! Osprey chicks at Loch Garten near Grantown-on-Spey are doing well, Crane’s have been seen passing Carr-Bridge just outside Aviemore and Black Grouse and Capercaillie are strutting their stuff at Glenmore Forest and Rothiemurchus Estate. Also, two Amur tiger cubs were born earlier this month at the Highland Wildlife Park and join the new addition of wolverines who settled in last month. There is lots to see and do near Grantown-on-Spey and the wildlife is simply outstanding at this time of year. Speyside Wildlife offers tailor-made day trips starting from Ardconnel House if you’d like a guide to show you some of the best places to see the local wildlife in action.
EJ the Cairngorms’ star Osprey has returned in time for Easter. She has settled on her usual nest site at Loch Garten and is busily preparing for the arrival of her mate Odin expected any day now. Last year they successfully raised two chicks – you can follow how they are getting on at the RSPB Loch Garten Reserve Website.