One of our favourite places to visit in the Campervan is Aviemore, a popular holiday destination/skiing/watersports resort within the Cairngorms National Park. It’s a fantastic introduction to the Scottish Highlands if you haven’t visited before; offering plenty of sightseeing opportunities and a great range of year round activities. We often set off in the van on a Friday evening and find ourselves admiring the beautiful shores of Loch Morlich (just outside the town), before bed.
Here are a few reasons why Aviemore is one of our top picks for family holidays in the Highlands (whether you’re staying in a Campervan or not):
THERE’S PLENTY FOR THE KIDS TO DO WHATEVER THE WEATHER
There are few sights to rival Scottish scenery in the sunshine, but let’s face it, when travelling in this neck of the woods, it does help to be flexible with your weather expectations. One of the fantastic things about Aviemore is that along with the stunning scenery, there are plenty of activities for the kids if the weather isn’t paying ball. Our boys love running around on the beach at Loch Morlich when the sun shines, but when it doesn’t, they enjoy swimming, soft play or other organised activities at the MacDonald Resort in the town centre. On rainy days enjoy the latest movies at the resort’s cinema, or take a round trip on the steam train to Boat of Garten (just don’t do this on the hottest day of the year like us!) For adventurous types, try Treezone, an outdoor aerial adventure course (GB and our eldest Miniman loved it). The Landmark Forest Adventure park in Carrbridge also makes for a fun packed family day out (tip: use your Tesco vouchers). The bonus for those of you with fur babies as well as kids like us: dogs are allowed (on leads) on the steam train, at Treezone and at Landmark. Makes life so much easier!
THERE’S LOTS OF ROOM FOR NATURE
There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature around Aviemore, and we’ve seen squirrels, deer and Ospreys while on our travels. We’ve even woken up surrounded by a herd of reindeer after parking the van close to the Cairngorm mountain for the night. You can take a more organised approach to wildlife spotting at the RSPB centre at Boat of Garten, and enjoy the romance of the regular Osprey breeding pair, EJ and Odin. There’s also the Highland Wildlife Park at Kincraig which isn’t far away, as well as a fishery at Rothiemurcus on the outskirts of the town.
IT’S A WALKING AND CYCLING PARADISE
There are countless opportunities for walking and cycling around Aviemore; try the Rothiemurcus estate for lots of well maintained trails, and for a beautifully scenic walk or cycle, try Loch An Eilein, one of our favourites in the area. If you’re feeling more adventurous you could attempt some ‘Munro Bagging’ during your stay- Cairngorm and Ben Macdui can be done in a day (more on hillwalking in a later blog). If sitting back and enjoying the scenery is more your style, why not take the funicular railway up Cairngorm mountain and enjoy the view from over 3500ft.
Whatever you are looking for in an outdoorsy holiday, Aviemore is unlikely to disappoint. Just don’t forget the midge repellent!