Head for the Highlands from Aviemore
Conveniently placed in the heart of the Highlands, with excellent conections by road and rail, Aviemore is the perfect base from which to explore the mountains and glens. Aviemore's amenities are focused on the needs of hikers, campers and mountaineers, with plenty of bars and restaurants for enjoyable nights after long days in the peaks.
Lochs and summits
Aviemore is a convenient starting point for visitors who want to enjoy the fabulous scenery of the Scottish Highlands. Serious climbers and casual walkers alike gravitate to the friendly small town. The ideal introduction to the beauties of the area is a gentle hike through the Rothiemurchus Forest and around the still and beautiful Loch An Eilean. It will take around two hours to go all around the loch on well-marked paths.
Kids will love the reindeer farm at nearby Glenmore. A guide leads you up the mountain to see the reindeer in their natural habitat. It is even possible to hand-feed the young deer. It's a perfect seasonal excursion in the lead-up to Christmas, but wrap up warm.
The Cairngorm mountain is the location of the popular ski centre. Even if you dont want to hit the slopes, it's worth taking the funicular ride for the astounding views from the top.
Steam railway lovers will appreciate the allure of the Strathspey Scenic Railway heading out through the glen from Aviemore to Boat of Garten and Broomhill. Lunches and high teas are served on the train.
For superior gastropub fare in Aviemore, the Old Bridge Inn rarely disappoints. Local Highland produce is emphasised in an imaginative menu that makes a change from the fast food and pub grub that dominates the town's culinary scene.
Ride the rails
Aviemore can be reached by rail from London, Glasgow and Edinburgh, with several daily Inverness services provided by Virgin, East Coast Trains or Scotrail. The London to Aviemore journey takes around seven and a half hours, with the cheapest saver fares starting at around £20 one way if booked well in advance.