So this past weekend, me and my better half went for a lovely weekend break to Aviemore. We stayed at the cutest little hotel named The Boat Hotel in the very small village of Boat of Garten. It was truly lovely and the food was outstanding. In the surrounding Aviemore area there is an endless amount of activities that everyone can enjoy. There are a number of Lochs up in the area so there is plenty of outdoor water sports and other activities like wildlife parks, adventure parks, walking trails, castles – the list is endless!
Dining at the Boat Hotel – excellent quality Scottish food!
I have noted below the activities we got up to on our trip…
We first stopped off at Ballindalloch Castle. This was a lovely experience as you got to have a good look around all of the traditionally designed living areas of the Macpherson-Grant’s family home, well castle. This is a castle where the family still actually lives! It was so enchanting and very peaceful – even though there is meant to be a few ghosts residing in some of the rooms! Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to take photos within the castle but it is certainly a lovely experience – even the customer toilets at the estate were impeccable (the front lady said they have won awards for their grand customer toilet facilities). The grounds also have a walled garden, a play park, tearooms and a rockery. The tearoom also had a gift shop which had a range of Scottish gifts and they served plenty of delicious cakes!
The Highland Wildlife Park
The following place we visited was the Highland Wildlife Park. This was amazing – they have polar bears, tigers, wolves, monkeys, camels and so on. The Polar Bears were definitely the best part – we caught them fooling around in the water so it was fun to see. What was also cool, was that you get to go around half of the park driving in your car so its like the Scottish version of a Safari! You can also get a bite to eat and buy some wildlife related gifts in the gift shop. Its a definite must see if your up in the area! If you love the animals that much you can also adopt an animal if you wish!
Landmark Forest Adventure Park
We also went to Landmark Forest Adventure Park. This is probably even better if you have little kids/children to take along with you. I used to go when I was younger and it was the best place ever! Even now when I went, I still never felt too old! They have a mini roller coaster, water slides, a labyrinth, sky diving, a rock climbing wall, a fire tower, walking trails, a bamboozeleum and a high wire challenge course. The high wire challenge course was absolutely terrifying but also brilliant – you have to balance along this high up obstacle course, luckily in a safety harness (thank goodness!). The water slides are awesome and the bamboozeleum was mind boggling with a number of various illusions to get your brain going! I would 100% recommend this place to families of all ages – there is so much to do that there is something that everyone can enjoy!
Loch Inch Watersports
Loch Inch is what it says, a loch with a range of available water sports that you can give a go! We attempted the canoeing which was great but the loch is that big your arms are aching by the end of it! Its really cheap aswell and is only a 10 minute drive away from Aviemore. They also offer a number of land activities for those not so keen on water sports and there is a small games center, a restaurant and a gift shop for all of you lazy buggers!
The Cairgorm Mountain is an absolute must see if your a tourist keen to see some good old Scottish scenery. This is a place where if your a keen skier, walker or biker – you will enjoy it – a lot! When we went up there was no snow unfortunately due to it being Summer season but it was still beautiful! You can take the famous Funicular Railway up to the top of the mountain if your not so keen on walking. If you are keen on walking then you can get a guided tour of the mountain. At the top of the mountain there is a restaurant, gift shop, a viewing deck and a education room which provides you with a history of the mountain and its current condition. It was great fun and I would definitely recommend it to all of those visiting the highlands!
So take your pick from a number of activities around Aviemore. Everything is just a short few miles away and there is so much to chose from, its definitely worth a visit!