101 places – The Cairngorms

Sometimes serendipitous events occur that take decisions out of our hands. Take this week’s selection of our new recommended destination, for example.

Following ‘Mountain Day’ at the weekend, and due to the wide range of festive activities available (real reindeer!) we didn’t hesitate when The Cainrngorms mountain range was suggested as one of 101 places to visit in the UK, Ireland and France.

How much do we love The Cairngorms? Let us count the ways…

• The Cairngorms are located in Scotland’s second ever National Park. Not only was it one of the first places in Scotland to be deemed worthy of National Park status but it’s also the UK’s biggest!

• Cairngorm mountain itself is the sixth highest mountain in the UK and also one of its most popular skiing destinations. The ascent to the peak offers incredible views across Strathspey and Aviemore and the return journey comprises of more than 30km of ski runs with an optional stop-off at the fully maintained snowboard park.

• Thanks to the funicular railway, the 2 kilometre trek to the top of Cairngorm mountain is available to even armchair explorers. Once at the top you can take a look at the mountain exhibition at Ptarmigan Station and enjoy the kind of views that might make even seasoned explorers pause for thought. And unlike Sir Ranulph et al, the return journey only takes a comfortable 10 minutes.

• Not everyone on the Cairngorm mountains is a visitor, to some it’s a year-round home. Like the UK’s only herd of reindeer. They’re naturally disposed to colder climes, which makes the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre a must in the festive period. Meet reindeer, Santa and enjoy some of Scotland’s most eye-watering vistas; it’s a one of a kind attraction for all the family.

Take a look at current holiday cottage availability in the Cairngorms on cottages4you.

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