Please use the links below to view full route information including descriptions, elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
You can also view an overview map of all the routes in the using the Cairngorms Walk Map
|Abernethy Forest||3 miles (5.5 km)||This splendid forest and nature reserve in the Cairngorms has miles of good walking trails to try. This circular walk starts from the RSPB forest lodge and takes you along the woodland trails along the River Nethy. You can extend your walk further into the expansive forest and visit a series of pretty lochs and streams. The reserve is a fantastic place for wildlife with Ospreys and red squirrels to look out for.|
The forest includes the beautiful Loch Garten with an Osprey Centre where you can observe the birds nesting in the Caledonian pineforest and view the birds on the live CCTV camera. It's a splendid area with the Cairngorms Mountains making a great backdrop.
|Ben Avon||21 miles (33 km)||This challenging walk in the Cairngorms takes you to the unusual Ben Avon plateau with its numerous granite tors and wonderful far reaching views. You start in Braemar in a parking area just off the Old Military Road to the east of the village. You then pick up the Gleann an t-Slugain path which will take you to Ben Avon. It's generally a very good path passing through woodland, along pretty streams and through the delightful Fairy Glen. On the way you'll enjoy great views over Glen Quoich, Glas Allt Mor and Slochd Mor. At the summit you will find the huge Leabaidh an Daimh Tor. Some scrambling is required to get to the true summit where there are excellent views of Beinn a'Bhuird mountain. |
If you'd like to continue your walking in the area then you could head to Linn of Dee and Linn of Quoich which are both near Braemar.
|Ben Macdui||10 miles (16 km)||Climb to the summit of the second highest mountain in Britain on this challenging walk in the Cairngorms. The walk starts from the Cairngorm Ski Centre car park and climbs to the summit via the Miadan Creag an Leth-choin ridge, passing Lochan Buidhe on the way. You can return the same way or head to the nearby Cairn Gorm by taking the north east path at Lochan Buidhe.|
|Cairn Gorm||3 miles (5.5 km)||This walk follows the signed 'Windy Ridge Path' from the Cairngorm Ski Centre car park to the summit of the mountain. At 1245 metres (4084 ft) Cairn Gorm is the sixth highest mountain in the United Kingdom. The route passes the Ptarmigan Restaurant, the highest restaurant in the UK. It is located at the Ptarmigan Train Station of the CairnGorm Mountain railway. It's just over half way from the summit so it's a great place to stop for refreshments and enjoy wonderful views of Loch Morlich, the Rothiemurchus Forest, Ben Nevis and Ben Hope. You continue to the summit where you will find a cairn and a weather station building. The views of the surrounding area are truly wonderful. |
You descend via the same path with the option of catching the funicular railway back to the base at Ptarmigan.
The Ben Macdui and Coire an t-Sneachda walks start from the same car park so if you'd like to continue your walking in the area then these are good options.
|Coire an t-Sneachda||3 miles (5.5 km)||Follow a good path to this stunning glacial corrie in the Cairngorms. You start off from the Cairngorm Ski Centre car park and soon pick up the well maintained path to this spectacular corrie. As you climb you will see wonderful views of the Rothiemurchus Forest and Loch Morlich while crossing pretty streams on huge stepping stones. The surrounding glacial cliffs and huge boulders add to the dramatic nature of this stunning area. In the colder months you may see ice climbers attempting Magic Crack. |
The climb to Cairn Gorm also starts from the same car park so you can continue your walking in the area on this path.
|Corrie Fee Nature Reserve||5 miles (8 km)||Explore this beautiful natural amphitheatre created by a huge glacier thousands of years ago. The walk begins at the Glen Doll car park, Glen Clova. You then pick up a good footpath heading towards Corrie Fee through Glendoll Forest. The route crosses White Water and follows the pretty Fee Burn into the nature reserve. It's a stunning site with the magnificent bowl shaped valley backed by a large waterfall. There's also beautiful alpine flowers and rare mountain willows clinging to the steep crags. It's wonderful for wildlife too with golden eagles and peregrines visitors to the area. |
It's easy to extend your walk on one of the many trails in Glen Doll Forest. One good option is to continue along the lovely White Water where it branches off to the north west at around the half way point of the route. You can then follow Jock's Road up to Crow Craigies.
Also just to the north you will find the beautiful Loch Muick which has a fine circular trail to follow around the loch.
|Craigellachie Nature Reserve||4 miles (6 km)||This large nature reserve in Aviemore has a number of splendid walking trails to try. In the reserve you can enjoy several small lochs, woodland trails and stunning views of the Cairngorms. You can follow the easier waymarked trails around the lochs before climbing to wonderful viewpoints. From here there are great views over Aviemore and towards Cairn Gorm. The area is also good for wildlife watching - look out for peregrine falcons on the rocky crags. The reserve is easy to reach, located close to the centre of Aviemore and the train station.|
|Dava Way||23 miles (37 km)||A super cycling and walking route along a dismantled railway line from Forres in Moray to Granton-on-Spey, Highland. The route passes through a pleasant mixture of farmland, woodland and moorland while also crossing the River Divie at Glenernie. It provides a link between the Speyside Way in the south and the Moray Firth Trail to the north.|
Views from the trail include Nairn, Inverness, Moray, Ross & Cromarty, the Cromdale Hills and the Cairngorm Mountains.
For cyclists a mountain bike or hybrid is advised.
|Glenmore Forest Park||6 miles (9 km)||This forest in the Cairngorms National Park has miles of fantastic cycling and walking trails to enjoy. This circular route starts at the excellent visitor centre and follows cycle and walking trails into the forest and alongside the lovely Loch Morlich. The loch has a pretty beach perfect for relaxing on after your ride/walk, while the visitor centre has a great cafe with refreshments. There's also a wide variety of wildlife to look out for including Scottish Crossbill, Crested Tit, Capercaillie and Red Deer. The magnificent Cairngorms mountains make a wonderful backdrop for the route.|
From the nearby town of Aviemore you could pick up the excellent Speyside Way for more cycling and walking in the area.
|Linn of Dee||7 miles (10.5 km)||This walk visits the beautiful 300-metre natural rock gorge at the Linn of Dee in the Cairngorms. The walk starts at the Linn of Dee car park (postcode below is approximate) and takes you through woodland to the bridge over the River Dee. The Dee is a popular salmon river with a ladder by the waterfall where the fish have the chance to swim upstream to spawn. It's a lovely spot with the rushing water, pine woodland, the old stone bridge and the rocky gorge. The walk then heads north through Glen Lui along Lui Water to Derry Lodge. This Victorian building was used as a base for shooting parties but is now disused. You can then continue along the pretty Derry Burn with lovely woodland trails and fabulous views of the Cairngorm mountains. The footpaths for most of the walk are very good. |
You can continue your walking in this beautiful area by heading a few miles along the road to the east where you will find the splendid Linn of Quoich.
|Linn of Quoich||3 miles (5 km)||Enjoy riverside walking, beautiful waterfalls and peaceful woodland trails on this walk through Glen Quoich in the Cairngorms. |
The walk starts at the Linn of Quoich parking area and follows Quoich Water to the waterfalls which were popular with Queen Victoria. On the walk you will pass an old building which was Queen Victoria's tearoom. The river is surrounded by attractive Scots pines and there is the wonderful backdrop of the Cairngorm Mountains to enjoy. You will also pass the Punch Bowl, a round carved hole that has formed over the centuries by the pounding water.
You can continue your walking in the area by heading to the Linn of Dee which is only a few miles along the road to the west.
|Loch an Eilein||4 miles (6.5 km)||This popular circular walk in the Cairngorms takes you around the beautiful Loch an Eilein and the smaller Loch Gamhna. It's a beautiful and tranquil location with the still waters surrounded by stunning hills and mountains. The undulating footpaths around the lochs are generally very good and not challenging. There are sections near to the water and several delightful woodland trails through the surrounding Rothiemurchus Forest. Also of interest is the unusual ruined island castle and the visitor centre.|
Parking is available at the northern end of the loch or you can catch the train to Aviemore which is a few miles north of the loch. If you're on a bike you can cycle from Aviemore train station along National Cycle Route 7 and a country lane near the Loch An Eilein Pottery to reach the loch.
|Loch Garten||2 miles (4 km)||This walk takes you around the beautiful Loch Garten RSPB Nature Reserve and also visits the nearby Loch Mallachie in the Cairngorms. |
You start at the Loch Garten Osprey Centre at the north eastern side of the loch. Here you can observe the birds nesting in the Caledonian pineforest, visit the excellent visitor centre and view the birds on the live CCTV camera. There are a number of splendid nature trails to follow through the forest and along the pretty loch. Look out for wildlife which includes red squirrels, dragonflies, crested tits and, in early spring, the capercaillie. The walk continues on woodland trails to the smaller, but still delightful, Loch Mallachie. It's a glorious area with the Cairngorms mountains making a splendid backdrop.
The Speyside Way passes nearby so you can pick this up if you would like to extend your walk.
You could also head east into the expansive Abernethy Forest where there are miles of trails to follow. The woods include the River Nethy and a series of pretty lochs and streams.
|Loch Kinord||3 miles (5.5 km)||Enjoy an easy circular walk around this delightful loch and nature reserve in the Cairngorms. There is a waymarked trail taking you through the woodland and along the loch situated in the Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve. The reserve is a wonderful place for flora and fauna with otters, goldeneye ducks, migrating geese and other wildfowl to look out for. There are also lots of interesting plants around the water including water lobelia, quillwort and shoreweed.|
|Loch Morlich||4 miles (6 km)||Enjoy an easy circular walk around this delightful lake in the Cairngorms. There is a good footpath running all the way around the water and through the surrounding forest. It's a popular, waymarked walk with ample parking at the visitor centre located at the north eastern end of the lake. There's much to enjoy with a beautiful, long beach, peaceful woodland trails and the wonderful backdrop of the Cairngorms mountains. |
You can extend your walk by further exploring the surrounding Glenmore Forest Park.
|Loch Muick||8 miles (13 km)||Enjoy a waterside walk around the beautiful Loch Muick on this super walk in the Cairngorms. There's a good circular track around the loch with the option of visiting the lovely Glas Allt Shiel waterfall at the western end. |
The walk starts at the Balmoral Estate visitor centre (near the car park) and heads towards the loch on a good track. You'll cross the River Muick and pass through woodland and countryside before arriving at the loch. The lochside path then takes you to Glas-allt Shiel house, a former country retreat of Queen Victoria. Here you have the option of climbing up to see the Glas Allt Shiel waterfalls. You continue round the loch, crossing pretty burns and passing through old birch woodland as you go. It's a very picturesque area with hills surrounding the loch and a variety of wildlife too. Look out for red squirrel, red deer, oyster catchers, salmon and trout as you make your way round the loch.
If you would like to extend your walking in this area then you could head a few miles south to the Corrie Fee Nature Reserve. Here you'll find more excellent walking trails, a large waterfall and rare plants and flowers.
|Speyside Way||65 miles (105 km)||This splendid route is one of the four official Long Distance Routes in Scotland. It follows the River Spey from Buckie, on the Moray Firth, to Aviemore. You will pass Craigellachie, Grantown on Spey and Boat of Garten with coastal and riverside sections to enjoy. There are also terrific views of the Cairngorm Mountains as you approach Aviemore.|
The trail is often completed in the following sections:
Section 1 - Buckie to Spey Bay
Section 2 - Spey Bay to Fochabers
Section 3 - Fochabers to Craigellachie
Section 4 - Craigellachie to Ballindalloch
Section 5 - Ballindalloch to Grantown
Section 6 - Grantown to Nethy Bridge
Section 7 - Nethy Bridge to Boat of Garten
Section 8 - Boat of Garten to Aviemore
This route has been classified as a walking and cycle route but not all of the trail is suitable for cycling. The off road sections between Ballindalloch and Tomintoul, and between Ballindalloch and Cromdale should be avoided on bikes. However the sections between Fochabers and Ballindalloch and between Nethybridge and Aviemore make for excellent cycling. The final section from Boat of Garten to Aviemore, is actually part of the Sustrans millennium cycle way so is also suitable for cycling.
|Wildcat Trail Newtonmore||6 miles (10 km)||This is a super circular walk around the village of Newtonmore in the Cairngorms National Park. The route is fairly easy with little climbing and is waymarked throughout with a wildcat symbol. There are lovely waterside sections along the great River Spey and River Calder. You will also pass a splendid gorge and a waterfall with magnificent views of the Cairngorm & Monadhliath Mountains for the duration of the walk.|