Aviemore – overflowing with culture and family experiences
Situated in the Cairngorms National Park, Aviemore is packed full of outdoor experiences varying from walks to wildlife to sports. It also has a great selection of restaurants, cafes, shops and bars so it’s ideal for those travelling as a group. The famously beautiful town with its exquisite, peaceful settings and lush landscapes, is only a 50-minute drive away from Aldourie Estate. This automatically makes it a regular choice for a family day out. Should you visit during summer then climbing, biking and walking may be your activities of choice. Once wintertime hits snow sports become the popular outdoor activities.
The scenic setting of Aviemore can be enjoyed further with a bit of the town’s culture and history thrown in. The Strathspey Steam Railway has three stations along its ten mile length with its main operating station based in Aviemore. Perhaps you’re staying at Aldourie Castle for a few days to celebrate a milestone birthday or wedding anniversary. In which case an afternoon tea train ride on the historic steam train could be your preferred choice. If you’re a family house party at the Castle you may opt to visit Aviemore over the weekend and enjoy a railway Sunday lunch instead. If you’re serious about steam trains why not upgrade to first class for even more memorable journey during your Castle stay in Inverness.
Snow-topped mountains and real-life reindeers
If you wish to experience a Scottish Castle house party alongside wild Scotland, Cairngorm Mountain must be on your visit list. From skiing to ranger guided walks this place is ideal for outdoorsy sports fans who appreciate far-reaching views. Rothiemurchus Estate is worth a visit particularly if you had hoped to spy a variety of Highlands wildlife during your Castle stay in Inverness. It’s a great family day out because it’s spectacularly scenic and abundant in water activities and walks. Nevertheless, the Estate boasts many outdoor activities you could also easily enjoy back on Loch Ness or the parkland at Aldourie Castle.
A winter or Christmas house party stay at Aldourie Castle would not be complete without a visit to Aviemore’s Reindeer Centre. Let the children indulge their imaginations with the sight of a herd of reindeer in their natural habitat. You may wish to organise your Christmas Castle stay in Inverness before your arrive. Find out what Santa’s helpers get up to over the festive season November to December here: http://www.cairngormreindeer.co.uk/christmas/
More of wild Scotland and historic Highland life
Perhaps you’d planned to spend an entire day out in the Cairngorms National Park. If so, then just 12 miles south of Aviemore you’ll find Britain’s first open air museum; the Highland Folk Museum. It is open every day over spring and summer and is a remarkable delve into historic Highland daily life from the 1700s. It features 12,000 artefacts, 30 historical buildings within its fascinating tours. Ideal for families, besides the thatched roofs there’s also a playground and outdoor picnic area. The Highland Folk Museum is based in Newtonmore, in itself boasting some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
Kingussie is small-town, nature-filled and scenic
Just over an hour away in the car you will find the lively and picturesque town of Kinguisse alongside the River Spey. Again located in the heart of the Cairngorms, you’ve the best of Scottish Highland’s scenery and nature at your fingertips. During your private Castle stay in Inverness visit this lovely and town set against a magnificent mountainous backdrop. Kinguisse offers a range of cultural delights from wildlife to lochside walks to golfing and whisky.
The Highland Wildlife Park is located close by to the town and if zoo animals are on your luxury Highland holiday wish list then definitely spend a few hours here. There’s the usual polar bears, tigers, monkeys and a variety of birds. And from the red panda to the snow leopard and the European grey wolf there’s plenty of unusual species to see and learn about. Like Aldourie Estate the Highland Wildlife Park is committed to conservation – why not find out about and support its conservation projects.
Appreciating Highland whisky and landscapes
There are plenty of whisky distilleries across the Scottish Highlands and Aldourie can recommend a whole host of famous ones to make up an adventurous distillery tour. And Speyside Distillery is definitely one of them. So whilst you’re out exploring the town of Kingussie, be sure to drop by for a tour of one of the prettiest distilleries in all of Scotland. From the founders to the skills used to make the perfect single malt, Speyside is a great whisky distillery to sample. If you enjoy your visit during your Castle stay in Inverness we can always organise a private whisky tasting back at the Castle one evening.
Accessible from the top end of the Kingussie Golf Club, itself a challenging and scenic 18-hole golf course, is the tranquil and peaceful Loch Gynack. The mountain-top lake offers a lovely, easy walk, with breath-taking views and a chance to get away from the hubbub of the town. Follow the secluded woodland trails around the loch taking in the rocky peaked landscape and the wild flowers. Back in the town of Kinguisse, more quiet time, flora, fauna – and some bird-watching! – can be found in the RSPB Insh Marshes nature reserve. Covering 10-square kilometres of the River Spey floodplains it is well known for its pretty wild flower meadow and the butterflies it attracts.
Back to enjoying quality time with the kids, Highland Horse Fun offers a great family experience during your Castle stay in Inverness. Give the children something to remember the Scottish Highlands by with an invigorating pony ride. Take in the dramatic Highland landscape of mountains, rivers and glens. This could be the perfect Highlands experience to end your day before travelling home to your luxury Scottish Castle.
Our next blog instalment will features two other towns close to Aldourie; Invergarry and Pitlochry. Keep up with Aldourie on Twitter and Facebook to find out more things to do during your Castle stay in Inverness.