Sitting just south of the famous Loch Ness, Aviemore acts as a portal to the highlands and beyond. This quaint yet vibrant town has always had a special place in both Gemma and I’s hearts. As children, we would frequently visit here on holidays. Now believe it or not, Scotland CAN actually have quite spectacular summer weather (even if it is for only one day..). If you are planning a vacation to the north of Scotland then you will need to know all about Aviemore’s top five summer activities!
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Whenever Gemma and I visit our northern retreat, it has always been during Easter or the winter. During these times it has seemed that the snow has sat enshrined upon the tops of the mountains, and the weather system around us is incredibly temperamental. However, on our most recent trip we were blessed with one of Scotland’s most spectacular heat waves. This made our trip a tad different from usual! Here is what we got up to!
If you are heading here for your own adventure and need help with what to pack, read our packing guides here! Take the worry out of your next trip.
Watersport on Loch Morlich
This is a hugely popular activity for people of all ages in Aviemore. The beautiful loch sits amongst the ancient Rothiemurchas forest and is overlook by the Cairngorm mountain range. Days here are busy and fun, and nights can be magical.
The huge range of watersport available includes kayaking, sailing and paddle boarding. For just £20 you can rent a two person kayak, all buoyancy aids included. To see a full list of prices, check out their website here.
Highland Wildlife Park
About a half hour drive south from Aviemore is the famous Highland Wildlife Park. This sanctuary is home to the one and only Hamish, the baby polar bear. This park has been all over the news in recent days due to it being home to the first polar bear born in the UK in 25 years.
But that isn’t all that you can learn about and fall in love with. The Highland Wildlife Park has a huge range of endangered species that are protected and sometimes rehabilitated into the wild.
For £17 you can have access to the park for an entire day, all of which will be required if you want to see as much of the animals as possible. Feeding and education shows happen regularly between 9am and 2pm, and are the perfect way to learn about and appreciate the beautiful creatures, and the work the park does to help them. Huge thumbs up from us!
A relatively new activity for us, and definitely one we will be repeating, is the Cairngorm Brewery tour in Aviemore town centre. If you are into your beer (or just fancy a cheap drinking session) this is the ultimate day out for you! For just £5 you will get a tour of the small brewery floor by one of the master brewers, followed by a tasting session of roughly 8 of Cairngorm Brewery’s fresh beers.
In the words of the tour guide himself: “Pay £5, show up for 2 hours and get sloshed.” Sounds perfect!
On a particularly spectacular summer’s day, the view from the Cairngorm Ski resort is absolutely phenomenal. For £13.90 you can ride the monorail train to the top of the mountain range and enjoy the unforgettable views from the Ptarmigan Restaurant. This restaurant sits on one of the peks of the Cairngorm ridge, making it the highest restaurant in the UK at 1097m!
Of course any outdoor enthusiast will agree that sometimes the best summer activity is the cheapest; getting into the hills and exploring! The number of walks and hikes in the area surrounding Aviemore is staggering, you could nail a new munro every day for weeks without getting bored!
Even if you prefer life on the more horizontal side of things, there are plenty of walks for all abilities and distances around the many beautiful lochs and forest parks.
So if you are heading north in Scotland, make sure Aviemore is on your to-do list! Check out our full guide to this incredible place here for info about accommodation, food and more activities. If you are looking for any other inspiration on our beautiful home country, make sure you read our other blogs on Scotland.
Don’t just take our word for it, however! Check out all of our videos on this incredible part of the world below!
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