Aviemore, located in the Cairngorm National Pak, is the walking capital of the highlands where you can walk in amongst the mountains and forestry and explore nature at its finest.

There are many walks in Aviemore, ranging from short walking trails to longer Munro’s. In this guide, we will be sharing the shorter walks that are a great starting point for beginners who are looking to take in some beautiful views and following a walking trail.

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Best Aviemore Walks for Beginners

The Cairngorm National Park is the perfect summer mountain vacation for families and Aviemore is the perfect place to get out in nature and explore the local lochs and mountains. There is a great variety of walks in Aviemore for beginners and we will go into more detail on our favourites below.

Table of Contents

cairngorm mountain range

Aviemore Orbital Trail

The Aviemore Orbital Trail starts behind a housing estate on the western side of Aviemore. Depending on where you park, you will need to walk to the start of the trail so make sure you keep that distance in mind.

You will cross a gate at the back of the estate where the trail begins, follow the path left. There is a light hill and white stoney paths to begin with. As the walk continues, you will walk through a forest. We followed an All Trails map for this walk but if we weren’t following it carefully we would have got lost. For this part of the trail is it important to wear comfortable shoes. 

Once you reach the main path again, it is all downhill from there. The route is 5km plus the distance from your start point.

girl walking through forest
girl looking at view over fields

Loch Morlich

Located in between the town of Aviemore and the cairngorm mountains is Loch Morlich. This is one of our favourite lochs to visit in Aviemore come rain or shine. 

The walk begins at the car park where you will need to purchase a pay and display ticket costing £2 for 1 hour, £3 for 3 hours or £4 for all day. Blue Badge Holders park for free.

The walk around Loch Morlich is flat and is a 6km walk to do the whole loops. We walked in a clockwise direction, walking through the forestry area and across the beach first. After that, the paths are all pleasant to walk on.

Unfortunately, this walk does take you away a bit from the Loch on the second half of the walk to the point it becomes barely visible. However it is still a nice trail for all skill levels.

loch morlich

Loch an Eilein

Sitting on the outskirts of Aviemore in a small place called Rothiemurchus lies a beautiful loch called Loch an Eilein. 

There is a beautiful nature trail following the route around the loch, sheltered underneath the pine trees. This 3 mile walk is mainly flat and suitable for those at a beginners level to long walks. Be mindful that some of the walk can be walking over tree roots that are growing out of the ground. Follow the trail around the loch, enjoying the lovely views of the surrounding mountains. What makes this loch unique is the small castle mounted in the middle of the loch. This dates back to… 

It is £1.50 per adult to park here and 50p for children. You can pay per car also for £4.50. 

There is a large car park and if you are new to the area, you are offered a map and small information guide. 

girl looking over loch
girl walking through woods

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Green Loch

The Green Loch is hidden in amongst the Caledonian pines at the bottom of the mountain Sgor. It is a short walk from the Glenmore Visitor Centre.

To get there, we would recommend parking at or nearby the Glenmore Visitor Centre. If you are facing the visitor centre, there is a road to your right that runs adjacent to the main road. Walk along this road, or the forestry pathway that runs alongside it until you reach a gate. 

Pass through the gate and the ground underfoot will become a little bit stoney but the views that open up when you pass through here are spectacular. After around a 20 minute walk, you will see a small entrance to your right leading to the Green Loch.

If you are up for more of a hike and walking a bit further, the Green Loch is the start of the walk for Meall a’ Bhuachaille. This corbett is 810m high however, so make sure you are prepared.

couple standing in front of the green loch


Your trip to Scotland will be a lot more comfortable with a midge net and midge spray. These little biting bugs can be enough to ruin a trip if you don’t have the equipment to protect yourself from them. A repelling candle can also be helpful if you are sitting oustide.

Check out the prices of them here.

Craigellachie and Loch Puladdern Circular

Craigellachie and Loch Puladdern Circular is a 4.8km trail. It starts on the woodland path behind the Youth Hostel and follows the path down under the bridge below the road. The first part of the walk is relatively flat however it is uneven underfoot. You will pass a loch on your left hand side as you follow the path round. 

The path will begin to incline and become more varied underfoot. The peak elevation is 269m and the views from the top are absolutely beautiful, across the town of Aviemore and across to the Cairngorm mountains.

girl standing on Craigellachie and Loch Puladdern Circular

Are you planning to visit more of Scotland on your trip? Why not check out our books to help you plan your trip? 

Before You Leave for Aviemore

Before you head off on your trip to Aviemore, there are certain things you will need to get organised to ensure a smooth trip. These include how to get around the route, including being aware of single track roads, etc., what to pack for Scotland, where to stay along the route and what travel insurance to book.

How Do I Get to Aviemore?

Aviemore has become the hub of the Highlands, with many people visiting all year round. The easiest way to get to Aviemore would be to drive as that will make it easier to get around when you get there. However there is always the option of getting public transport. Both trains and buses stop in Aviemore.

If you are looking to rent a cosy, reliable and luxurious campervan for your trip to Aviemore, we highly recommend hiring through Spaceships Rentals. 

Browse the full range of vehicles on offer at Spaceships over here.

Passing Place by the Bealach na Ba Pass.

What Should I Pack for Aviemore?

When it comes to packing for a trip to Aviemore there is one item of clothing that you are going to need all year round: a waterproof. It rains in Scotland on average 250 days a year, meaning that during your trip to Aviemore you will probably experience at least a drizzle of rain. Due to this, the number one item on any Scotland packing list is a good waterproof jacket. If you are travelling in winter to Aviemore, it is also highly likely you will experience snow so we would recommend packing plenty warm clothing and waterproof shoes.

As for the rest of the year, the temperature in Scotland and the central heartlands is reasonably mild for most of the year. During the winter months, you will most likely experience snow, however, temperatures usually sit around freezing, so it is not too cold. For your reference, the average temperatures in Scotland are listed below during each season.

Spring (March, April, May) – 5-10 degrees C

Summer (June, July, August) – 15 degrees C

Autumn (September, October, November) – 5-10 degrees C

Winter (December, January, February) – 0-5 degrees C

As you can see, the weather never really gets above the teens, with anything over 25 degrees C considered a heatwave. The best way to pack for your trip to the highlands is with layers that can be added and removed as you need them. You will definitely need a hat and gloves during the colder months and will most likely need sunscreen to protect you on the long days in the open.

It is also important to stay hydrated, especially when you are out exploring in the marvellous landscape of Scotland. We use Water to Go water bottles to fill up with water from running streams when we are hiking.

For our full list of items that we pack no matter where we go in the world, check out our full packing guides over here.

Given the beautiful sights and scenery that you are no doubt going to see around Scotland, we highly recommend packing a good camera for your trip. If you want to read more about the cameras we use and why we love them, check out the link below.

You can read what else we keep in our camera bag over here.

Where Should I Stay in Aveimore?

There are many accommodation options in Aviemore, however due to how busy this small town is, we would recommend booking in advance.

LuxuryMacDonald Morlich Hotel is a beautiful hotel in the Cairngorm National Park with 7 bars and restaurants on site as well as leisure facilities. There is even an onsite cinema and a championship golf course nearby.

Book your stay at MacDonald Morlich Hotel here.

Mid-range – The Cairngorm Hotel is located in the heart of Aviemore and is perfect if you are wanting to stay local to bars and restaurants in the town. Each morning a full highland breakfast is available to guests and there is a bar and restaurant onsite for your needs.

Book your stay at the Cairngorm Hotel here.

Budget – The Aviemore Youth Hostel is situated in the town of Aviemore and in the perfect location for a walk into town or a walk to the mountains. There is a range of facilities including private rooms and dorms, a lounge area and a self-catering kitchen.

You can book your stay at the Aviemore Youth Hostel here.

Camping is also extremely popular in Aviemore. There are a number of campsites in the area such as High Range and Rothiemurchus Camp and Caravan Park.

camping in scotland

What is the Best Travel Insurance?

We know travel insurance is the least enjoyable thing to purchase and look at when you’re planning a trip, however, you wouldn’t want to be without it in the event that something happened. Accidents can happen anywhere and the extortionate medical bills will ruin your trip if you are not covered.

To ensure you have a stress-free trip with no worries about potential medical bills, make sure you cover yourself when you travel. We can recommend using SafetyWing, a backpacker-friendly and cheap insurance company that provides good coverage and support. It is also nomad-friendly, unlike most other insurance companies, meaning you do not need to worry about being out of your home country for too long.

Get a quote for your travel insurance right here and get covered!

So there you have it, a guide to the Mealle a’ Bhuachaille. If you have visited Aviemore recently, let us know what you thought of the walks in the area or Mealle a’ Bhuachaille if you have done it. If you have any suggestions let us know in the comments below.

As always, sharing is caring so make sure to share this photo guide with your family and friends and inspire them to head off on their own Scottish adventure. If you are planning the trip for yourself, make sure you have a look at the rest of our Scotland content for more inspiration to our beautiful home country.

When you set off on your own adventure, be sure to tag us in your photos on Instagram and we will share them with the rest of our community. In the meantime, why not follow us over there to see what we are currently up to and keep up with us on our Instagram Stories.

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