Cairngorms North Guided Trail Holiday

The clear waters of Loch Morlich, Scotland.  The Cairngorm mountains in the background.
Duration: 7 nights
Type: Guided Trails
Walking Grade: 3
from £1,099pp

Want to really get away from it all? Join us for a crossing of the northern section of the Cairngorms National Park. No mammoth effort needed to tackle its biggest mountains, we’ve hand picked the best of its lower lying routes to create a fantastic introduction to this stunning area. We’ve whisky trails, wild glens, ancient native woodlands teeming with wildlife, crashing waterfalls and wilderness lochs waiting to welcome you. All your accommodation, transport and meals are taken care of, just lace up your boots and enjoy the journey.

Holiday Highlights

  • Traverse trails through Britain’s second highest mountain range
  • Sample a wee dram or two on the Speyside “whisky” Way
  • Watch out for Osprey, Golden Eagle, Capercaillie, Red deer and more
  • Enjoy that sky high feeling with a walk on the Cairngorm plateau
  • Snap shots of the magnificent autumn colours 
  • Relax with sandy beaches & magnificent mountain views at Loch Morlich
  • All meals included. Comfortable ensuite accommodation & guided walks each day

What’s included

  • Full Board en-suite accommodation
  • Experienced HF Holidays Walking Leader
  • All transport to and from the walks

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDF’s for each holiday, please click the button below to find the right trip notes for your departure date.

As this is a new Guided Trail, it may be necessary to make amendments to some of the walks. Also in the event of bad weather, alternative walks may be used on some days.

Check-in at The Boat Inn from 15:00. Your leader will be at reception at 18:30 to meet the group and for a quick introduction to the holiday before dinner.

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Explore the rivers Spey and Calder from Newtonmore, then we follow the East Highland Way past secluded Loch Gynach to the valley of the Spey, and through to the marshes and bird reserve at Loch Insh. Admire the views from historic Ruthven Barracks, and keep your binoculars at the ready to spot Ospreys on the way.

12.5 miles (20km) with 935 feet (285m) of ascent.

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Today we admire the impressive sculptures of Frank Bruce and look out for Golden eagle and red squirrels in Inshriach National Nature Reserve. Enjoy the hidden beauty of picturesque Loch an Eilein, and the magnificent Caledonian Pines of Rothiemurchus.

10.5 miles (17km) with 345 feet (105m) of ascent.

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A well-graded ascent takes us into the heart of the mountains and the stunning Coire an t-Sneachda glacial corrie, a grand cirque of cliffs, often snow covered for much of the year. Watch out for golden eagles, red deer and if we're lucky, reindeer. After some time to relax at the Cairngorm Café we will transfer to the Loch Garten Osprey Centre and walk back to the hotel.  If the weather is poor this day will be replaced with a walk through the delightful Rothiemurchus Forest to Loch Morlich.

8 miles (12.9km), 1050 feet (320m) of ascent.

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A cracking walk today takes us from beautiful Loch Morlich, past the green waters of Lochan Uaine and across the Ryovan Pass to Nethy Bridge. Sandy shores framed by mountains to begin our walk and a chance to check out the visitor centre and enjoy a cuppa at the end. 

12 miles (19km) with 590 feet (180m) of ascent.

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We hit the trail right from our door today and follow the River Spey to secluded Loch Vaa. Plenty of time to explore before we head back to Boat of Garten to check out the wildlife on the Heron Trail.

9.5 miles (15.4km) with 500 feet (150m) of ascent.

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

This off-shoot of the Speyside Way is considered by many to be the finest section of the entire trail, providing views of the Cairngorm Mountains to the south-west and the Hills of Cromdale to the west. It is a scenic delight, the easily reached summit of Carn Daimh providing 360 degree views. 

11 miles (17.7km) with 1640 feet (500m) of ascent. 1,200 feet (365m) of ascent for the June holiday as the route is walked in reverse.

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Cairngorms Map

The Boat Inn - Cairngorms National Park

Set amongst heather clad hills and native Scots pine woodlands, the Boat Inn, Boat of Garten is in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. With its roaring log fires and with plenty of character and charm, we’ve the perfect base for our holiday. The rooms are all comfortable ensuites, equipped with tea/coffee making facilities, TV, hairdryers and with WiFi access too.

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Getting to The Boat Inn - Cairngorms National Park

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

Essential Information

Essential Equipment

To enjoy walking/hiking comfortably and safely, footwear, clothing and equipment need to be suitable for the conditions. Safety and comfort are our priorities, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities.

  • Footwear with a good grip on the sole (e.g.Vibram sole) is the key to avoiding accidents
  • Waterproof walking/hiking boots providing ankle support and good grip are recommended (ideally worn in), and specialist walking socks to avoid blisters.
  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed, are better than a single layer (include spares)
  • Fabrics (lightweight and fast-drying) designed for the outdoors are recommended
  • Waterproof jacket and waterproof over trousers
  • Warm hat and gloves. Gaiters are an optional but useful extra
  • Denim jeans and capes are not suitable on any walks
  • Rucksack with a waterproof liner
  • Thermos flask for a hot drink
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre)
  • Spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar
  • Small torch
  • First aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed)

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles are useful, particularly for descents
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • Camera

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £30 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
21 May - 28 May 2022
7 Guided Trail £1,159 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
03 Sep - 10 Sep 2022
7 Guided Trail £1,199 Trip Notes Book Now
01 Oct - 08 Oct 2022
7 Guided Trail £1,099 Trip Notes Book Now

Important Information

Double room for sole occupancy: From £343 (complete holiday)

Important Information

Did you book to share?

If so, you will be allocated a same-gender twin sharing room. Please note that if (at ten weeks prior to the start of the holiday) a sharing partner is unavailable, a single room will be allocated to you with the resulting single room supplement applicable. Any additional charge for the single supplement will be confirmed at the point of final payment. Bookings are accepted on this understanding.

7 nights
Guided Trails
Walking Grade:

7 nights from £1,099pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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