Cairngorms Guided Walking

The clear waters of Loch Morlich, Scotland.  The Cairngorm mountains in the background.
Duration: 7 nights
Type: Guided walking
Walking Grade: 2 & 4
from £1,249pp

Established in 2003 as Scotland’s second-largest national park, the Cairngorms has spectacular landscapes, mountains, lochs, woodlands, and a huge amount of wildlife hotspots. This holiday is an ideal introduction to this natural paradise in the heart of the Scottish Highlands and you can look forward to plenty of carefully planned guided walks plus interesting attractions that highlight the region’s nature and heritage.

What you’ll love

  • The choice of two walks a day – one easier, one harder
  • Discovering the second highest mountain range in Scotland
  • Climbing famous summits and bagging Munros
  • Exploring quiet lochs, glens, and ancient pine forests
  • Sampling a wee dram or two along the Speyside Way
  • Spotting ospreys, golden eagles, capercaillie, and red deer

What’s included

  • Comfortable en-suite rooms in our partner accommodation(s) 
  • Cooked or continental breakfast every morning 
  • Daily packed lunches
  • Three-course evening meals, plus tea & coffee  
  • Guided walks with an experienced HF Holidays Leader 
  • All transport to and from walks where necessary 

Trip Notes

Easy to download as a PDF, our trip notes provide detailed information for every holiday. Please click below to find the trip notes for your departure date.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

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.

Cairngorms - Guided Trail - AdobeStock_104570391

Option 1 – The Wildcat Trail and Loch Gynack

Distance: 8.5 miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 700 feet (220m)

In summary: Explore the rivers Spey and Calder on the Wildcat Trail from Newtonmore, then follow the East Highland Way to the small town of Kingussie.

Highlight: Very varied countryside with spectacular views of the Cairngorms, passing the secluded Loch Gynack.

Option 2 – Càrn an Fhreiceadain

Distance: 11.5 miles (18.5km)

Ascent: 2,400 feet (740m)

In summary: From Kingussie follow quiet paths past the small hill of Tom Baraidh before joining a good track over the summits of Beinn Bhreac and Càrn an Fhreiceadain. We then descend on a different track following the Allt Mòr and Gynack rivers back to Kingussie.

Highlight: The ‘Corbett’ summit of Càrn an Fhreiceadain, on the edge of the Monadhliath Mountains, commands fine views both over the Monadhliath and across to the Cairngorms and provides a good warm up for adventurous peaks later in the week.

Arran Islay Jura - Island Hopping - Arran - AdobeStock_42205739.jpeg

Option 1 – Sculpture, Lochs and Glen Feshie

Distance: 7.5 miles (12.5km)

Ascent: 800 feet (240m)

In summary: From Loch Insh we follow quiet paths to Feshiebridge, then onwards to the lower reaches of Glen Feshie. Forest tracks lead us to the lovely Uath Lochans, and then along the Speyside Way back to Loch Insh.

Highlight: Visit the fascinating Frank Lloyd sculpture park at Feshiebridge.

Option 2 – Sgòr Gaoith, from Glen Feshie

Distance: 9.5 miles (15km)

Ascent: 3,000 feet (920m)

In summary: The ascent, initially on a good path, passes through magnificent pinewoods before climbing up on to the vast plateau above Glen Feshie to Sgòr Gaoith. We follow the ridge to Geal Chàrn before descending back to Glen Feshie.

Highlight: The first Munro of the week, with terrific views west over the River Spey and east to Braeriach and the bulk of the Cairngorms.

Cairngorms - Guided Trail - AdobeStock_220349304.jpeg

Option 1 – Rothiemurchus and Coire an t-Sneachda

Distance: 9 miles (15km)

Ascent: 1,300 feet (400m)

In summary: Today’s walk is split into two parts. Our first walk takes us into Rothiemurchus forest and to the shores of Loch an Eilein. We then transfer to the Cairngorm Ski Centre where 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.

Highlight: Loch an Eilein, with it's backdrop of the pines of Rothiemurchus Forest, is extremely beautiful, and is one of the most popular short walks in Scotland.

Option 2 – Cairn Gorm and the northern corries

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 2,600 feet (780m)

In summary: From the Cairngorm ski centre we ascend to the plateau with stunning views across towards Cairn Toul and SgÒr an Lochain Uaine. We continue along the top of the northern corries to Cairn Gorm, our second Munro of the week, before returning past the Ptarmigan station and the ski areas.

Highlight: The summit of Cairn Gorm, the highest summit in the National Park and a Munro. Dramatic views down into the Lairig Ghru and the northern corries, and terrific rock architecture.

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

Each holiday there is a free day when no guided walks are offered. This is an ideal opportunity to relax around the hotel, walk independently or visit local places of interest. 

There’s plenty to do within easy reach, whether it’s a visit to Inverness (the cultural capital of the Scottish Highlands) or a day trip to the historic battlefield at Culloden and the 18th century fortress of Fort George.

Cairngorms - Guided Trail - AdobeStock_281047501.jpeg

Option 1 – Lochan Uaine & Loch Morlich

Distance: 9 miles (14.5km)

Ascent: 520 feet (160m)

In summary: A beautiful walk exploring the Glenmore area of Rothiemurchus. From Glenmore Lodge we follow the Ryvoan Pass past the beautiful Lochan Uaine to visit the Ryvoan bothy. We return by an intriguing higher path through the woods, then take a circuit of Loch Morlich, popular for water sports, and finish at the visitor centre where we can enjoy refreshments.

Highlight: The green waters of Lochan Uaine are full of mystery.

Option 2 – Craiggowrie & Meall a’ Bhuachaill

Distance: 9.5 miles (15.5km)

Ascent: 2,600 feet (780m)

In summary: A varied walk with the ascent of Craiggowrie on good paths, then along the dramatic and windswept ridge to the Corbett, Meall a’ Bhuachaille, From here we descend to the Ryvoan Pass, visiting Lochan Uaine on our return to the Glenmore visitor centre.

Highlight: The dramatic ridge from Craiggowrie has stunning views in all directions, and is a good spot from which to pick out all the areas where we have been walking earlier in the week. 

The clear waters of Loch Morlich, Scotland.  The Cairngorm mountains in the background.

Option 1 – Glenlivet to Tomintoul

Distance: 8.5miles (14 km)

Ascent: 1400 feet (420m)

In summary: 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.

Highlight: We finish in Tomintoul for a whisky tasting (or gin, if preferred).

Option 2 – Bridge of Livet to Tomintoul

Distance: 11 miles (17.5km)

Ascent: 1,700 feet (520m)

In summary: Starting at Bridge of Livet, we follow the attractive River Livet to the ruin of Drumin Castle. From here we continue along the Speyside Way, following the option 1 group to the summit of Carn Daimh before descending into the village of Tomintoul for a well-earned dram.

Highlight: A more relaxing day and a chance to unwind, with varied scenery, a lower summit but still with superb views, and a whisky tasting at the end.

F&B - Whiskey - AdobeStock_270986836.jpeg

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.

Itinerary map for Cairngorms

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. This hotel is dog-friendly so you may meet four legged friends in some of the communal areas.

Food & drink

Your stay is full-board. This includes daily breakfasts, packed lunch options, and evening meals. Vegetarian choices and dietary requirements can be catered for (please give advance notice when booking).

Packed lunches

Our packed lunches will be too much food for some and not enough for others; if you feel you might need more food during the walk, please bring a supply of snacks to supplement this – it won’t always be possible to buy these on the route. Your packed lunches will include: a bread sandwich or roll with a choice of filling; some fresh fruit; fruit cake/flapjack or similar, crisps and/or biscuits. For those of you tackling a level 4 or above holiday, we would highly recommend bringing some trail mix or something similar to ensure you've some fuel in reserve should you need it.

Dietary requirements

Our partner hotels can cater for most dietary requirements, but it is important you advise us of any allergies and dietary restrictions you have at the time of booking.

Exterior Boat Inn, Caringorms supplied by hotel.jpg

Getting to The Boat Inn - Cairngorms National Park

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

More Information

Essential information

The UK has a famously unpredictable climate so it's best to be prepared for weather that’s sunny one minute and raining the next.  To make it easier, here’s a list of items you should consider packing.   


  • Suitable footwear such as waterproof walking boots that provide ankle support and good grip  
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket 
  • Comfortable clothing (jeans & waterproof capes are not suitable)  
  • Mid-layer(s) to keep you warm. Fleeces make a good choice
  • Waterproof overtrousers  
  • Gloves and a warm hat  
  • Rucksack with waterproof liner 
  • Flask for hot drinks   
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)  
  • Sunscreen  
  • UV sunglasses  


  • Several base layers (long-sleeve or short-sleeve)  
  • Cushioned walking socks to avoid blisters  
  • First aid kit, including plasters and insect repellent 
  • Sit mat   
  • Waterproof pouch for valuables  
  • Rubbish bag (remember to always leave no trace)  
  • Wallet/purse  
  • Camera 
  • First-aid kit 

Guest reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Supplements may apply.

Non-member fee: £30 per person.

Holiday prices

Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book

07 Sep - 14 Sep 2024

7 nights

Guided Walking

Single Call to Enquire
Double Call to Enquire
Call to Enquire Call to Enquire Trip Notes

05 Oct - 12 Oct 2024

7 nights

Guided Walking

Single from


Double from

£1,249 pp


£1,249 pp



Trip Notes
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17 May - 24 May 2025

7 nights

Guided Walking

Single from

£1,774 £1,724

Double from

£1,429 £1,379 pp


£1,429 £1,379 pp


£1,774 £1,724

Save £50 Per Person Trip Notes
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06 Sep - 13 Sep 2025

7 nights

Guided Walking

Single from

£1,974 £1,924

Double from

£1,599 £1,549 pp


£1,599 £1,549 pp


£1,974 £1,924

Save £50 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now

04 Oct - 11 Oct 2025

7 nights

Guided Walking

Single from

£1,609 £1,559

Double from

£1,299 £1,249 pp


£1,299 £1,249 pp


£1,609 £1,559

Save £50 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now
7 nights
Guided walking
Walking Grade:
2 & 4

7 nights from £1,249pp

or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

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Carbon Footprint 137Kg of CO₂e

Average carbon footprint per person Learn More