Ahhhh the Cairngorms, a Lords of the Rings type of mountainous affair, but right here in Bonnie Scotland. It is the largest National Park in Scotland (around 4528 square km if you want to get factual), and part of an International family of National Parks around the world.
The stunning landscape is home to five out of six of Scotlands highest mountains (Ben Nevis wasn't interested apparently) and contains the finest collection of different landforms outside Arctic Canada - grantite rock formations, Ice Age glaciers and a vast arctic mountain landscape. There are huge forests of ancient native trees, stunning waterfalls and more wildlife than you can imagine. Wow.
Yes this place does actually exist on earth. And the best news is, you can visit with the family, any time of year, pretty easily. Just get yourself up to Aviemore. Aviemore is a very popular tourist town in the Northwest corner of the National Park and is the perfect base for exploring all the things on offer in the Cairngorms.
Firstly, the skiing. Depending on the weather, the skiing season is usually December to April, although being the UK, this does vary as you can imagine, so check the weather. Ski and snowboard lessons, equipment hire, guiding and all the bits that come with it (I'm unsure on the Fondue situation) are available here and for those not keen on that, grab a sledge. Or a husky pack.
If you aren't visiting in winter or just fancy something non-snow based, then walking, kayaking, bike riding, rock climbing, pony trekking, high ropes courses and more are all on offer - it is an outdoor playground with something for everyone! Please don't miss out on seeing the wonderful wildlife too; from eagles to reindeer this place is teeming with fantastic creatures.
Aviemore is also a good base for day trips - you can visit Blair Castle, the Atholl Estates, Balmoral Castle, Braemar Castle and Loch Ness to name a few if you don't mind a hour or so in the car. As car journeys go, it will probably be one of the more stunning!
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