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Holidays

Cairngorms National Park & Royal Deeside

Scotland
Available Departures: Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct

7 days from

US$3,265

without flights
Walk & Trek
Guided Group
LEISURELY LEISURELY

A hiking holiday exploring the best easier walking in Royal Deeside and Scotland’s largest national park, the Cairngorms.

Trip Code: WCD
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Cairngorms National Park & Royal Deeside

Highlights
  • Hike on ancient whisky smugglers' trails and visit Scotland's first licensed whisky distillery
  • Explore the majesty of the glens, clear rivers and deep lochs on expertly guided walks
  • Discover the wide variety of wildlife to be found in the Cairngorms National Park
  • Excellent home-cooked meals, all transfers and accommodation are included

At a Glance
  • Group Size 2 to 8
  • 5 days walking
  • Join In Inverness

Accommodation & Meals
  • All meals included
  • 6 nights Guesthouse
Overview

National Geographic recognised how special the Cairngorms were, naming the area one of the 50 Must-Visit Places on Earth,  while the Queen herself holds the spot especially dear – her Scottish residency is at Balmoral, Royal Deeside. Meanwhile, the Cairngorm National Park delights at every turn. On this walking holiday, we enjoy some of the greatest easier hikes in the Cairngorms National Park as we explore Strathspey, where the high plateau soars above charming villages, Royal Deeside and Highland Perthshire. Our exploration of Scotland’s largest National Park will be based around two centres and wherever we hike we’ll enjoy the fantastic scenery, sense of wilderness and rich history and heritage. As well as hiking in the wilderness, we’ll visit a 13th century Highland Castle, a wildlife reserve and truly savour the heritage of the region at a whisky tasting in a local distillery.

Is this holiday for you?

This holiday is suitable for active travellers who are reasonably fit and enjoy moderate hikes. We walk at a comfortable pace and you can expect to be out for 5-6 hours a day. The terrain will be small paths (not paved) and hill trails but these can still be muddy and rough in places and you will need to be confident hiking on uneven ground at times. Some hikes may involve an ascent up to a max of …

This holiday is suitable for active travellers who are reasonably fit and enjoy moderate hikes. We walk at a comfortable pace and you can expect to be out for 5-6 hours a day. The terrain will be small paths (not paved) and hill trails but these can still be muddy and rough in places and you will need to be confident hiking on uneven ground at times. Some hikes may involve an ascent up to a max of approx 1,500 feet / 450m. Distances will be typically 8-10km but there may be the odd slightly longer day. Daily hike details are available in the itinerary. The weather in Scotland can be unpredictable and at times can make activities more challenging. Please do bear this in mind when thinking about what trip to join. If our guides feel that you are not able to complete a scheduled hike they may ask you not to join in that day.

Why KE?

Experience this beautiful and wild area of the world with highly qualified guides, all meals included and cosy guesthouses.

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Itinerary

From Aviemore, a transfer east takes us to Royal Deeside, best known for being the Scottish home of the Royal family, but it also boasts fine walks in an ancient wooded landscape. We’ll enjoy a short walk, taking in stunning views and spotting some of the local wildlife. We finish up the afternoon by transferring to the beautiful village of Braemar and our guest house accommodation for the next few nights.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

L D

Ascent

300 M

Time

3 hrs walking

Distance

9 KM

This circular hike is one of the best in Royal Deeside. We follow a good trail north to the edge of the Cairngorm plateau, where some of the highest peaks in Scotland rise from the deep glens. The wilderness is striking and the beauty is all around. The rivers are a real highlight with the striking rock features of the Linn of Dee and the Devil’s Punchbowl most notable. Overnight Royal Deeside.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B L D

Ascent

200 M

Time

6 hrs walking

Distance

17 KM

This superb circular hike explores Glen Muick, which lies in the shadow of the famous peak of Lochnagar. It takes us through ancient pine forest, past one of Queen Victoria's hunting lodges and beneath towering cliffs as we circumnavigate beautiful Loch Muick. It's also a great place for spotting wildlife - look out for red deer and golden eagles. Overnight Royal Deeside.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B L D

Ascent

200 M

Time

5 hrs walking

Distance

12 KM

We transfer west into Highland Perthshire, where we make our way to a 13th-century castle for a hike on its vast estate. We enjoy a level route through a beautiful forest in a steep-sided glen. We finish back at the castle, with time for a tour of its interior and perhaps the gardens too. A short transfer north takes us into Strathspey and our base for the next 3 nights, a small B&B in a sleepy Cairngorm village.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B L D

Ascent

100 M

Time

5 hrs walking

Distance

9 KM

Glen Feshie is widely considered one of the most beautiful Cairngorm glens, and as the estate is undergoing an extensive rewilding program it is only getting more lovely. This has brought new vigour to the ancient pine forests, so we will walk through a beautiful mix of young trees and magnificent old pines. We will do an out-and-back hike along the floor of the glen, admiring the views of the hills and forest with excellent wildlife spotting potential.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B L D

Ascent

250 M

Time

6 hrs walking

Distance

12 KM

The Abernethy Forest is thought by many to be the most beautiful in Scotland, with beautiful lochs surrounded by ancient Scots Pine trees and framed by views of the high mountains. We’ll enjoy a circular walk, perhaps taking in a section of the Speyside Way long distance trail, and finishing at a wildlife reserve where we’ll hope to see red squirrels and many bird species including, in the early part of the summer, the osprey.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B L D

Ascent

100 M

Time

5 hrs walking

Distance

8 KM

There are so many great walks in the Cairngorms that we like to keep the itinerary flexible and decide which hike to take in on the day. One option is a hike close to our accommodation, a favourite of the locals. It ventures into the eastern edge of the Monadh Liath mountains on a circular route to Loch Gynack. It’s a wild and beautiful place, so an apt location to end our trip. After the hike, we complete our circumnavigation of the Cairngorms National Park by transferring north back to Aviemore for the trip end.

Meals

B L

Ascent

200 M

Time

5 hrs walking

Distance

8 KM
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The Route
Point Point

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • A professional English-speaking guide
  • All transfers involved in the itinerary
  • All accommodation as described
  • All meals
  • Entrance fees to a whisky distillery
  • Highland castle and wildlife reserve

  • Travel Insurance
  • Visa fees (if applicable)
  • Airport transfers
  • Drinks
  • Miscellaneous personal expenses

This holiday is operated in association with Wilderness Scotland, and they sell their own customers directly on to this trip also. KE acts as an agent for Wilderness Scotland and by booking this holiday you are entering into an agreement directly with Wilderness Scotland under the terms of their booking conditions.

On day 1 of the itinerary your guide will meet you at the centre of Aviemore Railway Station at 10.00am.

On day 7 of the itinerary you will be transferred to Aviemore Railway Station for 4:00pm.

All meals from Lunch on Day 1 to Lunch on Day 7 are included.

Water is drinkable from the taps on this holiday. Please fill your personal bottles for your day in the morning. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

Food is of paramount importance and our meals are prepared from the best local produce. We'll enjoy wonderful home-cooked meals each evening, with good, healthy portions. Naturally, vegetarians and other dietary requirements are willingly catered for - simply let us know at the time of booking.

On this trip we generally eat dinner as a group however if you would like to make alternative arrangements you are free to do so. Your guide will have an evening off during this trip where they do not eat with the group. They will recommend options for dinner that evening and will help you make any necessary reservations.

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

We spend our nights in welcoming and friendly guest houses: three nights in Royal Deeside then three nights in Strathspey. Accommodation is in twin or double rooms with en-suite bathroom facilities. A warm welcome is assured, and you can choose to spend the evenings in the lounge next to the wood-burning stove or in one of the village's local pubs.

The group will be led by an experienced and qualified leader.

There is no weight limit for your luggage on this holiday, however you will need to be able to lift and move your own luggage easily.  There is also limited room in the transfer vehicles, and so one bag to be transferred and one day pack per person is ideal.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

The unit of currency in the UK is Sterling.

The weather in Scotland can be unpredictable and at times can make activities more challenging.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Please note that a paper copy of your travel insurance is required if you are travelling to Huaraz and the Huayhuash region.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You should bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots (trail shoes are not suitable)

  • Socks

  • Trekking trousers

  • Waterproof overtrousers

  • Underwear

  • Baselayer shirts (1 short sleeve, 1 long sleeve)

  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Thermal gloves

  • Warm and waterproof gloves or mittens

  • Sunhat

  • Warm hat

  • Sunglasses

  • Daypack 25 – 35 litres should be sufficient

  • Headtorch and spare batteries

  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)

  • Water bottles 1 litre (x2) (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic)

  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Antibacterial hand wash

  • Basic First Aid Kit including: antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, tick tweezers, antihistamines, re-hydration salts

The following items are optional:

  • Travel shoes / Trainers

  • Gaiters

  • Spare laces

  • Shorts

  • Shirts (e.g. T-shirts)

  • Thermal baselayer - leggings

  • Thermos flask

  • Trekking poles 

  • Insect repellant

  • Camera

  • Travel clothes

  • Pen-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)

  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)

  • Midge net
  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags)
  • Reuseable lunch box and water bottles (to avoid plastic waste)

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

DATES & PRICES

Private Departure?

Gather a few friends, family or club and take over your own departure.

2024

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • Cairngorms National Park & Royal Deeside
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: WCD /03/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 1 Jun and ends on Fri 7 Jun
  • This departure is available and departs within 8 days. Secure your place today with full payment
  • Single Supplement Price: US$490 - Includes all 6 nights. Book early as very limited.
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Cairngorms National Park & Royal Deeside
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: WCD /04/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 22 Jun and ends on Fri 28 Jun
  • This departure is available and departs within 29 days. Secure your place today with full payment
  • Single Supplement Price: US$490 - Includes all 6 nights. Book early as very limited.
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Cairngorms National Park & Royal Deeside
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: WCD /05/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 13 Jul and ends on Fri 19 Jul
  • This departure is available and departs within 50 days. Secure your place today with full payment
  • Single Supplement Price: US$490 - Includes all 6 nights. Book early as very limited.
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Cairngorms National Park & Royal Deeside
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: WCD /07/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 24 Aug and ends on Fri 30 Aug
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$800
  • Single Supplement Price: US$490 - Includes all 6 nights. Book early as very limited.
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Cairngorms National Park & Royal Deeside
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: WCD /08/24/
  • This trip begins on Sun 15 Sep and ends on Sat 21 Sep
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$800
  • Single Supplement Price: US$490 - Includes all 6 nights. Book early as very limited.
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Cairngorms National Park & Royal Deeside
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: WCD /09/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 5 Oct and ends on Fri 11 Oct
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$705
  • Single Supplement Price: US$490 - Includes all 6 nights. Book early as very limited.
  • Download Trip Notes

Land Only Information

We sell this holiday on a Land Only basis, joining with the group at Inverness train station at 10:30am on day 1 of the itinerary.

Travel arrangements should not be booked until you have recieved your booking confirmation and the departure is showing 'Guaranteed to Run'.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

 


This holiday is operated in association with Wilderness Scotland. KE acts as an agent for Wilderness Scotland and by booking this holiday you are entering into an agreement directly with Wilderness Scotland under the terms of their booking conditions.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)


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