This special place — Cairngorms National Park
Climbing over the 1000m+ Cairngorm plateau, the highest and most extensive range of arctic mountain landscape anywhere in the British Isles, is an unforgettable experience.
Glaciers have gouged deep, high altitude valleys and corries on the plateau; and the altitude and exposure, plus poor soils, produce their own rich eco-system of vegetation, insects and animals.
At the foothills of the range is one of the UK’s biggest tracts of natural and largely untouched woodland. They contain fragments of the ancient Caledonian pine forest which is home to a variety of animals, including the rare and protected capercaillie.
Other rare animals include pine martens, wild cats, ospreys and ptarmigan. Also to be found is the world’s smallest tree, the tiny least willow, and a variety of wild flowers including the delicate pink twinflower.
Heather moorland covers over 40 per cent of the Cairngorms and is a product of a particular form of land use. It is largely derived from woodland and scrub, and is the result of grazing and burning practices over a long period.
This has produced a patchwork of heather of different ages to provide food and nesting cover for red grouse and other ground nesting birds, and grazing for livestock and deer.
More information on the natural beauty of the area:
The straths and glens and other low ground provide the home and workplace for most people in the area. The water in the rivers Spey, Dee and Don is very pure and these rivers, together with freshwater lochs and marshes, are home to many forms of wildlife.
Many of the most beautiful parts of the Park are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). These include the Northern Corries and parts of Rothiemurchus Estate on the west side of the Park; and in the east, places such as Craigendarroch, where our sister resort is located. The Park’s natural heritage is very special indeed but a unique and diverse cultural heritage also adds to the area’s charm. The cultural heritage of the Cairngorms National Park – from castles and mountain bothies to cultural landscapes and the language and folklore – go back thousands of years.
Scottish Outdoor Access Code
Take responsibility for your own actions
The outdoors is a great place to enjoy but it’s also a working environment and natural hazards exist. Make sure you are aware of this, take care of yourself and others with you, including your dog.
Respect the interests of others
Respect the needs of other people enjoying or working in the outdoors and follow any reasonable advice from land managers. Respect people’s privacy and peace of mind. Avoid causing alarm to people, especially at night, by keeping a reasonable distance from houses and gardens or by using paths or tracks.
Care for the environment
Our environment contributes greatly to everyone’s health and quality of life so treat it with care. Take your rubbish home and consider picking up other litter as well. Don’t disturb or damage wildlife or historic places. Keep your dog on a short lead or under close control where needed.