Things to See & Do in Cairngorms and Moray

If you thought Moray was all about Whisky, you’d be wrong! There is no doubting that Moray has the most famous whisky trail in Scotland, but there is so much more on offer!

There are no shortage of walking trails in Moray. The Moray Coastal Trail is a 50 mile stretch of beach, track, scenery and wildlife, which can be tackled in short spurts! The Speyside Way is 65 miles of cross country which can be enjoyed on foot, horse-back or cycle!  If you prefer a slightly shorter route (a mere 13 miles!) then the new Isla Way is a cycle or walking route, linking the famous distillery towns of Dufftown and Keith. A wee dram may be in order at the end of your journey!

Other popular sports and activities would certainly include fishing which is a hugely popular pastime in Moray, the two major rivers being Findhorn and Spey.  Golf also features, with a number of courses having fantastic locations next to the coastline.  And who can forget the skiing! Being situated on one of the highest roads in the UK, the Lecht, above Tomintoul (the highest village in the Highlands), is often one of the first skiing centres to have a significant snowfall.

If the thought of all that exercise tires you out, then maybe you prefer a more relaxed day on the beach. And there are a number of beautiful sandy beaches to choose from. Roseisle is very popular due to the facilities close by. It has a constantly evolving shoreline and is unusually bordered, and therefore sheltered, by the forest.

The towns and villages of Moray have wide range of attractions from castles to soup! Duffus Castle was originally built with wood, then rebuilt in a more lasting stone structure. Findhorn, Lossiemouth and Cullen all make for fabulous day trips.

The Cairngorm National Park is the largest national park in the British Isles, crossing 5 different regions.  Ideal for those with a love of everything outdoors, from skiing, snowboarding, water sports, pony-trekking, quad biking, zip wires, mountain biking, gliding, fishing, husky racing and walking to the wildlife such as badgers, red squirrels and you may even be lucky enough to spot the elusive wildcat or capercaille.

There are many forests to explore including Glenmore, Glenfeshie and Abernethy. If you prefer to relax whilst taking in the scenery, the steam train to Boat of Garten, or Scotland’s only funicular railway are the way to travel!

Braemar is in the south of the Cairngorm Mountain range and is equally as popular for skiing. Glenshee offers the most extensive facilities, boasting 22 lifts and 36 runs! Braemar also hosts the annual Braemar Gathering, frequented by the Royals.  You can also try your hand at fly fishing on the very popular River Dee.

Balmoral Castle is the Queens Scottish residence and is open to the public at certain times of year, and Ballater is a Victorian town, renown for it Royal connections. As you wander the wonderful selection of shops, many will display Warrants of the Queen and Prince Charles.

We have also taken our border for this area into Highland Perthshire as we felt it offers something to the Highland fans who may not be able to travel all the way up. It is a beautiful area, different than the usual highland scenery, yet equally as magnificent.


Hunter Mountaineering – Mountain Guide – Highlands

Offering Private Guiding, Instruction, Coaching and Courses, let Max Hunter take you to the limit! With summer and winter courses ranging from walking up Ben Nevis, to climbing classic rock or ice climbs, to mountain navigation and safety, there is something for the beginner to the experienced.

t: +44 7724 740225 | w: Website
e: max@maxhunter.co.uk | Facebook | Twitter

Find out more about Max Hunter Mountaineering

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Be secure in the knowledge that your guide is a highly qualified professional, offering years of experience and enthusiasm to ensure your day out is truly memorable.


The Highland Mountain Company – Mountain Guides – Highlands

We deliver instruction, coaching and guiding for individuals, groups and families, in both summer and winter.

Ranging from Ben Nevis ascents via the Pony track, CMD arête or the North Face, walking and scrambling up the Munros in Lochaber and Glen Coe. To introductory sessions in climbing and abseiling and low level environmental walks to Steall Falls. There is something for everyone!

t: +44 7815 688608 | w: Website
e: david@thehmcompany.co.uk | Facebook

Find out more about The Highland Mountain Company

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Our aim is to deliver a professional and complete service that gives you confidence and reassurance in our ability both on and off the hill. We provide more than just a guide who gets you safely from A to B, for us that is the absolute minimum requirement. Our guides are always local to the area who have great knowledge and enthusiasm in the mountains and they cannot wait to take you there.

In winter we also offer: winter skills training from 1 day to 3 days, guided winter walks, Ben Nevis ascents. Crampons, ice axes and helmets are available for use or hire.

anagach woods

Anagach Woods Walk

From Grantown follow the waymarked trails through the beautiful forest of Scots pinewood.

ruthven barracks

Ruthven Barracks

A spectacularly located infantry barracks erected after the Jacobite rising of 1715.

highland folk museum

Highland Folk Museum

An award winning visitor attraction, the Museum not only examines Highland life from the 1700s to the present day, but offers an opportunity to explore a beautiful natural setting, home to red squirrels and tree creepers. A great day out for everyone.

clan macpherson museum

Clan Macpherson Museum

A huge collection of artefacts that tell the story of the Clan and the history of the area.

aa box 472

AA Box 472

Just outside Ballater lies this little piece of motoring history, a fully restored AA box that is now a mini museum that will transport you back to those nostalgic motoring days.


Iona Gallery

In the centre of Kingussie is this public art gallery run by a community group whose aims are to promote art and access to art for residents and visitors alike.

biblical garden

Biblical Garden

This peaceful garden located just next to Elgin Cathedral uses the Bible as its reference point and displays many of the one hundred and ten plants mentioned in the scriptures.

findhorn ice house

Findhorn Heritage Centre and Icehouse

The Icehouse has fascinating underground chambers built over 150 years ago to store ice for packing salmon en route to London. In the Centre, you will discover the secrets of the Sands of Findhorn and the history of the area.

auchindoun castle

Auchindoun Castle

An impressive castle with a bloody past just two miles south of Dufftown. A superb location, the ruin is surrounded by fields and moorland and is a good destination for children.

cubin forest

Culbin Forest

Discover Culbin Forest’s fascinating history as you walk through a network of paths. Head for Hill 99 Viewpoint, which takes you up through tree level to outstanding views in all directions – particularly across the Moray Firth. The well-marked trails point out flora and fauna. There are many points of interest including; the buried tree, the dragonfly pool and the otter pool (no guarantees!). Culbin sands at the edge of the forest affords excellent seabird spotting opportunities.  The relatively flat trails are ideal for walking, mountain biking and horse riding.  A detailed leaflet/map is available from the Welhill car park.

duffus castle

Duffus Castle

One of the finest examples of a 12th-century motte and bailey castle in Scotland with a very fine early 14th-century stone hall house and curtain wall.  It is the original seat of the Moray family.  Take a walk around the outer Moat and look out for the privvy in the stone keep. There is onsite parking available and strong footwear is recommended.

fochabers museum

Fochabers Museum

The Focabers heritage museum was opened in 1984 and houses a collection of gigs and carriages, and an eclectic array of everyday objects showing the way of life and traditions of the north east of Scotland in the 18th and 19th centuries.  Located in the high street, Fochabers, seasonal opening applies.

glen livit

Glenlivet Distillery Tour

Glenlivet Distillery offer a free 45 minute tour which includes a guided tour of the distillery, a visit to one of our bonded warehouses and complimentary dram of The Glenlivet.  Open from mid March to mid November. Check their website for tour times.

elgin museum

Elgin Museum

Elgin museum is Scotland’s oldest independent museum.  The museum is a grade 2 listed building at the east end of the high street. Here you will find objects displayed from all around the world, but especially from Moray, dating from before the dinosaurs to the present day.

bike trials glen livit

Glenlivet Bike Trails

Glenlivet Estate has 2 purpose built mountain biking trails. There is an introductory 9km blue trail and a longer 22km challenging red trail. Both trails start together from the visitor centre.  There is a cafe too, open 10-4, Tuesday to Friday.

livit playground

Glenlivet Estate Adventure Playground

The Glenlivet Adventure playground is situated opposite the Glenlivet Information Centre, at the end of the main street, in Tomintoul.  Suitable for age 3 and above, there are balance beams, a chain walk, burma bridge, shuffle bars, a rocking log, ‘The Ledge’ climbing faces, intertwined logs, swinging steps, and much more.  There is also a snail maze and a small woodland hide.

smugglers trails

Glenlivet Smuggler’s Trail

Visitors can choose from three clearly signposted self-guided walks in the Glenlivet valley to explore the secret smuggling paths of days gone by.  An accompanying leaflet is available from the Visitor Centre.   There is an easy walking 6km path from the river Livit to Drumin Castle, a challenging 11km trail leading to Carn Daimh via the old Glenlivet distillery, and a difficult 10.5km trail starting at East Auchavaich car park and circuiting the Braes of Glenlivet.

pluscarden 2

Pluscarden Abbey

Pluscarden Abbey is situated in a peaceful setting 6 miles south west of Elgin. It is the home of a community of Catholic Benedictine monks.  It is the only medieval monastery in Britain still inhabited by monks and being used for its original purpose.  Visit the Abbey website for a daily timetable of services.

buckie heritage centre

Buckie and District Fishing Heritage Centre

Make a visit to the Fishing heritage centre to discover the unique fishing history of the Moray Firth.   This small centre is packed with over 8000 photographs, artefacts and a collection of model boats.  The Heritage Centre exists to preserve the rich fishing heritage of Buckie and District and to provide assistance to research and gather information on the past, present and future history of this area.

sueno's stone

Sueno’s Stone

Sueno’s Stone stands over 6.5 metres high and is the largest known Picto-Scottish Class III standing stone on the north-easterly edge of Forres.  The stone dates back to the end of the first millennium AD, and is now covered in a protective glass enclosure.  On one side is a large cross. On the other side are scenes of fighting and killing, dead and decapitated bodies…almost a hundred figures in all.