Things to See & Do in Cairngorms and Moray

Now you’ve chosen to visit this particular area, you just have to decide what to do! Of course, Moray offer distilleries, amazing coastal villages, cycling and walking as well as fascinating castles and small museums.

The Cairngorm region is a playground for the active types. Snow sports, water sports, zip wires, climbing, mountaineering – it’s exhausting just listing them! On top of that you have castles and the south of the Cairngorm region takes in Ballater and Braemar which are famous fishing areas.

Highland Perthshire is teeming with attractions and wildlife is a big draw for this area.

Check out the list below for a few ideas for your next adventure!


Hunter Mountaineering – Mountain Guide – Scottish Highlands

Private Guiding, Instruction, Coaching and Courses for beginners to experienced

t: +44 (0)7724740225
e: max@maxhunter.co.uk
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Find out more about Hunter Mountaineering – Mountain Guide

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.

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.

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The Highland Mountain Company – Mountain Guides – Scottish Highlands

Instruction, Coaching and Guiding for individuals, groups and families

t: +44 (0)7815688608
e: david@thehmcompany.co.uk
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Find out more about The Highland Mountain Company – Mountain Guides

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!

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.

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Highland Defenders – Aviemore

Hire a Land Rover Defender & roof tent package to explore the Scottish Highlands

t: +44 (0)7775677717 | m: +44 (0)7775677717
e: info@highlanddefenders.com
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Find out more about Highland Defenders

Highland Defenders offers a complete car hire and accommodation package for the adventurous traveller. Our complete package includes an iconic Land Rover Defender, a hardshell roof tent, camping kit, fully comprehensive insurance and breakdown cover.

The hardshell roof tents are much quicker and easier to set up than regular tents and have the additional benefits of elevated views from their windows, built-in mattresses for extra comfort and no need to sleep on the ground! You also have the flexibility to explore at your own pace as you can stop and rest any time you wish.

Each package comes complete with a comprehensive camping kit that contains sleeping bags and liners, bedding, cooking stove, pots and pans, tableware, utensils, table and chairs, tent light, water container, basin and cleaning kit plus much more.

We have packages available for 1-4 people with a huge range of add-ons and extras, including dog packages, children's seats and transfer services. Vehicle-only hires are also available from October - March.

From our base in Aviemore, you have direct access to the endless wild and unspoiled countryside of the Cairngorms National Park and Royal Deeside and a short drive to Inverness and the start of the world famous NC500 route. If you need help planning your trip then please do get in touch, we are more than happy to provide all the hints and tips you need to get the most from your visit to the Scottish Highlands.

Follow us on Instagram: @highlanddefenders

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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.

sculpture trail

Frank Bruce Sculpture Trail

A collection of some fascinating wooden carved sculptures along an easily-navigated woodland walk. Driving between Loch Insh and Feshiebridge, look out for the Forestry Commission sign and follow it to the car park.


Loch an Eilein

A 2 hour walk leads you along picturesque woodland paths circling around Loch an Eilein, with its castle perched on a tiny island. Keep an eye out up high for red squirrels!


Spot an ants’ nest

These tiny creatures build nests up to two meters diameter and wear paths through the woods! Keep an eye  out especially along the forestry tracks behind Boat of Garten – there are several right by the path!


Glenmore Forest Park

Ancient woodland, lochs, mountains and a lochside sandy beach – Glenmore has endless walks of all levels.