Eat - Drink - Play - Relax - Shop

Things to do in Aviemore and the Cairngorms

The Cairngorms National Park is one of the top 20 places to visit in the world, according to National Geographic Magazine.

It is the UK's largest national park and the largest area of arctic mountain landscape in the UK, providing a home to 25% of the country's endangered species, four of Scotland's highest mountains and Britain's favourite picnic spot so there really is something for everyone here.

Whether you are hoping to escape and relax, thrill seeking or simply want a fun family holiday, the Cairngorms and Aviemore are the place to be.

Here are just a few of our favourite places to eat and things to do, to give you a taster of what there is on offer.

Eating and Drinking

Andersons Restaurant, Boat of Garten

This relaxed and informal bistro style restaurant (recommended by Nick Nairn) is committed to using local Scottish produce when it is in season, which means their menu changes each month, as do their daily specials. In peak season booking is essential and be aware that they are sometimes closed on Tuesdays.

Garth Hotel Restaurant, Grantown-on-Spey

A lovely traditional hotel with a great home-cooked Scottish menu.

La Taverna, Aviemore

This ever popular family-run Italian in Aviemore puts on a great value value buffet every night, as well as pizza and pasta dishes a la carte.

Letterbox Restaurant, Newtonmore

A small family run restaurant serving locally sourced fresh scottish produce. Evening meals (including vegetarian/vegan menu) available Monday to Sunday, 4.30pm to 10.30pm.

Royal Tandoori, Aviemore

Indian food to sit in or take away, as well as a separate function room for large groups and a children’s menu.

​The Old Bridge Inn, Aviemore

This cosy, candle-lit restaurant sits on the banks of the River Spey. Working closely with local farmers and suppliers, they keep the menu as full of local produce as possible. They also have a cosy bar area where you can eat and drink in front of the open fire with regular live music, and dogs are welcome too! This is a popular venue for both locals and tourists so we recommend that you book.

​The Rowan Tree Country Hotel, Kincraig

This is a relaxed and very good restaurant serving the freshest, principally Scottish ingredients. Meals are served daily between 5.30 and 8.30pm.

​The Boat Country Inn and Restaurant, Boat of Garten

Offering a casual and hearty seasonal pub-style menu with their own take on classic dishes and speciality nights throughout the week. The cosy bar offers an extensive selection of over 50 whiskies and variety of gin. Dogs are welcome too!

The Cairn Hotel, Carrbridge

You can enjoy a country pub atmosphere with a real log fire on a chilly day or outdoor seating on a sunny day. They serve great pub lunches and suppers, always with some friendly banter and maybe some real ale or a wee dram.

​The Craigellachie Speyside, Craigellachie

A 40-minute drive north on the A95 from Nethy Bridge, this stylish small hotel is the perfect spot for a relaxed lunch or dinner. The Copper Dog pub downstairs serves quality local fare, with live music on summer evenings, and the Quaich bar is home to more than 900 whiskies!

​​The Cross, Kingussie

This exclusive restaurant offers a three-course menu with several choices for each course or you can select their six-course signature tasting menu. Both menus change regularly and are designed around the best of the seasonal produce which they source as much as possible from Scotland’s wonderful larder. The Cross is the perfect setting to celebrate a special occasion or simply an opportunity to sample some delicious local cuisine. It’s essential to book so that you don’t miss out!

​The Wee Puffin Restaurant, Grantown-on-Spey

A relaxed restaurant in Grantown where you won’t leave hungry!

​The Winking Owl, Aviemore

This lovely gastro pub is owned by the Cairngorm Brewery and has an impressive selection of real ales to go along with its hearty menu. A kids menu is available too.

​Pine Marten Bar, Glenmore

A fun bar with local beers and wood burner located halfway up the mountain road at Glenmore. Perfect for apres ski/walk/cycle!


Carrbridge Kitchen, Carrbridge

The Carrbridge Kitchen is a fantastic Scottish fusion café/restaurant serving delicious breakfasts, lunches, and of course, coffee and cake. Over the summer months, it is also open some evenings for dinner but do check before you go. Great, friendly service and beautifully presented, with a wood-burning stove to warm you up on chillier days.

High St. Merchants, Grantown-on-Spey

This gem of a café and gallery is a firm favourite with local and visitors alike. Pop in for a delicious scone, tasty lunch or pint of Two Thirsty Men beer (brewed right next door!). Also open for dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Just Delicious, Grantown-on-Spey

This friendly family-run café and deli serves a great selection of freshly-made soups, sandwiches, panini, jacket potatoes, salad bowls and home-baking in comfortable surroundings. Takeaway also available.

Nethy House Café, Nethy Bridge

A delightful little café with home-cooked food and fantastic coffee as well as friendly service, in the heart of Nethy Bridge. You can also buy local craft and photography, and dogs are welcome. Open 10am-5pm every day except Wednesday.

​​The Wild Flour, Newtonmore

A lovely wee café that serves homemade treats in a relaxed atmosphere.

​​Route 7, Aviemore

Route 7 is a great place for breakfast, lunch or an afternoon snack, open 9am-4.30pm every day. They serve pizza from their wood-fired oven at weekends from 12-3pm. Look out for their pop up street food nights in the summer season. Being bike friendly, they have a free bike wash-down area and compressed air for your tyres!

​​The Druie, Rothiemurchus

This cosy and friendly café predominantly uses produce from the Rothiemurchus Estate. They have a lovely outdoor seating area which is perfect for sunny days (and dog friendly). They can also provide great packed lunches that you can order in advance.

​​Old Post Office Cafe, Kincraig

This cosy cafe in the heart of Kincraig village is owned and run by the Vastano family. Toni an accomplished chef, creates beautiful dishes, championing local producers and suppliers and his wife Ann, a famous local artist, decorates the cafe with her stunning pieces.

​​The Sugar Bowl, Kingussie

A lovely little coffee shop which also sells some great gifts. Breakfast, lunch, drinks and coffee are served every day other than Monday.

​​Tiso, Aviemore

Part of the new retail park in Aviemore. This licensed cafe offers a wide selection of home cooked food and a small soft play for the kids!



There are countless biking routes and trails all around the area, with new ones being created all the time, from family friendly routes to trails for the more adventurous. There’s also the Sustrans National Route 7 that passes through Kingussie, Aviemore and Carrbridge.For more information visit

There’s also some fantastic trail centres in the area, described below.

For bike hire and further information on the wealth of biking routes and trails in the area, get in touch with the following places:

Basecamp Bikes, Grantown-on-spey or 01479 870050

Bothy Bikes, Aviemore or 01479 810111

Mikes Bikes, Aviemore or 01479 810478

Also offer bike hire drop off and pick ups

Ride Cairngorm, Boat of Garten or 01479 831729

Glenlivet Bike Trails

Enjoy the purpose-built mountain bike trails at the heart of Glenlivet Estate, with not only fantastic fun-packed, flowing single track trail, but spectacular scenery and stunning views.

The blue trail is a great introduction to cross country riding, while the red trail provides challenges for the experienced.

Laggan Wolftrax

Over 20 miles (35 km) of purpose-built trails wind through Laggan Forest, with superb views of the Monadhliath hills on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park.

There are routes from an easy-going green trail to a black run that’s probably the most technical bit of single-track in Scotland. In the bike park you can ride big berms and tabletop jumps.

Breweries and Distilleries

Balmenach Distillery, Cromdale

Cairngorm Brewery, Aviemore

Dalwhinnie Distillery (near A9 south of Newtonmore)

Two Thirsty Men brewery, Grantown-on-Spey

Malt Whisky Trail ( for details on visiting the Trail’s nine distilleries including Glenfiddich (Dufftown), The Glenlivet (near Tomintoul), and Cardhu (near Rothes))


Ballindalloch Castle, between Grantown and Aberlour

Balmoral Castle, between Ballater and Braemar

Blair Castle, Blair Atholl

Brodie Castle, near Forres

Cawdor Castle, near Inverness

Urquhart Castle, Drumnadrochit


Eden Court, Inverness

Spey Valley Cinema at Macdonald Highland Resort, Aviemore

Vue Cinema, Inverness


Abernethy Angling Association

Spey salmon and sea trout fishing available. Find out more and pick up permits at Boat of Garten Post Office.

Badenoch Angling Association

Salmon, trout and pike fishing available on the river and in lochs. Permits can be bought online or at the newsagents in Kingussie.


Fishing at Rothiemurchus for all abilities with pike, rainbow and brown trout, on the river and in lochs. Permits available from the Rothiemurchus Fish Farm.


Abernethy Golf Club

Abernethy is a traditional Highland golf course, built on natural moorland, and surrounded by majestic pine trees. The course is suitable for golfers of all standards.

Boat of Garten Golf Club

Designed by one of the grand-masters of golf course architecture, James Braid (1870-1950), “The Boat” is set alongside the River Spey in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, only 10 minutes drive from the bustling village of Aviemore.

Carrbridge Golf Club

Carrbridge Golf Club is a friendly club with a good mix of players of all ages and standards. Carrbridge welcomes everyone from seasoned competitors through to those just taking up the sport, the solitary golfer or groups of friends.

Aviemore Spey Valley Championship Golf Course

Recently voted one of the best golf courses in Scotland, Spey Valley features some of the most breathtaking views in the world, offering golfers a glimpse right into the very heart of the Scottish Highlands.

Newtonmore Golf

Enjoy a round with stunning views, perfect for all ages and abilities.

Animals & Nature

Horse Riding

Alvie Stables in Kingussie can organise pony treks of any duration from an hour up to a full day - an inspirational way to see the landscape at a leisurely pace on their well trained school horses and ponies. Suitable for all ages and abilities. If you are a more experienced rider, hacks are also possible.

Leault Working sheepdog

Witness a 45 minute demonstration of up to 8 working dogs expertly maneuvering sheep around various obstacles, as well as the opportunity to meet the collie pups, lambs and even take part in shearing a sheep! Based in Kincraig (only 7 miles from Kingussie), definitely an experience not to be missed.

The Wildcat Experience/Trail, Newtonmore

Walk part, or all of the 10km orbital route around the lovely village of Newtonmore, hunting for 132 painted model wildcats. Maybe they’re hiding in trees, gardens or even on roofs! Certificates and prizes are awarded for finding 25 or more wildcats.

Outdoor Activities

Alvie Estate


Clay pigeon shooting

Deer feeding



Pony trekking


Aviemore Kart Raceway

Arrive and drive sessions

Group bookings

Backcountry Scot

Bike adventures

Packrafting adventures and hire

Craggan Outdoors



Clay pigeon shooting

Climbing and abseiling

Gorge walking

High ropes

Laser tag

Mini quads


Full on Adventure


Gorge walking

River kayaking

River stand up paddleboarding

White water rafting/tubing

Glenmore Lodge

Kayaking and canoeing courses

Mountaineering courses

Mountain biking courses

Ski touring and off-piste courses

G2 Outdoor


Gorge walking

White water rafting

Zip trek park

Loch Insh Outdoor Centre


Open canoeing


Private tuition available



Stand up paddleboarding

Tour boat


Loch Morlich Watersports




Stand up paddleboarding


Lessons also available

Rothiemurchus Estate

Archery and clay pigeon shooting

Feed the deer

Pony trekking

Segways and Quad biking



Wildlife watching and photography

4x4 off road safari


Shinty (or Camanachd in Gaelic) is played regularly at Newtonmore and Kingussie. Games are held regularly on weekday evenings or at weekends and all spectators warmly welcome! It’s a fast-paced and thrilling traditional Highland sport and is a huge part of the Highland culture particularly in these two villages, who are fierce shinty rivals! See their websites/facebook pages for match details.


Aviemore & Glenmore Ski School

XC ski tracks are cut at Glenmore when snow conditions allow. Equipment is available to hire there by the hour or by the day.

Cairngorm Mountain

Cairngorm Mountain has a reputation as one of the most beautiful places to ski and snowboard in the UK and is located just a short drive from the lodge. With a wide range of routes on offer, 11 lifts including the funicular train and a fun park/terrain for freestylers when conditions allow. Lessons and hire gear are available.

Hire Gear

Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports (01479 810175)

Nevis Sport (01479 810239)


Aviemore School of Snowsports ( or 01479 810145)

Freeski ( or 07495 028578)

G2 Outdoor ( or 01540 651784)

Cairngorm Sleddog Centre

The Cairngorm Sleddog Centre is the only daily working sleddog centre in the UK and offers a wide range of activities for the whole family, from kennel and museum tours to sleddog trips and safaris.


Probably the most popular place to sledge is at the Hayfield, Glenmore (close to the snow gates on the Cairngorm Mountain road) or on the lawn at the front of the MacDonald Hotel building in Aviemore.


There are endless options for walks across the Cairngorms National Park from low and easy loch walks to extremely strenuous hikes up Munros. A great place to look for and plan the right walk for you is Walk Highlands.


Hair and Beauty

Ampla Vella, Kingussie

Beautique, Aviemore

The Retreat, Aviemore

Massage / Pampering

Aviemore Beauty & Alternative Therapy Centre

More than just a beauty salon, Aviemore Beauty is an alternative therapy centre too. An extensive range of therapies are on offer, and you can expect the highest standard of treatments from carefully selected local therapists.

Cairngorm Beauty Therapy & Spa, Aviemore

A luxurious spa which promises to soothe away the stresses of life, rejuvenate and re-energise the body and allow you to indulge your senses, boasting a fantastic 5 person hot tub and infra red, hot rock sauna.

Lets Relax Spa, Coylumbridge Hotel

Specialising in Thai massage, choose from a range of relaxing massages, facials, manicures and pedicures.

Pure Balance Holistic Therapies, Kincraig

Treat yourself to a luxurious hot lava shell massage, pure aroma facial or stimulating body scrub.


Balliefurth Farm Shop , Nethy Bridge

This award-winning family-run butcher and deli stocks a range of local produce, including fruit and vegetables, locally-made honey, pies and a range of gluten-free and organic products.

​Deli Mair

A local deli with deli counter, fresh bread, take-away coffee and a great selection of other local produce.

Macdonald Highland Hotel Shop

The shop at ‘the centre’ sells luxurious and stylish Scottish products mixed with a large selection of high end merchandise and clothing.

Rothiemurchus Farm shop and Deli

Rothiemurchus is passionate about its home-grown produce and offers a great selection of meat, fish, cheeses, coffee and teas, cakes, preserves and chutneys, drinks, chocolate and shortbread, to name just a few.

The Cairngorms Farmers Market

If you enjoy cooking, you may like to pick up your own local ingredients and create some delicious meals yourself, the Cairngorms Farmers Market is the closest one to home with regular dates throughout the summer. You will be able to find out where and when these are on by looking in the Visit Cairngorms What’s On guide.


If it’s convenience you are after, there is a Tesco, Co-op and Aldi in Aviemore. There is also a Co-op in Kingussie and Grantown on Spey. Sainsburys, Asda and Tesco also provide home delivery to most properties in the area.

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