Seasgair - Festive in the Cairngorms!

Festive in the Cairngorms!

19 Oct, 2022

When you think of the perfect Christmas location you may be forgiven for first thinking of Lapland, but if you speak to anybody who grew up in Scotland in the 70’s and 80’s, Aviemore was the place to go, and we can tell you that in 2022 the Highlands still holds its own! 

Think snow-capped mountains boasting Scotland's only free-roaming reindeer herd, cosy cafes, fine dining restaurants, local crafts and unique gifts all coming together to ensure a uniquely festive treat. 

Firstly, we recommend securing tickets for the Strathspey Steam Railway; Santa, hot chocolate, and mince pies, all enjoyed on a steam train that sedately winds its way through the Cairngorms National Park, it is hard to leave without feeling all warm, fuzzy and festive inside. 

You can also enjoy a trip to see the real stars of the show, Santa’s reindeer at The Cairngorm Reindeer Centre. The paddocks are filled with tinsel and decorations, kids can complete a festive quiz and Santa himself comes to visit. We have heard that occasionally Santa even has chocolates to hand out too!

The Cairngorms is a treasure trove of local crafts, and you are sure to be able to find something for even the most discerning of recipients. From local gin, teas, and home bakes to wood crafts and even jewellery classes to make your own gift for that special someone. And if you are lucky enough you might be able to catch one of the Christmas markets or farmers markets that are a regular feature across the valley. You can find out more on the Visit Cairngorms What's On Guide

If you are in the Cairngorms over Christmas itself, you really are spoilt for choice with Aviemore, Grantown on Spey and Newtonmore having parades that are not to be missed. The Torchlight procession in Grantown takes place on the 23rd of December and includes a pipe band, Santa and his reindeer, carol singing, mince pies and fruit punch in the square. Then Newtonmore and Aviemore have Christmas Eve parades to see Santa and his reindeer off in style and leave you and the family ready for the following day’s festivities. 

If you don’t fancy the effort of cooking on the big day (even though our lodge kitchens are very well equipped if you do) you are spoilt for choice. Some of our favourites include Andersons, The Old Bridge Inn and The Balavoulin. Don’t forget you have access to the full list of personal favourites in our guestbook app, sent to you prior to your arrival at our lodges. Speaking of the guestbook app, not only is it still filled to the brim with all our recommendations for things to do, restaurants, cafes and local suppliers, we have also added a whole section dedicated to festive fun. On here, you will be able to see all of the local ceilidhs and other celebrations that are arranged for Hogmanay to help you bring in a wonderful 2023!