The quiet village of Kingussie (pronounced King-yoosie) lies 12 miles southwest of Aviemore and makes a pleasant alternative as a place to stay. The Tourist Information Centre (Tel. 661297) is housed in the Folk Museum (see below) and has the same opening hours.
Phone code: +44 (0)1540 Population: 1,500
Local Sights & Activities for KingussieSightseeing
The main attraction here is the excellent Highland Folk Museum which contains a fascinating collection of traditional Highland artefacts, as well as a farming museum, an old smokehouse, a water mill and traditional Hebridean 'blackhouse'. During the summer there are also demonstrations of spinning, woodcarving and peat-fire baking. Info - Tel.0154-661307, Apr-end Sep, Mon-Sat 0930-1730, Oct Mon-Fri 0930-1630, winter guided tours only, £2 adult, children and concessions £1.
Another worthwhile attraction is Ruthven Barracks, standing on a hillock across the river. This former barracks was built by the English Redcoats as part of their campaign to tame the Highlands after the first Jacobite rising in 1715. It was destroyed by the Jacobites in the wake of defeat at Culloden to prevent it from falling into enemy hands, and it was from here that Bonnie Prince Charlie sent his final order which signalled the end of his doomed cause. Access is free and the ruins are particularly attractive at night when floodlit.
At nearby Kincraig village, between Kingussie and Aviemore, is the Highland Wildlife Park, which has a captive collection of rare native animals including wildcat plus European bison and over 60 red deer. Info - Apr, May, Sep and Oct daily 1000-1800; Jun-Aug 1000-1900; Nov-Mar 1000-1600, park tours £9.50, concession £8.50, children £6.75, Tel.01540-651270.
Those who mourn the loss of the hit TV show, One Man and His Dog, will be excited at the prospect of visiting the Working Sheepdogs Show at the nearby Leault Farm, where you can see demonstrations of dogs rounding up a flock of sheep. Info - Daily. Tel. 651310.
Kingussie Hotels & Accommodation
, on Acres Rd, Tel. 661052, greystones@ lineone.net
There are several decent hostels in the area : The Laird's Bothy, Tel. 661334, is on the High St next to the Tipsy Laird pub; Bothan Airigh Bunkhouse, Tel. 661051, is at Insh, a few miles east of Ruthven Barracks on the B970; Kirkbeag Hostel, Tel. 651298, is in Kincraig, between Kingussie and Aviemore; and at Balachroick House in Glen Feshie, near Kincraig, is Glen Feshie Hostel, Tel. 651323. In Newtonmore, a few miles west of Kingussie on the A86, is the Newtonmore Independent Hostel, Tel. 673360,; and at Laggan Bridge, 8 miles further west on the A86, is thePottery Bunkhouse, Tel. 01528-544231, attached to the Caoldair Pottery.
The Osprey Hotel and Scot House Hotel both have very good restaurants, but the outstanding place to eat in this area is the award-winning The Cross, Tel. 661166, on Tweed Mill Brae, a private drive leading off Ardbroilach Rd. This restaurant with rooms (for dinner, B&B) is expensive but well worth it. Open Mar-Nov & Christmas; closed Tue. The Tipsy Laird pub serves good meals and real ales; and La Cafetière is a nice café.
Travel Directions to Kingussie
Kingussie is on the main Inverness to Perth/ Glasgow/ Edinburgh routes. All Perth-Inverness trains stop here and most Citylink buses. For rail enquiries, Tel. 0345-484950. There's also an infrequent school bus service run by Highland Country Buses between Kingussie, Aviemore, Newtonmore and Dalwhinnie.