Aviemore was once a sleepy village which was later developed into a ski and tourism resort and has fallen victim to profiteering developers who have scant regard for the local community here. However, Aviemore is great for the services being offered here for visitors.
Old News In the 1960s Aviemore was transformed from a sleepy Highland village into the jumble of concrete buildings, tacky gift shops and sprawling coach parks that it is today. The extent of the tourist tat here is so awful it makes Fort William seem charmingly understated by comparison, and there can be few more depressing and hideous sights than Santa Claus Land children's theme park on a drizzly afternoon in November. In saying that, however, the town is the most important tourist centre in the area and has a wide range of facilities.
But good New News!!! Aviemore has changed, the center has been demolished and a brand new resort, conference and shopping facilities has been built. Macdonald Highland Resort have rebuilt and renovated the center of Aviemore. The hotels have been up graded, Santa Claus Land and the Go Karting are no more.
The train station, banks, restaurants and pretty much everything else are all found along Grampian Road. Buses stop here too (see 'Transport to Aviemore' below).
Phone code: +44 (0)1479 Population: 2,500
The town lies just off the A9, 33 miles south of Inverness
Local Sights & Activities for Aviemore
There's nothing of real interest in Aviemore. The real enjoyment lies in the surrounding mountains and forests, though there are a few interesting places close at hand.
A great place for kids is the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre in Glen More Forest Park, on the road from Coylumbridge, seven miles from Aviemore. Info - Guided walks to see the herd and feed them leave daily at 1100 and also at 1430 during the summer. Tel. 861228.
An easy circular walk of about four hours around Loch an Eilean in Rothiemurchus Estate starts from the end of the side road which turns east off the B970 two miles south of Aviemore. From the car park at the end of the road head for the lochside. The route around the loch is clearly marked and it's difficult to lose your way as it follows the loch shore. It's a very pleasant walk through woodland with views of a 14th-century castle ruin on an island in the middle of the loch. You can extend the walk by around a mile by including the circuit around Loch Gamhna. The paths around Loch an Eilein are also connected with the massive network of trails around Rothiemurchus.
There is also the steam railway line that is well worth a journey on: http://strathspeyrailway.co.uk/
Aviemore Hotels & Accommodation
The best choice in the area is the Corrour House Hotel, at Inverdruie, 2 miles southeast of Aviemore, Tel. 810220, www.corrourhouse.co.uk, open Dec-Oct. This Victorian country house oozes charm, enjoys wonderful views and offers superb cuisine.
About 10 miles north of Aviemore at Nethybridge is the Victorian 3 star Nethybridge Hotel
There are a couple of good hostels in Aviemore. The large SYHA hostel, Tel. 810345, is on Grampian Rd near the tourist office and open all year.Book SYHA Hostel in Aviemore
There's also the Aviemore Independent Bunkhouse and Backpackers Hostel, Tel. 811137, on Dalfaber Rd. There are several good campsites, including the Rothiemurchus Camping & Caravan Park, Tel. 812800, at Coylumbridge; and a Forest Enterprise site at Glenmore, Tel. 861271.