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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

Eating Out

Eating: restaurants in Aviemore

Apart from the hotels and guesthouses listed above, the best place to eat in Aviemore is the Old Bridge Inn, Tel. 811137, on Dalfaber Rd. This lovely old pub serves excellent-value food and hosts ceilidhs and Highland dinner dances in the summer months. There's a good lochside restaurant at the  Loch Insh Watersports Centre at Kincraig, between Aviemore and Kingussie, which doubles as a café during the day.

Travel Directions to Aviemore

The TIC is on Grampian Rd, about 400 yd south of the train station, Tel. 810363. They will book accommodation as well as provide free maps and leaflets on local attractions and change foreign currency. Apr-Oct Mon-Fri 0900-1800, Sat 1000-1700, Sun 1000-1600; Nov-Mar Mon-Fri 0900-1700, Sat 1000-1700.

There are buses to and from Inverness Perth and Edinburgh and direct trains to and from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness.

There are Scottish Citylink buses, Tel. 0990-505050, between Aviemore and Inverness (45 mins), Kingussie (20 mins), Pitlochry (1 hrs), Perth (2 hrs), Glasgow (3 hrs) and Edinburgh (3 hrs). For Aberdeen, change at Inverness.

Car hire from MacDonald's Self Drive, 13 Muirton, Tel. 811444.

There are direct trains to and from Glasgow and Edinburgh (3 hrs) and Inverness (40 mins). For details Tel. 0345-484950. The Strathspey Steam Railway, Tel. 810725, runs between Aviemore, Boat of Garten and Nethy Bridge. The station is just to the east of the main train station. The Cairngorm Chairlift Company, Tel. 861261, runs daily buses between Aviemore and Cairngorm Ski Centre from late Oct to Apr.


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:

Local Visitor Attractions

  • Insh Marsh Reserve

    Very important wetland for nesting birds and home to Osprey's in the summer. If you are interested in nature and birds: a must. Lovely walks as well so ideal for the kids.


  • Loch Morlich to Lairig Ghru walk

    The famous Lairig Ghru is an ancient route through the Cairngorms which passes between Ben Macdui and Braeriach. It is a very strenuous walk and only for fit and experienced hikers. An easier proposition is a 12-mile loop which leads to the start of the Lairig Ghru pass, starting from Loch Morlich.

  • Badenoch Way Walk

    Easy walking from Insh Marshes towards Dalraddy along the Spey. Moderate and well trailed. Good for all ages. 

Nearby Distilleries

  • Cross Bill Gin Distillery

    Dry gin made from 100%  Scottish junipers in small craft distillery near Aviemore

  • Balmenach Distillery

    Nestled deep in the stunning landscapes of the Scottish Highlands you'll discover the home of Caorunn. Premium and small batch, the handcrafted gin is made with the care and passion you would expect from our renowned Scottish spirit making expertise.

Aviemore Hotels & Accommodation

The best choice in the area is the Corrour House Hotel, at Inverdruie, 2 miles southeast of Aviemore, Tel. 810220,, open Dec-Oct. This Victorian country house oozes charm, enjoys wonderful views and offers superb cuisine.

Also recommended is the Rowan Tree Hotel, at Loch Alvie, 1€ miles south of Aviemore on the B9152, Tel. 810207, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., open Dec-Oct. This is one of the oldest hotels in the area and offers excellent food (lunch cheap; dinner moderate).

A fairly new hotel is the Macdonald Highland Hotel, where the rooms are very well equipped, and the food in the Aspects restaurant is apparently excellent.

One mile south of Aviemore, at Lynwilg, is the beautiful Lynwilg House, Tel. 811685, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., a charming, friendly guesthouse with a reputation for good food.

About 10 miles north of Aviemore at Nethybridge is the Victorian 3 star Nethybridge Hotel

Also in Nethybridge is the comfortable Mountview Hotel with an excellent restaurant.

There are lots of B&Bs in Aviemore itself, including Vermont Guest House, Tel. 810470; and Ravenscraig Guest House, Tel. 810278, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., both on Grampian Rd.

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.