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Planning the first adventure: Aviemore and surroundings

Updated: Mar 16, 2022

December 23 rd - 27 th - 2021

A view from the top of a munro in the Craigellachie National Naure Reserve


Christmas break started and we were eager to find a place to celebrate the end of a year. One of our biggest desires was to see a big snowfall, because in our country it will never happen. We chose Aviemore as our first big destination based on that town snowfall rate of 31 days per year (at least 1 inch of snow).

Aviemore is a small town with a population around 3000. The town is close to Invernes, the main city of the Scottish Highlands. Aviemore is situated in the Craingorms National Park and has too many places to go, including activities, landscapes, and so on.


The budget

As we said in our introductory post, this blog is about the experience. As long as we can, we are going to give some details regarding the money that we spent to do the activity or trip we tell, so "The budget" will be a common part of our posts.

Travel to the place: 90 pounds (117 usd) 2 train tickets

25 pounds (32 usd) 2 bus tickets (return)

Equipment: 60 pounds (78 usd) 2 x waterproof trousers

30 pounds (39 usd) 2 x hiking canes

20 pounds (26 usd) 2 x spikes

Accommodation: 311 pounds (404 usd) 4 nights in High Range Lodge hotel

Food: 61 pounds (79 usd) Supermarket

49 pounds (64 usd) Christmas dinner

30 pounds (39 usd) Two stops at cofee shops

Internal transport: 5 pounds (7 usd) Bus from Glenmore to Aviemore

Total: 681 pounds (885 usd) total travel costs for 2.

You can see that of course in some of the items of this list, we did not intend to save money. This was because we knew that there were necessary equipment to buy and some things we wanted to do. We did not want to lose the experience of traveling by train through the highlands in winter, so we paid the price in money.


The experience

Aviemore from the top of a munro in the Craigellachie National Nature Reserve


We were finally there, in Aviemore, on a rainy day of december. It was thursday 23 rd and we were staying until monday the 27 th. We arrived at 2 PM or so, when we still had a couple hours of daylight. Winter in scotland makes days very short. Night came fast and we decided to hit the town. We spotted the supermarket, a couple pubs and some clothing stores.

After this short exploration of the town, we decided to get some rest for next day. If you want to know our opinion and some tips regarding this beautiful town, you can read our Aviemore post.


For the first day, we had planed a climb by walking to Glenmore. As we do not have a car, we had to do it either that way or by bus. The route from our hotel to Glenmore was 10 km and with a slope of 119 meters. It may seem a soft slope, but for unexperienced walkers like us, it was quite a challenge. We took the morning to do this trip, and we arrived to Loch Morlich, a giant lake close to Glenmore, close to 11 AM. Here we made the first stop to take photos with the Drone. If you are interested about the drone itself, you can read our post here:

Once we arrived Glenmore, the Reindeer center was open, so we decided to go inside and learn about those beautiful and magnificent animals. Once we finished the tour, we decided to walk to another lake that was not that close to Glenmore. The Green Lake or An Lochan Uaine, is as far as 3.7 km from Glenmore, and the slope is about 114 m. This was the farthest point of our trip that Christmas Eve, and once we had our lunch there, we decided to turn back to Aviemore. This day was so special and the full story is not all here. We made a post talking about things we saw and learnt and you can read it here.

Loch Morlich, Craingorms Natonal Park


It was Christmas. Not such an important day for us from the religious point of view. Anyway, we love the family and gathering as a pack. This Christmas had to be different. We were by our own, just the two of us. This Christmas day had to be great, to be worth the prize of being abroad, away from family and friends. And of course, it was. It seems like making a great day relied on our will. We woke up early, with the sun rising late, as a proper winter morning. 8 AM. The destination was Loch an Eilein. A huge lake in the mountains, surrounded by woods and with a small island on it. The final touch: over the island the ruins of a castle lay quiet, waiting to be discovered. This day was such a beautiful day and a remarkable memory. To keep this memory fresh, we made the Loch an Eilein post, that you can read here:


We were wrecked. Too much walking for two days. And now, the opportunity of a third day in a wonderful place. We had heard of a very interestng place, the entrance was very close to our hotel. The Craigellachie National Nature Reserve. Its name was resting in our lists, just to be remembered. In fact, the Google Maps photographs were not that good in our opinion, so it was not a priority. We were so tired of the previous days so we decided to go in just to take a glance. Fortunately we had our backpacks with equipment. The slope did not push us back and we will be grateful forever with ourselves for the choice we made. We climbed through the paths to a munro that had to be the top of the world. Or at least for us, unexperienced trekkers, it was. This adventure deserved its own post with details, so we made it here:


Last day. Our bus was leaving at 5 PM to Glasgow, we were returning to the routine. We decided to take it easy, grab a coffee and do some laptop work.

At some moment of the day, we decided to split, and roam the town as each one wanted to. In the post about Aviemore we give more details about our findings.

See you around !

A & S The Arctic Tern

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