AVIEMORE was first developed as a ski and tourism resort in the mid-1960s and, over the years, fell victim to profiteering developers with scant regard for the needs of the local community. Although a face-lift has removed some of the architectural eyesores of that era, the settlement remains dominated by a string of soulless shopping centres and sprawling housing estates surrounding a Victorian railway station. That said, Aviemore is well equipped with visitor facilities, and is the most convenient base for the Cairngorms.

Cairn Gorm Mountain

From Aviemore, a road leads past Rothiemurchus and Loch Morlich and winds its way up into the Cairngorms, reaching the Coire Cas car park at a height of 2150ft. Here is the base station for the ski area with a ranger office where you can find out about the area’s various trails. It’s also the departure point for the Cairn Gorm Mountain Railway, a two-car funicular railway that whisks skiers in winter, and tourists at any time of year, along a mile and a half of track to the top station at an altitude of 3600ft, not far from the summit of Cairn Gorm Mountain.

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