Getting aroundExplore the Cairngorms National Park
Discover the National Park by car
Plan your driving route with the AA route planner or have a chauffeur driven outing in a vintage car! Discover the villages and hamlets, country roads and hidden glens, lochs and rivers, castles and cafes. Travel at your own pace and stop once in a while to take in the view and listen to the birdsong. And see our suggestions for great Days Out. If you’ve arrived by public transport, you can hire a car for a day in Aviemore.
Travelling by bus is greener and smarter and ensures that you have a relaxing journey, particularly if you’re not used to driving our narrow winding roads. Sitting higher up, you’re very well positioned to see the magnificent views from all corners of the Cairngorms National Park. Download the Cairngorms Explorer to see how you can travel by bus; you can also hire a private coach or a community minibus in Aviemore. Between 7 July and 17 August, the Heather Hopper operates between Blairgowrie and Ballater.
Cycling is a great way of getting around the Cairngorms National Park, whether using the roads or biking the extensive network of off-road trails. Bring your own bike with you on the train or hire bikes in Blair Atholl, Aviemore, Boat of Garten, Grantown-on-Spey, Glenlivet and Ballater. A new electric bike network was launched in the Cairngorms in 2013 – they dismiss headwinds and flatten hills and give everyone a chance to enjoy the great outdoors on two wheels.
A great way of travelling between Blair Atholl and Carrbridge, and stations in between, is by rail, especially if you’re planning to walk a long distance mountain route. Travel back in time with the Strathspey Steam Railway, which travels between Aviemore, Boat of Garten and Broomhill (Nethy Bridge).
With a core path network 932 kms long and a myriad of local paths, you can get anywhere in the Park on foot. Long distance foot paths are the Speyside Way, the Deeside Way, the Cateran Trail, the Badenoch Way, and the Dava Way. Many villages have developed their own path leaflets and old drove and coffin roads such as the Lairig an Laoigh and the Lairig Ghru cross the Park linking straths and communities. Thieves’ roads crossed these too, like the Ladder Road in Strathdon, which was used to spirit illicit whisky through the mountains and for cattle rustling.
- Aviemore & Upper Spey: Cairngorm Cars; Gerry’s Aviemore Taxis – 01479 849072; Weir’s Aviemore – 01479 810141; Kingussie Taxis – 01540 661343; Carrbridge Taxi – 01479 841700; L&M Rattray, Grantown-on-Spey – 01479 872038
- Blair Atholl: Roddy’s Taxi – 01796 481221
- Tomintoul & Glenlivet: C U There Taxis, Aberlour – 01340 871217
- Royal Deeside: Ballater Taxis – 01339 755548; Nicols Taxis, Ballater – 01339 755654
- Angus Glens: J Donald, Glenisla – 01575 582324