Things to do during your stay
There is so much to see and do in Boat of Garten and the surrounding area. Pick up some leaflets from reception for inspiration. The following main attractions are all within a 15 minute drive:
- There is the world famous RSPB Loch Garten reserve just around the corner. Take a left out of the park and follow the signs. This reserve is only open from April to October but for seeing the world famous Ospreys EJ and Odin its well worth a visit.
- Boat of Garten is on the Strathspey steam railway line. Why not take the steam train to Aviemore and stop off at Glenbogle station (Monarch of the Glen)?
- The river Spey runs through the village and boasts great walks and biking trails.
- Why not hire a bike from Cairngorm bike and hike and cycle the final leg of the ‘Speyside Way’ into Aviemore?
- Abernethy forest is also on our doorstep, boasting red squirrels, capercaillie, pine martens, wood ants, roe deer, crested tits and crossbills, all rare and only found in this area of the UK. Why not wander through it and see what you can find?
- Boat of Garten 18 hole golf club has been voted one of the top 20 courses in the country. It is one of the most scenic and enjoyable courses in Scotland.
- Boat of Garten’s pub and restaurant, The Boat Hotel is situated on the bend opposite the post office, just as you turn down to the Steam railway station. They have a fine menu and children (under 12) eat free when parents dine too. Visit www.boathotel.co.uk for details or phone 01479 831258.
- Andersons restaurant is a short distance from the park entrance and offers a seasonal and locally sourced menu. It has a very good reputation and booking is advised: 01479 831466 Andersons restaurant
At just 6 miles away in Carrbridge is Landmark Adventure park. This is a MUST if you have children. It is a great day out with loads for the young and young-at-heart to do.
Carrbridge has excellent little cafe’s and gift shops and the picturesque old bridge has got to be worth stopping for a photo.
Aviemore is the hub of the Cairngorms. There are numerous shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, bike hire shops, specialist butchers, etc and chain shops. There is a great little Waterstones, Boots, and even quite a large Tesco for all your grocery needs.
There is a climbing wall at the extreme dream climbing centre too, for the adventurous types.
There are many bike trails from Aviemore, Rothiemurchus, along the Spey river and all throughout the area.
Just outside Aviemore (through Aviemore, left at the roundabout follow the road through Rothiemurchus. Follow the signs for the Hilton Hotel) is the Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel. If it is raining during your stay this is the place to go. For a small fee you can use their pool, bar and restaurant and there is a large indoor soft play centre just opposite! Perfect for those rainy days when the kids are bored.
For delicious cakes and the chance to see red squirrels, woodpeckers and other birds visit the Potting Shed at Inshriach, a few miles from Rothiemurchus.
8 miles south of Aviemore is the fantastic Highland Wildlife Park, which is brilliant if you or your children are into animals. They have polar bears, tigers, red pandas, wildcats, lynx and monkeys, and also a lovely shop and cafe. Well worth a visit.
Lochs Morlich and Inch
At both of these lochs is a water sports centre where you will be kitted out with wetsuits and given instruction by professional guides. There are guided canoeing trips for the children, kayaks, various boats and windsurfing to try out. There is also a beach at Loch Morlich to relax on in hot weather. Both centres have a cafe, and the Loch Inch centre has a shop. Highly recommended
Another ‘to do’ on your list must be a visit to the Ptarmigan Centre at the top of Cairngorm Mountain. It takes about 15 minutes by car to get to the car park, up some pretty hair-raising roads (Follow the road through Rothiemurchus to the end!) From the car park you can either walk up to the centre, or take the funicular railway. At the centre is an exhibition about the mountain a fabulous cafe/restaurant and a shop. There is a viewing platform and on clear days it is said that you can see both West and East coasts!
The Cairngorm ski centre is generally open whenever there is snow. The ski season has been from November/December to April in the past few years. Check their website for the snow forecast.
From the Ptarmigan centre you can walk to the summit of Cairngorm Mountain, which takes about 20-30 minutes.
About 45 minutes drive away is Inverness, the nearest city. There is Raigmore hospital, the Eastgate centre for all your shopping needs, retail parks for larger stores, Vue cinema, Inverness airport, various denomination churches and Eden Court (Inverness’s main theatre), in fact everything that you need will be in Inverness.
Another 20 mins drive from Inverness takes you to Loch Ness, Urquart Castle, and the world famous monster. On this road are some boat cruises which will take you to Fort Augustus at the far end of the Loch via Urquart Castle at Drumnadrochit.