8 Ways to Spend Your May Bank Holiday
Signs of spring are sprouting from every green corner in Scotland, lambs are skipping and the May bank holiday is beckoning. No need to rack your brains for ways to spend this glorious day, because we’re giving you some inspiration. Fun times are on us!
All you need is a train ride or four wheels to bring you up to Aviemore for the upcoming long weekend. Any excuse is a good one for carting yourself off to the Scottish Highlands, and the peak of springtime promises soul-warming weather and scenery to match.
1. Make Friends with Highland Wildlife
Children and grown-ups alike will be swept off their feet by the enchanting fauna of the Scottish Northeast. Meet reindeer, badger, osprey, the Scottish crossbill, capercaillie, crested tit and the wild cat while exploring Rothiemurcus Forest on your own trail or as part of a wildlife-watching expedition co-ordinated by guides at Rothiemurcus Estate.
2. Join the Aviemore Park Run
If you want to use your break to transform your body and boost your health, the Aviemore Park Run is a crafty way to do it. A 5-kilometre tracks hosts walkers and runners of all backgrounds and skill levels, so there’s no athletic pressure to spoil your mood. You’ll feel a great sense of achievement completing this run against the colourful spring backdrop of the Cairngorms on Saturday 5th May.
3. Cycle Around the Rustic Rothiemurcus Estate
Rothiemurcus Estate captures our imagination and casts its spell on us every time. With a bucketload of activities available to explore this ancient forest land, cycling is one of our staples. It’s healthy, it’s free, and it’s never short of exhilarating. Work your limbs while taking in lungfuls of fresh air from and eyefuls of natural beauty from Cairngorms National Park.
4. Taste and Ride at the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival
This set-up will make whisky lovers giddy: a sampling session of single malts aboard the Strathspey Steam Railway on Saturday 5th May. Nose and drink your way into the finest whiskies while being served with light snacks on the journey through the forests, rivers and lochs of the Cairngorms. Can it get any more spectacularly Scottish than this?
5. Try Canoeing or Kayaking in River Spey
The mountain water will still be chilly for a dip but you can plot your adventure on River Spey with a canoe or kayak instead. Craggan Outdoors organise kayaking trips on one of the best stretches of the river’s perennial flow, taking you and your loved ones on a satisfying ride that cleanses the body and spirit.
6. Enjoy a Panoramic Ascent in the Funicular Railway
CairnGorm Mountain’s funicular railway is our preferred sightseeing apparatus in Aviemore. Why? You can easily spend a leisurely day taking in the vast panoramas of Cairngorms National Park at different altitudes, finally making a stop at the peak. At 3,500 feet, Ptarmigan Restaurant will be there to greet you, along with a viewing terrace, exhibition, shop and the highest post box in the British Isles – so you stir a little awe with a postcard to your friends.
7. Admire Arts and Crafts at Loch an Eilein Gallery
Loch an Eilein Gallery stands in homage to the rich landscapes and heritage that surround it. Young and old artists alike exhibit their hand-crafted creations spanning a wide spectrum. You’ll find jewellery, Harris tweed, felt work, engraved and fused glass, sculpture, wood turning, driftaway art, soaps and much more to marvel at from the capable hands of the local artistic community.
8. Have a Good, Old-Fashioned Picnic
A picnic blanket, some yummy bites and a bubble blower are all you need to conjure a fairytale setting anywhere your finger lands on the map of the Cairngorms National Park. Picnic tables are scattered across the immense grounds of Britain’s number 1 outdoors playground, where kids and dogs can run free and you can read a book in joyful peace, celebrating yet another blissful spring in nature’s cradle.
Sound like a plan? Book your stay at Hilton Coylumbridge to complete your stay with comfortable and affordable accommodation, whether you’re a couple or family.