At Hilton Coylumbridge

Sleigh the New Year: 35th Annual Siberian Husky Dog Sled Rally

Sleigh the New Year: 35th Annual Siberian Husky Dog Sled Rally

Posted by Maria Mangion, January, 2018

Dog sledding is made of the substance of fairytales, and is usually limited to its primary function as a mode of transport for Eskimo families in the Arctic north seen in documentaries – or depicted in adventure cartoons. To the delight of children and adults worldwide, this activity has also bloomed into a highly popular sport that provides tons of fun in the winter.

And what better way to kick off 2018 than with a rally in the snow-sprinkled Highlands? Our town of Aviemore will be hosting the 35th Annual Siberian Husky Dog Sled Rally in a couple of weeks’ time and we’re beyond excited to witness this show of nature’s power and beauty with you.

The much-anticipated event is being held on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th January 2018. Rally times are yet to be announced – keep checking the official event page to stay updated – but the event is completely free for all the family, which means you’ll have the perfect excuse for a snug weekend retreat at Hilton Coylumbridge.

And psst – we’re not done yet! How about a 25% discount on your accommodation, including dinner in one of our fantastic restaurants, unlimited breakfast, full use of all our facilities (indoor pool, sauna and gym), a lazy 12pm checkout and free parking? Doing a double take is totally permitted (no pun intended!), so go ahead and combine the post-Christmas break you’re itching for with this special treat and you’ll also get to benefit from a budget-friendly solution thanks to our winter sale. We know that’s just the thing you need after a wallet-bruising month!


Stuff You Didn’t Know about Dog Sledding and Siberian Huskies

Dog sledding dates back to at least 2000 BC, so the practice has been around for quite a while! Initially, people of the period sought to use dogs to carry heavy loads in the Siberian and North American regions. Dog sledding had a purely functional purpose back then. The sled dogs were a source of companionship, hunting, trapping and protection for their human owners.

Sled dogs also have a claim to fame for many territorial discoveries made in the frozen wastelands of the Earth’s two Poles. These dependable, sturdy creatures helped voyagers discover remote parts of the world and introduce human civilisation to these snowbound areas, paving the way for extensive exploration of the planet’s more extreme habitats.

Many dog breeds participate in dog sledding, but out of all of these, the Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute are the most commonly used. These Arctic dogs have, over time, been bred to reach the highest levels of endurance and speed in the snow. Dog sled teams can travel at speeds up to 20 miles per hour, and dog sledding is affectionately referred to as “mushing” in the community. Similarly, a person who travels by dog sled is called a “musher”.

Sled dogs are bred and trained under careful conditions and grow up to be amongst the most intelligent animals out there. A sled dog team’s members are separated into four categories according to their position and role in the motion of the sled. Lead dogs, swing dogs, wheel dogs and team dogs all serve a different, skilled purpose in manoeuvring the sled in the correct way.


Plunge into this Exciting New World at Cairngorm Sleddog Centre

Luckily for you, the Cairngorm Sleddog Centre in Aviemore has a sprawling menu of activities involving dog sledding and much more if you'd like to dip yourself into the action. Our hotel is the closest to the sledding centre so you can do away with distance and just jump straight into your itinerary. Immerse yourself in a sled dog safari by helping to prepare a 12-dog team, launch yourself into a training session, take a two-day certified course, and go on sled dog kennel and museum tours. Photo shoots are also available for individuals or groups if you want to capture that magical moment between man and beast on the glistening white carpet.


Embark on the Sledding Adventure Available Nowhere Else in the World

Fancy something that will truly stay with you forever? The Cairngorm Sleddog Centre has been offering the Night Viz Sled Dog Adventure for a couple of seasons, and is the only dog sledding centre in the world to organise this type of night-time ride. Suitable for two people and utilising state-of-the-art night vision glasses, this tour takes you on a rollercoaster trip around some of Scotland’s best mountains and darkly forested areas in the Cairngorms National Park. At just £150 per head, this thrilling activity will have your heart and pulse beating with sheer adrenaline and wonder.  


All this makes for a brilliant January weekend for dog sledding enthusiasts, but with such a varied selection of sled dog liveliness on offer, the Cairngorm Sleddog Centre can welcome you to its friendly quarters all year round. Kids will go weak at the knees at just the sight of the beautiful pack of well-trained Siberian Huskies. With gorgeous, radiant eyes locked in a penetrating gaze contrasted with light-coloured, sublime fur coats, these mutts are truly man’s best friend and amazing petting material for hours on end!


Spend a Relaxing Winter Weekend in Our Expert Care

We’ve given you plenty of pointers for yet another picture-perfect retreat in the Scottish Highlands. With so much enjoyment to be had, cross off one of your New Year’s resolutions and treat yourself to a wholly new experience in the grand natural playground of Aviemore. Book your stay now and come and marvel with us at the rally this January!