Top 5 Free Activities to Do in Aviemore This Autumn
Spending a day out and about doesn’t have to include spending a lot of money. Although there are more than plenty of activities in and around Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands that will require you to dip into your pocket, there is also a whole range of activities you can do without spending a penny.
Keep reading for five of our favourite free activities in Aviemore this autumn.
1. Get your camera out
You don’t have to be an experienced photographer or have the latest equipment to take some stunning autumnal photos of Aviemore and the surroundings. If you’re after beautiful sceneries to capture on film your choices are endless. Being surrounded by Britain’s biggest National Park, Cairngorms, means that you’ve got massive mountain ranges, native forests, lochs and moorlands on your doorstep. All you have to do is to choose one of the park’s many walking routes and get creative!
If you’re more interested in wild animal photography you’ve also come to the right place. 25% of the UK’s endangered species are found in the Cairngorms National Park, and there are plenty of opportunities to spot animals. There are organised tours, but just going for a wander in the woods is likely to get you eye to eye with a red squirrel and plenty of different bird species. A great place to see some birdlife in autumn is Loch Garten, where whooper swans, mallards, teals, goldeneyes and more will be hanging around. If you’re lucky you might also catch a glimpse of red and roe deer.
2. Explore Rothiemurchus Estate
Rothiemurchus is a Highland Estate only 5 minutes from Aviemore that has been welcoming visitors since the late 18th century, and one of the finest outdoor recreation centres in the North of Scotland. There are plenty of activities for individuals, families and groups to enjoy, including free ones. The estate welcomes you to explore the footpaths, cycle trails and abundant wildlife, provided that you do so in a responsible manner.
One of the hotspots at Rothiemurchus is Loch an Eilein (Gaelic for loch of the island) with an island with a picturesque 13th century castle. The Loch an Eilein Gallery that showcases work by local artists is also worth a visit. The trail around the loch is easy and will take you around 1-1,5 hours. Be aware that there is a small parking fee at the visitor centre.
3. Visit the Highland Folk Museum
An excellent way of getting to know how life was for peoples in the Scottish Highlands back in the days is to pay a visit to the Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore, 16 miles from Aviemore. In autumn the museum is open daily from 11.00 am to 4.30 pm throughout September and October, and admission is free.
The collections show how our Scottish Highland ancestors lived and worked, how they dressed, how they farmed their land and how they built their houses – from the 1700s to the present day. When you’ve visited the museum you can also explore the beautiful surroundings where you might bump into red squirrels and tree creepers. All in all this is a great place for a fun and educational family day out.
4. Discover the town of Aviemore
The best way to get to know the beautiful town of Aviemore is by foot, and thankfully, there are several short marked paths to choose from. At the Visitor Centre you can pick up a leaflet that covers five paths in Aviemore with a total distance of 3¾ miles (6km). Finishing them all will take you around two hours.
The longest path is the Viewpoint trail (2¾ miles or 4.5km) to Craigellachie, from where you’ll get some of the best views of Aviemore. The River Spey trail (1 mile or 1.6km) starts at the Old Bridge Inn and follows the picturesque river Spey. The short Lochan trail (½ mile or 800 m) is suitable for wheelchairs and takes you around the banks of Loch Puladdern.
To learn more about this lovely Highland town, read our previous post about The History of Aviemore.
5. Get to know the Cairngorms National Park
Last but not least, make sure you spend as much time as possible exploring the wonders of the Cairngorms if you’re in our part of the world. The park is home to endangered species, castles, historic sites and breweries, as well as a hub for sports and adventure activities. Activities include watersports, snowsports, bungee and sleddog trips, but also an abundance of free paths and trails of all levels of difficulty. There are mountain walks, hill walks, moorland walks, forest walks and you name it. An experience not to be missed!
Spend less with our fantastic autumn offer!
Unfortunately we can’t offer you free accommodation in Aviemore, but our special autumn offer at Hilton Coylumbridge is a pretty good deal! The offer includes a two-night midweek stay with breakfast and dinner on both days, as well as a lovely bottle of crisp Prosecco per room to get your stay off to a good start. All this from only £79 per room per night! We still have selected dates available, so book your autumn break now.