Field trips

Field Trips

As one of Europe’s largest national parks, with unique land ownership and management we have a lot to show and tell. However, we have selected a variety of field trips to cover every interest.

Thursday 20 September will be your chance to get outside and explore the Cairngorms National Park.  It is one of the last remaining wildernesses in the UK and a place of sheer abundance. It has more high-level mountain ground than anywhere else in Britain or Ireland, the largest Caledonian forest and some of the UK’s purest rivers. It also hosts 25 percent of the UK’s threatened species.

An exciting programme of field trips, sponsored by Aberdeenshire Council, has been put together to ensure that you experience the best of our national park and find out more about the projects, people, landscapes, species and produce to be found here.

Whether you are up for an adventure in the mountains or a more sedate visitor experience we have a range of Field Trips for all tastes and abilities.

Once you have decided which field-trip you would like to attend, please register here.

There are 16 different field trips for different abilities across the Park

Highland Folk Museum
1. Animals & History of Cairngorms2. Tomintoul & Glenlivet3. Royal Deeside4. Wildlife Watching in the Cairngorms
5. Glen Tanar & Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserves6. Grantown-on-Spey, Nethy Bridge & Boat of Garten7. Atholl Estates8.Forests of the Cairngorms
9. Mar Lodge Estate 10. Off Road Cycling in Glenmore 11. Importance of Peatland, Spittal of Glenmuick12. Glenmore & Ryvoan
13. Lochnagar14. Spey Canoe Trip 15. Lairig Ghru & Cairngorm16. Ben MacDui
Highland Folk Museum

1. Animals and History of Cairngorms

Highland Wildlife Park & Highland Folk Museum

Explore the rich natural and cultural heritage of the Cairngorms National Park. Visit the Highland Wildlife Park to discover Scottish wildlife and endangered animals from the world’s mountains and tundra. In Highland Folk Museum experience how Highland people lived and worked from the 1700s until 1960s. Both visits include walking tours of the sites.


The Still

2. Tomintoul & Glenlivet

A landscape partnership in action

Discover the hidden landscape of Tomintoul and Glenlivet, find out how the Tomintoul & Glenlivet Landscape Partnership is working with the community, local businesses, landowners and agencies to celebrate the rich heritage, improve the environment and develop skills and opportunities for visitors and the community.

Includes a visit to the community led Discovery Centre, the famous Glenlivet Distillery and other projects being delivered by the partnership.


Braemar Castle

3. Royal Deeside

Castles, whisky and culture – Scottish heritage as a tourism product.

Scotland is blessed with a distinctive and vibrant cultural identity that is a huge tourism asset. Travel the Snow Roads Scenic Route to Royal Deeside and discover how cultural heritage underpins the local tourism industry.  Since Queen Victoria first established Balmoral Castle as the Scottish holiday home of the Royal Family in 1852, visitors have flocked to the area to enjoy quintessential Highland scenery, events, castles and whisky.  You can follow in their footsteps as we explore the stunning Braemar Castle, now run as a visitor attraction by the local community and enjoy a ‘wee dram‘ at Royal Lochnagar Distillery in the shadow of Balmoral.


Craigellachie NNR

4. Wildlife Watching in the Cairngorms

The visitor experience in Aviemore & Strathspey

Cairngorms National Park is home to 25% of UK’s rare and endangered species. Learn how we look after these and responsibly share them with visitors. Spend the morning with Speyside Wildlife searching out the nature of the Cairngorms and then the afternoon at Craigellachie National Nature Reserve exploring how visitors learn about the nature of the area.


Burn O' Vat

5. Glen Tanar and Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserves

Nature and people in Aberdeenshire

An opportunity to enjoy the outstanding nature and culture in two quite different National Nature Reserves in Royal Deeside. Muir of Dinnet is managed by Scottish Natural Heritage on behalf of Scottish Government and Glen Tanar is private estate. Both actively encourage visitors while maintaining the natural heritage of this outstanding area.



6. Grantown-on-Spey , Nethy Bridge and Boat of Garten

People, visitors and native woodland

Exploring how three communities benefit from being in a National Park and the work they do to improve their local forests, making them special places for residents, visitors and wildlife.


Blair Castle

7. Atholl Estates

750 years of Highland history and wildlife

Visit the Blair Atholl community and Atholl Estates and experience a 21st century approach to estate management. This area successfully lobbied to join the National Park in 2010.

The journey out will include seeing the landscape benefits of modern electric installation with the journey back visiting Scotland ‘highest’ distillery.


Uath Lochans

8. Forests of the Cairngorms

Discover with experts and enthusiasts the wonders of Scotland’s native Caledonian Pinewoods. The Pinewoods in the Cairngorms National Park are greater in total area and better connected than anywhere else in Scotland.

On this field trip, a variety of locations will be visited providing wonderful viewpoints and a fascinating insight into the management of Forests.


Mar Lodge Estate

9. Mar Lodge Estate

23 years in National Trust for Scotland ownership & now the biggest NNR in Britain

Mar Lodge Estate is Britain’s largest National Nature Reserve. 29,000ha of heather covered moorland, ancient pine forests and arctic-alpine plateau.

The day will offer an insight into a conservation charity’s modern take on managing a Highland estate. Discover how management of Britain’s newest National Nature Reserve is delivering landscape-scale conservation balancing the needs of tourism, sporting management and ecosystem restoration.


Loch Morlich

10. Off Road Cycling in Glenmore

Share an experience enjoyed by 13% of our visitors.

Glenmore is the most popular destination in the National Park. Part of the largest continuous area of natural and semi natural native woodland in the UK it is a stronghold for rare and endangered species.

Come on a Mountain Bike Ride through native pine woodland along a network of paths and tracks developed to allow visitors to access the beautiful landscape.  

The trip will give you the opportunity to learn about how the area is managed to allow visitors, businesses and nature to co-exist in an area of high environmental designation.



11. Importance of Peatland, Spittal of Glenmuick

Upland management and peatlands

Learn how restoring our peatland is a major new way of improving nature in Cairngorms and safeguarding our future.  An easy 9km walk (ascent 250m) up the Capel Road with stunning views over Loch Muick and onto Royal Lochnagar. Walking across an upland peatland site under restoration to explore current upland management issues and also research on carbon emissions.



12. Glenmore and Ryvoan

Ascent of  Meall a Bhuachaille in Glenmore National Nature Reserve

A hill walking ascent of Meall a Bhuachaille mountain (8.5 km with 550m of ascent) through some of the best native woodland in Scotland, with great views of Cairngorms. Visits to Forest Visitor Centre, National Outdoor Sports Centre and a Highland ‘Bothy’.



13. Lochnagar

New ways of managing an outstanding Estate that involves people

Take Snow Roads Scenic Route to Royal Lochnagar and enjoy the outstanding landscape of this area. Walking 13km, we’ll ascend 930m to the summit of this iconic Munro, sharing more about the unique relationships between nature, culture, history, landscape and management on a Royal Estate within the Cairngorms National Park. The Balmoral ranger service and our volunteer rangers will be a key part of the day.



14. Spey Canoe Trip

Loch Insh to Aviemore

Canoe trip down a section of the River Spey from Loch Insh to Aviemore in open canoes. This river vital for nature, salmon fishing and recreation and this can present both opportunities and challenges. The trip starts at Loch Insh, home to both Ospreys and one of our outdoor activity centres, as well as stunning views of Cairngorm mountains and forests.  Along the way there will be the chance to canoe, chat, enjoy the river and try some malt whisky.


Lairig Ghru

15. Lairig Ghru & Cairngorm

A walk through native woodland into the ‘wild land of Cairngorms’

An ascent of Cairngorm the ‘most famous’  mountain in the National Park. The route follows established mountain paths passing through pine woods and heather moorland onto the high plateau rimmed by glaciated corries. The day will finish with a visit to CairnGorm Mountain: winter ski area and summer visitor attraction.

bootboot boot

Ben Macdui

16. Ben MacDui

Ascent of highest mountain in Cairngorms

Ben Macdui is the second highest mountain in Britain. Approaching it from Speyside involves crossing the vast and exposed Cairngorm plateau, a rolling arctic wilderness (17.5km 900m of ascent). This is an opportunity to experience the wild artic landscape of Cairngorms National Park.