Author Topic: Flying visit to Scotland - Aarochar / Gkencoe or Aviemore  (Read 500 times)

tillster

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I'm looking into a post-lockdown long weekend in Scotland in Sept, flying into Edinburgh Airport on Friday at around 7pm.


Because of the flight time, and the desire to have a dram before bed, our eventual destination of Arrochar / Glencoe / Aviemore  (or The Drovers / Clachaig, Old Bridge Inn :) )  shouldn't be more than 2 1/2 hours away.


I know Glencoe well but it's also the furthest away.


Arrochar appeals due to the Alps, but Aviemore is the unknown option for me, and here comes the 1st question:


Are there any walks around Aviemore than are akin to Glencoe / Arrochar Alps? We'd like some elevation and drama and don't mind a mild scramble to get there.


Secondly, if it's Arrochar (cos of shorter driving distance and Alps) does anyone have a suggestion for accommodation and / or food? Ive been to the Drovers before but I'd happily try something else.


I posted here rather than the Scotland forum as they're such fluffy questions.


Thanks for any advice or suggestions!
« Last Edit: 09:08:44, 28/03/21 by tillster »

Sevenup

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For Arrochar, which is closest, itís probably worth looking at Airbnb for a while. Iím not sure that many local hotels have survived in the area. (Many of them appear to have relied on bus tours to keep them busy and profitable. I donít think thatís going to return quickly) There are also Forest Holidays lodges at Ardgarten. Shopping in Dumbarton, balloch or Helensburgh which are close to your route from the airport (assuming passing through Glasgow).


I suspect Glencoe and the fort William area might offer a bit more variety in accommodation but Iím only familiar with stuff you meet on the West Highland Way.


Aviemore has a significant amount of walking in the Cairngorms with a good supply of accommodation from youth and private hostels to decent hotels. We like the Boat at Boat of Garten. The Nethybridge hotel is a bit further away but used to be a reasonably priced budget hotel. Aviemore, itself, has a broad choice of self catering, Airbnb, guest house/B and B as well as hotels. Bus service to the car parks on Cairngorm when itís open (closed at the moment). Walkhighlands site has multiple options in the area fir walking. Iíve walked the Lairig ghru and climbed/ walked a few Munros there. More that enough to keep you busy.
 Aviemore has plenty of pubs and restaurants as well as a range of shops from outdoor gear to supermarkets with Aldi and Tesco.
I would say that Aviemore is well worth the extra effort to get to. Roads to it from central belt are very good but flying in to Inverness might be possible/desirable depending where youíre coming from

richardh1905

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The Cairngorms are wonderful, but are different in character to the Glencoe hills and the Arrochar Alps - the tops of the granite mountains are rounded and form a plateau, deeply cut by cliff bound corries and passes, giving you long days on the hill (or better still, multiple days). There's also the wonderful glens, Glen Feshie for example, and the ancient Caledonian Pine Forest - walking through that is a unique experience.

There are a couple of trip reports to give you some idea - I wild camped, but variations could be done in a day if you are feeling fit. Plenty of others if you do a search on the forum.

https://wildaboutwalking.wordpress.com/highlands/braeriach-wild-camp/
https://wildaboutwalking.wordpress.com/highlands/glen-feshie-wild-camp/

And here is the Loch Morlich webcam - this gives views of the Cairngorms and the forests, as well as the lovely sandy beach!
https://www.lochmorlich.com/webcam


I camped at Ardgarten many years ago, handy for the Arrochar Alps, a bit less handy for the Arrochar pubs!


Also, do consider Tyndrum as a weekend base, easier to get to than Glencoe, and there are lots of excellent hills nearby to have a crack at. We had a mini break in a camping pod there late last summer, but there is plenty of accommodation choice. And a decent pub. This was our best walk:

https://wildaboutwalking.wordpress.com/highlands/stob-a-choire-odhair/
« Last Edit: 09:25:51, 28/03/21 by richardh1905 »
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richardh1905

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I would say that Aviemore is well worth the extra effort to get to. Roads to it from central belt are very good but flying in to Inverness might be possible/desirable depending where youíre coming from


Yes, Aviemore is fairly easy to get to from Edinburgh Airport, just over the Forth Road Bridge and away. As you say, the roads north are very good.
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tillster

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Thanks for the suggestions chaps (I'm gonna assume you're chaps!)


Excellent point about the hotels: I'd seen that Drovers Inn site was down, and just assumed - rather unthoughtfully, in hindsight- that they'd be up and running as soon a restrictions were lifted.


The other  places I've looked at seem to have survived thus far. Fingers crossed for all of them.


Either way - directions and accommodations will be fine, something will present itself. It's more the hikes themselves which are the tipping point


Been having a wee look at Ben Macdui and Cair Gorm which looks like a fun day, but the geology of the Highlands doesn't lend itself to quite so many fun options as the west. I'll keep looking through WalkHighlands


I'll also have a sit down and read Richards blog later this evening in search of inspiration, but in the meantime: thanks for the help




Patrick1

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I'd agree with Richard about the different - more rounded - character of the Cairngorms in general. One two day walk from Aviemore I have had my eye on, though, which looks at least from the map as if it would have the craggy drama of a west coast walk is to head towards the Lairig Ghru, but just before reaching it head up the ridge to the west to summit Sron na Lairige, then follow that ridge over Braeriach, Angel's Peak and Carn Toul, eventually dropping down above the Corrour bothy in Coire Odhar. You could then follow the Lairig Ghru itself back - or, if fitter than I am(!), could include Ben Macdui on the return leg. You could either camp high near the Pools of Dee, or after you've dropped down into the Lairig Ghru itself.

vghikers

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Aviemore is a good choice for accessibility with good roads and facilities/services.
Quote
Been having a wee look at Ben Macdui and Cair Gorm which looks like a fun day, but the geology of the Highlands doesn't lend itself to quite so many fun options as the west.

I'm not sure about fun options - though I do (or rather did) enjoy some scrambling - dramatic walking doesn't need extreme spikiness and rockiness. Our two Cairngorms backpacks (here and here) are among the best we've ever done, breathtaking mountain scenery with easy walking and cragginess at the edges.
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One two day walk from Aviemore I have had my eye on, though, which looks at least from the map as if it would have the craggy drama of a west coast walk is to head towards the Lairig Ghru, but just before reaching it head up the ridge to the west to summit Sron na Lairige, then follow that ridge over Braeriach, Angel's Peak and Carn Toul, eventually dropping down above the Corrour bothy in Coire Odhar.

You're right  :)



andybr

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Crianlarich or Pitlochry might also be worth looking at. There are a lot of good day walks accessible directly by car and they are both closer to Edinburgh than either Glencoe or the Cairngorms.

tillster

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......head up the ridge to the west to summit Sron na Lairige, then follow that ridge over Braeriach, Angel's Peak and Carn Toul, eventually dropping down above the Corrour bothy in Coire Odhar. You could then follow the Lairig Ghru itself back - or, if fitter than I am(!), could include Ben Macdui on the return leg. You could either camp high near the Pools of Dee, or after you've dropped down into the Lairig Ghru itself.

.....unless there are in fact two Angels Ridges in the area, and therefore the Angels Ridge to which you refer is the one in the video below at around 8:30 then I think it's fair to say that I'm looking for something just a little less "fun" than that ;D

Thanks for the tips: I'll get the OS out in due course and have a shuftie at the options you've mentioned.

https://youtu.be/mYd2B3R8ykw

Crianlarich or Pitlochry might also be worth looking at. There are a lot of good day walks accessible directly by car and they are both closer to Edinburgh than either Glencoe or the Cairngorms.

Thanks - I'll take a look



« Last Edit: 13:05:31, 29/03/21 by tillster »

vizzavona

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Some good advice given.   That NE Ridge up to Sgor an Lochain Uaine is well worth a visit. :)
Looks like Alba is going to be popular this year. :)

tillster

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The more I look at these write-ups you've all posted, the more I'm sure we'll have fun in the Cairngorms


As I've never been, it seems about time that I try it out.



Plus, as a slight bonus, the Old Bridge Inn in Aviemore is normally open til around 1am so we have enough time to get there for a few nightcap without having to race from the airport


Thanks for the links

Sevenup

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I donít think youíll regret that

snoopdawg

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If you are doing a route onto the Cairngorm/ Macdui plateau there are two decent routes onto the plateau, the Fiacaill ridge gives a gives a good scramble or the goat track up through Coire an t - Sneachda.


If you are on Ben Macdui and maybe considering going over the plateau to Cairngorm instead of heading by the marked track its worth going off track and heading over to Carn Etchachan and the Shelter stone crag. Classic Cairngorm scenery over Lochs Etchachan and Avon. You regain the main track by going around the top of the coire.
[size=78%]Scottish trip 25/05/2017 to 29/05/2017 (walkingforum.co.uk)[/size]   ignore the third photo ,it is Creag Megaidh





richardh1905

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The more I look at these write-ups you've all posted, the more I'm sure we'll have fun in the Cairngorms


Good call; you won't regret it.


For years I used to flog past on the A9, on my way to what I mistakenly thought of as better mountains
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Sevenup

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Iíve been going there when the ski road was single track with passing places and the Aviemore centre was being built. Coylumbridge or Loch Morlich campsite for 2 weeks. Helping with the Reindeer and trudging the hills looking for the beasts. Fantastic area to walk.