Rothiemurchus Estate

Top choice in The Cairngorms

The Rothiemurchus Estate, which extends from the River Spey at Aviemore to the Cairngorm summit plateau, is famous for having one of Scotland’s largest remnants of Caledonian forest, the ancient forest of Scots pine that once covered most of the country. The forest is home to a large population of red squirrels, and is one of the last bastions of the capercaillie and the Scottish wildcat.

The Rothiemurchus Centre, a mile southeast of Aviemore along the B970, sells an Explorer Map detailing more than 50 miles of footpaths and cycling trails, including the wheelchair-accessible 4-mile trail around Loch an Eilein, with its ruined castle and peaceful pine woods.