- Friday 27th Nov 2015
- Posted in activities, attractions, families, highlands, holiday home spotlight, holiday ideas, self-catering, sport, wildlife
The Cairngorm National Park is the go to place for all manner of outdoor activities. Whatever pace you like to play, it is reassuring to know that you have a comfortable, good quality place to retreat to at the end of the day. Heath Cottage, in Boat of Garten, is one such place that sleeps 6 in comfort. We spoke to owner Nick Morgan about the cottage and the world around it.
Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about Heath Cottage?
Heath Cottage is 3 star STB rated and rated excellent by our customers on Trip Advisor. Based in Boat of Garten in the heart of the magnificent Cairngorm National Park, the cottage is a favourite with many families. We have been welcoming people to our cottage for the last 15 years and have many returning year after year.
Boat of Garten is known as The Osprey Village. Why is that?
The heather clad hills and native woodland around the village sustain all manner of wildlife. In fact, that is one of the main reasons that people come and stay here. The National Park is home to 25% of Britain’s most threatened species. Any one day you could see anything from red squirrels to golden eagles and of course ospreys!
You’re very near Aviemore, which is pretty much the outdoor sports capital of the country. Can you tell us about some of the activities people come to take part in?
There are so many, it would be difficult to list them all and naturally it changes from season to season. However the varied activities range from mountain biking, clay pigeon shooting, weaseling, zip wiring to mountaineering, walking climbing and winter sports. Throughout the year, visitors come to the area for the hills. In fact The National Park has 5 of the 6 highest mountains in Scotland, including Ben Macdhui, Braeriach and of course Cairn Gorm itself.
As soon as the snow falls it’s all about skiing and snowboarding. With its 30 km of ski runs the Cairngorm slopes are busy often until April. Cairngorm generally has the longest season in the country. It has 11 ski lifts and of course the funicular railway, which is in use all year round.
What about less high-octane pursuits?
There are numerous opportunities to take part in water sports from kayaking to windsurfing. The area has some of the finest fishing in the country on the River Spey, there are numerous golf courses, including Boat of Garten’s very own 18-hole course, designed by legendary golfer, James Braid.
For families, there is an endless range of activities including the Strathspey Steam Railway, a 9 and a half mile stretch of railway between Aviemore and Broomhill and the Highland Wildlife Park, home to snow leopards, grey wolves and Scotland’s only polar bears, as well as Landmark Adventure Forest Park.