North east Scotland can be a cold, rainy, windblown land with sudden changes of weather, so come prepared for any weather to Cairngorms National Park. The landscape includes rivers, hills, heath, moors, woods, mountains and Artic tundra. Even more spectacular are the creatures that live and thrive in Cairngorms. They include the extremely rare golden eagle, the cute Scottish crossbill, the impressive black capercaillie, badgers, water voles, otters, wildcats, freshwater pearl mussel (a kind of little shellfish), lampreys and the red squirrel. The little ginger rodent with curly tail and tufted ears was once common throughout all of the British Isles. The North American grey squirrel seems to have taken over Britain, but they have never been interested in coming to Cairngorms. About twenty five percent of all the UK’s endangered species can be found in one of their last strongholds in Cairngorms.
Even more surprising are the small villages and communities of human beings who live in Cairngorms in the most environmentally friendly way they can. They hope to show that progress can be made for meeting Scotland’s growing housing demands without having to pave over every inch of nature. Some of these communities have their own unique history, crafts and events which brings an extra dimension to Cairngorms as a home for all species in Scotland.
If you are not into nature watching, there are still plenty of activities to get you to Cairngorms. There is pony trekking, hiking, climbing, skiing, shooting and, believe it or not, stalking. There are a lot of red and roe deer in Cairngorms, as well as rabbits. With the lack of predators, these nibblers are naturally going to Cairngorms’ trees and vegetation for food. Sadly, there does seem to be a need for a cull of deer and rabbits and so a-hunting we will go to Cairngorms. Depending on the weather, many water sports are available at the Park such as water-skiing, windsurfing and boating.
Scotland does not require any additional passports or paperwork to enter if you can already get to England. You may have to change your money into Scottish pounds, which is worth slightly less than an English pound. Lots of places in Scotland accept English currency, as well as Euros and internationally known credit cards.
There are several transportation systems you can take to get to Cairngorms, but once in the park, there are not a lot of roads. You will be expected to travel by boat, bike, horse or foot. There are sometimes bus tours. Be sure to check with the Cairngorms Park Authority or Scotland Visitor’s Bureau for the latest events and news.