With summer on the horizon (okay maybe a little optimistic, but we can hope!) and a spring in our step we leap forward into April. It’s the time of year, in the Cairngorms National Park, when skis are exchanged for kayaks and bobble hats put away into the drawer as the wetsuit is hauled to the front of the wardrobe.
The outdoor enthusiasts in the Park go with the seasons when it comes to activities in the region; but whether you are an outdoor aficionado or a true beginner hoping to try out a new skill, our rivers and lochs provide the ideal starting point for enjoying the water sports. You could find yourself jumping into pools at the bottom of a waterfall, speeding down the white water or taking a leisurely paddle down river. No matter what you fancy, the Cairngorms area has something for everyone.
So, this month, What’s On grabbed our paddles and donned our wetsuits and headed out to get wet…very wet!
River tubing comes from North America where people relax and enjoy the day floating down a mellow river whilst taking in the surrounding sights and sounds. This is, of course, great fun but the Cairngorms National Park has some amazing mountain streams with fast rapids as well as stunning scenery and so the trips
River tubing on the River Spey is terrific for all the family. Wearing a full wetsuit and sitting on the specially designed river tube with padded seat, you can chose to drift serenely along the calm river through the ancient pine trees of Rothiemurchus forest or hit the exciting natural water shoots and rapids. It’s a fantastic activity to try out on your stay and can be rounded off nicely with hot soup and a sarnie, or a freshly baked scone, at the fabulous Druie restaurant café at Rothiemurchus.
Some say that the River Findhorn is one of the best white water rafting sites in Scotland. Couple this with the more majestic River Spey and you have the perfect place for hitting the white water. Rafting is the ideal activity for all the family and it’s also popular with stag and hen groups looking for some thrills and spills.
With the winter snowmelt, rivers can be high and give the perfect conditions for hitting the white water. Rafting trips usually start at 10am and finish about 4pm however many providers can organise bespoke trips to suit your needs.
All you will need to bring is a spare pair of trainers, a towel and a ‘have fun’ attitude. The activity provider will provide you with wetsuit, wetsuit socks, splash suit and all other safety equipment.
With some of the most beautiful lochs in the country all situated in the Cairngorms National Park, and in particular two favourites Loch Insh and Loch Morlich – the golden sandy beach in the mountains – there are plenty of places to take up sailing or windsurfing.
There may still be snow on the mountaintops, there may even be skiers still heading down the pistes, but the lochside can still be incredibly warm. The Lochs’ picturesque surroundings make them a fantastic place to simply chill out and enjoy the region but, if you prefer to stay active, then many of the activity providers provide expert tuition in both sports, allowing you to progress safely and rapidly in your chosen activity. Both Loch Morlich and Loch Insh have dedicated water-sports centres, a beach to relax on and a café to refuel in.
The perfect activity for all ages and levels of experience – what better way to enjoy yourself and learn a new skill into the bargain!?
Take a leap of faith and jump, slide, abseil and zipwire your way down a series of waterfalls and gorges. Canyoning is an adrenalin filled sport that is taking Scotland by storm, and with several providers such as G2, Craggan Outdoors, Full on Adventure, Active Outdoor Pursuits, Ace Adventure, Boots n Paddles and Aquaplay Scotland all providing expert tuition in the Cairngorms National Park there is no better reason to push your limits. With fantastic pool jumps, natural water flumes, abseils through waterfalls and stunning scenery, this is fast becoming the area’s “must do” activity.
All you will need to bring is a spare pair of trainers, a towel and you are provided with a wet suit, wet suit socks, splash suits and all safety equipment. It really is amazing fun and one of the best ways to get your heart pumping whilst you grin broadly and navigate your way down places you would never visit on your own.
So this spring, as the days become longer and warmer and the evenings get lighter, why not Make It Yours and ensure you try something new this year in the Cairngorms National Park? Head to www.visitcairngorms.com and find out everything we have to offer…you won’t believe your eyes!
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