Steam train at Aviemore - the Strathspey Steam Railway
Loch an Eilein, near Aviemore
The Eilein Centre and gallery at Loch an Eilein near Aviemore
Aviemore
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Aviemore is out of doors. Now, by that I don't mean there is a door shortage in the village, merely that it sits outside. As a village that sits outside and offers The Outside Experience, there are lots of things to do, mostly of an outside-ish nature. You can be outside under the sky, outside under trees, outside under a mountain, or outside in some beer garden. The choices are endless. Yet while Aviemore is without doubt an outdoor enthusiast's mecca, visually the village itself is a carbuncle. There appears to have been some sort of half-hearted attempt to create an alpine chalet look, but all the architects and planners have done is to make one long boring modern street with about as much charm as a damp rag.
Some of the area's tourist literature seems to rely quite heavily on a tree; one tree sited fairly fetchingly at the edge of nearby Loch an Eilein. It's a tree that I feel sorry for. There must be a lot of pressure on it to look good all the time. If that tree's having a bad day it still has to perform and come up with the goods. Nicest tree I've seen in a good long while. The land around this tree and around Aviemore is wild and rugged, largely untamed by man, a remote place of steep scree slopes, big bald mountains, corrugated roofs, and large animals that either leap or flap. It can be the bleakest, scariest place on the planet, or the most beautiful landscape you will ever see. It is all of these things. For this is Cairngorms National Park.
STRATHSPEY STEAM RAILWAY
LOCH AN EILEIN
THE EILEIN CENTRE
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How to
GET THERE

You can get a train to Aviemore from Edinburgh or Glasgow Queen Street railway stations.
Scotland’s online tourist guide – tartan hippo logo