Self Catering Cottage, near Tomintoul in the Scottish Highlands
Shopping and Local Services
Tomintoul is a pleasant village 1.5 miles to the north. There are several places to eat in the village including cafe's, hotel bars and a restaurant.
The Post Office doubles as a small general store. In addition there is an art gallery and a couple of gift shops. The very comprehensive Whisky Shop is easy to find on the main street.
At the south end of the village there is an excellent adventure park for children, next to the Glenlivet Visitor Centre.
The tourist information centre is open in summer season, and has a small, but interesting museum.
Tomintoul Highland Gamesare held on the 3rd Sunday of July - 2016 is their 175th.
The pretty town ofGrantown-on-Spey is 14 miles to the north and provides larger and more varied shops including a baker, butcher, sweetshop, large co-op, hardware, bike shop and even a pet shop. There are riverside walks, golf, kids pottery studio and a museum. Fuel and banks available. There is a public swimming pool, phone 01479870281 for up-to-date opening times.
Aviemore is 45 minutes to the north west and is well known for its wide variety of outdoor activities. It has a large supermarket, comprehensive range of shops, swimming pools, museums, wildlife parks and rail links.
If arriving into Scotland from Aberdeen airport, groceries and essentials can be collected on route to the cottage in the town of Huntly where Asda offer a 'click and collect service' (bring your own bags), or similarly Tesco in Inverurie or Huntly.
The Glenlivet Bike Trail Centre are situated a few miles north of the cottage and provide blue and red marked mountain bike trails. A pdf leaflet of the area can be downloaded from their website or purchased in Tomintoul or at the Bike Centre itself for £1 They also have a cafe and rent bikes.
The Lecht Skills Park is 10 minutes south of the cottage and during the summer months offers 2 mountain bike downhill trails, a red and a blue, both of which have chair lift access. It also has a bike skills park.
Additionally there are many marked trails in the area suitable for biking.
Photos below were taken on the Glenlivet Trails - thanks to Paul Masson of Cycle Therapy who designed the trails.
There is free fishing for brown trout on the Conglass River which runs just minutes walk from the cottage. The Conglass is a small river and although it can offer up decent sized fish occasionally, it is really better suited for children, fishing with a line from the Lagganvoulin bridge (2 minutes walk from the cottage).
More serious fishers can try for salmon/sea trout on the Avon (pronounced A'an). Permits (beat specific) are available in Tomintoul from either the Post Office or the Glenavon Hotel.
The Glenlivet website has useful pdf leaflet on fishing in the area.
Permits for the River Spey are available from Mortimers on the High Street in Grantown.
NB Salmon Season 12th Feb-30th Sept. Trout 15th March-30th Sept.
The cottage is surrounded by wildlife, much of which will readily come into the garden. We have pheasants feeding at the bird table as well as thrush, mistle thrush, nut hatches, wrens, finches, gold finch, sisken and the other more common garden birds. We have regular sightings of a heron near the bridge. Over the winter and spring we have seen juvenile golden eagles soaring, and owls can also be seen/heard in the twilight. Stoats, hare, deer and voles are not irregular visitors in the garden. At least one otter has been seen in the stream, and our stately fir trees, attract occasional red squirrels to the garden. The Cairngorm National Park is where much of BBCs 'Winterwatch' is filmed. There is a Reindeer Visitor Centre near Aviemore and a Falconry centre near Huntly. Glenlivet Wildlife offer year round landrover safaris and guided walks. These photos are all taken in the garden.
Short walks can be enjoyed from the cottage in the adjacent fields and woodland - simply wandering through the trees in search of deer, or climbing beyond the tree line for a wider view over the Cairngorms. There is a viewpoint on the hill behind the cottage which can be navigated from the garden, or by driving 5 minutes to the car park at Glen Mulliach (Glenlivet nature trails). There is a scenic 30 minute walk into the village along the Old Military Road. Several short walking routes are mapped out around Tomintoul itself and there is a spur of the Speyside Way heading north out of the village. The wider Cairngorm area has many marked walking routes to explore. The nearest Munros are Ben Avon and Beinn a´Bhuird accessible from Tomintoul, albeit with a long walk-in (Walk Highlands). The Munro Society may also be about to declare another Munro on the Ben A'n plateau.
Local Cairngorm Treks organise full or half day guided treks in the area and can even provide some kit if you aren't fully prepared for walking.
Skiing - with less than a 10 minute drive south to the Lecht Ski Centre , the cottage provides a great base for skiing/boarding in winter. The Lecht is reknowned for good family skiing being a relatively contained snow field, with both the car park and nursery slopes (with magic carpet) just a short slide away from the ticket office/cafe/toilets/ski school - excellent for total beginners and improvers. Additionally, the Estate has a way-marked cross-country ski track (free to use if there is sufficient snow). This can be reached from the cottage on foot, and is a pretty walk when there is no snow to ski on. Cairngorm Ski Centre, west of Aviemore is a 40 minute drive away for a larger ski area and longer runs.
Riding - Tomintoul Riding Centre can arrange hacks for all levels of experience from 1hr to full days - THIS INFORMATION IS AWAITING CONFIRMATION
Golf - Grantown on Spey Golf Club is the nearest of several golf courses in the area.
Whisky - the nearest of the many distilleries are the small Tomintoul Distillery, and the famous Glenlivet Distillery and Visitors Centre. There are of course numerous distilleries along the Spey (Speyside Whisky Trail)
Steam Railway - The Whisky Line - which travels the 40 minute journey between Keith and Dufftown. For 2015 it will be running until 27th Sept. Dogs and cycles carried at guards discretion. Look out for special events. There is also a steam railway service between Broomhill and Aviemore, going through Boat of Garten which offers many interesting options for biking, hiking, paddling and eating!
Children - Many of the above activities are child friendly and there is lots of exploring for children in the garden and the immediate surroundings. Additionally there is an excellent adventure playground in the village, which includes a substantial wooden maze. There is a ceramic 'Smarty Art' in Grantown. Landmark Adventure Forest offers an extremely varied experience for children and is just a 40 minute scenic drive away. Both the Highland Wildlife park, and the exceptional outdoor Highland Museum are an hour´s drive away in Kingussie and would both be interesting to all ages.
An up-to-date packet of information leaflets about local visitor attractions and activities is provided
Welcome to Lagganvoulin