Things To Do In Inverness-shire

Cairngorms National Park & Beyond

Steading 5 Balvatin Cottages is a fantastic base for the many outdoor activities and visitor attractions in the Cairngorm National Park and beyond. The Cairngorm National Park is the largest in the United Kingdom and where dramatic mountain landscapes and challenging walks can be found. The National Park is home to a quarter of Scotland’s native forest, a quarter of all rare and endangered wildlife species in the UK, and has a third of the UK’s land above 600m. Over 50 of Scotland's 282 Munros ( mountains over 3000 feet high) can be found within the Cairngorm National Park. Providing dramatic landscapes and wide empty spaces to enjoy and explore. The lochs, forests and wildlife also mean that there are plenty of lower-level, accessible walks in the Cairngorms to allow everyone to enjoy the area.   It is the perfect spot to walk, cycle, swim, canoe or ski! 

  • Newtonmore has excellent walking for all abilities. Popular local walks start from Steading 5; we provide guides and maps to help you choose. 
  • The Wildcat Trail is a 6 mile (10km) sign-posted path around the outskirts of Newtonmore and gives a great introduction to the area. 
  • Come watch Newtonmore play the exciting Highland game of shinty from March to October.
  • The Newtonmore Golf Club is in the village centre and the course runs along side the magnificent River Spey. Visitors are very welcome.
  • Watersports are available at Loch Insh Watersports (Kincraig) and Loch Morlich, near Aviemore. Sailing, windsurfing, canoeing and activity days are available.
  • Skiing and sledging are popular in the winter months on the Cairngorm mountain.
  • Fishing on the River Spey (with a locally available permit), swimming, playing tennis, watching shinty matches and bowling are all available in Newtonmore. 
  • Details of local visitor attractions, places to eat and walking are available on the village website:
  • Hire a bicycle and explore the many off road cycleways in the area.


Dalwhinnie Distillery Tours
Dalwhinnie Distillery Tours

Dalwhinnie distillery is a short drive south from Newtonmore and a guided tour will give you an insight into whisky production in the Scottish Highlands.   Take the fascinating distillery tour that gives you an explanation of the traditional art of malt whisky distilling. It ends with a tasting of the whisky accompanied by chocolates ( for the non drivers!). Plenty of free parking and a large onsite shop to buy that essential souvenir of your visit.

Open daily Monday-Sunday
Check for details on pricing here         Tel: 01540 672219


The Wildcat Experience and Trail Newtonmore

Ice Cool Cat

Try a treasure hunt with a difference in and around Newtonmore! Over 130 life-sized painted models of Scottish wildcats are hidden around the village and along the Wildcat Trail which encircles it.  All the cats are decorated in different colours and have their own characters such our very own Ice Cool Cat ( above) , Cat-a-ract, Paws for Thought and many more.   They are tucked behind hedges, in gardens or on roofs.  See how many you can track down! Certificates and small prizes are offered from the Wildcat Centre in the Main Street for those who find them.  A Wildcat Experience pack which includes a bag and a map  is available from the Wildcat Centre to help you on your search. 

Wildcat Centre is open in the Spring and Summer seasons. The Trackpack can also be purchased from the Post Office.

Main Street Newtonmore PH20 1DD   Tel 01540 673131

Highland Folk Museum, Newtonmore
Highland Folk Museum - Newtonmore

Step back in history at this award winning living museum complete with a 1700s township, a working croft and a 1930s sweetie shop, plus steam powered saw mill and examples of local shops including a tweed shop. During the summer there is often displays of how Highlanders lived, produced their food and built their houses.  This museum is a must for young and old.   The large play park is very popular with our younger guests and wonderful mountain views for the parents to enjoy!    A large free car park and plenty of friendly welcoming staff to explain the exhibits make this a great outing.   How about learning how use a pen and ink in the old school room or butter making in the 1930s farm yard.   An onsite cafe with plenty of outside seating provides snacks, lunches or simply a cup of tea or coffee. 

Open daily from Easter to October       Free entry and easy walk from Steading 5  

 Tel. 01540 673551  PH20 1AY  

Highland Wildlife Park, Kincraig
Highland Wildlife Park - Kincraig

Home to over 200 species of animals including tigers, polar bears and wolves. Worth going for the views across the Spey valley alone!  Many acres of land and home to huge variety of animals, large and small.  Drive through the park viewing the larger animals before parking in the free car park to explore the smaller animals on foot.  Time your visit to incorporate regular talks by the animal keepers and feeding times.   Don't forget your camera! 

Open daily    Tel. 01540 651270            Kincraig  PH21 1NL


Strathspey Steam Railway, Aviemore

Steam Train on the platform in Aviemore

A favourite family friendly day out with our holiday guests is to take the Strathspey steam train 5 miles along the dedicated track to Boat of Garten and walk back along the well marked Speyside Way.  Alternatively book a lunch or afternoon tea on board and enjoy viewing the spectualar scenery whilst enjoying a seat on the train all the way to Broomhill and back.    Tickets can be booked online via their website

Aviemore          Tel. 01479 810725        PH22 1PY 


Loch Insh Outdoor Activities, Kincraig

Loch Insh Outdoor Activities  River Spey

Kincraig is  just 7 miles away prides itself in providing watersports activities, cycling, skiing and snowboarding in and around the stunning Loch Insh. Why not try the decent of the Spey from Kingussie to Kincraig?  A see a bit of Highland history as you glide past Ruthven Barracks.   The staff at Loch Insh are very helpful and tuition is always available plus a cafe to enjoy your post sports activities .  Booking is recommended.

Loch Insh Kincraig      Tel 01540 651272