ULTIMATE CAIRNGORM TRAIL
7 days riding, 1 day off, 7 nights accommodation
Riding Difficulty: Difficult (click for more information)
Approximate Distance Covered: 140 miles
The listed price includes accomodation, meals (B, L, D).
Please note, this route requires that all riders must be able to ride at walk, trot, canter. Terrain can sometimes be boggy or steep and guests may have to lead their own horse periodically. Riders are encourage to help out with the morning routine of catching, feeding, grooming and saddling the horses for the day.
Murley to Glen Esk: 15 Miles
We start our ride at our secluded riding centre set in the heart of Royal Deeside. The trail takes us up through heather and bracken as we leave the rolling hills and farmland of Aberdeenshire behind. The trail winds its way through Caledonian pine forest as we venture to the Forest of Birse.
Glen Esk to Glen Muick: 17 miles
The scenery gets much wilder today as we ride into the glens, past the Queens Well where Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were refreshed by the spring water. We then ride on through the hills high on to the shoulder of Mount Keen, the most easterly of the Munros (mountains over 3000ft or 914 metres) a cone shaped hill, rising above vast swathes of empty, bleak moorland with extensive views on a good day. We drop down into Glen Tanar, then climb again for more stunning views, before descending into Glen Muick, where we finish for the night.
n the distance, we see a majestic castle peaking out between the trees. The terrain opens in front of us and ahead our trail can be seen climbing up over the hill pass. IHere, we pick up the Fungle road which is an ancient right of way that connects Aboyne to the Angus glens. It was one of the most important mounth roads in the area and was frequented by cattle drovers and whisky smugglers alike. Our path gradually gets smaller and small rivers cross the path in front of us as we get higher. The view below is absolutely breathtaking, with uninterrupted views over Glencat and beyond. In the distance, we can see the small hill where we started in the morning. Keep an eye out for soaring eagles above as we reach the top of the hill pass. We descend into Glen Esk.
Glen Muick to Glen Doll: 21 miles
We head back into the forest, this time following the river as it tumbles it’s way to Ballater. We have lunch at the head of Loch Muick, before climbing again high above the loch for stunning views all around. The views are absolutely amazing from the top of the trail – one of my favourite views in Scotland! We dismount to descent on a steep stalkers path, then drive out to spend the night at Glen Doll. A good day to look out for Eagles and Red Deer today.
Glen Doll to Ballater: 15 miles
Taking the ancient, Capel Mounth trail, we climb high onto the hills following a high level trail just below the ridge of the hangmans hill. We ride beneath Lochnagar with it’s towering crags, then
descend to the forest of Balmoral Estate, the Queens summer residence. We spend the night at Ballater.
Today is a well earned day off! Guests can explore the local craft shops, stroll by the river or go to visit Balmoral Castle (the queen's residence in Scotland.)
Ballater to Braemar: 24 miles
We ride today on good trails through the forests beside the river on Royal Deeside, riding through Balmoral Estate to the pretty village of Braemar, then on to beautiful Mar Lodge, where we leave the ponies for the night. We head into Braemar for the night.
Braemar to Glenmore: 21 miles
We start our day riding through pretty Glen Lui with it’s native pine forests, watching for Black Grouse, before climbing high into the hills. The path gets rockier as we ride through the pass before we climb again, high onto Bynack with it’s alpine tundra flora and fauna – look out for Ptarmigan in amongst the hoards of Red Grouse! The views up here are stunning and far reaching and we eventually descend to the Ryvoan pass with it’s mysterious, deep green fairy loch before finishing our ride at Glenmore. We transport everyone to Aviemore where we spend a final night together.
Glenmore to Aviemore: 12 miles
We ride through the beautiful Caledonian pine forests of Glenmore, beside tumbling streams and pretty lochs (including Loch an Eilean with its’s castle on an island) and finish about mid-afternoon, taking our guests back to Aviemore, from where there are good bus and train links to all major Scottish
cities and beyond.
Price: 3176 GBP
Price based on sharing a twin or double room - single rooms may be available (but cannot be guaranteed) at an extra cost of 450 GBP however if you are travelling alone and willing to share a room, we often have other riders doing the same who are happy to keep costs down by sharing with another lone traveller of the same sex and wherever possible we try to match sharers by age etc too. Payment can be made by cheque, bank transfer or credit/debit card via PayPal below. Please contact us if you require our bank details for transfer.
Please email or phone us to check availability on the ride before paying deposits.