Walking in the Cairngorms

Over 100 walks, trails and scrambles including Lochnagar

By Ronald Turnbull

Guidebook describing a selection of over 100 walks in the Cairngorms National Park and Lochnagar, covering low-level, mid-level and mountain routes (including 18 Munro summits) and both day walks and multi-day treks. From gentle sandy trails to rocky scrambles, the routes suit most abilities, taking in mountains, forests, lochs and moorland.



snow on tops December-April. May/June best for all routes. July/August bring midges and heat


Aviemore, Glenmore village, Kingussie, Newtonmore, Tomintoul, Cock Bridge, Ballatar, Braemar


walks on mountains (900m+), mid-level hills and low-level routes. Some scrambling. All routes graded for height and difficulty
Must See

Must See

Macdui, Cairn Gorm, Braeriach, Cairn Toul, Lochnagar; river walks along the Spey, Nethy, Avon and Dee; scrambles. Through routes include Lairig Ghru
7 Jul 2017
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.8cm
  • Overview

    This guidebook contains over 100 routes for walking in the Scottish Cairngorms. It includes 18 Munro summits and smaller viewpoint hills. Walks range in length from 1 to 26 miles and are graded for difficulty.
    For the adventurous there are the best of the area's rocky scrambles, and the classic through-routes including the Lairig Ghru. For those looking for a more gentle alternative, there are easy, sandy trails wandering among the tall pines and along the banks of the great rivers Spey, Nethy and Dee.
    Britain's biggest mountain range is home to exceptional and varied scenery - from the ancient Caledonian forest to the granite plateau, the glacial glens and high corries where green lochans lie below great crags of the plateau rim.
    Along with the main Cairngorm range between Speyside and Deeside, the guidebook covers Lochnagar. It includes practical information on snack stops, public transport and accommodation, as well as a route summary table and scrambles summary.

  • Contents

    Cairngorms: the highs and the lows
    Walking conditions
    When to go
    Safety in the mountains
    How to use this book
    Part 1 Aviemore and the Spey
    1 Grantown and Spey
    2 Spey at Boat of Garten
    3 Craigellachie Birches
    4 Geal-charn Mor
    5 Around Loch an Eilein
    6 Ord Ban
    7 Argyll Stone
    Part 2 Glen More
    8 Gleann Einich and the Sgorans
    9 Creag a’ Chalamain and the Cat Notch
    10 Down Cairn Gorm
    11 Lochan Uaine
    12 Meall a’ Bhuachaille
    13 Creag Mhor and Bynack More
    14 Beinn Mheadhoin
    Summit Summary: Cairn Gorm
    15 Bynack More and the Saddle
    16 Strath Nethy and the Saddle
    17 Lairig an Lui, Loch Avon, Coire Raibert
    18 Lochan na Beinne and Cnap Coire na Spreidhe
    19 Coire Cas (descent)
    20 Coire an t-Sneachda: Headwall (scramble Grade 1)
    21 Coire an t-Sneachda: Pygmy Ridge (scramble Grade 3)
    22 Coire an t-Sneachda: Goat Path
    23 Fiacaill Ridge of Coire an t-Sneachda (scramble Grade 1)
    24 Lurcher’s Crag
    25 Plateau route from Macdui
    Shelter Stone Summary
    26 Strath Nethy and the Saddle
    27 Lairig an Lui, Loch Avon
    28 To Coire Cas or Cairn Gorm by Coire Raibert
    29 From Coire Cas by Coire Domhain
    30 From Linn of Dee by Loch Etchachan
    31 To Ben Macdui by Loch Etchachan
    32 To Carn Etchachan by Pinnacle Gully (scramble Grade 1)
    33 Forefinger Pinnacle (scramble Grade 3)
    34 To Ben Macdui by Avon Slabs (scramble Grade 1 or 2)
    Summit Summary: Ben Macdui
    35 From Lairig Ghru by Tailor Burn
    36 From Derry Lodge by Carn a’ Mhaim
    37 Sron Riach
    38 Via Derry Cairngorm
    39 Coire Etchachan
    40 From Coire Cas
    41 Plateau route from Cairn Gorm
    Part 3 Badenoch
    42 Badenoch Way
    43 Insh to Aviemore
    44 Druid Circle at Dalraddy
    45 Take an Insh
    46 Carn Dearg Mor
    47 Mullach Clach a’ Bhlair by Coire Garbhlach
    48 Badan Mosach waterfall
    49 Summer Road to Ruthven
    50 Glen Tromie: Croidh-la
    51 Creag Bheag
    Summit Summary: Braeriach
    52 From Glenmore by Chalamain Gap and Sron na Lairige
    53 From Rothiemurchus by Sron na Lairige
    54 Gleann Einich and Coire Ruadh
    55 Gleann Einich and Coire Dhondail
    56 Coire Dhondail scramble (scramble Grade 1)
    57 South Ridge of Coire Bhrochain
    58 Ridge route from Cairn Toul
    Summit Summary: Cairn Toul
    59 Coire Odhar
    60 Great Moss
    61 East Ridge (scramble Grade 1)
    62 Northeast Ridge of Angel’s Peak (scramble Grade 1)
    63 Corrie of the Chokestone Gully
    64 Ridge route from Braeriach
    Part 4 Glenlivet and Tomintoul
    65 Hills of Cromdale
    66 Carn Daimh
    67 Around the Brown
    68 Glen Brown and Ailnack Ravine
    69 Ben Avon by its River
    70 Tors of Ben Avon
    71 Cnap Chaochan Aitinn
    72 Ailnack Upper Ravine
    Part 5 Donside
    73 Carn Ealasaid
    74 Brown Cow Hill
    75 Don to Ben Avon
    Part 6 Deeside Braemar
    76 Clais Fhearnaig
    77 Derry Cairngorm by Lochan Uaine
    78 The Happy Face of Beinn a’ Chaorainn
    79 Dee and Derry
    80 Around Glen Geusachan
    81 The Devil’s Back Side
    82 Glen Quoich
    83 Beinn a’ Bhuird
    84 Carn na Drochaide and the Fairy Glen
    85 Morrone Birkwood and the Dee
    86 Morrone and Glen Ey
    87 Creag nan Gabhar
    88 White Mounth and Jock’s Road
    Part 7 Balmoral and Lochnagar
    89 Balmoral Castle
    90 Craigendarroch and the Dee
    91 Around Loch Muick
    92 Dubh Loch and Broad Cairn
    93 Creag an Dubh-loch
    Summit Summary: Lochnagar
    94 Queen Victoria’s Ballochbuie Route
    95 Byron’s scramble by the Stuic (scramble Grade 1)
    96 Tracks from Balmoral
    97 Meall Coire na Saobhaidhe
    98 Tourist path from Spittal of Glenmuick
    99 Conachcraig
    100 Loch na Gaire
    101 Falls of Glas Allt (descent)
    102 From Loch Callater
    The Long Routes
    The Cairngorms 4000s
    The Lairig Ghru

    Appendix A Route summary
    Appendix B Access
    Appendix C Mountain bothies
    Appendix D Gaelic place names
    Appendix E Lists of hills
    Appendix F Scrambles summary and grading
    Appendix G Accommodation and information
    Appendix H Further reading

  • Updates
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    July 2018

    The Garbh Choire refuge - see page 176 and routes 62 and 63) has now been restored to its original weathertight condition and is under the care of the Mountain Bothies Association.

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Ronald Turnbull

Ronald Turnbull writes regularly for TGO, Lakeland Walker, Trail and Cumbria magazines. His previous books include Across Scotland on Foot, Long Days in Lakeland and Welsh 3000ft Challenges. He has written many other Cicerone guides, including Walking in the Lowther Hills, The Book of the Bivvy and Not the West Highland Way.

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