“Best of the World 2023” – Off or On Yer Bike!

A warm winter welcome to all our regular readers, guests and potential guests!  Even although it was big news that the Scottish Highlands have been recently named as one of the greatest locations on the planet by one of the world’s most respected magazines, I thought I should start with a Postcard from San Francisco, California. 

Regular readers or users of the cottage will know that we do what we can to raise the profile of the Cairngorms and Strathspey as a brilliant cycling destination (See “Bigging Up The Bikes” BloG below).  You’ll also know that we like promoting the videos of the cycling legend that is Danny Mackaskill, since he is a “friend” of Boat of Garten and supporter of the new Boat of Garten Pump Track (and a truly awesome cyclist!).  He is also a friend of Nash, who runs the bike shop (Ride Scotland / Cairngorms) in Boat of Garten.  What these guys don’t know about cycling isn’t worth knowing – we get nothing but great feedback from guests who hire from them, ask for advice or buy some kit.  Definitely more than just a bike shop!

Anyway, Danny has done it again with his newest video release – his latest adventure was A Postcard from San Francisco!  Well worth watching, and, if you’ve still not seen The Ridge (your vertigo permitting!  I still find myself holding on to the desk watching this!) or a Wee Day Out (starting and finishing at Boat of Garten train station!), they will definitely be the awe-inspiring incentive you need to improve your control of a mountain bike!  For something a wee bit more leisurely when you’re in the Cairngorms, check out our previous Bike BloG (below), our “Glencoldon Cycle Haven” webpage and Visit Cairngorms “On Your Bike – Cycling in the Cairngorms”!

National Geographic 25 Breathtaking places and experiences for 2023 – Highlands Highlighted!

Given the huge variety of cycle routes taking you through various places of outstanding natural beauty, I guess the area could also be the best of the world on your bike; but, the National Geographic journal has called out the Scottish Highlands as one of “25 breathtaking places and experiences for 2023”, no matter what mode of transport you’re using!  Of course, we’d agree!

Even although the Cairngorms, National Park, Strathspey or the wider Highlands frequently receives accolades, this was a huge endorsement of, not only the spectacular scenery being enjoyed by everyone now, but of the far-sighted rewilding and restoration going on for the future.  This is going on all over the Highlands, including the Cairngorms and Strathspey.  You don’t have to go too far from the cottage to come across some restoration going on – as one of the last strongholds of Capercaillie, a walk in the forest just behind the cottage, towards Loch Vaa, will take you through areas where restoration and expansion of ideal habitat has been ongoing for a number of years.  Our congratulations to the Highlands!

What’s On this December + Festive Season

Of course, there is a huge amount going on throughout the year in and around the Cairngorms National Park.  To help guests gain up-to-the-minute information we signpost folk to the “What’s On” monthly guides and the Visit Cairngorms Events Calendar on our Location + Activities webpage. 

But, at this time of year, when day length and sometimes weather make outdoor activity / entertainment more limited, and there may be some looking for a party, we thought it was worth highlighting these sources of information.  Obviously, you can’t mention Christmas in the Cairngorms without a wee signpost to the Reindeer out on the Mountains!  You’ll find live music, festivals, Christmas markets and other activities for all the family too.

You also can’t mention Christmas and New Year events and gatherings without giving a shout out to the legendary Boat of Garten Hogmanay Ceilidh – along with all other Community Hall events, details to be posted here soon.  After 2 years when Festive events and entertainment were very restricted or not permitted, it certainly feels like we’ve at least put the major issues of the pandemic behind us as we come to the end of 2022.

Thanking all our fantastic guests for continuing to book with us in 2022, and helping to generate lots of interesting ideas to keep us improving and lowering our impact.  As always, a massive thanks to our magic Changeover Team too, which keeps on ensuring the cottage is not just so clean, but so beautifully presented too (our reviews are testament to that!!). 

Hope we’ll be back soon to outline our plans for 2023; but, in the meantime, wishing everyone a fantastic festive period – Merry Christmas!

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