Boat of Garten, the “Osprey village”, is situated on the River Spey between the bustle of Aviemore and Grantown-on-Spey, overlooking the Cairngorm mountains.  The village is a peaceful haven at the centre of this spectacular wildlife and adventure area of the Cairngorms National Park.

                        National Park Map

 

Glencoldon Cottage is a short 10-15 min walk along the Speyside Way (Kinchurdy Road) to a variety of village amenities, including:  The Village Shop (with post office, fresh baked produce, and most things you will ever need!), hotel, restaurant, gallery, steam train station, bus stops, etc.  The village itself offers a combination of tranquility, a wee bit off the beaten track, and easy access to activities and amenities, available on foot, bike, public transport and even steam train!

Full Address:  Glencoldon Cottage, Kinchurdy Road, Boat of Garten, Highland, Scotland, UK, PH24 3BP

       Related image

Aviemore (by car)

7 miles

Aviemore (by Speyside Way – walking / cycling)

5 miles

Cairngorms Base Station

15 miles

Loch Morlich + Glenmore Lodge

11 miles

Loch Garten

3 miles

Grantown on Spey

9 miles

River Spey

800 m

For wider exploring, perhaps up through the world renowned Whisky Trail, over towards the Great Glen or exploring the Moray Firth and Black Isle, Boat-of-Garten is well placed just off the national rail and road network (A9, A95).

 

The Village Shop

This sells far more than just essentials!  It’s useful for visitors to know it also:
  • bakes early every morning, so there is a range of fresh bread, rolls, croissants, pastries, etc. available, if you plan to head for the hills or hit the bike trails early
  • stocks some fresh local produce, from fruit and vegetables to dairy products
  • stocks vegetarian and vegan protein options (eg. tofu, Quorn)

Travel Information

Public Transport

Boat of Garten is located in one of the areas of the Cairngorms National Park most easily accessible by public transport, with nearby connections for bus and rail travel.  The village lies six miles north east of Aviemore.

By Rail – Nearest mainline station is Aviemore, with very frequent services stopping between Inverness and Glasgow, Edinburgh or Perth.  Also, with daily direct trains from / to London.

National Rail Enquiries

Caledonian Sleeper

By Bus – There is a fairly regular bus service passing through the village to various destinations.  From Aviemore, additional routes can take you into some of the main activity areas in the Cairngorms.

Timetables change quite frequently, so best to plan your journeys near your arrival date.  From personal experience, because 37 Service is so different weekdays / weekends, school weeks / school holidays, tourism high / low season, I find it easier to use travelinescotland.com Journey Planner.  However, if you want to download the full PDF (running to 16 pages!) these are available HERE.  Handy services / destinations:

  • 37: (Only one through BoG) Inverness, Tomatin, Carrbridge, Dulnain Bridge, Grantown-on-Spey, Boat of Garten, Aviemore
  • 31:   Aviemore to Rothiemurchus, Glenmore Lodge, Loch Morlich, Cairngorm Mountain
  • 32:   Aviemore to Kingussie, Newtonmore; or Carrbridge, Inverness

By Steam Train – Boat of Garten to/from Aviemore or Broomhill, Nethy Bridge.

Strathspey Steam Railway

By Bicycle

As the cottage is on the Speyside Way, we have made sure everything is available to allow cyclists the maximum enjoyment of this cycling-friendly haven, from clothes washing / drying facilities to purpose-built cycle store with shelter from the elements and high security.

Boat of Garten itself is also ideally situated for national and local cycling routes, and has a great bike rental shop available in the village too (Ride Cairngorms).

IS A CAR A NECESSITY?  It is very possible to enjoy a stay at Glencoldon Cottage, and access some of the National Park’s best-known attractions, without a car (from many personal experiences and feedback from guests).

Some guests have left their cars at home!  The largest part of our remaining indirect carbon footprint is the inevitable emissions associated with our guests travelling to Glencoldon Cottage.  As we hold a Gold Award for Green Tourism, we are trying to do something about this where possible – please see our Car-Free-to-Cairngorms Discount Offer, which also gives details of vehicle rental and other travel options available once you have reached Aviemore.

  • Getting to Boat of Garten – the local bus to BoG (see above) generally co-ordinates with incoming trains to Aviemore (the energetic might even cycle the 5 miles to the cottage along the Speyside Way!).  Local taxi services are also available.
  • During your stay – clearly, it depends what you want to do, but buses go to many popular activity destinations from Aviemore (eg. Cairngorm Mountain), and BoG + surrounding routes are a cycling haven!  Please see our cycle-friendly info.

Please feel free to call to discuss the possibilities for your stay.

Other Transport

By Car – From the south (Edinburgh & Perth)

Travelling north from Perth on the A9, turn right off the A9 at the Grantown on Spey / Carrbridge junction (A95) north of Aviemore.  Follow the signs for Boat of Garten.

By Car – From the north (Inverness)

Travelling south from Inverness on the A9, turn left off the A9 at the Carrbridge / Grantown on Spey junction.  Drive through Carrbridge and carry on to the T-junction at the A95. Turn left and take the next right to Boat of Garten.

We’ve often blogged about transport and local activities too!

Activities

Firstly, to ensure your enjoyment when you’re out and about, please take some time to look over the newly updated guidance on responsible access, covering many activities from walking and cycling to wild camping.

Here in the Cairngorms National Park, there have also been consultations to find ways to help people understand responsible enjoyment of the Park.  Visit Cairngorms has more detail here, but, essentially the 3 key messages are:

  • Take responsibility for your own actions
  • Respect the interests of other people
  • Care for the environment.

The Visit Cairngorms website (http://visitcairngorms.com) also has a huge amount of useful information on the range of activities available in the Park.  Between this and the Boat of Garten website (http://www.boatofgarten.com)  there is far more information than we could ever provide on this page.  However, check out some local favourites below.

Given the variety of activities and wildlife in the immediate surrounding area you may not have to go far at all to feel the freedom……. Indeed, from the house, avoiding the road back into the village, we have gated access to woodland paths that will take you to the local shops, community centre (fully-equipped with football pitch too) and local restaurant.  This links into a wider local network of paths which take in local lochs, River Spey walks and a little bit further on to the Loch Garten Nature Reserve with its proud pioneering history of saving the Osprey from extinction in the UK.

      What’s On – in the Park:  the free monthly events guide to what’s happening in the National Park and surrounding area can be accessed here.  You can also plan ahead and have a look at the calendar of events into the future.

     What’s On – in the village:  the events guide for the vibrant village of Boat of Garten, and it’s state-of-the-art community hall, which attracts both local and international acts, can be found here.  From local guided walks, talks, exhibitions, ceilidhs, sporting events, live music and much more……………….

The immediate surrounding area, with its diverse terrain and varied habitats is still the focus of much important conservation work, is all open and accessible for the visitor, with opportunities to get involved for those wishing to delve deeper.   One of the largest and best preserved swathes of the Ancient Caledonian Forest is accessible at Rothiemurchus about 8 miles from the cottage.  There are Special Protected Area designations for Capercaillie and Red Squirrels.  With 75% of all UK Capercaillie found in the woods of Strathspey, truly a sanctuary for this amazing species of bird!

The River Spey itself is a Special Area of Conservation and a Site of Special Scientific Interest – walking the banks, the abundance of wildlife is always a joy, often to the backdrop of the sound of leaping salmon or a woodpecker rattling some trees, but occasionally getting the chance to witness a family of otters going about their business would probably be a highlight of any nature-lovers year!

But, perhaps not, as the Boat of Garten area is even more famous for Ospreys as this is the place that they returned to in the 1950s after a period of extinction in the UK – many more now return to the area every spring to breed.  Loch Garten Nature Reserve and the RSPB Osprey Centre are always worth a visit, but some years, depending on whether a pair of ospreys take up residence in the well-established nest, the RSPB Hide allows you to see right into the nest as the eggs hatch and chicks develop.

Local Favourites

Activities
Cycling Many routes for road and mountain bikes.

 

Laggan Wolftrax (31 miles)

Ride Cairngorm – Bike hire in the village!

www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/route/aviemore-to-boat-of-garten

 

www.lagganforest.com/mountain-biking.asp

www.ridecairngorm.com

See our dedicated cycling webpage HERE

Walking Unlimited!  Start with the trails around Boat of Garten.  There is an All Abilities path here too, opened in 2021, which starts at the Community Hall and goes through the forest behind. www.boatofgarten.com/o/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Boat-of-Garten-walks-map.pdf

 

Visit Cairngorms – extensive info from family-friendly suggestions to climbing Munroes

WalkHighlands – From easy to difficult, gives more specific information on access + routes, with maps + photos

Local Art + Culture 1896 Gallery, Boat of Garten – celebrating the amazing landscape of Scotland through Scottish based artists

 

Community Hall, Boat of Garten – local and national musicians and other cultural events

Creative Cairngorms – A guide to galleries and temporary exhibitions of art + crafts thoughout the park

https://www.1896gallery.com

 

https://boatofgarten.com/boat-hall/events/

http://www.creativecairngorms.co.uk/index.asp

Forest Adventure Park Landmark, Carrbridge (4.5 miles) www.landmarkpark.co.uk
Outdoor activities centres Scot Mountain Holidays, Boat of Garten

 

Craggan Outdoors (7 miles)

https://scotmountainholidays.com/

 

www.cragganoutdoors.co.uk

Wildlife watching + activities Cairngorm Wildlife, Boat of Garten – Badger / wildlife hide opportunities

 

Boat of Garten Wildlife Group (BoGWiG – community enterprise) – Milton Loch

Speyside Wildlife (10 miles)

www.cairngormwildlife.co.uk

 

Milton Loch and Woodlands hides + trails

www.speysidewildlife.co.uk

Bird watching RSPB Osprey Centre, Loch Garten  (The world famous hide which pioneered the highly successful UK Osprey reintroduction initiative in 1970s!) www.rspb.org.uk. The Centre and Loch Garten, around 3 miles away, can be walked from the Cottage in 1-2 hours.  Combined with https://www.1896gallery.com/

Eating Out / Local Produce

Restaurant Andersons, Boat of Garten.

 

“…..committed to using local Scottish produce when it is in season, so…..our menu changes each month, along with our daily specials.”

www.andersonsrestaurant.co.uk (book online)
Restaurant / Bar Winking Owl, Aviemore.

 

Owned by Cairngorms Brewery – so, not far for some produce to travel!

http://thewinkingowl.co
Fishmonger Pro Fish, Aviemore.

 

Much of Scotland’s amazing seafood bypasses Scotland and ends up in Europe, but this shop intercepts the best and most sustainable from our Atlantic coastlines.

http://profishservices.co.uk 
Deli Deli Mair, Aviemore.

 

Usual assortment of tasty deli produce and a range of local / regional cheeses.

http://delimair.co.uk

Brewery

Cairngorm Brewery, Aviemore

Quality brews in the heart of the Cairngorms with visitor / tasting centre

https://www.cairngormbrewery.com

Contact Us

Please contact Derek any time if you have any queries, need further information or want to discuss anything at all:

[email protected]  /  07968 177394