Car-Free-to-Cairngorms: Pick up local hire car / bicycle / steam train / bus = 10% rental discount!

Nobody can have missed the increasing willingness of people around the world to play their part in reducing carbon emissions to minimise climate change and it’s increasing effects.  The next generations, led by the inspirational Greta Thunberg, are leading the way!  We also want to help lead the way to more sustainable tourism in the Cairngorms National Park.  Our Green Tourism Gold award was achieved partly because we installed many carbon saving solutions when the cottage was upgraded in 2017, as well as using natural, local materials wherever possible (more detail here).

But what can we do next on carbon emissions?  How can we best respond to the declaration of a climate emergency?

As we already have a plan in place to continually reduce the Cottage’s direct footprint, we have also started to consider the full “lifecycle” of what we do.  Can we do anything about indirect emissions too?  This has identified that the largest part of our remaining carbon footprint is the inevitable emissions associated with our guests travelling to the cottage.  As we hold a Gold Award for Green Tourism, we are trying to do something about this.

It turns out that more than 98% of visitors to the National Park arrive by car.  Of course, given the remote nature of many of the National Park attractions, and the limited public transport connection to some areas, it is totally understandable that many of our guests might want access to their own independent transport.   However, with all these considerations in mind, we think we have come up with the top solution, which also enhances your holiday experience from the moment you leave your front door!!

We will give you a 10% discount on your accommodation costs if you leave your car at home and get to Aviemore by public transport!
Imagine going to sleep in London and waking up in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, 6 miles from your cottage! 
The Caledonian Sleeper can get you there……. effortlessly!
Aviemore has a mainline train station (London / Birmingham 7-8 hours, Manchester 6-7 hrs, Edinburgh / Glasgow 2.5-3 hrs) and is only 6 miles from the cottage.

      Car-free convenience at Aviemore and the Cottage 

Please Note – Due to Covid-19, at October 2020, we are still monitoring guidance on the risk and safety of public transport.  However, given the climate and ecological crises are arguably even greater challenges, we are committed to offering this discount on the understanding that public transport is used by guests at their own risk, and that guidance will be followed by guests should they experience any symptoms.

Depending on your plans:

  • We will help you hire a car from the local car hire business based at Aviemore station (Aviemore Car& Van Hire) – the car can be waiting for you on your arrival
  • We will introduce you to the Boat of Garten bicycle hire business (Ride Cairngorm), which also has e-bikes that can massively extend your exploration range if you choose to do without a car completely (see our full “cycle-friendly” information)
  • We will help you access the local bus services (buses to Boat of Garten mostly coincide with the incoming trains, and there are various routes from Aviemore, including to Rothiemurchus, Loch Morlich and Cairngorm mountain itself)

In addition to the obvious benefit to future generations, natural systems and local / global wildlife, there are other huge benefits of leaving the car at home:

  • If you’re usually the driver, your holiday starts as soon as you leave your front door!!  No jams, no stress, no unpredictable A9 to negotiate!
  • Local businesses will benefit much more from your visit, enhancing the local economy benefit of your holiday!
  • You might leave your holiday fitter, healthier and perhaps even happier too – enjoy the feelgood factor of taking positive action!
This is just our start on more sustainable transport!
  • We have started a conversation with Trainline to persuade them to provide a discount to our guests if they embark on our low-carbon journey
  • We are working with other local businesses to potentially have electric vehicles available for low-carbon, quieter exploration of the Cairngorms National Park
  • We are also considering further discounts for those who don’t just avoid the car getting to the area, but also continue to use public transport, bike and foot power once they get to Aviemore.
Is this going to work?

Well, we had 6 intrepid young travellers heading north in the last week of August – they were taking the train to Aviemore from Edinburgh, then planned to take the short taxi ride to the cottage, pick up their pre-booked bicycles in the village, and then explore all the National Park attractions accessible in all directions (see our “cycle-friendly” information).   Beyond cycle range, they plan to conquer Ben Macdui, taking the bus from Aviemore to the Cairngorm foothills!  We’ll let you know how they got on……..

Watch this space!