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 negative effects. The next generations 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, and further in 2022 (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.
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 not surprising this number is so high, with visitors wanting access to their own independent transport.
However, with all these considerations in mind, we think we have come up with the top solution – it 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!
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
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 younger + 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 – as of April 2022, the cottage has an EV Chargepoint
- 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?
Clearly, the pandemic made long train journeys riskier for health and only a few have taken this up, so far. But, we still see this as a way to reduce our footprint, and, win-win, improve and extend the holiday experience of our guests! Just as an example, we had 6 intrepid young travellers heading north in the last week of August – they took the train to Aviemore from Edinburgh, then a short bus ride to Boat of Garten (20 mins, from the bus stop over the road from the train station), picked up their pre-booked bicycles in the village, and then explored all the National Park attractions accessible in all directions from the cottage (see our “cycle-friendly” information). Beyond cycle range, they conquered Ben Macdui, taking the bus from Aviemore to the Cairngorm foothills! What a great adventure!