Whisky and gin
The Cairngorms National Park
Aviemore is situated on the outskirts of the Cairngorms National Park, a stunning area of granite mountains, straths, glens, forests and rivers. It is the outdoor capital of the UK with everything from white water rafting or canoe descents of the Spey to climbing, zip lining, river tubing and pony trekking, mountain biking to ski touring. The ski area is a 20 minute drive from where the woodworking courses are held.
There are some great walks straight out from Inshriach; Loch an Eilean and Glen Feshie are an easy hike from the house and for the more determined, the Argyll stone gives spectacular views down Glen Einich and into the Cairngorms.
Our neighbours on the Rothiemurchus estate offer all sorts of activities from mountain bike hire to clay pigeon shooting, Segway riding to archery and quad bike tours.
This is also one of the wildlife hotspots of the UK. Ospreys can be seen down on the river, red squirrels and woodpeckers come to the kitchen window. Capercaillie live in the woods above Inshriach and if you don’t see roe or red deer down in the fields you aren’t looking hard enough. Even reindeer were reintroduced to Scotland in the 1950s and roam the Cairngorms freely.
For history and culture, the Highland Folk Museum at Newtonmore is a fascinating and free day out.
No trip would be complete without sampling the area’s finest tipples – the very juniper-y Crossbill Gin is distilled on site at Inshriach in a converted chicken shed which won Channel 4’s Shed of the Year 2015! There are numerous local breweries, the Cairngorm Brewery, the Spey Valley Brewery and slightly further afield the Black Isle Brewery. Then of course there are all the Speyside whisky distilleries, all within a short and stunning drive.