A December Aviemore
Updated: Dec 3, 2018
Aviemore traces its tourist origins back to the first chairlift in 1961. From there, the legend of Aviemore as a ski resort grew and grew. For many, Aviemore will always be associated as a skiing destination when in fact it has much to offer beyond the marker poles of the pistes.
It’s therefore an odd feeling to look around a comparably quiet Aviemore at the start of December as so many places close or scale back in order to take a break, refurbish / repair / maintain or otherwise simply scale back outgoings until the proper Aviemore ‘season’ begins.
La Taverna (LT Facebook) is closed, Landmark (LM homepage) is a ghost town with all the main attractions closed, the Highland Folk Museum is shut, Loch Morlich Watersports (LMW Homepage) have pulled the shutters down… Yet whilst on the face of it, this is all bad, it actually leads to a rather surprising discovery and a bit of a gem - That Aviemore is a magical place, and with the peacefulness that comes with a significant drop in visitors, you get more time and more tranquillity to enjoy some spectacular scenery and environments.
Take Landmark (LM homepage) for one. Normally full of screaming children, families manoeuvring their way around the park, music and constant noise in general; now, it’s silent. The flumes have no water, the roller coaster is parked up and silent, the high ropes don’t rattle as no-one climbs them. You end up being able to enjoy the wildlife and surroundings at your own pace, and it feels a lot more intimate for it.
Loch Morlich is another. Normally very busy during season with rafters, kayakers, dogs and children, people setting up camp or dogs splashing around the water – that’s all gone. You can stand alone, on the beach, and stare up to the hills or out across the expanse of water and be completely alone, enjoying some spectacular sunrises and sunsets.
Even the task of driving to Aviemore becomes more peaceful as the roads become a little bit quieter. No more frustrating caravans going at 50 on the 60 stretch of the A9, no stream of holiday makers driving cautiously or crazy, and more of a chance to relax at the various rest stops and roadside services without the clamour of a hundred people doing the same thing.
As long as you wrap up that little bit (a lot?!) warmer, you’ll still be able to enjoy the wonderful sights, sounds and sensations of being in Aviemore, the beating heart of the Cairngorms.