Day 5… the last day of our Scottish Highlands Adventure. I must say that we had a fantastic time the last 4 days, it was absolutely fun exploring the country a bit more. And if you think the last day will solely involve driving home, it wasn’t… because in the midst of our journey, we had another spontaneous escapade once again when we popped by at Cairngorms Mountain.
Having packed up majority of our things the night before, we were a bit lax when we woke up Friday morning. Again, we had the much needed cooked breakfast to anticipate the long drive home. We were already set to leave around 9:00am, an hour earlier than the check-out time at Caravan Park. By the way, I will also be making a blog post entirely about our experience at Grannie’s Heilan Hame on my upcoming post, so watch this space!
Our journey home was meant to be around 4 hours drive, really boring and dragging if you think about it. After an hour and half driving, we decided to dropped by at Aviemore to have a look around and partly to stretch our legs as well.
Aviemore is a town and tourist resort, situated within the Cairngorms National Park in the Highlands of Scotland. There’s a lot of outdoor activities to do at Aviemore and one of which is going on Scotland’s only Funicular Railway at Cairgnorms Mountain which we decided to give it a go.
Fact: Cairngorms Mountain is Britain’s 6th highest and your gateway to an ancient glacial landscape. The mountain railway is a safe and comfortable way for visitors of all ages to enjoy a journey that takes you 1097m above sea level.
We bought 2 adult tickets £12.50 each and 1 Junior ticket – £8.50, under 5 is free which means Ruby is free. This ticket only allows you to reach at the Top Station where you can enjoy the panoramic views from over 3,500ft. In order to protect the plateau outwith their snow sports operation, funicular passengers are not permitted to exit the top station to go onto the mountain unless they are booked on a guided walk or a guided mountain bike descent. This of course has an extra fee involved.
The funicular trip from the bottom station to the top station takes around 8 minutes. Seemed short but definitely one of a kind experience along the way. The journey is smooth flowing and pleasant with a commentary on the background which talks more about the mountain itself.
After exiting the funicular at the Top Station, you enter a small exhibition area which is very informative and rather interesting. There was also a short video which enables you to understand the need for conservation in the fragile eco-sytem of the Cairngorms.
Some photos we took at the Exhibition area:
Although it’s still summer time here in Scotland, up the mountain can be really chilly especially outside on the viewing platform. Just as well we took our jackets with us as it was 1 degree celsius that time when we’re up there.
We were literally gutted the first time we went outside at the viewing terrace as the scenery was less visible at that moment. It was rather misty which made the view not as clear as it should be.
Hence, we decided to visit the Cafe instead and had some tea and cakes which seemed very pricey as expected. Afterwards, we went out the viewing terrace again for the second time. This time around, the clouds finally opened up. We were undoubtedly stunned by the breathtaking views. It was just amazing!
The spectacular view from the top.
Additionally, the highest post box in the British isle is also found at the Top Station. Of course, we have to have an obligatory photo standing beside it, lol.
We went through the gift shop as well which again was rather pricey. The shop sells the usual things which you can buy in other gift shops throughout Scotland. Of course some of the merchandise is pertinent to the Cairngorms Mountain as it’s normal on most tourist gift shops.
The funicular railway runs every 20 minutes. So you can just hop into it anytime you’re done and it will bring you back to the bottom again. There’s not much to do whilst on top unless you venture into extra activities and we didn’t. So we decided not to hang around for much longer and rode the funicular down again.
This climbing wall is found right near the entrance opposite the car park. Reimer won’t let this pass either, he showed off his climbing abilities before we finally head back to the car.
Anyhow, it certainly was a lovely experience going to Cairngorms Mountain. I would suggest though that before you visit the place, you check the weather first so you’re guaranteed of a clear view from the top.
After that worthwhile reroute of our journey, we just drove straight home. Although we arrived home knackered but we certainly made wonderful memories that our family will keep. That was Day 5 and the last day of our mini break up north of Scotland.
If you miss Day 1, 2, 3 & 3 of our Scottish Highlands Adventure, you can check it here too:
Have you been to Cairngorms Mountain yet?
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