Trail Running in the Cairngorms

Grant & Shawna

Friday 17th May – Thursday 23rd May 2024

Number of Travellers: 2
Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights


Trail running through the Cairngorms National Park is an exhilarating journey into one of the world’s top adventure destinations, hailed by National Geographic as a must-experience location. From the grandeur of Royal Deeside (home to Balmoral Castle, the Scottish residence of the royal family) to the rugged landscapes of Strathspey, where ancient forests line the trails and the high plateau overlooks quaint villages, the Cairngorms National Park offers unmatched thrills at every stride. In addition to soaking in the untamed wilderness, we’ll immerse ourselves in the region’s rich history by exploring a 13th-century Highland Castle and a wildlife reserve, making this trail running holiday an unforgettable blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage. Gear up for an adventure that combines epic trails with fascinating discoveries in this iconic Scottish wilderness.


  • Traverse on ancient whisky smugglers' trails and and wild paths in the most extensive range of high mountains in the UK.
  • Discover the majesty of the deep glens, clear rivers and wild lochs on expertly guided runs.
  • Enjoy the huge variety of wildlife to be found in the Cairngorms National Park.

Day by Day

Day 1 - Friday 17th May - Arrive in the Cairngorms

Start your adventure by meeting your Wilderness Guide Tom “Moose” at the train station in Aviemore before transferring from Aviemore to Royal Deeside, known for its majestic landscapes and rich history as the Scottish retreat of the Royal family. Check into your hotel, located in the charming village of Ballater before enjoying a relaxing dinner and perhaps a wander around the picturesque square in the centre.

Overnight: Ballater | The Balmoral Arms
Meals Included: None

Day 1 - Guide Details - Tom 'Moose' Kilpatrick Read More +

Name: Tom 'Moose' Kilpatrick
Contact Number: +44(0)7508 308 051
Meeting Place: Aviemore Train Station | Meeting Time: 17:49

Day 2 - Saturday 18th May - The Cuckoo Glen & Devil's Punchbowl

Today’s trail run takes us on a thrilling circular route through the Cuckoo Glen, a standout trail in Royal Deeside. We follow a well-marked path north towards the edge of the Cairngorm plateau, surrounded by towering peaks and dramatic glens. The landscape is awe-inspiring, with the Linn of Dee and the Devil’s Punchbowl as unforgettable highlights. We return to Royal Deeside for another night of adventure.

Overnight: Ballater | The Balmoral Arms
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 3 - Sunday 19th May - The Shadow of Lochnagar

Embark on a challenging yet rewarding circular run through Glen Muick, shadowed by the iconic peak of Lochnagar. Traverse ancient pine forests, pass by historic landmarks like Queen Victoria’s hunting lodge, and enjoy stunning views of Loch Muick. Keep your eyes peeled for red deer and golden eagles as we complete this exhilarating trail. This afternoon, we’ll enjoy a tour and tasting at the Royal Lochnagar distillery, a single malt Scotch whisky distillery based on the Abergeldie Estate, near Balmoral Castle in Royal Deeside.

Overnight: Ballater | The Balmoral Arms
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 4 - Monday 20th May - Highland Perthshire & Strathspey

We transfer west into Highland Perthshire, where our day’s run begins at a 13th-century castle estate. The route takes us through enchanting forests and steep glens, offering a level run with breathtaking scenery. After our run, we’ll have the opportunity to explore the castle’s interior and gardens before transferring to a cosy B&B in a sleepy Cairngorm village for the next leg of our journey.

Overnight: Newtonmore | Coig na Shee
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 5 - Tuesday 21st May - The River Feshie & Loch Insch

Today’s run explores the stunning Glen Feshie, known for its natural beauty and ongoing rewilding efforts. We’ll weave through a mix of young and ancient pine forests alongside the dynamic River Feshie, reaching hidden lochans nestled amidst towering trees. Ascend to a breathtaking viewpoint overlooking the lochans and surrounding mountains before descending back to the glen for a well-deserved break at a local boathouse cafe.

Overnight: Newtonmore | Coig na Shee
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 6 - Wednesday 22nd May - Abernethy Forest & Wildlife Reserve

Our trail run leads us through the enchanting Abernethy Forest, hailed as one of Scotland’s most beautiful. As we navigate a circular route, we might intersect with the Speyside Way, encountering ancient Scots Pine trees and serene lochs. In summer, our route culminates at a wildlife reserve, offering glimpses of red squirrels and diverse bird species, including ospreys. Relax this afternoon and enjoy another tour and tasting in the region’s newest and most innovative distilleries, The Cairn.

Overnight: Newtonmore | Coig na Shee
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 7 - Thursday 23rd May - Run in the Cairngorms National Park

For our final trail run, we have the freedom to choose from a myriad of captivating routes within the Cairngorms National Park. One standout option takes us on a local favourite circular run into the Monadh Liath mountains, culminating at the picturesque Loch Gynack. It’s a fitting conclusion to our adventure. After our run, transfer back to Aviemore, concluding our exhilarating journey through the Cairngorms National Park.

Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More
  • All accommodation from Day 1 to Day 7
  • Most meals as indicated above
  • Services of an experienced and knowledgeable qualified guide from Day 1 to Day 7
  • Ground transportation from Day 1 to Day 7
  • All guided running and activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • Personalised trip design and delivery
  • Snacks throughout the trip
  • 24 hour in-country support from the Wilderness Team
Exclusions Read More
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Activities and entrance fees not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Gratuities for the main driver guide

Get in Touch


The Balmoral Arms

13-15 Victoria Road | Ballater |
AB35 5RA | Scotland
Phone: +44 (0)1339 755413

Coig na Shee

Fort William Road | Newtonmore |
PH20 1DG | UK
Phone: +44(0)1540 670 109

Meet Your Guide

Tom 'Moose' Kilpatrick

Contact Number: +44(0)7508 308 051

After more than a decade of guiding all across Scotland — and causing numerous headaches for operations coordinators in any number of companies — I’ve now leapt across the Rubicon to see what life is like on the other side. While I may have grown up in the depths of a south-London commuter’s paradise, my heart was always in the outdoors. Early on I eschewed the well trodden path of trains into London and of suits in varying degrees of the colour grey, instead choosing a life of colour and chaos. That decision has taken me around the world and if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that every outdoor experience simply opens a whole new set of doors that you never even thought about.

Full Web Bio