Christmas in Aviemore and The Cairngorms

Welcome to a winter wonderland nestled in the heart of the Scottish Highlands – The Cairngorms. If you’re on the lookout for an enchanting and budget-friendly Christmas getaway with your family, look no further! In this blog post, we’ll explore why the Cairngorms are the perfect destination to make your Christmas and New Year celebrations truly special. From captivating landscapes to exciting activities for the whole family, the Cairngorms have it all.

Why the Cairngorms for Christmas?

Escape the ordinary and immerse yourself in the festive charm of The Cairngorms. Picture a landscape adorned with snow-covered peaks, picturesque villages, and an abundance of holiday cheer.  There is a good chance you will be able to play in the snow on Cairngorm Mountain or take a crisp festive walk in the beautifully scented pine forests. 

Here are some of the experiences we know you will enjoy.

  • Get your skates on – the community run Aviemore Ice Rink is now in its third year (igloo is a proud sponsor again) and offers fun for all ages. They have bob-skates available for little ones as well as Penguin and Polar Bear skating aids to help everyone stay the right way up on the ice. Centrally located within the Macdonald Aviemore Resort.
  • Visit the Cairngorm Reindeer Herd and Highland Wildlife Park  – get up close to these beautiful animals at The Cairngorm Reindeer herd before they go out on their travels with Santa Claus.   You might even be able to stock up on some reindeer food for Christmas Eve.  The Highland Wildlife Park has 3 wonderful Polar Bears, and if you are lucky,  you might just see them playing in the snow – their favourite past time. 
  • All aboard for the Santa Express.  Travel back in time on the local steam train and enjoy some special trips to reminisce or delight the kids.  Lunches and special days are available but must be booked in advance as they are so popular. 
  • Go for a night zip with G2 Adventure – a zip line through the forest with the added thrill of darkness and illuminations. Landmark Forest Adventure park also has a night time forest which is accessible for all and well worth hanging around for.
  • Take the kids out in the snow – whilst we can’t guarantee it at any time of year – there is a better chance of snow at top of Cairngorm Mountain for snow balls and scenic vistas. 
The Cairngorm Reindeer Herd is Britain’s only free-ranging herd of reindeer.

Where to shop for Christmas in Aviemore and The Cairngorms

  • Go shopping on Santa Claus Drive –  a nod to Aviemore’s past, the new shopping centre is situated in Santa’s old village.  Now a little mecca for locals and tourists with a range of shops that will help you but the perfect presents for your loved ones.  From luxuriously warm clothing and equipment in Tiso, Speyside Spirits in The Snug, perfume and a bit of everything in Home Bargains.  You might just tick everything off your list.
  • Aviemore also has some other great shops that are most welcoming in the run up to Christmas.  Go to FatFace for some great service – who doesn’t love FatFace after all!   There are lots of other mountain equipment shops including Ellis Brigham, Nevis Sport and Mountain Warehouse.  Support local by visiting Aviemore Boutique for stylish gifts,  Backcountry for preloved equipment and clothing, or The Village Store for lots of gifting ideas. 
  • Take a trip through to Grantown on Spey – the charming High Street here has a lot of independent businesses for truly unique gifts. Check out Ewe & Me for gifts, Two Thirsty Men for all things beer, The Candy Coo for sweet treats and the excellent Bank Studio for local art.
  • Have to buy something for the person who has it all – why not try some new bike gear from Aviemore Bikes and get the best of help and advice.  
  • Perhaps you have some serious foodies in the family.  You must visit Rothiemurchus farm shop for some seriously good local venison and beef, a range of lovely cheeses and accompaniments, along with lots of other tasty goodies and tipples.  Also worth checking out is The Deli in Aviemore main road, Walkers for some real Scottish shortbread, or the Kilted Fudge Company for sweet stocking fillers. 
  • We all know you cannot go wrong with gifting alcohol. Why not go local and go the extra mile by purchasing a local gin, whisky or hand crafted beer. The Cairngorm Brewery have a fantastic shop full of real ales and some local spirits.  Buy in mini kegs or bottle packs.   If you love gin, or know someone who does (we love gin here at igloo) why not purchase from local distilleries at Kinrara, Inshriach, Speyside Byron’sCairngorm Gin and Caorunn at Balmenach. 
  • Get your toast for the bells at local whisky distilleries – with Speyside malts being the envy of the entire world, this present will be appreciated.  Local bottles include DalwhinnieSpeyside, Angels’ Nectar and Tomatin.
The Snug in Aviemore is great place to pick up whisky

Discover our collections:

With so much to do Aviemore and The Cairngorms are a great choice for your next family holiday – discover all our properties have to offer in these handpicked collections for your next family holiday.

Hot tub lodges

Our hot tub lodges in Aviemore and Cairngorms make the perfect place to get everyone together at Christmas. Sleeping from 8 to 19 there is a place for everyone. All are dog friendly too.

Family friendly

No matter the size of your family, our Highland lodges and holiday homes are a great choice for festive holidays. They have everything you need for a family break. 

Budget friendly

We have great options in stylish Aviemore apartments – perfect for small families or couples. Close to everything Aviemore has to offer at Christmas.

Rural retreats

Our rural holiday homes in The Cairngorms offer Christmas stays in tranquil settings but also make a great base to get out and explore.

Stay in Aviemore

Aviemore is a year round destination for holidays – there is so much on offer for all ages this Christmas. It also makes a great base to explore the Cairngorms and wider Highlands.

Dog friendly

Almost all of our properties welcome dogs – so you can take the whole family to Aviemore this Christmas. With great walks from your doorstep there will be sure to be waggy tails every day.

What our guests say: