Boat of Garten is a fantastically popular holiday destination in The Cairngorm National Park. The village is just outside Aviemore but has its own sense of community and unique feel. With many fantastic things just waiting for you to explore, here are some of the best bits.

Almost everyone has heard of The River Spey – whether due to the famous drams made from its water, the famed fishing, wildlife and stunning views. Boat Of Garten is a village on the banks of the Spey with amazing views to be enjoyed on one of the many walks, whilst taking in a round of golf, or when fishing during the season. For a visitor pass, pop into the local shop and post office to find out more.

Boat of Garten The Osprey Village

Home to a significant population of Ospreys, Boat of Garten is a real treat for bird watching. The entire family will enjoy a day out at nearby RSPB Nature reserve at Loch Garten ( some restrictions apply during Covid 19 ). When The Loch Garten Osprey centre is open, there are some great activities and the RSPB Scotland rangers will keep you right on all the different native species thriving in the ancient Caledonian Pine Forest.

The hero of the day is the Loch Garten Osprey population who are now carefully protected in this stunning location. Accessible trails will take you for meandering walks around Loch Garten, suitable for all abilities. Remember the Scottish Outdoor Access Code in these sensitive areas. Loch Garten is on the edge of the Abernethy Forest  which is a National Nature Reserve and offers lots of walking opportunity.

Boat of Garten walks

There are lots of options for walks near Boat of Garten. A new route for all abilities including disabled access has recently been constructed as a mile long loop – just head towards Boat of Garten Village Hall for the starting point. Look for The Heron, Red Squirrel and Salmon Trail.  

The Speyside way runs through Boat of Garten to Aviemore, just keep walking up Kinchurdy Road and find yourself in the Caledonian Pine Forest, approximately 5 miles from Aviemore. The walk is suitable for most abilities, pram and bike friendly too and boasts some magnificent views.

From the village centre take a short walk to the duck pond on the north side of the village.

Where to eat in Boat of Garten

Just down the road is the Gas House and Ride, another independent business making a great name for itself by selling great cake and coffee along with some very nice bikes – including some available to hire. These guys have been busy behind the scenes working on a Pump Track for the community, so please drop by and show them some support.

The Strathspey Steam Railway

Explore the bygone era of steam by catching the steam train to Broomhill Station or to Aviemore. A fantastic piece of Strathspey railway history which has been lovingly preserved by volunteers. The railway has dining on board including afternoon teas – keep an eye out for their regular extra special trips that your family will love. Enjoy some spectacular views from your carriage. 

The train can accommodate bikes and pets, but please enquire first for availability. 

What’s on Boat of Garten Village Hall

The community spirit is alive and well in Boat of Garten and the hall regularly hosts bands, musicians, pantos, Christmas Markets, you name it, they do it. Restrictions may apply during Covid 19 but please keep an eye on planned events – they are too good to miss. 

Boat of Garten Golf Club

A challenging 18 hole ‘James Braid’ Golf course, Boat of Garten is a match for even the most experienced of players. The views of Cairngorm, the birch forest, the Caledonian pines and the winding river Spey represent everything the visitor loves when visiting the Cairngorm National Park. Most definitely one of Scotland’s finest. The clubhouse offers meals and refreshments, so extend your round and book into the 19th hole after a long day on the course. 

The Heather Centre

Recently rebuilt to a lovely standard, The Heather Centre sits just outside Boat of Garten nestled amongst the pines. This is a lovely place to explore for all age groups with a play park for the little ones and some lovely features to inspire your inner gardener. 

The shop boasts some unique gifts to take home and the cafe has some traditional and modern fayre for every palate. You must try the famous Clootie Dumpling made to the traditional family recipe – if you are not sure what it is, we will not ruin the surprise, but it is best served with cream.