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Quick Guide to the National Parks in the United Kingdom

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Cairngorms National Park
Snow in the Lairig Ghru in the Cairngorms

Snow in the Lairig Ghru in the Cairngorms

copy; Ted and Jen via Flickr

Covering 1,467 square miles of central Scotland, the Cairngorms National Park is the UK's largest. It is also the northernmost national park in Great Britain. About 17,000 people live and work in the park, an area characterized by high, arctic landscapes, wild and windswept mountains and primeval forests.

The park has five of Scotland's six highest mountains and boasts the cleanest rivers, loch and marshes in Scotland. Pine trees in the Cairngorms original Caledonian forests include a rare variety found only in Scotland and Norway.

Wildlife watchers head to the Cairngorms to see Golden Eagles, Capercaillie and the Scottish Crossbill, a bird only found in Britain. The park is home to wildcats, watervole and otters.

Things to do in the Cairngorms

  1. Outdoor activities
  • Skiing and snow sports
  • Sailing, canoeing and watersports
  • Fishing
  • Riding, cycling, mountain biking
  • Nature walks, hiking and climbing
  • Attractions
  • Castles and historic sites including Balmoral
  • Museums and galleries
  • Speyside whisky tourism, distilleries and a cooperage

Learn more about the Cairngorms National Park

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