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Best time of year to visit the Cairngorms

Photograph of a very green forest with a text banner reading: the best time of year to visit the Cairngorms

So many people ask us: “What is the best time of year to visit the Cairngorms?” and, depending on what you’re looking for from your holiday, the answer can be “Any time of the year!”, which, although true, is not very helpful in helping you plan your visit. 

So, we spoke to Fiona to find out what her favourite time of year is, and what she likes to do in that time. Fiona came back with her Top 5 reasons to visit the Cairngorms in May!

1. Light nights and bright mornings

After the short days and long nights of a Highland winter, the brighter mornings and longer days feel like heaven. 

From the shortest day in December, it’s amazing how quickly the light changes and allows us to think about coming out of hiberation of an evening!

By May, our days are almost endless… with the night sky sometimes not falling into darkness until after midnight. 

Did I mention… May is the month when the sunsets are the most magical!

2. All the colours of the rainbow

The Highlands truly come to life in May. Our seasons tend to run a little slower than other parts of the country, so it’s May when Mother Nature decides that spring has sprung and summer is just around the corner. 

The deciduous trees, plants and perennials have all bloomed into every tone of green you can imagine. On top of that, the flowers are beautiful, and the sun shines through the valley – warming up the soul!

A true sight for sore eyes!

3. Bursting with life

We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful national park. May is one of the best times to wander through the forest. 

Look up, and you may spot some pretty special birds, like the crested tit, Slavonian grebe and noisy wee woodpeckers. Look down, and you may stumble across pine martens, red squirrels, badgers… and maybe even a capercaillie. 

Every walk is different, and every sense is treated to new sensations with every footstep.

4. Space to breathe, time to think

May is the time for us to take a step back and take stock. 

Our busiest months on the farm are March and April, so we love taking the time to explore our arera together before the real tourist season begins. 

June to August are busy-busy up here, so May always feels a little like the calm before the storm (so to speak).

5. The midges, the midges, 'am no gonna kid ye's

Enough said?!

All-in-all, we’re lucky not to suffer half as much as the West Coast when it comes to these blood-thirsty wee critters, but May is great because they haven’t quite woken up yet!

We’re super lucky not to have many dangerous creatures in our midst, but these tiny biters would give the scariest of beasties a run for their money.


So, you can explore quite happily with the knowledge that you won’t be dinner!

Have we inspired you to book a cheeky wee May holiday?

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