“The Cairngorms National Park covers an area of 1,748 sq miles in the council areas of Aberdeenshire, Moray, Highland, Angus and Perth and Kinross. The mountain range of the Cairngorms lies at the heart of the national park, but forms only one part of it, alongside other hill ranges such as the Angus Glens and the Monadhliath, and lower areas like Strathspey and upper Deeside. Three major rivers rise in the park: the Spey the Dee and the Don. The Spey, which is the second longest river in Scotland, rises in the Monadhliath, whilst the Dee and the Don both rise in the Cairngorms themselves.
The Cairngorms themselves are a spectacular landscape, similar in appearance to the Hardangervidda National Park of Norway in having a large area of upland plateau. The range consists of three main plateaux at about 1000–1200 m above sea level, above which domed summits (the eroded stumps of once much higher mountains) rise to around 1300 m. Many of the summits have tors, free-standing rock outcrops that stand on top of the boulder-strewn landscape. The edges of the plateaux are in places steep cliffs of granite and they are excellent for skiing, rock climbing and ice climbing. The Cairngorms form an arctic-alpine mountain environment, with tundra-like characteristics and long-lasting snow patches.
The Monadhliath Mountains lie to the north of Strathspey, and comprise a bleak, wide plateau rising to between 700 and 950 m.
Two major transport routes run through the park, with both the A9 road and the Highland Main Line crossing over the Pass of Drumochter and running along Strathspey, providing links between the western and northern parts of the park and the cities of Perth and Inverness. The Highland Main Line is the only mainline rail route through the park, however there are several other major roads, including the A86, which links Strathspey to Fort William, and the A93, which links the Deeside area of the park to both Perth and Aberdeen.”Wikipedia Page
Activities in the Cairngorm National Park
While Aberdeen has two whisky distilleries close to the city, Glen Garioch and Fettercairn, the most famous nearby distilleries are in Speyside, about 50 miles away.
Speyside is famous for its whisky and is often called ‘Malt Whisky Country‘. It’s home to more than half of Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries, and produces some of the best-selling whiskies in the world, including Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Macallan and Strathisla. The area is one of Scotland’s five whisky regions and produces a distinctive spirit which is usually lighter and sweeter than single malts from other regions, such as the Islay, Campbeltown and the Western Isles whiskies. They are noted in general for their elegance and complexity, sometimes with a refined smokiness but more often for their fruity or floral notes.
Speyside has a Malt Whisky Trail which allows people to visit the different distilleries in the region and experience the way in which whisky is made and casked.