Tourist Information Centre
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Scotland’s best known ski area is ten miles East of the lively village of Aviemore. There have been dramatic improvements here in recent years and a vast array of non-ski activities are now available to counter the traditional problem – unpredictable weather.
Scotland’s best known ski area is 10 miles (16km) east of the lively village of Aviemore. There have been dramatic improvements here in recent years and a vast array of non-ski activities are now available to counter the traditional problem – unpredictable weather.
The resort boomed in the 1960s when the ‘Aviemore Centre’ a complex of unattractive rectangular hotels and apartments was built, rapidly deteriorating in to an eyesore during the 1970s and 80s and bringing the image of the rest of Aviemore down with it. Subsequent face lifts and new leisure and accommodation options which have developed around the resort and over the past three years or so has sidelined the Aviemore Centre and Aviemore today is very much a ‘reborn’ resort. The old Centre is now called “Aviemore Highland Resort” (AHR)
The long planned new funicular railway which opened in 2001 provides a more modern, comfortable and reliable method of transportation than the former Car Park and White Lady Chairlifts. The funicular is almost two kilometres(1.2 miles) long and climbs to a height of 1097m (3600ft) taking approximately six minutes to reach the top (slowed down in summer to allow visitors time to take in the scenery). Replacing the Ptarmigan Café is a modern, panoramic restaurant, visitor exhibition and shop. With the completion of the funicular fewer skier days will be lost due to poor weather.
Cairngorm’s first chairlift was installed in 1961 and since then the facilities have increased so that there are now 13 of the 17 original lifts and tows providing an uplift capacity of some 8042 skiers per hour enjoying 40km of ski runs which extend into 2 adjoining corries, Coire Cas and Coire na Ciste. Some of the original uplift is not used now due to the increased capacity of the Funicular Railway.
The old gaelic name for the Cairngorm Mountains is “Monadh Ruadh” meaning red mountains – you can see why on a fine summer evening in Aviemore as the setting sun seems to cast a red glow over the pink granite rock of the Cairngorms. After Ben Nevis, the Cairngorm Range of mountains have the highest peaks in the UK with Cairngorm itself being the 5th highest at 1245m (4084 ft.)
As well as being popular with skiers, climbers and walkers the Cairngorms have an impressive range of environmental and scientific credentials. The area is home to the UK’s largest National Nature Reserve and Europe’s largest privately owned bird reserve. Scotland’s largest National Park, Cairngorms National Park, (Pairc Naiseanta A’ Mhonaidh Ruaidh) was established here in September 2003. It is the home to a unique and special place, 17,000 people and 25% of Britain’s threatened birds, animals and plants. It includes moorlands, forests, lochs and glens. It has also been proposed as a World Heritage Site for its outstanding geological and geomorphologic features. As such it is considered to be one of the UK’s best examples of sub-arctic habitat and is home to some of the UK’s rarest birds and plants, including snow bunting, dotterel, ptarmigan and the famous Ospreys which breed at nearby Loch Garten.
Aviemore, Cairngorm, Highlands, Alain Baxter, Inverness-shire, Highlands, Grampians, Cairngorms, Scotland, United Kingdom, UK, Great Britain, GB
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