Cairngorm Hotel, Aviemore, in Badenoch and Strathspey

The Cairngorm Hotel, Aviemore. c. 1900 (with later extension). It was probably first put up as offices for the local forestry works, but, since it is just opposite Aviemore's splendid railway station, it was soon repurposed and enlarged to offer accommodation. John Gifford describes the hotel as it stands now, a Category C listed building, as "bargeboarded with a conical-roofed tower at one end" (80). Its listing text describes it more picturesquely as a "2-storey and attic, 4-bay Highland estate style villa with tall 3-storey, 4-bay extension with 3-stage angle tower." The ironwork balconies and gabled dormers with their bargeboards provide some decorative flourishes.

Views from high in the Cairgorms.

As George and Peter Anderson say of the area, "In clear calm weather the majesty of our Highland scenery is nowhere felt more impressively" (243). Their own guidebook offers carriage, boat, riding or walking routes, often a mixture of these. When Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visited in the autumn of 1860, the Queen spent a lot of time on horseback. It was a delightful trip. She wrote in her journal one evening:

Then the high Cairn Gorm range with Ben Muich Dhui [Ben Macdui] came into sight but they were unfortunately much obscured by mist. Below was the fine Spey flowing through the valley, with cultivated fields, & fine trees. What however was most striking on our whole long "journey" was the utter, & to me very refreshing solitude! Hardly any habitations & not meeting a soul! [4 September]

Later, skiing became popular here, although at first the skis were hefty wooden ones with stout leather straps or "bindings."

"Starting a downhill 'closti'." Source: Lunn, facing p. 76.

Photographs, captions and commentary by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL or cite it in a print document. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]

Related Material


Anderson, George, and Peter Anderson. Guide to the Highlands and islands of Scotland including Orkney and Zetland, descriptive of their scenery, statistics, antiquities, and natural history. Containing also directions for visiting the Lowlands of Scotland, with descriptive notices, and maps.... Edinburgh: A. and C. Black, 1850. Internet Archive. Contributed by University of California Libraries. Web. 8 January 2018.

"Aviemore, Grampian Road, Cairngorm Hotel, Duthil and Rothiemurchus British Listed Buildings. Web. 9 January 2018.

Gifford, John. Highland and Islands. The Buildings of Scotland. London: Penguin, 1992.

Lunn, Arnold. Cross-Country Ski-ing. London: Methuen, 1920. Internet Archive. Contributed by the Library of Congress. Web. 9 January 2018.

Queen Victoria's Journals. Web. 9 January 2018.

Created 8 January 2018