One of the best forest parks, or parks of any type for that matter, Is Glenmore Forest Park in the Cairngorms. Cairngorm itself rises right out of the park, and it’s a wilderness and wonderness of trails and activities and trees and lochs and everything you could want in the outdoors. In the heart of the forest is Loch Morlich, seen below at dusk.
I’ve been here a couple of times over the years but forgotten just how good it was. Drive into Aviemore itself and you get the standard small town shops, with noisy silly cars driven by swaggering teens. It’s not the nicest place I know of and I only venture in to go to the shops for food then I come straight back out and into the glen.
I’ve spent may hours walking around the loch itself, it’s only about 3 miles around the shoreline, but there is plenty of fun to be had at the shoreline and in the forest. There are still some ancient Caledonian Pines by the north shore, a tangled twist of clearly ancient wood and yet on a sunny day you could easily by on a tropical island.
It was here beside the shores of Loch Morlich that the Heroes of Telemark trained. They were the Norwegians who eventually went back to destroy the plant where the Nazi’s were making heavy water, thereby ensuring that they weren’t the first to develop the hydrogen bomb. Can you imagine a world now if the Nazi’s had succeeded in that?
Nowadays it’s home to kayaking, fishing, cycling, snowboarding, camping, hiking and of course skiing. It became a major ski resort as the Heroes of Telemark and other who had trained there, enjoyed the skiing so much that they wanted to come back and continue.
Almost all car parks are only £2 a day, some allow camping overnight, and there are a myriad trails to follow both on foot and on bikes. I absolutely love this place so I’m staying for a few days despite the fact the weather is awful.