Relax at Hearthside & Lighthouse...
What to See and Do near Hearthside
Located on the outskirts of Grantown on Spey, Hearthside is well located for accessing the Moray Coast and Inverness; Royal Deeside; Abernethy and the Cairngorms and Badenoch and Strathspey.
Wildlife and Bird Watching
By staying in Grantown-on-spey, you are perfectly located on the northern tip of our vast and beautiful National Park. Stretching from Grantown-on-Spey on the northern boundary, to Pitlochry in the south, the Cairngorms National Park contains a magnificent mix of the UK’s most threatened species, which can be easily accessed on foot and by road.
We are surrounded by high mountain tops and hillsides, home to Ptamigan, Mountain Hare and Dotterel; wild moorland where owls spend their evenings gliding low as they hunt; tranquil lochs hide divers and Osprey and ancient Pine Forest 'sing' with Crested Tits as they flit from branch to branch and the secretive Capercaillie takes shelter.
Local wildlife experts, Speyside Wildlife have been running wildlife watching experiences for 30 years and their guides are available to hire for the day. They will pick you up from Hearthside, all transport is provided in comfortable minibuses and they will esnure you have the best chance to see the species or areas you most hope to see. Sample itineraries can be seen and bookings made here.
Walking is one of the most popular activities in the Cairngorms. Our National Park has something for everyone, whether you are looking for low level and all ability trails, circular lochside walks, hill or mountains you can find the walk for you.
From the frontdoor of Hearthside you can step onto one of Grantowns fantastic paths, ranging from 1 - 3 miles or more - our local walks leaflet contains more details.
If something higher is on the cards for you, then the Haughs of Cromdale are a short drive or the slopes of the Cairngorms are the place to go.
Local Attractions and Activities
The Cairngorms National Park, is the largest National Park in the UK and in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. We have everything from high flying zipwires to traditional Highland castles.
In the immediate Grantown area we are lucky to have local activity provider Craggan Outdoors right on the outskirts. Craggan offer a vast programmes, including archery, laser clays, disc golf, fishing, watersports and Highland Games and much more.
Rothiemurchus Estate is located a short drive from Grantown. Here, you can take a tour of the Highland Estate with a ranger, ride a quad bike, sample fresh local produce in the Farm Shop and Druie Cafe or walk their extensive footpath network.
On the east side of the Cairngorms, the famous and grand Balmoral Castle can be found. The Scottish home to the Royal Family, Balmoral is open for visitors from April until August. During your drive there, you will pass through Tomintoul (the highest Highland village), over the rolling peaks and moorland of the Lecht. You will also be able to visit Crathie Kirk and the traditional towns of Ballater and Braemar.
You can easily spend a whole day at nearby Cawdor Castle, exploring their beautiful walled gardens and the 14th century castle, perhaps finishing with a game of golf or a cream tea in the restaurant - but don't get lost in the maze!
Start planning your visit right now by visiting Visit Cairngorms.
The Cairngorms National Park is home to the Cairngorm Brewery in Aviemore and six distilleries including our local Balmenach Distillery just outside of Grantown in Cromdale, home to Caorunn Gin, Dalwhinnie and The Speyside Distillery in the south, Glenlivet and Tomintoul in the east and Royal Lochnagar on Deeside.
Four of these, Royal Lochnagar, Dalwhinnie, Cairngorm Brewery and Glenlivet have visitor centres and Tomintoul, Balmenach (Caorunn Gin) and Speyside Distillery can also be visited by appointment.
We have 12 golf courses within the National Park including Grantown on Spey.
Established in 1890 Grantown-on-Spey Golf Club is one of the finest golf venues in Cairngorm National Park area. The course was designed by Willie Park with assistance from James Braid. Situated in the Cairngorm National Park, the course is approximately thirty five miles south east of Inverness. Grantown is the capital of Strathspey and is a small and friendly town with a grand history of tourism. There is also a traditional Clubhouse offering hearty meals and tipples overlooking the first tee. Lewis Ware Head PGA Professional. Lewis provides a fully stocked PGA Professional Shop, custom fitting, repairs and a full coaching service.
(Photo courtesy of Grantown Golf Club).
If you have been captivated by Outlander and swept up in the mystery of Scotland and 'time-travelling' stones then Hearthside can be the perfect base. Within 40 minutes you can be transported to the mysterious Clava Cairns and you may well end up in another world... If not then Culloden Battlefield is just up the road from the stones and you will not be able to avoid being transported back in time. Here, you can visit the Clan graves including the Mackenzie grave, walk in the footsteps of soldiers and witness firsthand how the 1745 Jacobite Rising came to such a tragic end.
The nearby village of Newtonmore is home to the Highland Folk Museum where scenes from Outlander were filmed. Open from April until October and with free entry you can see the locations where the 18th century turf-roofed crofts made the ideal choice for period scenes, including when Dougal collected the rent, in the first season of Outlander.
Within walking distance of Hearthside, lies the famous River Spey; probably one of the most famous fishing rivers in the world. Rising high in the Monadhliath mountains to the south of Loch Ness, she flows 100 miles northwards to enter the Moray Firth at Spey bay. In its lower course, downstream of Grantown, it is a fast flowing river, providing miles of perfect, and highly sought after, fly fishing water.
'Mortimers', located on the High Street of Grantown sell permits (and a variety of equipment) for the Strathspey Angling Association waters which flow through Grantown. Permits can also be bought in advance of your holiday online at Fishpal.
Nearby Rothiemurchus Fishery has stocked lochs for Rainbow Trout, suitable for beginners and experienced fishers and various wild lochs for Brown Trout and Pike, all in the stunning backdrop of the Cairngorm Mountains.
Forest Bathing, or Shinrin-yoku is the practice of immersing yourself in nature; ‘bathing’ in the awesome goodness that trees release into the atmosphere; reaping the benefits from magic little things called ‘phytoncides’ and receiving mental calmness from the fractal patterns, vibrant shades of green and calming blues around us – what better place to do this than the Cairngorms National Park. During a Forest Bathing session you can expect to be out for about 1.5 – 2 hours and local guide, Cath will guide you through a series of invitations aimed at opening your senses and reconnecting you with yourself and the environment around you.
For more details and to book please click here.
Events throughout the year
We are truly spoilt in Grantown with a wide variety of local events all year round!
Our New Year begins with some of the best Hogmanay celebrations around; the High Street is closed and crowds gather for live music, good food and an enormous ceilidh stretches as far as the eye can see, as we dance the night away until the clock strikes midnight, the fireworks begin and we welcome the New Year.
In May, the trucks arrive, yes, they really do! TruckIn2Grantown is now well established and over 150 trucks arrive to the biggest truck show in the north of Scotland. This is a charity event, located to the north of town on the showground, open to all the family and all monies raised go towards a great range of charities.
August and September sees both the Harley Davidson Festival (Thunder in the Glens) and Motormania – both fabulous events to experience in the town. Both events see a parade of the vehicles and the High Street is closed off for the exhibition, you can speak to owners, maybe ‘hitch a ride’, visit a great variety of local stalls and soak up the festival atmosphere.
Our local agricultural show is the second Thursday in August, Grantown Show brings a bustle of activity to the town, with animal exhibitions, parades, local crafts, food and dancing – a great day out!
We also have a monthly Farmers Market in the Square.
Visit Cairngorms can provide you with your one-stop guide to hiring equipment, skiing and snowboarding in the Cairngorms National Park.
We would always advise guest to check the snow and skiing conditions with individual resorts before travelling.