The Cairngorms National Park is situated in the northeast of Scotland. It was the second of Scotland’s two national parks to be established, in 2003, and originally only covered the Cairngorms mountain range until 2010 when its boundaries were expanded into Highland Perth and Kinross. Cairngorms National Park is now the largest National Park in the British Isles, covering an area of 4,528 km2 (1,748 sq mi).
To the south of the Park is Royal Deeside, an area of exceptional beauty around the River Dee and the location of Balmoral Castle - the summer home of the British Royal Family. The northeast end of the Park is famed for its whisky distilleries and the rolling hills of Glenlivet.
With an enormously diverse collection of outstanding environments ranging from high mountains to wilderness plateau, ancient woods, moorlands, lochs and valleys, the Park is home to many communities of wildlife. In fact, 25% of the UK’s threatened animal, bird and plant species can be found in the Cairngorms National Park, including the golden eagle, Scottish crossbill, pine martin, water vole and wild cat.
As with most National Parks, Cairngorms is visited by many tourists every year and outdoor activities are common. Exploring the tranquil scenery by foot, bike or horse and taking in the beautiful, unspoilt countryside is extremely popular, as are extreme sports such as climbing, skiing, shooting, quad biking and stalking. The Park is steeped in culture and history and the land is scattered with many castles, estates, art galleries and museums that document and celebrate Cairngorms National Park’s rich heritage.