A Weekend Winter Escape in the Scottish Cairngorms.
Craving a winter escape. The snow, mountains, adventure and a cosy cabin in the woods. I clicked the book button.
Logging into Instagram, scrolling through endless pictures of log cabins. Deep in the woods, with snowy mountain tops surrounding them made me crave this getaway. I longed to dive into these photos and just escape for a few days. A winter break, after all, doesn’t need to be too far from home. And surely, log cabins with a mountainous backdrop have to be closer to home than Canada, right? Aviemore to rescue, or more specifically Pine Bank Chalets!
Hidden away just before Aviemore, we scored a sweet deal for the weekend in the log cabin. With snow forecasted and the mountains calling, we packed up the car, borrowed my mums dog and road tripped our way up to Aviemore for a weekend winter escape.
With more adventure gear packed than most would think we would need. We were planning a hardcore mission into the hills. Even though the cabin getaway was the dream, I wanted to spend as much time in the mountains, the snow and the cold – of course – as possible! Aviemore is the door to the Scottish highlands. The town is filled with adventure shops, outdoor lovers and so much to do for people of all ages who love the outdoors.
Getting to Pine Bank Chalets later in the evening on Friday, we lit the fire, cooked a meal and enjoyed a cosy early night. We had an early morning ahead.
The alarm went off at 7am on a Saturday morning. It was cold and dark, but it was time to get up and ready for a day into the mountains. With our plan to climb Ben Macdui, the route card made and the weather looking as though it was on our side we had to nip to the shop before heading to the start. It was here we realised, neither of us checked the weather and we were incredibly unprepared for that hike. Hiking in winter, in Scotland, is not to be taken lightly and on this day we totally underestimated Scottish Winter.
We were basically laughed out of the store when we asked about the conditions on the top of Ben MacDui – the mountain we planned to climb. Without realising just how stupid we looked, asking for shoe chains when we needed crampons. The store guys informed us of minus temperatures and 30 mile an hour winds. It’s going to be COLD. Still, it took a few minutes for the realisation to hit us that we were massively unprepared. Time to make a new plan. So instead of thousand metre mountains, we opted for a couple hundred and manageable snow, success!
Hiking through the forest, blanketed in snow, it was the perfect winters day! Winding our way into the hills, we stumbled upon Loch Alvie. It was stunning and if I could have picked up our cute log cabin and placed it on the banks, it would be a scene out of my dreams! Even though Loch Alvie was probably freezing (or below), it didn’t stop the dog diving in! We wound our way up the valley and into the hills. Climbing higher and higher, up we went, making the most of the clear weather. Almost at the summit the snow clouds began to roll in. With thigh deep snow, lack of trail and an incredibly cold dog, we made the decision to turn around. The cabin with the log burning fire was calling us back!
A Weekend Winter Escape in the Scottish Cairngorms with Pine Bank Chalets was the winter escape I needed! Cosy by the fire at the end of the day, singing along to the Ukulele while drinking rum and eating chips. It was the best end to the day outdoors!
I’m a firm believer in doing what makes you happy and for me, getting into the countryside, the mountains and the forests are what make me happy. Scoring a sweet deal with Pine Bank Chalets was just the icing on the cake and let me live my instagram dream!