Rothiemurchus Forest, Cairngorms
This route links two of the best-known beauty spots in the Cairngorms: the sandy beaches of Loch Morlich and peaceful Loch an Eilein with its ruined castle, recently voted Scotland’s favourite picnic spot. You will certainly have earned a picnic by the time you get there, but the gently undulating trails climb over 500 meters of ascent without ever really going uphill. The Rothiemurchus Forest is the largest remaining patch of the ancient Caledonian pine forest that once covered the Highlands and is home to many rare species. Look out for red squirrels, pine martens, crossbills and even capercaillie. If the wildlife are hiding you can feast your eyes on the views of the Cairngorm mountains at various viewpoints along the route.
The Druie, Rothiemurchus Centre, PH22 1QH, NH 902109 Loch an Eilein beach, NH 898083 Glenmore, PH22 1QY, NH 976097 OS Explorer OL57; Harvey British Mountain Map, Cairngorms
Running through Caledonian pines on the shore of Loch an Eilein