Cairngorms National Park

Uath Lochans from Farleitter Crag, Kingussie

Outdoor Access Advice

The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 gives everyone statutory access rights to most land and inland water but people only have these rights if they exercise them responsibly by respecting the privacy, safety and livelihoods of others, as well as caring for the environment.

You can help look after the Cairngorms National Park by ‘treading lightly’ when you’re out and about enjoying the outdoors by following the advice below:

Camping and litter

Pitch your tent well away from cars, roads or buildings. Keep the numbers of your group small. Move on after a couple of nights. Remove traces of your tent pitch and any other litter. Carry out what you carry in.

Outdoor Cooking

Use a stove rather than an open fire. Place foil barbeque trays on a solid, fire resistant surface such as stones, sand or shingle.


Never light a fire during prolonged dry periods or in woodlands or on peaty soils. Never cut down or damage trees. Keep fires small, under control and supervised at all times. Ensure a fire is completely out and remove all traces of it.


Use a public toilet if there is one. If not, dig a hole and bury waste well away from buildings or well-used areas. Urinate at least 30 paces from lochs, rivers and streams.


From April to August, keep your dog on a short lead or close to heel in areas of ground nesting birds.  Avoid fields with livestock – particularly young animals. Clean up after your dog. Put any waste in a bin, or take it away. In more remote areas, remove it off the path.


The Cairngorms National Park is a great place for getting outdoors but like the rest of Scotland you should protect yourself from the tiny biting parasites known as ticks. The four top tips for preventing a tick bite are:

  • Stick to paths and avoid long grass, bracken and heather:
  • Cover exposed skin if you are walking through long grass, bracken and heather:
  • Use a recommended insect repellent:
  • And most importantly check yourself for ticks at regular intervals.

For advice on removing ticks and the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease the Highland Council have a useful guide here.


Duke of Edinburgh Award Expeditions

The Cairngorms National Park is a great place for Duke of Edinburgh Award Expeditions with many of the iconic mountain passes ideal for bronze, silver and gold expeditions. Being such an ideal location means that there are pressure points at popular camping spots leading to issues such as overcrowding, litter and anti-social behavior. If you are planning an expedition consider your expedition aim can you put something back? Have you thought about exploring the less visited areas of the Park like Glenlivet, Strathdon and Laggan?  For advice on camping spots  visit Duke of Edinburgh Award Scotland here.

For specific advice on your rights and responsibilities for a particular activity please see the links below.

Rights of Way
Scottish Rights of Way Society

British Horse Society (Scotland) –Responsible riding.

Scottish Canoe Association – Key points of the access code for Paddlers

Mountain biking
Do the ride thing

Heading for the Scottish Hills– daily information for hillwalkers about stag stalking activities

Mountaineering Council of ScotlandCrag Code

Wild Camping
Mountaineering Council of Scotland – Wild Camping


Path Closures

Past winter storms have affected a number of paths so check the update below to see if your chosen route is closed.

25092017 Winter Storm Impacts

How to report and access issue

A great many people enjoy the outdoors in the National Park but for a few this enjoyment can be restricted by encountering an obstruction be it a locked gate or blocked path. If you have encountered an issue where you feel your access rights have been blocked, or if you have witnessed people behaving irresponsibly then please fill in this form and return it to [email protected]