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Embracing the Rain: 5 Activities to Make the Most of Rainy Days

Scotland is known for many things, its stunning landscapes, Highland Coo's, tartan and Uisge Beatha - the Water of Life or Whisky to most. But on a slightly less romanticised side is the rain, and we get our fair share. The Strathspey in the Cairngorms National Park has an area in it called Badenoch which directly translates as drowned lands, and ode to the life of the flood plains of the River Spey. This has lead to our belief that there is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong equipment or activity. So let us share our experiance, knowledge and prefrences to the best adventure you can have in the rain, to make the most of your break in the Cairngorms.

Rainy Day Walk in the woods with two people.
Nicola and Freddie going for a rainy day walk in the woods.

1. Watersports - If you cant beat it join it.

Is there any reason to avoid water based activities when its raining, especially if you are planning on getting wet? Depending on the activity you might dressed head to toe in close fitting neoprene (a wetsuit) aimed to keep you warm when wet. Stand-up Paddle Boarding (SUP) is a classic example. The beginners take a while to get thier sea legs, whilst the seasoned professioanls are so busy laughing they throw themselves in. Canyoning and gorge walking is another option. Plunging into to pools, scrambling up water falls and sliding down flumes, why not give it a go? If that dosen't tickle your fancy, why not try White Water Rafting, offered by multiple companies across the Strathspey on varying rivers, you are almost guaranteed to get you soaked through to the skin but leave you with a grin from ear to ear.

2. Mountain Biking - Love the mud and embrace the soggy bottom

There is something about hitting a puddle at full speed and having the water spray over your head. Mix it in with a good set of waterproofs and glasses and its even better. Throw in some tight single track, and the whip of wet, wispy branches against your waterproofs, as you rewarm with each climb. What is not to love! One of our favouite trail spots is Laggan Wolftrax with trails designed to entertain any level of rider.

A rainy day activity near me is always mountain biking
A days Mountain Biking in the rain.

3. Woodland Walks and Waterfalls - Wet pine and #Tarpology

The scent of spring rain mixed with the freshness of wet pine trees has a special place in our hearts. To be able to enjoy this cocooned in warm layers and waterproofs makes it more than manageable. Tie it in with hunting waterfalls through the woods, finding torrents new and old. Carry a small pack with you and you can even start playing with #tarpology, the art of tarp. Making shelters in woods from tarps gives space for hot drinks and the ability to enjoy the pitter-patter of the rain drops on the tight sheet. The Speyside Way offers some great opportunities for these sort of walks.

A burn running full on a rainy day in the cairngorms national park, creating a beautiful waterfll
A stream in spate creating a beautiful waterfall on a rainy day outside Newtonmore.

4. Wild Swim - Water and water just work

Sounds worse than it is! There is plenty of evidence out there to say that it has positive health benefits, but thats not why we love it. The post swim rush from cold water is amazing, whether you are dunker or swim there are always amazing spots. Whether it is fresh spring pools, Open Lochs or just off the beach, its only imporved by a bit of rain. No matter the spot, there are risks however, bear in mind that youll keep getting colder when you're out, and never go alone! Rivers can also rise up very quickly, so keep your wits about you.

A rainy day provides a natural pool in gorge near me.
A quick dip in a natural pool.

5. The Cafe Finish - A baseline winning finish

In our opinion the key to any of these activities is the finish. And no-one dislikes a good cafe, especially an adventure friendly cafe. We have a few top favourites depending on activities. A rainy walk classic is Cabin Coffee at Dalraddy Holiday Park, with a cosy yurt with wood burning stove, its the perfect stop for a dry out after a tootle up to the Duke of Gordon monument through the ancient caledonian pine forest. A biking favourite for the team is the Laggan Wolftrax Cafe, a community run cafe with the trails and Bike Bothy by Bird its the perfect location a soggy day of biking. The Old Post Office Cafe Gallery, locally known as Tony's is a must, whether its a wild swim in Loch Insh or a local watersports session its well worth a trip after to grab a warming drink!

Loooking for an adventure that is weatherproof and tailored to your needs and desires?


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