Nethy bridge to me is what the Scottish Highlands is all about; it is an excellent base for the Cairngorms National Park but also boasts outstanding countryside all within walking distance and relatively close to Inverness.
Nethy Bridge is in the Strathspey area of the Highlands and has been a holiday destination since the Victorian era, the village is on the perimeter of the beautiful Abernethy Forest that is protected by the RSPB and is famous for its ospreys that visit the Forest every summer to breed, you can visit the RSPB site during the summer and see the Ospreys’ for yourself. The forest by Nethy also boasts many of the Highlands famous wildlife like the Capercaillie and the Pine Marten, there is also a healthy amount of Red Squirrel that will also visit the gardens surrounding Nethy Bridge, and if you are lucky enough you may even spot the very rare Highland wild cat.
With stunning views across to the Cairngorm Mountains this stunning village offers tourist the chance to experience village life. Walks around Nethy Bridge are truly stunning with many forest tracks and river bank walks to keep the most active people busy. The river Nethy runs right through the village and there is a lovely green area with benches for you to enjoy a lovely rest whilst enjoying a drink or something to eat from the local store. Close by to the shop there is the local community centre that offers toilet facilities, and local events, and information about the local area.
Staying in Nethy Bridge
There are plenty of options for accommodation in Nethy Bridge staying in either a holiday cottage or a Hotel, the local hotel is called the Nethy bridge hotel just over the stone bridge from the shop. There is also a hostel in the village and bed and breakfast establishments. It is a perfect area to base a great holiday in this stunning part of Scotland.
The village is serviced very well with a local shop and a Butchers and further down the road you can visit the Nethy Bridge Pottery and showroom. There are many guided walks available from the village and you will find all the information you need in the Nethy Bridge Community Centre. Other activities can also be found here so you will never be short of ideas to keep you busy. Close by you also have the town of Grantown on Spey, with small supermarkets, fish and chip shops and a few gift shops to buy your perfect gift from Scotland. Before you reach Grantown on Spey you will see the Speyside Smokehouse where you can watch the Salmon be smoked and packed, and sent all over the world for people to enjoy, If you prefer to catch your own there are plenty of options for fishing, with the famous river Spey close by.
The setting of the village is very peaceful and you can sit by the river and just enjoy life, and watch the world go by, or if you feel active join in with one of the many activities organised from the community centre, whatever way you decide Nethy Bridge will satisfy you.
Map of Nethy Bridge and Abernethy Forest
The Abernethy Forest is situated within the Cairngorm national park between the Boat of Garten and the Village of Nethy Bridge, The forest, an RSPB reserve, is remnant of the magnificent Caledonian forest and comprises mainly of Scots pines, birch and rowan trees. The Caledonian Forest is a type of woodland that covered many parts of Scotland in years gone by, now unfortunately only 1% of this remarkable forest remains today. There is around 4,000 hectares of forest that makes the RSPB protected reserve, and just less than 50% of this is the native Caledonian Forest, the Abernethy Forest is one of the largest remaining sections of Caledonian forest in Scotland. Other areas with remains of this forest are Beinn Eighe in Wester Ross and Glen Affric.
Abernethy Forest is a prime location for Scotland’s wildlife. The Forest is home to many of Scotland’s rarest animals and birds but is most famous for the loch Garten ospreys that return to the forest each summer to breed. Other rare breeds of animals and birds can be seen in the forest include the very rare Scottish Crossbill, the elusive Scottish Wildcat and Pine Martens, Capercaillie also roam the forest and guided trips from the RSPB can be arranged to view these fantastic birds. Also seen in the forest are Black grouse, crested tits, Red squirrel and Deer. You will also see many other species of birds within the forest and water birds around the Lochs.
Things to do in Abernethy Forest
Other activities can be found at the Abernethy forest in Scotland for the wildlife lover, you can go on an organised capercaillie watch, look for the Roe Deer that are dwellers of the forest or even view the forever entertaining Red Squirrels that jump and play around amongst the pine trees around the forest. One of my favourite activities when having a holiday in the Scottish Highlands is simply relaxing by the side of Loch Garten taking in the wonderful views and the nose tingling smells of the forest. You can view the Ospreys development throughout the summer months on the Loch Garten Osprey nest webcam, and find other information regarding the visitor centre on the link that we have provided below.
Loch Garten in the centre of the reserve is a stunning Loch surrounded by green Caledonian forest and is easily accessible from the side of the forest road and various parking places are available throughout the area. There are many trails and paths for excellent walks and the views are amazing from the lochs banks, close by you have the beautiful village of Nethy Bridge where you will find local shops and a Hotel, the village is also an excellent base to explore the area and there are many cottages to rent for your holidays, close by there are also great caravan and lodge parks that offer comfortable accommodation.
Overall the area is of outstanding beauty and will definitely cater for those who love to watch wildlife, the area also offers lots more to do with the estates of Rothiemurchus and Glenmore not to far away, and Aviemore is only a short distance from the Forest, and is a great base for people who like to have adventure holidays, with lots of water sports and mountain activities all available within the Cairngorm National park.
Loch Garten Ospreys
Set in the middle of the Abernethy Forest close to Loch Garten in Scotland sits probably one of the nicest located visitor attractions in the Cairngorms Nation Park. The Loch Garten Osprey centre is between the villages of Boat of Garten and Nethy bridge along the forest road that links both villages, run by the RSPB it provides a low priced place to visit among beautiful settings, and it provides you with a lifetime experience to view the now famous Ospreys named EJ and Odin.
When on holiday to Scotland I always ensure that I visit the Osprey Centre and experience the sights for myself, the staff at the centre are excellent and provide you with information, and an atmosphere, sharing their passion for the Ospreys, as soon as an Ospreys moves or takes flight the staff are there to alert you with their great enthusiasm. The centre provides you with an excellent viewing area and gives you the use of very good telescopes and binoculars; there is even an area to view the other birds of the forest with plenty of bird feeders and tables.
Loch Garten Osprey Video
When can I see the Ospreys
The Ospreys usually appear back from their winter trip to Africa around the end of March and usually stay in the Abernethy forest till late August early September, when they return back to Africa for our winter. Between those dates you are gifted with the experience of the birds breeding, laying the eggs, birth of the Chicks and watching the youngsters leave the nest.
- Osprey Webcam – Loch Garten Osprey webcam (only for summer months)
- Nethy Bridge – local website
- Boat of Garten – Local website