Kingussie Travel Guide

Plan your perfect trip to Kingussie in The Great Glen and Strathspey, Scottish Highlands with our comprehensive travel guide featuring top attractions, hiking routes, where to stay, local culture and customs, safety tips and more.

Introduction to Kingussie

Kingussie, situated in the stunning Scottish Highlands, is a charming town known for its breathtaking natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. Nestled in The Great Glen and Strathspey, Kingussie offers an alluring setting for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, with a variety of activities, including hiking, biking, and skiing. The town also boasts a vibrant cultural scene, with many museums, galleries, and festivals to explore. With so much to offer, Kingussie is a must-visit destination in Scotland.

List of Places to Visit in Kingussie

When planning your trip to Kingussie, there are several places you must visit to fully appreciate the beauty and charm of the town. Here are some top attractions to add to your itinerary.

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Kingussie offers several museums and historical places where visitors can learn about the town’s rich cultural heritage. These include:

  • Highland Folk Museum: This living museum features over a dozen restored buildings, including a 1700s township and a working croft, showcasing traditional Highland life.
  • Ruthven Barracks: This 18th-century barracks was built to control the local Jacobite rebellions and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
  • The Clan Macpherson Museum: This museum explores the history and culture of the Clan Macpherson, one of the oldest clans in the Scottish Highlands.

Natural Attractions of Kingussie: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Kingussie is renowned for its natural beauty and offers many opportunities to explore the great outdoors. Some must-visit natural attractions include:

  • Cairngorms National Park: This national park features stunning mountain scenery, beautiful forests, and abundant wildlife, making it a popular destination for hiking, biking, and skiing.
  • The River Spey: The River Spey, Scotland’s second-longest river, offers excellent fishing opportunities and scenic walks along its banks.
  • Loch Gynack: This picturesque loch is surrounded by stunning natural scenery and is a popular spot for fishing and picnics.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Kingussie

For visitors who enjoy outdoor activities, Kingussie is the perfect destination. There are several hiking and biking trails in the area, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Here are some of the best routes to consider:

  • The Speyside Way: This 80-mile trail runs from Buckie on the northeast coast to Aviemore in the Cairngorms National Park and offers stunning views of the River Spey and the surrounding countryside.
  • The Monadhliath Mountains: This range offers several hiking routes, including the Creag an Leth-Choin and the Badenoch Way, offering stunning views of the surrounding valleys and mountains.
  • The Kingussie Circular Walk: This scenic route begins and ends in Kingussie and offers stunning views of the town, the River Spey, and the surrounding countryside.

Best Things to Do in Kingussie: Activities and Tours

Kingussie offers a wide range of activities and tours for visitors to enjoy. Here are some of the best things to do in the town:

  • Skiing and Snowboarding: The Cairngorms National Park offers several ski resorts, including the CairnGorm Mountain and the Glenshee Ski Centre, making Kingussie a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts.
  • Horse Riding: There are several stables in the area offering horse riding tours of the beautiful Scottish Highlands.
  • Whisky Tasting Tours: The Scottish Highlands are famous for their whisky, and Kingussie offers several distilleries offering tours and tastings.

Week-Long Itinerary for Kingussie

If you’re planning a week-long trip to Kingussie, here’s a suggested itinerary to help you make the most of your visit:

Day 1: Arrive in Kingussie Day 2: Visit the Highland Folk Museum and explore the town. Day 3: Hike the Kingussie Circular walk and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Day 4: Visit the Ruthven Barracks and take a scenic drive through the Cairngorms National Park. Day 5: Take a horse riding tour of the Scottish Highlands and enjoy the stunning scenery. Day 6: Visit the Clan Macpherson Museum and watch a traditional Highland Games demonstration. Day 7: Depart Kingussie.

Food and Drink Scene of Kingussie

Kingussie is home to many fantastic restaurants, cafes, and pubs, where visitors can sample delicious local cuisine and beverages. Here are some must-try dishes and local beverages to add to your list:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Haggis: This traditional Scottish dish, made from sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs, is a must-try when visiting Kingussie.
  • Cullen Skink: This creamy soup made from smoked haddock and potatoes is a delicious way to warm up on a chilly day.
  • Scottish Salmon: Scotland is famous for its salmon, and Kingussie offers many excellent restaurants serving this delicious fish.

Local Beverages

  • Whisky: The Scottish Highlands are famous for their whisky, and Kingussie offers several distilleries where visitors can sample this famous spirit.
  • Real Ale: Kingussie has many excellent pubs serving local real ale, such as the Cairngorm Brewery’s Black Gold Ale.

Where to Stay in Kingussie: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Kingussie has several excellent accommodation options, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels. Here are some of the best places to stay in the town:

  • Arden House: This elegant guesthouse offers luxury accommodation and beautiful views of the surrounding landscape.
  • The Duke of Gordon Hotel: This historic hotel has been welcoming guests since the mid-19th century and offers well-appointed rooms and excellent dining options.
  • Columba House Hotel & Garden Restaurant: This charming hotel features well-appointed rooms and a beautiful garden restaurant serving delicious local cuisine.

What to Buy in Kingussie: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Kingussie offers many excellent souvenir and local product shops where visitors can buy unique gifts to take home. Here are some of the best things to buy in the town:

  • Tartan: Scotland is famous for its tartan, and Kingussie offers several shops selling tartan scarves, kilts, and blankets.
  • Whisky: The Scottish Highlands are renowned for their whisky, and Kingussie offers several distilleries selling unique blends.
  • Hand-Crafted Jewelry: Kingussie has many artisan jewelers selling beautiful pieces created from local materials such as heather and silver.

Local Culture and Customs of Kingussie

When visiting Kingussie, it’s important to understand and respect the local customs and culture. Here are some useful things to know:

  • Bagpipes: The Scottish Highlands are famous for their bagpipe music, and visitors can often hear the distinctive sound of the bagpipes played at local events and festivals.
  • Kilts: The traditional Scottish garment known as the kilt is still worn by many during special events and celebrations.
  • Ceilidhs: These traditional Scottish dances are often held in Kingussie and involve music, dancing, and socializing.

Best Time to Visit Kingussie

The best time to visit Kingussie is during the summer months from June to August, when the weather is mild, the days are long, and the scenery is at its most beautiful. However, the town is also worth visiting during the winter months, when visitors can enjoy winter sports activities and the stunning snow-covered landscapes.

Do’s and Don’ts of Kingussie

When visiting Kingussie, it’s important to follow these essential do’s and don’ts:


  • Respect the countryside: The Scottish Highlands are home to many rare and endangered species; visitors should not disturb plants or wildlife when exploring the area.
  • Take warm clothing: The Scottish weather can be unpredictable, so it’s important to pack warm and waterproof clothing, even during the summer months.


  • Disturb wildlife: Visitors should avoid disturbing or feeding wildlife, as this can damage the local ecosystem and harm the animals.
  • Litter: Visitors should dispose of their rubbish responsibly and not litter in the countryside.

Safety and Health

When traveling to Kingussie, it’s essential to stay safe and healthy. Here are some useful tips to keep in mind:

Safety in Kingussie

  • Watch out for wildlife: The Scottish Highlands are home to many wild animals, including deer, which can cause road accidents.
  • Be cautious around water: Visitors should take care when walking near rivers or lochs as the water can be deep and cold.

Health in Kingussie

  • Beware of ticks: The Scottish Highlands are known for ticks, which can carry Lyme disease; visitors should take precautions by covering their skin and checking for ticks regularly.
  • Stay hydrated: The Scottish climate can be deceptively dry; visitors should drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine.

Getting to Kingussie: Transportation Options and Logistics

Kingussie is easily accessible by various modes of transportation. Here are some options to consider:

  • Air: The nearest major airport is Inverness Airport, which is approximately one hour’s drive from Kingussie.
  • Bus: Kingsussie is connected to several major cities in Scotland and the UK via bus services.
  • Train: The train station in Kingussie is located on the Highland Main Line, connecting the town with many destinations in Scotland and the UK.

How to Get Around in Kingussie

Kingussie is a small town and can easily be explored on foot, but visitors can also use taxis or car rentals to get around the town and surrounding areas.

Where to Go Next from Kingussie: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Kingussie is an excellent base for exploring the Scottish Highlands. Here are some nearby destinations and excursions to consider:

  • Aviemore: This nearby town is a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts and offers many skiing facilities.
  • Culloden: This historic site is the site of the famous Battle of Culloden and is located only a short drive from Kingussie.
  • Loch Ness: This famous Scottish loch, home to the legendary Loch Ness Monster, is only an hour’s drive from Kingussie and offers stunning natural beauty.


Kingussie is a charming and beautiful town in the Scottish Highlands, offering visitors a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. Whether you enjoy hiking, skiing, or simply exploring local museums and galleries, there’s something in Kingussie for everyone. Use this comprehensive travel guide to plan your perfect trip to Kingussie and make the most of your time in this stunning destination.