Coronavirus Update 22/01/21
We are currently closed to the public due to the restrictions in place. It is unlikely that we will open again before the end of March, but will keep updating on here as the situation develops.
Our guided Hill Trips are running daily, but these look a little different to in the past. All tickets should be pre-booked and prepaid via the telephone to reduce congestion and keep contact to a minimum. Limited tickets may be available on the day if a Hill Trip has not sold out in advance, but this is in no way guaranteed. We cannot take bookings online.
What is the Hill Trip?
Hill Trips begin with a short drive along the main road, which you use your own vehicle for, followed by a guided 20-30 minute walk up to the reindeer. This is mostly along a rough gravel track before heading off the path onto the open hillside, and does drop into a valley and back up the other side, but we go at a relaxed pace and take our time, so it is usually suitable for all ages and abilities. Once with the reindeer, you will be right in amongst the herd, with plenty of information given by the herder and the opportunity to take photos. The whole trip usually lasts around 1.5 – 2 hours, depending on the reindeer and the weather! The ground can be muddy, wet, snowy or icy, so wellies or hiking boots are ESSENTIAL, as is a waterproof jacket and very warm clothing.
We are running ONE Hill Trip a day at 11am ONLY.
Hill Trip Prices:
Age 3 and under are free.
How do I book?
You can book up to 14 days in advance – simply call the Centre on 01479 861228 between the hours of 9am and 5pm and we will take your details and payment over the phone. On the day of your booked Trip you must arrive at least 20 minutes prior to departure to collect your ticket and directions to the meeting place. We open at 10am.
What has changed with regards to Covid-19?
Some unfortunate but necessary changes are currently in place – please read FULLY even if you’ve visited us before:
- No hand-feeding or stroking the reindeer
- No welly hire available – you MUST arrive with your own suitable footwear and clothing – click here to see what you need to wear.
- We can’t offer lifts to anyone without their own transport
- Pre-booking necessary
- Our group sizes will be a lot smaller to allow social distancing – this one is a positive!
- In line with Scottish Government rules, face coverings will be mandatory in our shop (but not on the Hill Trip), except for the under 5s and anyone with a valid medical reason not to wear one.
By booking with us, there is the following agreement in place:
- You’ll arrive at the Centre with at least 20 minutes to spare in order to collect your tickets before driving to the meeting location. Late arrivals will not be able to “catch up” if the Trip has already departed and we cannot offer a refund, so please allow extra time for your journey.
- There is an uphill drive of about 1.6 miles from the Reindeer Centre to the meeting place, which you must have your own vehicle for. If you’re planning to walk this distance you must schedule in enough time (45-60 mins) after collecting your ticket to reach the meeting place in time for your Trip.
- Your group MUST all be wearing suitable footwear: wellies or hiking boots with a good tread. If you arrive with inadequate footwear then we’ll be unable to take you on the Trip for safety reasons. This is really important, so please look at our What To Wear information page and check with us if you’re not sure. We will NOT offer a refund if you arrive with the wrong footwear.
- We run Hill Trips in all weathers – so if you are lucky enough to have authentic Scottish rain/snow for your booked Trip then we cannot offer a refund – bring the right clothes and enjoy the experience! In winter, warm clothing, a hat and gloves are essential. Beware temperatures can easily feel as low as -10 with windchill!
- Please be respectful and maintain a distance of 2 metres or more from herders and other visitors throughout your time with us.
- Please keep in mind that we have no toilet facilities – the nearest public ones during winter are 3 miles beyond us at the Cairngorm ski area.
- If any member of your party is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, then we cannot take you on the Hill Trip – you must stay at home. Please telephone us (01479 861228) if you have already made a booking.
- If government restrictions tighten, or one of our resident staff contracts COVID-19, we may be forced to close again at short notice. In this instance we will contact you and either issue a full refund or reschedule your Trip, as you prefer. In winter, we occasionally have to cancel a Hill Trip if the weather conditions are too extreme. Again, we will contact you to either refund or reschedule in this instance.
- We will keep your contact details on file for 3 weeks after your Hill Trip to aid with the Scottish ‘Test and Protect’ system.