Visiting the reindeer
With the current Government restrictions in place, we have had to make changes to how we welcome visitors to the Reindeer Centre, but hopefully you’ll have just as much fun! As it is a developing situation and very new to us all, we may have to make further changes at short notice so we’d encourage you to check back regularly and follow us on social media if possible for the most up-to-date news.
Current situation – 01/10/2020
Our Paddocks and Exhibition are now open. With the current distancing restrictions still in place, we have to restrict numbers in the Paddocks, so are offering timed 30-minute-long slots, which can be booked in person in the shop on the day (no advance booking). There will be a small group of reindeer on display, along with the exhibition. The Paddocks are self-guided and are wheelchair accessible. Please note that a few areas of the exhibition will remain closed for now, and additional craft activities for children that we have done in the past, such as antler making, are currently unavailable.
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.
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 guide and the opportunity to take photos. The whole trip usually lasts around 1 1/2 hours, depending on the reindeer and the weather! The ground can be muddy and wet, so wellies or hiking boots are ESSENTIAL, as is a waterproof jacket and warm clothing.
We are running ONE Hill Trip a day at 11am ONLY.
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.
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 for your booked Trip then we cannot offer a refund – bring a jacket and enjoy the experience! In winter, warm clothing, a hat and gloves are also essential.
- 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 are 500m away at the Loch Morlich beach carpark, which you will drive past to get to us.
- 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.
Hill Trip Prices:
Age 3 and under are free.