Cairngorm Reindeer Centre

Cairngorm Reindeer Herd Centre

The beautiful Cairngorm Reindeer Centre is the best place in the Cairngorms to visit Britain’s only free-ranging herd of Reindeer. As you navigate through the stunning Cairngorms National Park, stopping by the Reindeer centre is a great way to see Reindeer and pet and walk with them!

Are you planning to add this exquisite attraction? Then read our guide to learn about the Cairngorm Reindeer Herd Centre, the top things to do there, and everything else!

About the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre

Since they were nearly hunted to extinction 800 years ago, Reindeer were re-introduced to the stunning Cairngorms National Park in 1952. Thanks to the sub-artic conditions in the Cairngorm National Park, Reindeer are happy to graze over the 100,000 acres of the National Park.

And now, with over 150 reindeer within the park, visitors can see the free-ranging herd up close and personal! The Cairngorm Reindeer Herd Centre is just outside of Aviemore and is a 3-hour drive away from Edinburgh. This trip is relatively inexpensive if you’re planning to traverse and see attractions within the Cairngorms, and you can freely park in the car park.

The Centre offers two experiences that visitors can enjoy with the Reindeer. The Paddock (£3.50 per adult, £2.50 per child), which is open daily between 10:00 – 17:00 and is self-guided and the Hill Trip (£18.50 per adult, £16.00 per student or senior, £13.50 per child), which operates daily, is guided, and pre-booking essential.

Remember that there are no toilet facilities within the Reindeer Herd Centre. The nearest toilet is Loch Morlich Beach, about 400m away from the Centre (which is closed during the Winter months).

Things to Do in the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre

Set in the Cairngorm mountains in the Scottish highlands, the delightful Reindeer House offers an experience quite unlike any other you’ve experienced before. If you want to know the specifics of the top things to do at the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre, we’ve got you covered!

Try the Guided Hill Trips with Reindeer

Guided Hill Trips

Pull up your wellies or hiking shoes and your warm coat because the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre offers the chance to take guided hill trips with the free-ranging herd of Reindeer! These hill trips run daily, and pre-booking is essential to enjoy this fantastic experience.

After a short introductory talk by the reindeer herders, filled with interesting facts about the reindeer herd, you navigate the Cairngorms alongside them! This is the interactive option at the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre, with plenty of opportunities to feed, take photos, and pet the antlers and hides of these majestic creatures.

We recommend you choose this option if you want as much time with the Reindeer, but you do require a relative level of fitness required to go on the hill trips, as you’ll be walking for 1.5 – 2 hours through the hills of the Cairngorms – especially tough when the path is filled with Winter snow. Correct footwear is essential.

Enjoy Petting the Reindeer Herd

Reindeer Petting

For those looking for a less interactive option but want to enjoy time with the Reindeer Herd, then the Paddock experience is perfect for you! This self-guided experience allows guests to enjoy the company of the Reindeer without needing to manage a mini hike alongside it.

The most friendly Reindeer are brought to a Paddock where guests can pet, take memorable pictures, and have a fantastic time feeding the Reindeer their favourite food! This one is especially great for families, as the kids can freely pet and feed the Reindeer!

Visit the Reindeer Centre Gift Shop

Gift Centre

If you’ve had a memorable time within the Reindeer Centre, why not check out the gift shop and take home a souvenir to commemorate the occasion? You can shop from the physical store, think about your purchase, and shop online when you return home.

The gift store has all manner of products for you to purchase, including children’s books about deer species, adorable little plushies of Reindeer, clothing accessories, and so much more! You can even adopt a Reindeer (you can’t take it home, though), sponsoring it and providing a lifeline for the Centre!

Only let your time within the Cairngorms slip by with a souvenir, shop yourself something unique from this store in Scotland.

Learn about these beautiful animals


There’s no better place to learn about Reindeer in Scotland than at the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre – in fact, it’s likely the only place! Whether you’re joining the guided hill trips or just stopping to experience the Reindeer at the Paddock, you’re bound to learn some interesting facts about these fantastic creatures. Here are some to whet your appetite:

  • Female Reindeer also grow antlers, and it’s not just the males! They are the only deer species where this is the case.
  • You’re OK to stand behind a Reindeer. They can’t kick out their back legs like horses, so you can trot with them without fear.
  • Since Reindeer mainly graze, they don’t have any sharp incisor teeth. This makes hand-feeding safe and easy.


When Christmas comes around, the Cairngorm Reindeer Herd Centre becomes even more lively than usual! The Reindeer are taken cross country during the days leading up to Christmas, put in adorable outfits and can be seen pulling sleighs for jolly old Santa.

Don’t worry, after the festivities, the Reindeer have the rest of the year off and stay within the Cairngorms Glenlivet Estate to enjoy the wealth of grass and roots! If you’re visiting the UK during Christmas, keep an eye out for these festive deer.


While the Cairngorms Reindeer Centre does not offer its accommodation, there are plenty nearby to choose from! A stone’s throw away, and you can stay at the Cairngorm Lodge Youth Hostel. But if you want to enjoy the natural environment a bit more, we recommend you stay at Cairngorm Campsite, Aviemore.

There are many fantastic accommodation options while you’re in the Cairngorms, so feel free of these options.

Thinking Of Booking A Trip? Check Out Our Top Accommodation Options In Aviemore

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