I’d been looking forward to Aviemore since I decided to swap Orkney ticking for the Cairngorms. EVERYONE has heard of Aviemore; it’s the best-known place in Scottish after Paisley, Edinburgh, Berwick and Carluke.
This is the Cheddar Gorge or Windermere of the North. A long parade of bakeries and hiking booteries (?) awaits you, and you will be, like me, the ONLY person not kitted out to pretend to climb a mountain.
Wiki has almost nothing to say about Aviemore, and neither have I. I popped in Tesco to fill up on water and aspirin for the night ahead in Inverness, and breezed past the incredibly slow Londoners walking to nowhere.
Ah, two GBG pubs, what joy.
The WhatPub premises description for the Old Bridge, down by the canoes, simply says “Gastropub fare”.
My description would be “kennel”, as literally every group that came in brought a canine to the fray. One pooch blocked my way the Gents, which as you’ll know is never a good idea. I found myself applauding the Sam Smiths dog ban as I made notes on my phone (hypocrite alert).
Three local beers, and one that would have been fashionable 20 years ago.
The Cairngorms, delivered by husky from up the road, was good, and the pub was doing a lot right;the place was heaving at 4pm. Sadly the cacophony meant that my “What’s That Song Called” app couldn’t identify “Duncan Where’s Your Troosers”.
I moved to the attractive smoking area, and nearly hid in the canoe, but would have got stuck.
There was a bar called Skiing Do (Doo Below), but luckily my other GBG tick had the much more pubby name of Winking Owl, named after one of the character in the Richard Harris film “A Man Called Horse” which was filmed here.
In shades of Blair Atholl, I found myself at the wrong bar helplessly looking for service; it’s the Bothy Bar you need, Si.
With one or two exceptions, the families here were all about 15 years younger than at the Bridge, feeling very pleased with themselves to be cooped up in a ski chalet of a bar. There’s one of those in Macclesfield I can recommend.
It’s well-executed, the Trade Winds was tasty (NBSS 3) and there was good cheer, but like the Hawkshead Tap it’s not to my taste. Leave it at that.
I had a dilemma at the pumps.
Now, who one earth would come to a renowned Highlands brewery tap and ask for Pedigree ?
Don’t answer that.