Area focus: Slope off to Aviemore
The half marathon starts at 2pm on Saturday, while the 10k commences at 1pm on Sunday, with starting points for both at Badaguish, a 20-minute drive east of Aviemore.
The routes reflect the bucolic Scottish Highlands, featuring the finest examples of the region’s elements including thrilling off-road trails, leafy forest paths, a loch, unparalleled mountain scenery and the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre.
Increasingly, homeowners are seeking a property in a rural or more remote location and, set within the UK’s highest and biggest mountain range, the year-round outdoor destination of Aviemore should top the list.
The village provides a base for hill climbers, skiers, snowboarders, and cyclists, among others, and is a small hub of shops and eateries.
Its name stems from the Gaelic for “The Big Face” – An Aghaidh Mhòr – referring to Craigellachie hill. There has been a settlement there from as far back as the 1600s, but due to its remoteness, the town did not begin to flourish until the construction of its railway station at the end of the 1800s. It was then that Highland Railway built the former Aviemore Hotel and homes for its staff there – long before the destination had become a famous mountain resort.
The second most important part of the town’s development was the construction of a chairlift and the now-demolished Aviemore Centre in the 1960s, ensuring its place as Scotland’s first ski resort.
Due to the outstanding natural beauty of the locale, and access to first-class outdoor adventures, the quaint town nestled peacefully alongside the River Spey remains a popular spot for homebuyers.
So much so, a home there will cost on average £215,855, according to Zoopla, with more than 60 sales in the last 12 months.
The north of the town centre has seen much residential development over recent decades, and many of the homes are contemporary family-friendly detached and semidetached houses, designed for modern day living.
Carn Elrig View, to the north of the town and on the A9 road, which connects to Inverness and Perth, is a well-presented up-scale cul-de-sac of large houses, featuring spacious gardens and driveways.
It is a stone’s throw from Old Meall Road, a new development of luxury family villas that have been designed with their setting in mind, and featuring timber. Both are highly sought-after addresses, with the first location fetching around £400,000 and the latter £270,000.
Heading towards town, the Croftside area has an average price of £402,500 for a property, and Allt Mor evens out at £392,000.
Although properties there are not quite as grand, they retain the sense of modern luxury and enjoy ample outdoor space.
Dalfaber Road, in the southern end of Aviemore, has a small collection of uniquely designed large properties, most of which are used as holiday homes.
Grampian Road is the town’s main street and there is a scattering of traditional stone-built Victorian villas to the north and a handful of apartments in the centre.
The town has a primary school and secondary education is provided at Kingussie High School, a 15-minute train ride away. Gordonstoun School, near Elgin, is the closest independent school, some 50 miles north.
Aviemore is well connected for those looking to commute, with easy access to Inverness and Perth, and improved digital connectivity for home workers.
With an abundance of unrivalled countryside and wildlife close by, Aviemore is an ideal base for anyone of an outdoor bent seeking a home away from the city, or a second home in an idyllic Scottish holiday destination.
Average market value of a property in the area (source: Zoopla)