Follow VisitScotland

A taste of the Cairngorms

Press release   •   Apr 20, 2018 10:36 BST

An Lochan Uaine (The Green Lochan), Glenmore Forest Park, Aviemore

A new audio tour through the majestic Cairngorms National Park is set to tickle the taste-buds of visitors.

Cooking in the Cairngorms with Ghillie has been created by Ghillie Basan in collaboration with Geotourist, which sponsored the Innovation in Tourism category at this year’s Scottish Thistle Awards National Final, Scottish tourism’s premier awards ceremony.

Beginning at Dalwhinnie, the GPS audio Geotourist trail, featured on the Geotourist app, takes in Aviemore and the Glenlivet and Braeval distilleries as part of its nine stops, arriving at Ghillie’s croft and whisky barn, where she runs regular cookery workshops.

National tourism body, VisitScotland, hopes it will encourage visitors to get out and explore this wonderful part of the country and to understand for themselves the stories, businesses and people who work and live in the areas that they visit.

Writer and broadcaster, Ghillie is one of the presenters on the Radio Scotland's Kitchen Cafe. She also runs international cookery workshops and whisky experiences at her home in Cairngorms National Park. She picked up the Innovation in Tourism award at the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards last year and represented the region at the Scottish Thistle Awards National Final held in March.

Ghillie may not have won the national prize – losing out to Loch Earn Tourism Information BLiSS Trail – but she is hoping to win over visitors with her foodie-inspired tour.

Geotourist is delighted to be working in partnership with the five national finalists in its sponsored category from the 2017/18 awards, with tours and trails currently in production in every region in Scotland.

Nominations and entries for the 2018/19 Scottish Thistle Awards are now open.

Cooking in the Cairngorms with Ghillie features:

  • Dalwhinnie
  • Kingussie
  • Aviemore
  • Mountain Café, Aviemore
  • Balliefurth Farm Shop, Nethy Bridge
  • Glenlivet Distillery
  • Brae of Glenlivet
  • Braeval Distillery
  • Ghillie’s Croft and Barn

Ghillie Basan, writer and broadcaster, said, "Hospitality is at the root of everything I do. I have travelled all over the world and have always been humbled by the hospitality I have received, often from the poorest people who share what they have. I like to welcome people to my home to share what I have and bring my knowledge and stories alive in my books, cookery workshops and whisky experiences to give visitors an unforgettable experience.

“I was honoured to be asked by Geotourist to do this on an app and it gave me the opportunity to turn the idea into a trail and include others. More trails like this would be beneficial to small businesses and could highlight what's going on in the different regions of Scotland.”

Jo Robinson, Regional Director at VisitScotland, said: “It’s the wonderful wildlife, stunning landscapes and adventurous activities which make Cairngorms National Park hugely popular amongst visitors to Scotland.

“The majority of visitors to the region cite sightseeing as their main activity and we hope this new trail, offering a unique personal journey, will inspire visitors to get out and about and explore what there is to see, do – and taste – in the park.

“Scotland’s reputation as a quality destination relies on continued investment and innovation and trails such as this will only strengthen our world-class visitor experience.”

Shaon Talukder, CEO at Geotourist said: “We are delighted to be working with Ghillie and helping her to tell her story. What has made the project reflect the idea and concept of provenance much more is the fact that Ghillie was able to bring her own connections on board to create a more meaningful and connected tour.

“At the heart of Ghillie’s tour – and, indeed, what reflects so very clearly why Ghillie is a regional Thistle winner – is that Ghillie has brought the landscape around her to life and given it reach far beyond its physical boundaries. At Geotourist, we relate to that philosophy wholeheartedly.”

The Scottish Thistle Awards rewards hotels, restaurants, B&Bs, visitor attractions, business and consumer events, and individuals who go that extra mile to provide customers with exceptional service. Last year’s competition saw a record-breaking 750 entries to the competition.

The Scottish Thistle Awards is led by a panel of industry experts from several organisations including VisitScotland, Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards, Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards, the Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland, Scotland Food and Drink, Scottish Tourism Alliance, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, sportscotland and Wild Scotland.

Regional finals are held for: Central, Fife & Tayside; Lothians & Borders; West; Highlands and Islands, organised by the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards; and Aberdeen City and Shire, organised by Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards.

For more information on the Scottish Thistle Awards or to enter, go to

To view Cooking in the Cairngorms with Ghillie go to


Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by five overarching strategies: Marketing, Events, Quality and Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism, International Engagement.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to
  • For information about business tourism in Scotland go to

2018 Year of Young People

  • The Year of Young People 2018 will be the next of the Scottish Government’s series of themed years, following the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.
  • The Year of Young People (YoYP 2018) will inspire Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally
  • Central to YoYP 2018 will be a celebratory events programme that puts young people at the heart of its development and delivery, creating new and valuable experiences for young Scots and the wider public, with links to the inaugural 2018 European Championships.
  • Over 200 young people throughout Scotland are currently being recruited to become YoYP 2018 Ambassadors. Ambassadors will ensure that people and organisations in their communities know about what’s happening and will lead on projects and activities to create events and opportunities to celebrate young people.
  • The Year of Young People will have six themes which were developed in co-production with young people themselves:
  • oParticipation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives
  • oEducation – creating a stronger role for young people in shaping their learning
  • oHealth and Wellbeing – supporting young people to lead healthier, active lives and have opportunities to learn about and improve their mental health and resilience
  • oEquality and Discrimination – broadcasting the value of young Scots, challenging negative perceptions of young people, and supporting young people to take leading roles in challenging discrimination in all its forms.
  • oEnterprise and regeneration – celebrating young people’s role in innovation, entrepreneurship and the Scottish economy as well as making Scotland a greener and more pleasant place to live
  • oCulture – celebrating young people’s talent and contribution to Scottish culture and arts.
  • Further information on what’s happening and how people can get involved can be found on the new website or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.