Cairngorms tourist route takes the high road to success with two gongs at planning awards

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One of the North-east’s most stunning driving routes has picked up two prestigious awards.

The Snow Roads in the Cairngorms National Park were honoured at the Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning this week.

The awards celebrate achievements in planning and the Snow Roads, as they are known, won in the Place category as well as scooping the People’s Choice award.

Taking drivers on a mountainous journey through the Cairngorms National Park, the route links Blairgowrie (A93) to Grantown-on-Spey (A939) via Glenshee, Braemar, Ballater, The Lecht and Tomintoul.

It is also the highest A road in Britain and now features three installations and upgraded laybys. The first installation, The Watchers, is on the A939 at Corgarff and features a group of cowled seats where people can enjoy the views over Glen Avon and Deeside.

At Glenshee there is a viewpoint seat, path and visitor information point at the Creagan Nam Cam layby.

The third, Still, is at Craighaulkie Quarry on the outskirts of Tomintoul, and an improved path takes visitors to an elevated viewpoint cube with stunning views of the Cairngorms.

The work was led by the Cairngorms National Park Authority with the organisation’s head of visitor services Pete Crane seeing the scheme to fruition.

Mr Crane said: “It is a fantastic endorsement of the project to receive these two awards.

“Although the park authority led the work, there were a number of partners involved, from the newly-qualified architects who designed the viewpoints, supported by landscape architects Ian White Associates, to local landowners and the Cairngorms Business Partnership who now have the job of developing the route to offer visitors a truly immersive experience.

“We are particularly delighted to have won the People’s Choice award. It is a great drive through the Cairngorms National Park and should be enjoyed at a relaxed pace to fully appreciate the landscape and the communities along the way.”