by John Hill Burton, published by Wlm Blackwood and Sons 1864
Most of the Cairgorms are designated a National Scenic Area. W H Murray, in his survey of the scenic value of the mountain areas of Scotland for the National Trust for Scotland, commented not only on the scale of the landscape but, even within the main central massifs, on the unexpected landscape diversity as rolling plateaux plunged into deep glens or corries, with their tumbling streams and mountain lochs. At a lower level, the woodlands and forests, even in their degraded state, have impressed many observers, see box below. The extensive moorland areas surrounding the hills provide scenery that is increasingly rare in Europe as heathlands disappear. In the Scottish context this open landscape is characterised by a subtle but varied mix of colours, textures and hues that changes with the season but is never drab. Lastly, the major straths provide the travelling tourist with an extensive and varied mix of farmed and forested areas with the major rivers providing an important unifying theme in the landscape.
“The great rolling hills of the Cairngorms do not have the immediate and imposing impact of the Cuilllin of Skye or the isolated bens of Sutherland. Their appeal takes longer to mature. The far views across their high plateaux, unimpeded by soaring peaks or fretted ridges, give a sense of space and scale which no other British mountains can convey. Half hidden between their enfolding masses, the corries and the glens plunge to unsuspecting depths, flanked often by immense cliffs and bottomed in places by dark and brooding lochs.”
From “The future of the Cairngorms” by Kai Curry Lindahl, Adam Watson and Drennan Watson, published by North East Mountain Trust 1982