Newtonmore, a tiny town with a population of about 1000, is located in the Highlands, nearby a spot that is considered to be the geographic centre of Scotland. Newtonmore bills itself as “The Walking Centre of Scotland,” due not only to its central location but also to the numerous walking opportunities in and around the town. Newtonmore’s other claim to fame is its shinty team, the Newtonmore Camanachd Club.
Newtonmore is accessible by bus, train, and car. The Citylink bus services from Glasgow to Inverness srtop every two hours in Newtonmore during the day. The town is located on the main train line to the North, with regular train service throughout the day. By car, Newtonmore is a mile and a half off the A9, which is the main road through Scotland. It is a two-to-three hour drive from Glasgow or Edinburgh, a tw0-hour drive from Aberdeen, and a one-hour drive from Inverness.
Despite its tiny population, Newtonmore provides some great daytime recreation opportunities, including fishing, running, pony-riding, and of course, walking. The Newtonmore Heritage Trail provides an organized way to stroll through the town and to see many spots of interest, including the Highland Folk Museum, St. Bride’s Church, and Banchor Cemetary. Leaflets for the Heritage Trail are available at cafes, shops, and inns around the town.
Another great daytime activity in Newtonmore for the whole family is the Wildcat Experience, in which you can walk the town looking for models of Scottish Wildcats in the Cairngorms National Park. The cats can be spotted on roofs, in trees, in fields, and other hiding spots, and you can earn a certificate or a prize depending on the number of cats you locate!
Newtonmore has numerous accommodation options, including hostels, hotels, self-catering guest houses, and bed & breakfasts. The town’s official website, www.newtonmore.com, conveniently provides detailed information about all of these accommodations, including websites and email and phone contacts.
There are several small shops in Newtonmore, peddling souvenirs and crafts. Highlights include Beads by Brian, Fused and Light (which sells glass works and other artworks), and Meikle’s of Scotland, which produces Stag’s Breath Liqueur. There are also many places to eat and drink, including Tuck Shop and Ralia Café.
There aren’t a lot of nightlife options in Newtonmore, and because of its distance from the closest big cities, it’s not the best place to go if you are looking for big nights on the town. However, if you are looking for a quiet getaway with plenty of family-friendly daytime recreation, Newtonmore is a great place to visit!