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Living in Carrbridge: the local area guide

Carrbridge is a small picturesque village in the Scottish Highlands. It lies in the district of Badenoch and Strathspey, about 30 miles south-east of Inverness and 7 miles from Aviemore. On the edge of the beautiful ancient pine forest in the Cairngorms National Park, its landscape is utterly breathtaking. Famously, Carrbridge is home to the oldest bridge in the Highlands.

Carrbridge acts as a gateway to the national park, and, for that reason, gets a lot of attraction from tourists. Most stop to see the early 18th century packhorse bridge, which was nearly destroyed in 1829 but still just about stands (enough for locals to dive from it into the bitterly cold river below).

Another draw is the wild, untamed forest. It has an amazing array of wildlife, including rare birds and animals such as crested tits, red squirrels and red deer. It also features the Landmark Forest Adventure Park – a park that offers a wild water coaster and challenging nature trail among other attractions. The village itself offers a 9-hole golf course, pony trekking centre and bowling green.

Mountains surround the village, and offer skiing in the winter and the chance to see birds of prey including golden eagles, peregrine falcons and ospreys.

Demographics

Only 792 permanent residents populate Carrbridge. However, the town’s tiny population swells when visitors from all over the world arrive to take in the scenery, wildlife, outdoor activities and Highland atmosphere. Carrbridge also acts as a base for many visiting the Cairngorm ski resort.

Due to the small population, demographic data is relatively meaningless. However, the locals are a hardy, characterful, warm and active lot. There is a village football team, Carrbridge FC, which has won its league more than once, and the village is the scene of two fantastic annual competitions. The brilliantly named Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship happens every year, around October time, and creates a brilliant buzz. Also occurring in the autumn is the 'Carve Carrbridge' Scottish Open Chainsaw Carving Competition, which shows off some astounding talent.

Famously, the people of Carrbridge stood toe to toe in 2009 with the BBC in protest of their weather coverage. According to the locals, the Corporation lumped Carrbridge with the rest of Scotland in their weather reports as generally rainy. In fact, Carrbridge is relatively dry and the residents felt that the BBC was driving visitors away with their erroneous predictions. The story was featured on national news, and joked about on the TV show Have I Got News For You.

Education

Carrbridge has its own primary school, which is at the heart of the local community and provides a great environment for young children. It is aided by local parents and business owners, who all chip in and do what they can to help out.

For secondary schools, there are plenty within a reasonable drive. Aviemore has several options, and Inverness has even more should parents wish to find a school to fit their particular preference of curriculum, environment or religious affiliation.

Transport

The Carrbridge Railway Station, on the Highland Main Line, serves the village and provides excellent links to the rest of the Highlands. Inverness is less than an hour away by train, and Aviemore just 20 minutes.

For drivers, the A9 is the major artery and links to Inverness in just half an hour, or Aviemore in a few minutes. Another perk of living in Carrbridge is that all transport options provide stunning vistas.

Amenities and shopping

As a tiny village, Carrbridge doesn't offer much more than the basic convenient amenities. However, Aviemore offers much more and is only a short trip away.

For serious shoppers, Inverness has the Eastgate Shopping Centre. All the major High Street brands are there, and the centre of Inverness is well worth exploring for great cafes, restaurants and boutique stores.

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Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact editor@primelocation.com

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.

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