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Ptarmigan Restaurant - The UKs Highest Restaurant




High atop Cairngorm Mountain is the Ptarmigan Restaurant, the UK’s highest restaurant at 1097 meters above sea level.  Open daily, this delightful mountaintop restaurant is the perfect place for you to sit back, relax, and enjoy a homemade soup or snack, all while gazing out the panoramic windows at the mountain area and weather.  On a clear day, you can see all the way to Caithness, the Scottish Highlands’ northernmost county. 

The Ptarmigan has a varied menu of light snacks, homemade soups, baked goods, and their famous Cairngorm Hot Chocolate.  As well, there are different hot meals served up daily.  This semi-self-serve, cafeteria-style restaurant is a cosy place to stop and refresh yourself.  The Ptarmigan Bar also offers a nice choice of Speyside whiskies and local ales.  The food is not fancy, but it is well-prepared and used locally sourced ingredients.  The soups are hearty and the bread is fresh and home-baked.  A variety of teas and coffees are also served, perfect with a fresh scone or some shortbread.

The Ptarmigan Restaurant, named after the game bird which is similar to a grouse and is found all throughout the mountainous Highland region, is more than just a place to eat, however.  It is a place to be experienced, as it is reached only by riding the funicular railway from the base station to the Ptarmigan top station, or by walking up.  The train journey is a smooth 2 kilometres, and is fully accessible by wheelchair.  Hikers have the option of walking up and back down, or walking up and taking the train down.  A visit to Cairngorm Mountain is just not complete without a trip on the funicular and a nice bit of refreshment at the Ptarmigan Restaurant. 

The Ptarmigan Restaurant is also available for special events, corporate functions, and weddings.  If you’re looking for a unique venue, this is the place.  As well, the Ptarmigan runs family ceilidh nights throughout the summer months.  You will ride the train to the top and enjoy a three-course Highland buffet followed by live ceilidh music and plenty of dancing.  Even if you’ve never danced a ceilidh dance before, don’t let that stop you.  The band will talk you through the dances, so it’s a great activity for everyone to enjoy.  Be sure to book early if you wish to experience a Cairngorm Ceilidh Night.  The Ptarmigan Restaurant just below the summit of Cairngorm Mountain is worth a trip—combining a wholesome and hearty menu with magnificent views, a history of the area, and a funicular train trip sure to delight everyone.  This is a not-to-be-missed Scottish Highland day out!