The Ptarmigan is situated 1,097m (3,599ft) up the Cairn Gorm mountain at the top end of the funicular in the Cairngorm mountain range, near Aviemore. The mountain facilities are operated by Natural Retreats. Currently a good selection of bottled beer is available from both both Cairngorm and Orkney.
After arriving at the car park at the lower end of the funicular, you can walk the nearly 2km up to Ptarmigan (free), or take the funicular itself (£). Outwith the winter season access to the mountain is restricted to preserve the miuntain from armies of day-trippers which would otherwise destroy the delicate ecosystem. If you do decide to walk up, keep to the paths and observe all notices. Guided walks from Ptarmigan outwith the skiing season can be booked with Natural Retreats.
Other interesting information:- Natural Retreats UK took over the management of the restaurant, the Cairn Gorm Mountain ski centre and funicular railway in April 2014 on a 25 year lease from Highlands & Islands Enterprise.
The Ptarmigan is a medium sized game bird in the grouse family which sheds its grey, brown and black plumage in the winter, becoming snowy white
Cairn Gorm itself is the nearest highest point at 1245m (4085ft) which is a short walk away and the sixth highest in the UK. The highest point on the Cairngorm Plateau is Ben Macdui at 1309m (4295ft) and the second highest point in the UK after Ben Nevis which is 1344m (4409ft).
Cairngorm is a variety of semi precious smoky yellow-brown (sometimes grey-brown) quartz crystal.
Please note, the image used her has been supplied by Natural Retreats and is free of copyright to CAMRA. If a third party wishes to use the image, they should contact Natural Retreat for permission.