A Reindeer Experience for All

by Cairngorm Reindeer in Aviemore, Highland Council, United Kingdom

Total raised £32,251

£48,000 stretch target 3 days left
107% 280 supporters
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 22nd June 2024 at 10:00am

Let's create a Reindeer Experience for all to enjoy!

by Cairngorm Reindeer in Aviemore, Highland Council, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

Wow, we're so excited about making our new Paddocks and Exhibition the best experience possible! With money raised above our initial target, we'd like to build new homes for our elves, and a cosy bothy for Santa to come to visit. We'd also like to put the focus on the unique wildlife in this special area, planting native trees and flowers for pollinators, providing feeding stations & nest boxes and raising awareness through cool info boards. Adding more interactive exhibits that everyone of all abilities can enjoy, like 3D printed skulls and Sami artefacts, along with sheltered areas for both humans and reindeer to hide from any rainy weather. Thanks so much for sharing our dream to build a reindeer experience for all to enjoy! 😍


We'd love to raise £30K to help complete our new Cairngorm Reindeer Centre to enable all abilities to truly experience our unique reindeer - for over 70 years they have been the only herd to roam freely in their natural habitat in the UK.

Only the fit and physically able can visit our friendly reindeer in their mountain environment by joining one of our Hill Trips. We want to share & bring that unique experience of the herd to those unable to walk out onto the hill.

We hope to enhance our new Exhibition area to include immersive seasonal footage of the reindeer on the mountain, engaging information for all ages about arctic adaptations, the impact of climate change, history of the Cairngorm Reindeer and their sense of place in the Cairngorms National Park in the Highlands of Scotland. 


Through the re-landscaping of the Paddocks beside the new Centre we will provide the visiting reindeer with a secure and comfortable environment while on display. By re-aligning and constructing walkways and structures we will bring all abilities closer to these unique animals and provide informative displays with interactive crafts and fun areas for families in all weathers.

Our new, self-funded building is already underway, but in order to kit it out we're looking for your help! Our dream is to really bring the Hill experience down to the Exhibition, so everyone can be inspired by the joy of reindeer.


What we'd like to do:

£9,000: Immersive seasonal films

- 4 x filming days with follow-up editing at £1,000 each

- Viewing screens for immersive experience £5,000

Our dream is for visitors who are unable to join us on the mountain to be able to have the closest possible experience to actually being amongst the reindeer. By filming seasonal films which can be experienced in an immersive environment, we will be able to illustrate just how incredible our reindeer are at all times of the year.


£14,000: Upgrade and modernise our interpretation boards

We want to update our interpretation boards to take visitors on a journey through the history of reindeer as a species, provide education about this amazing species, and excite everyone for the future.


£7,000: Extensive viewing areas and access for all abilities built from recycled, hardwearing materials

We already have plans for a fully-accessible viewing platform, but as we experience such harsh weather in the Cairngorms, we would love to upgrade to use recycled materials with good longevity to make this happen. Extra budget would allow us to extend the pathways to offer more viewing opportunities.


Going beyond, our dreams include:

£2,000: New home for the elves!

One of the most memorable features in our old Exhibition was our "Elves house", where children could visit the home of Santa's elves. Their previous accommodation was letting in the rain, so we'd love to build them a new house, perhaps with viewing windows through to see into Santa's secret workshop too.


£1,500: Plant native trees and wildlife-friendly areas

By adding in native trees, a wildflower bank and information about the local wildlife, we can provide a real boost, natural shade and raise awareness for the unique flora and fauna with whom the reindeer share their home. We'd love to add nest boxes and feeding stations for birds and red squirrels.


£4,000: Santa's cosy bothy

Santa comes to visit us every December and meets families who come to see our Paddocks and Exhibition. We'd like to build him a homely bothy with a lovely warm stove so he can stay comfortable.

£3,500: Functional, moveable indoor displays 

We'd love to design the indoor area of our new Centre in a way which is adaptable to different situations, allowing us to use it as a multifunctional space to accommodate visiting groups both from the local community and further afield.

£5,000: Shelter and seating for visitors 

By creating sheltered areas for our visitors, along with seating, folk can take their time enjoying watching the reindeer with the weight off their feet, and with protection from the rain. 

£800: Displays of traditional and cultural artwork

Our herd has its roots from the Jokkmokk area of Sweden. We would love to work with artists and artisans to showcase handicrafts and artefacts from the Sami people, to share their history and culture of living alongside reindeer with our visitors.

£1,200: Improve our provision of footwear

One of the main barriers to visitors joining a Hill Trip to meet the reindeer on the mountains is not having suitable footwear with them. We have a small stock of welly boots at present, but would love to be able to expand our offering so more people can get up amongst the reindeer herd. By creating a storage area, we will be able to hold a larger stock of wellies to make sure we have boots in enough sizes for everyone.


Perhaps one of the rewards opposite grabs your fancy? Some rewards can only be fulfilled in certain seasons, so do get in touch if you'd like to know more. All rewards involving a visit will be redeemable until the end of 2028 - we'll be in touch and work out a date that suits.

We have so much we'd like to achieve - will you help us to share our wonderful reindeer with the world? The more we can raise, the more of our goals we'll be able to meet. Thank you so much for your support!


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£100 or more

0 of 25 claimed

Family photo

An opportunity for you to get a unique festive photo. We’ll arrange a time when you can visit our new Paddock area (once it's built!), and will bring a couple of our reindeer over for you to take a photo with – perfect for your next Christmas card! Includes tickets to the new Centre for up to 5 people.

£5 or more

Name on our Supporter's page

We'll pop your name on our special supporter's page on our website, thank you so much for supporting our dream!

£5 or more

Discount in our shop

As a thank you for your support, we will send you a 10% discount voucher to use in our online gift shop (valid on most products).

£8 or more

56 of 2000 claimed

Exclusive sticker

We'll post out an exclusive sticker to you!

£10 or more

Ticket to our new Centre

Voucher for free admission for 1 person to our new Visitor Centre (once it’s complete!). Please note this gives admission to the Paddocks area, not the Hill Trip.

£25 or more

3 of 500 claimed

Hand-written card

We will post you a hand-written thank you card from one of our experienced reindeer herders.

£40 or more

44 of 250 claimed

Signed reindeer book

Learn all about reindeer with your own copy of “Reindeer: An Arctic Life” – author Tilly Smith will sign and write a wee personalized message inside for you.

£50 or more

Your name displayed in the new Centre

Have your name displayed on our “Thank you” list on the wall of our new building, plus free admission for 1 person to our new Visitor Centre (once it’s complete). Please note this gives admission to the Paddocks area, not the Hill Trip.

£50 or more

4 of 200 claimed

Five tickets to the new Centre

Voucher covering admission for 5 people to our new Visitor Centre (once it’s complete!). Please note this gives admission to the Paddocks area, not the Hill Trip.

£50 or more

5 of 100 claimed

Personal Reindeer Video

We’ll record a short video with a personal message for you or a loved one, with our wonderful reindeer. Perhaps you'd like a birthday message for a friend, or a get well soon message for a neighbour. Sure to brighten up anyone’s day! Your message will feature our beautiful reindeer, and will be about 60 seconds long.

£65 or more

Gift bundle

Exclusive tote bag, enamel mug and sticker bundle, so you can spread your love of reindeer!

£175 or more

4 of 35 claimed

Private "Meet the Reindeer" session (1-5 people)

Private “Meet the Reindeer” session once we have our new Visitor Centre up and running – one of our experienced herders will introduce you & up to 4 of your friends to members of our herd in the Paddocks and Exhibition, including a short hand-feeding session and lots of information about the reindeer (please note this gives admission to the Paddocks area, not the Hill Trip). Duration approx. 30 minutes.

£350 or more

14 of 100 claimed

Engraved Plaque in the new Paddock area

Engraved plaque at our new Visitor Centre. We will engrave a plaque with the inscription of your choice and display it in our new Exhibition area. The perfect way to show your support or remember a loved one.

£500 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Private Visit to Wild Farm (1-3 people)

Wild Farm, on the Glenlivet estate near Tomintoul, is the second home of our reindeer herd, and along with meeting and handfeeding the reindeer, there is the chance to see some of the other animals at the farm which may include red deer, belted Galloway cattle, soay sheep and wild boar. Please note you will require your own transport to reach the farm (located about a 45-minute drive from Aviemore). Valid for up to 3 people, visits Apr-Sept.

£500 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Private Hill Trip to the reindeer (1-10 people)

Private Hill Trip (for up to 10 people) – head onto the mountain with your own herder for a Hill Trip, to meet, feed and learn about our reindeer. A good level of general fitness will be required for participants as there is a 20 min walk onto hilly, rough ground. Visits Apr-Dec.

£500 or more

2 of 3 claimed

Visit our new calves (1-4 people)

May is calving time for us, and we'd love to offer a private experience (up to 4 people) where we'll head up and visit the newest members of the herd. Quite how close we can get will depend on how our new mums are feeling, but we'll do our best to give you a real treat! We will also feed some of our adult reindeer. Good level of fitness required, ~1.5 hr duration, visits in late May only.

£600 or more

1 of 5 claimed

Be a Reindeer Herder for a morning (1-2 people)

See behind-the-scenes as you join a herder as they go up and feed the herd. Learn about how we health check & handle the reindeer, including the chance to get involved yourself. Afterwards, join our public Hill Trip. A good level of general fitness will be required for participants as there is a 20 min walk onto hilly, rough ground, and you will be on your feet for 3-4 hours. 1-2 people. Children must be accompanied, min age 8.

£600 or more

3 of 5 claimed

Be a Farmer for a Morning (1-2 people)

See behind-the-scenes at our Glenlivet Hill Farm as you help with the morning feed round, checking on our varied animals including (dependent on day) red deer, belted Galloway cattle, soay sheep, wild boar and (of course!) reindeer. Please note you will require your own transport to reach the farm (located about a 45-minute drive from Aviemore). Duration ~3 hours. Children must be accompanied, min age 8.

£800 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Private Wildlife and Reindeer Walk

Join one of our herders to explore and experience both the reindeer and some of the local wildlife of the area on a half day walk through the Caledonian pine forest, looking out for birds, mammals and plant life along the way. Private group of up to 4 people – you’ll need a fair level of fitness and good outdoor clothing, but we can tailor the route to your requirements. Best redeemed in Spring! Duration 3-4 hours.

£5,000 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Pick our 2024 calf naming theme

Every year we name our new calves on a theme – you can pick our 2024 theme from these options: Teas & Coffees (Mocha, Earl Grey…), Embroidery & Needlecraft (Bobbin, Thimble…), Mythical Creatures (Yeti, Griffin…), Dances (Waltz, Rumba…), Disney Sidekicks (Baloo, Dory…), Condiments & Spreads (Dijon, Chutney…), Traditional Foods (Haggis, Poppadom…). You can suggest names within your chosen theme, & we'll send photos of the newly christened calves!

£65 or more

6 of 6 claimed

Exclusive original artwork

Artist and herder Sheena has created 6 fantastic original artworks, framed and ready to brighten your room! View them in our description on the left. Each is unique - first to pledge is first to pick!

£400 or more

1 of 1 claimed

3-night stay in Aviemore

Enjoy a 3-night stay in our holiday house in the quiet outskirts of Aviemore, for up to 4 people (two double beds), with the option to visit the reindeer at Cairngorm included. Valid until the end of 2028.

£650 or more

5 of 5 claimed

Trekking with the Reindeer (1-4 people)

Trekking with the reindeer. Some of you may remember we previously offered trekking with the reindeer, where you would lead your own reindeer on a walk through our beautiful Hill Enclosure, stopping for refreshments enroute, then returning to the herd to join onto the public Hill Trip. Well, we’re pleased to offer a very limited amount of treks again – your own private trek for up to 4 people. A good level of fitness is required, min age 12.

£1,000 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Long Weekend at Wild Farm Cottage

Long weekend (3 nights) at our beautiful holiday cottage, Wild Farm Cottage, with a visit to the reindeer. Wild Farm Cottage is set in the beautiful backdrop of the Glenlivet estate, with exceptional countryside and dark night skies. Access your own private hot tub and sauna. Enjoy a 3 night stay for up to 4 people.

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