Páramo Clothing Our partnership with the UK’s premier wildlife hotel, The Grant Arms - Paramo Clothing Blog

Our partnership with the UK’s premier wildlife hotel, The Grant Arms

We are excited to launch our partnership with the UK’s only wildlife hotel, The Grant Arms in the Scottish Highlands. Nestled in Grantown on Spey in the heart of the beautiful Cairngorm National Park, The Grant Arms Hotel is the perfect base from which to explore this region’s stunning landscapes and discover its abundant flora and fauna. The finest river in Scotland, the River Spey, is only minutes away and there is no better place to spot rare and endangered species such as wildcat, red squirrel, osprey, pine marten, golden eagle and rutting deer.

The Grant Arms Hotel

All Páramo newsletter subscribers will receive 10% off a standard tariff stay at the Grant Arms Hotel (excluding special breaks) by quoting code Paramo986S at the time of booking. It is valid for all stays until 31st December 2024. Subscribers will also receive a 20% Páramo discount code, redeemable on our website, which the Grant Arms will supply you with on confirmation of your hotel booking.

We’d like you to get to know The Grant Arms a little better so please read on for our Q&A with Sue Williams, who heads up the hotel’s programme of wildlife talks, walks and events, and pens its popular newsletter, the daily chirp…

Tell us a bit about the history of the Grant Arms Hotel and why it is so special…

The hotel was built in 1765 during the reign of King George III and started life as an Inn. Over the years it has been expanded several times to become the grand 50-bedroom stone- built hotel it is today. Our most famous guest is undoubtedly Queen Victoria, who spent a night here on September 4th, 1860.
Wildlife enthusiast John Woods bought the business in 2007 with the vision of creating a world-famous wildlife hotel providing tailored holidays for fellow nature lovers and professionals. Our extensive network of local guides and experts are at our guests’ disposal; however, we recognise that some people prefer to explore the Cairngorm National Park under their own steam, and we are more than happy to provide as much or as little information as required. John’s vision and the hotel team’s hard work has grown the business over the years and we are extremely proud of our 2023 TripAdvisor Travellers Choice award, given annually to businesses that consistently receive Excellent and Very Good ratings from their customers!

What is the BWWC and how can guests make the most of it during a stay?

The BWWC is our popular Birdwatching and Wildlife Club, which is based out of the hotel. We run a programme of guided trips, themed weeks, special breaks and celebrity guided holidays with personalities including Iolo Williams, Mike Dilger, Nick Baker, David Lindo, Nigel Marven, Stephen Moss and Dominic Couzens. We also welcome a raft of guest speakers throughout the year, all experts in their fields, and we encourage people to make the most of our fully stocked reference library and club room. An added bonus is our very own private hide in the hamlet of Avielochan, from which our guests can enjoy views of beautiful Slavonian Grebes in summer plumage.
All hotel guests have access to the BWWC programme, and we are always on hand to answer questions, make recommendations and facilitate bookings. We run popular morning drop-in sessions during which we can provide information on everything from recent wildlife sightings to the most beautiful views to Scottish weather predictions! We also have a programme of free, occasional guided walks and field trips to some of our finest wildlife sites.

What wildlife can guests expect to see in the area?

Where to start?! No day is ever the same, which is what makes our corner of the Cairngorm National Park so special. During winter, we welcome large flocks of overwintering migrants, including Sea Ducks, Divers, Waders, Auks, Geese and Waxwings. Come autumn and spring, wildlife is on the move again with our winter flocks leaving and summer breeders arriving, plus there is always the possibility of rarer passing migrants. In the summer, birds such as Osprey, Slavonian Grebes, Black-throated Divers and Dotterels are busy breeding and raising chicks.

If that isn’t enough to whet your wildlife appetite, our year-round inhabitants include Crested Tits, Crossbills, Ptarmigans, Snow Buntings, Red and Black Grouse, Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, Bottlenose Dolphins, Red Squirrels, Red and Roe Deer, and so much more – the list really is endless. We also have an incredible breadth of different and wonderful habitats all within easy walking or driving distance of the hotel, including montane, moorland, lochs, rivers, forests and coasts.

What has been your favourite wildlife sighting to date?

A personal favourite, after always missing out on eagles, was seeing 4 of them at the same time whilst everyone else had switched to watching something else! I watched one of them flying low with their legs down trying to scare a Red Deer off the side of a hill. Another amazing experience was during a boat trip around Findhorn Bay when a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins swam over to us and rode the bow waves of the boat, it was truly magical. I’m really looking forward to my Páramo waterproof jacket keeping me warm and dry against the wind and rain to enjoy these spectacles in the future.

Sue Williams, Programme Organiser BWWC

One of my best (ongoing) wildlife moments is seeing flocks of 100’s of Waxwings. We are one of the best places in the UK to see them in winter and they regularly visit us in smaller numbers too. Also, seeing the beautiful summer plumaged Divers and Slavonian Grebes on our inland lochs takes some beating.

John Poyner, Wildlife Guide

I love being on the coast, sea-watching, when the weather is at its worst. Rafts of mixed sea duck species are blown close into the shore, giving me the chance to sift through the rafts searching for any unusual species in amongst them. Doing this, combined with scanning the spectacular stormy seascape for autumn passage seabirds like skuas, gulls and petrels makes for some of the most exciting of birdwatching. And of course, in such inclement conditions having a tip-top Páramo jacket is absolutely essential.

Richard Thaxton, Wildlife Guide

I was birding on North Uist during a period of sustained strong westerly winds with rain squalls coming in off the Atlantic. This adverse weather was enough to push migrating Long-tailed and Pomarine Skuas close to a headland where I was hunkered down in amongst the rocks. The skuas were heading north to the Arctic Circle and northern Russia to breed and passed by me in regular flocks just metres offshore, in rough seas, with the waves crashing on the rocks. Seeing these scarce birds battling against the elements, the instinctual urge to migrate driving them to push on further north to their breeding grounds, was thrilling and not something which can be seen every year. If I’m lucky enough to witness this spectacle again, I will be wearing my Páramo kit and I know I’ll stay dry and comfortable.

Simon Pawsey, Wildlife Guide

Why has the Grant Arms Hotel chosen to partner with Páramo?

Being predominantly bird and wildlife watchers and photographers, our guests are out in all conditions, which means top quality weather-proof clothing is paramount. Páramo has always had a solid reputation for high performance, warm and waterproof clothing, and their Halkon® Jackets for men and women made from Nikwax® Analogy® fabric ticks all our boxes. It is also rustle-proof, which is a real bonus during a wildlife holiday. Páramo’s commitment to extending people’s comfort zone in the great outdoors aligns perfectly with our mission to offer Grant Arms Hotel guests the best possible UK wildlife experience, whatever the weather.

All Páramo newsletter subscribers will receive 10% off a standard tariff stay at the Grant Arms Hotel (excluding special breaks) by quoting code Paramo986S at the time of booking. It is valid for all stays until 31st December 2024. Subscribers will also receive a 20% Páramo discount code, redeemable on paramo-clothing.com, which we (the Grant Arms) will supply you with on confirmation of your hotel booking.

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grantarmshotel.com

  1. Andrew Nelst
    November 27, 2023 at 5:45 pm

    Looks great reminds me of my Scottish family history

  2. Margaret Porter
    November 28, 2023 at 4:38 pm

    I can thorough recommend the Grant Arms. The ambience and value for money experience have perfectly suited both myself and my walking tour operation customers in the past. Now I am retired I look forward to other visits. It’s great to hear you have teamed up with Paramo which is my outdoor clothing manufacturer of choice. A perfect duo.

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