The attractive little village of Kincraig lies on the west bank of the River Spey, at the north end of Loch Insh. Looked at more widely, it lies about mid way between Kingussie and Aviemore, on the east side of the B9152, the road that once formed the main A9 from Perth to Inverness. These days the new A9 passes a little further west.
The settlement here was originally called Boat of Insh. This was the name given to the station that served the village when the main line railway reached this far in 1863. But in 1871 the railway company remaned the station Kincraig, possibly signifying the moment at which the ferry, until then always used to cross the River Spey just to the east of the village, was first replaced by a bridge.
As happened in other places, the name of the village followed the name of the railway station, and "Kincraig" it has been ever since. Today's Kincraig has no station, though the main line still bisects the village. Kincraig itself comprises a scattering of largely stone built houses set amid woodland plus a shop, the Kincraig Stores; and a hotel, the Ossian Hotel.
On the far side of the River Spey and standing atop a large mound, is Insh Church. This white-harled box probably dates back to the early 1700s, though it was given its current form in 1792. Further restorations took place at intervals, most recently in 1912 and 1963.
If you stay on the old A9, the B9152 you see a newer face of Kincraig: a new village hall, a row of large white painted houses from the 1930s, and a new housing development.
But if you stay on the man road you miss much of what is best abut Kincraig. You also miss Loch Insh Watersports. A major sailing and leisure complex on the east shore of this 700 acre loch. Here you can find sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking, skiing, fishing, rowing, biking, archery, rafting and walking: plus a range of accommodation including self catering in log cabins, and a restaurant. A little further east, at Feshiebridge, is the landing strip of the Cairngorm Gliding Club.
Two miles south west of Kincraig is the superb Highland Wildlife Park, where visitors can experience Scottish wildlife as well as endangered animals from mountainous and tundra regions around the world.
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