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A Week of Whisky and Food in Scotland

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A Week of Whisky and Food in Scotland

We are two 30 y/o couples - big craft and Belgian beer lovers and aspiring whisky connoisseurs - that enjoy experiencing great food. And of course we love nature, empty roads, and scenic car rides. We're always interested in short hikes/walks or bike rides wherever we are.

We are planning a trip to Scotland in May for ~8 days and have put together the following rough itinerary. We'll rent a car when we leave Edinburgh.

Day 1 - In and around Edinburgh, night #1

Day 2 - Edradour, Dalwhinnie, Cairngorm Brewery; night #2 in Aviemore

Day 3 - Speyside Cooperage, Glenfarclas, Balvenie, Benromach; night #3 in Dufftown

Day 4 - Eilean Donan Castle, Talisker, touring around Skye, night #4 (exact town TBD)

Day 5 - Elgol, boat cruise, more touring around Skye, Three Chimneys dinner, night #5 (exact town TBD)

Day 6 - Ben Nevis, Glencoe, Oban, night #6

Day 7 - Balloch, Trossachs, Callander, Stirling Castle, night #7 back in or just outside of Edinburgh

Day 8 - Whatever in Edinburgh not covered on day 1

Clearly there's still further research to be done, especially on where to find great food experiences, so I would appreciate any feedback you have thus far.

I think it would be awesome to get up to Dunrobin Castle and over to Kylesku, then down through Ullapool and Gairloch to Eilean Donan Castle (I personally love driving), but I think this would be just too much for my passengers. One (or two or three) of the mornings hopefully I can sneak away for a round of golf somewhere :)

Thanks in advance for your time and assistance.

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1. Re: A Week of Whisky and Food in Scotland

http://www.thecross.co.uk/

The above has good feedback from foodie friends of mine. Kingussie is about half an hour south of Aviemore.

http://www.muckrach.com/

Muckrach is about 20 minutes north of Aviemore in a place called Dulnain Bridge. I see its undergoing major refurb according to the local newspaper but it should be finished by May!!

Another place that also gets lots of praise for its food is also in Dulnain

http://www.tigh-na-sgiath.co.uk/

You need to book early to get a table though!

tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurants-g667103-Duffto…

You may want to use the above link to find somewhere to eat in Dufftown. I was amazed there are so many places in what I would consider an unlikely spot for eateries but there you go - I'm sure you'll find somewhere to fill your tummies!

As for golf, Speyside has many lovely courses and you can see a few on the Greater Speyside map - we are positively littered in distilleries, castles and golf courses including a superb one at Grantown on Spey. Aviemore itself has a decent golf course too!

http://www.greaterspeyside.com/

One thing that's on your side about travelling in May is that the evenings are long clear so you'll get plenty of daylight if the weather is good to squeeze the most out of your holidays.

The Seafood Temple in Oban gets good reviews although I haven't eaten there

foodytraveller.com/reviews/foody-travellers-…

Just north of Oban at Port Appin, The Pierhouse restaurant is somwewhere I have stayed and eaten and would love to go back to

http://www.pierhousehotel.co.uk/

The setting is STUNNING, the food is AMAZING and the views and peace and quiet are great for your soul.

Enjoy your trip planning

Woody x

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2. Re: A Week of Whisky and Food in Scotland

Hike-wise when in the Ben Nevis are is the wonderful walk to Steall Falls at the end of Glen Nevis walkhighlands.co.uk/fortwilliam/steallfalls.…

Restaurant wise whilst in Skye http://www.seabreezes-skye.co.uk/ is excellant

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3. Re: A Week of Whisky and Food in Scotland

Another excellent hotel and restaurant in the Aviemore area is http://rowantreehotel.com/

Somerset
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4. Re: A Week of Whisky and Food in Scotland

Of the cities & rural places I have visited in the UK I've had the best choice of good food in Edinburgh.

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5. Re: A Week of Whisky and Food in Scotland

Wow, thanks for the great feedback so far everyone! In terms of general itinerary, do you think it's laid out relatively well? Would you recommend skipping some places and spending more time in others?

woodybark: I really appreciate your comments and links. Sounds like there's a ton of things in and around Speyside to keep us busy. I'm looking forward to the long days so we can have plenty of relaxation time mixed in with all the drinking, eating, and scenic adventures.

goanjock: Ben Nevis and Steall Falls are definitely on the list! Thank you for your dining recommendations, as well.

suebovington: Thanks for your feedback. We've been to tons of great restaurants throughout the world. We're not necessarily in search of the best food ever, but rather want to make sure we choose wisely within the areas we're visiting. The biggest goal of this trip is to really just get out into the country, enjoy the scenery, meet the locals, and throw back some whisky!

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6. Re: A Week of Whisky and Food in Scotland

I am not a fan of whisky so my reply is slightly biased but it seems a shame to spend all day (Day 3) seeing 4 distilleries when there is so much to see and do around the area. I think once you have seen one distillery (or at least one distillery in one area!) you have seem them all. But that's just my opinion and as I said whisky isn't that important to me but if its what you want to do then enjoy yourselves! That would be my only criticism otherwise I think its quite well planned (if a bit rushed)

Woody x

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7. Re: A Week of Whisky and Food in Scotland

Totally makes sense, Woody. We don't necessarily plan on going to every single distillery and we definitely won't be doing more than one or two tours. What's mentioned above is more of a guide for the top ones on our list. Ideally Day 3 could be something like: golf 9 holes in the early morning, grab a light breakfast and see a couple distilleries, do some whisky tasting, have lunch, then maybe go for a short hike somewhere. Another distillery or two (whisky tasting) before things close down for the day followed by a late dinner. I'm sure we could spend more time during the day doing scenic things and save our whisky tasting for the pubs at night, too. We definitely want to remain flexible, while at the same time knowing all our wonderful options.

I think the key for us here is (1) confirming that Cairngorms+Speyside and Skye are the two areas to spend more of our time in; and (2) validating that the route and amount of driving is reasonable, or at least not completely insane :) I also have Glencoe marked as a "must see". If we are loving these areas and therefore decide to skip some of the places towards the end of our trip (Balloch, Trossachs, Callander, Stirling Castle, more of Edinburgh), we won't feel so bad about missing these. And of course it just means we'll have to come back again for another trip!

Thanks again!

Edited: 07 January 2014, 13:27
Fife, United Kingdom
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8. Re: A Week of Whisky and Food in Scotland

The Walk Highlands website that Jock mentioned earlier will be very useful to you wherever you find yourselves in the highlands

www.walkhighlands.co.uk

Woody

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9. Re: A Week of Whisky and Food in Scotland

day 2 - after Edradour have lunch at the Moulin Hotel - approx 1/2 mile from the distillery.

They brew great beer & food is excellent also....

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10. Re: A Week of Whisky and Food in Scotland

Hi,

I saw this post a while ago and meant to reply, so just dug it out again. I want to respond to your suggested golf/whisky itinerary for Day 3. I think you may find it difficult to have very early golf. Many courses limit what time golf can start and may reserve the earlier times for members. However smaller, less 'golf tourist' visited courses may be more flexible and welcoming, so do make some advance enquiries to find out what is actually possible but I'd be surprised if you managed to arrange pre-breakfast golf.

However, with the longer May evenings, as Woody has mentioned, you will find it much easier to fit in golf late in the day, perhaps taking advantage of twilight fees, should the course of interest to you offer these. So you can play golf after an early dinner.

Distilleries will tend to end tours late afternoon. Some distilleries, such as Aberlour, only offer tours at fixed times, perhaps just twice a day each lasting a couple of hours. So again, do your research in advance to see how flexible your chosen distillery(ies) are on timings. Again, I think you would find it very difficult to fit in 4 distilleries in a day......plus golf.

For a day in Speyside with golf and whisky nice and close together perhaps look around the Dufftown area. But think about maybe just an initial 2 distilleries and golf later in the day.