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Need help planning a Whisky walking tour

U.S.
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Need help planning a Whisky walking tour

My boyfriend and I are staying at the Highlander Inn in Craigellachie in July. We will be there for 3 full days and would like to spend most of our time visiting distilleries and experiencing the “uisge beatha.” We will not have a car and love walking and hiking - we plan to spend one day hiking part of the Speyside way trail, either north towards Fochabers or south towards Ballindalloch.

Here is what I need to know 1) what distilleries can we reasonably expect to visit by foot from our location in Craigellachie and 2) should we go north or south on Speyside Way (we want a beautiful hike with the possibility of 1 or 2 distillery stops. 3) Anything else that you think might make our stay more enjoyable (restaurants or sights not to miss, etc.)

Thanks so much!!

Edinburgh, United...
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1. Re: Need help planning a Whisky walking tour

I am really busy today and away from the computer for most of it.

Staying at the Highlander Inn is a great start.

i will get back to yopu tomorrow about the 2 walks we did over a long weekend there.

have a look at these websites to get you started.

http://www.scotlandwhisky.com (Distilleries to visit and Whisky Embassies)

http://www.maltwhiskytrail.com/

http://www.whisky.com/

www.whisky-tours.com

http://www.scottishpubs.co.uk/

http://www.scotchwhisky.net/

http://www.whiskycoast.co.uk

http://www.whisky-heritage.co.uk/ ( Edinburgh )

http://www.dcs.ed.ac.uk/home/jhb/whis... (pronunciation of whisky names)

http://www.wmcadenhead.com/ ( specialist whisky shop)

http://www.royalmilewhiskies.com/defa... (specialist whisky shop)

http://www.whiskyshop.com/ (specialist whisky shop)

scotland
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2. Re: Need help planning a Whisky walking tour

Hi Martigal first of all you have picked a lovely spot to stay and explore.

There are a number of distilleries in this area

craigellachie

scotchwhisky.net/distilleries/craigellachie

macallan

www.scotchwhisky.net/distilleries/macallan

aberlour

www.scotchwhisky.net/distilleries/aberlour

to name but a few. Try these sites may help

www.moray.gov.uk/area/speyway/webpages/map

www.dcs.ed.ac.uk/home/jhb/whisky/scotland

Ican also recommend the archiestown hotel as a nice place for a meal

www.archiestownhotel.co.uk

You could also try the Speyside Cooperage‎

www.speysidecooperage.co.uk

hope this helps

tarric

scotland
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3. Re: Need help planning a Whisky walking tour

Hi Martigal

the web adresses for the distilleries do not work just use unclegus's scotchwhisky.net

sorry

tarric

Fife, United Kingdom
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4. Re: Need help planning a Whisky walking tour

Thanks Unclegus and Tarric- that's just what I was going to say!!

Woody x

Edinburgh, United...
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5. Re: Need help planning a Whisky walking tour

we stayed in the Highlander Inn about 5 years ago,it was the weekend the old owners were leaving and the present owners taking over.It is a great place to stay .I met the present owners at a whisky festival a couple of years ago and very fine people they are.looking at their present website i would say things have got even better there.

here is how we spent our weekend.

arrived Friday lunch-time and checked in ,then had a fantastic bar lunch.

We asked about how to get to the Macallan distillery and a local offered us a lift round there,the walk back to the hotel was less than 20 minutes but we took a diversion to the Quiach bar in the Craigellachie hotel,it is not cheap in there and we spent over £100 in a couple of hour(3 of us) but we did try some pretty expensive whisky.

we had an evening walk to look at the Craigellachie distillery (used to be known as the White Horse distillery ) and a look round the Cooperage,of course both places were closed but that did not stop us.

Saturday we walked to Dufftown along a spur of the Speyside way,walk to the bottom of the Highlander Inn car park and you are on the Path ,turn right to Dufftown and left to Aberlour.

we walked to Dufftown and passed a few old distilleries than we closed and just use as storage.as we came into Dufftownwe walked round the balvenie distillery (tours can be arranged) and then took a tour of Glenfiddich,it is really geared up for tourist but it does a bloody good tour.walked to Balvenie castle and then round a few of the distilleries just to have a look.had lunch in a local bar and then visited the whisky Shop in the Town,I have no idea how much i spent but iIgot a couple of free minatures for my efforts.There is a small whisky musum there but it was closed so we didn't get inside.

spent the afternoon watching the Scottish Cup final on the TV in the bar and haveing a chat and a few drinks with the locals.

got the bus back toi Craigellachie.

Sunday we took a taxi from Craigellachie out to the Tamdu distillery about 8 miles away. There are buses that get you faily close.This is right on the Speyside way and we walked anlong there to Aberlour passing several distlleries some functional some not in use,none of them were open for tours but we did get into the grounds to take some pics.The whole walk is stunning and pretty flat,even if there were no distilleries to see it would be a wonderful walk.We got to Aberlour (6 miles walk) about lunchtime and had a great meal in the Mash Tunn there,they have a great selection of whisky and you can even get a Glenfarclas from the year you were born,but being the age I am the cost was a bit prohibitive (ie £300 a nip),if you are under 30 then the prices are certainly more managable.

We had a arrange a tour of the Aberlour distillery with a tutoured tatsing afterwards and this was most enjoyable,met american guy and his son from Newark and had a gretat time with them,there was a group of Germans on the tour who did not seem to enjoy the actual whisky tasting so we finished off their whisky for them.

we had intended to walk the 2 miles from Abelour to Craigellachie but we were a bit wobbly and got the bus back,the 2 American guys had bycicles and we waved to them as we watched them push/stagger their bycicles along the path,they were in no fit state to cycle.

I have not mention what we did in the evenings but basically the Highlander Inn is the center of entertainment for the area and we spent each evening there talking to locals and other visitors ,eating great food and drinking excellent whisky.

Hope this gives you some ideas.

Aberlour
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6. Re: Need help planning a Whisky walking tour

Hello buy yourselves the bluebird/stagecoach weekly bus ticket that allows unlimited travel around the Moray area as the 335 bus service will be invaluable,cost about £25.

Bus stop at the square in Craigellachie near the Craigellachie Hotel.

Either walk along the River Spey to the working distillery town of Rothes or take the 335 bus and you must visit GLENGRANT distillery, if not, at least for the stunning waterfalls at their Victorian Garden entry £3 but well worth walking along the wooden walkway within arms length of such outstanding natural beauty.

You can also buy some picnic items from Simpsons bakery and take a picnic along to Glengrant gardens and sit in the major's dram hut with it's magnificent chandelier made of Stag antlers or have a homemade pancake at the Glengrant tearoom.

Try lunch at the Seafield Hotel,Rothes or a snack of homemade soup at Simpson's bakery on New Street.

Opposite Simpsons walk along Burnside Street ( you will see flood alleviation works going on but do not let that deter you) and walk up to the end of Burnside Street to reach the GLENROTHES distillery aka HIGHLAND to the locals, home of GLENROTHES single malt and a contributer to the famous Grouse Blended whisky and the Cutty Sark.

From GLENROTHES there is a sign for the Dounie and Faeries well and it is a 5km walk round to a spectaclau watrefall then down along the 9 holes golf course with absolutely tremendous scenery and you have reached the ruins of ROTHES CASTLE and further along the J&B Justerini and Brooks distillery off the High Street.

Then walk through Rothes past the Glengrant mini roundabout past the Combination of distillers plant where all that draff makes cow feed and you reach the SPEYBURN DISTILLERY whilst passing the sleeping CAPERDONICH DISTILLERY.

Take 335 bus back to Craigellachie.

Next day take 335 to Dufftown and visit your prebooked tour of BALVENIE DISTILLERY,cost about £25 each or go to its sister distillery the GLENFIDDICH for a free tour,which tends to be overcrowded with coach tours at times....you could be lucky and land in a lull!

or sneak past the Kininvie distillery only opened 2 decades ago again belonging to Grants who own Glenfiddich and Balvenie.

Glenfiddich restaurant is lovely surroundings but pricey for scones and sandwiches and hellishly overcrowded at times.

Back to Dufftown go to Mortlach distillery and visit the resting place at Mortlach cemetery of the founding fathers of the Glenfiddich distillery,the GRANTs even look at his birthplace in Dufftown still a private residence.

There are usually ceilidhs on on a Thursday evening in Dufftown ask the tourist office at the clock tower in Dufftown and check your bus timetable as taxis are practically non existent.

From Dufftown you can take the steam train private service to Keith and visit STRATHISLA distillery and the kilt making school if it is still open.

Get bus from Keith back to Elgin and then 335 to the Craig (Craigellachie)

Back at the Craig take 335 to Elgin and from there take the Knockando bus service usually Tues and Thurs twice a day to Archiestown which stops off at Macallan,again another distillery.

Don't miss a walk along the famous Telford bridge at the Craig.

Now you are all distilleried out go to Elgin and visit the fantastic ELGIN CATHEDRAL and make your way up to the tower for a breathtaking view across the Moray Firth,again look upHISTORIC SCOTLAND on google.

Have an evening ghost walk of Elgin check with information centre now situated at the Cooper Park public library across from the bus station.

Visit Johnstons cashmere mill,but for food go to the BEAVER TRAVEL cafe in South Street open 10am to 3pm it is essentially a travel agents with a cafe but the soups.paninis and scones are amongst the best in Elgin...bizarre but worth a visit.

Or book supper at the ROYAL HOTEL in Elgin for a romantic and tasty dinner,this being the original home of James Grant the whisky baron,lord provost of Elgin and founder of the Glengarnt distillery.

The chef is outstanding and for a pub go to the Sunninghill hotel further along or a genuine Scottish pub such as the Victoria or the Ionic which have not been sanitised but hey the fumes kill off everything!

Again take the 335 bus service from Elgin to Forres and visit grant Park with its stunning floral displays in the summer,well worth a look and venture further ahead to Brodie Castle owned bythe National Trust.

Eat at chapter One or Chimes tearoooms

To make sure your trip is hassle free I strongly suggest a BLUEBIRD or STAGECOACH bus and SCOTRAIL train time table or start conversing with visitscotland for info plus phone the distilleries to find out about the tour times so you don't end up waiting around too long at bus stops.

If you have any time left head for Huntly by train from Keith or Elgin and visit the well preserved Huntly castle and have a look round Deans shortbread factory and have a bite to eat at the Copper kettle old fashioned tearoom or the Gordon Arms or the posh Castle Hotel in Huntly.

Aberlour
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7. Re: Need help planning a Whisky walking tour

It is the BUS 336 route

U.S.
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8. Re: Need help planning a Whisky walking tour

Thank you all for all of the wonderful information. I will get to planning and be back with more specific questions if I have any. You all are the best!!

Aberlour
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9. Re: Need help planning a Whisky walking tour

also go to

www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk

Fife, United Kingdom
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10. Re: Need help planning a Whisky walking tour

Its a big help to folks, Speysider58, when you can provide a link to a useful website. Great info!

Woody x