Visiting Speyside In Scotland

30 Mar

Scotland is a country steeped in history, from it’s brooding and moody glens, ancient legends and heroes, to a modern and vibrant small nation. Tourism plays is a major contributor to the economy, and there are no shortage of famous places top visit, so where can one go to “get off the tourist track”, relax and soak up some of the authentic flavours of the country and its people.

visiting Speyside

Traditional Scottish dancing

I’m going to recommend Speyside, as I feel it contains all you need to experience Scotland without having to spend hours travelling. Let’s discover what this area has to offer.

Golf

Scotland is the home of golf and year after year many make their pilgrimage to St. Andrews to see and play the famous Old Course links. Speyside has some of Scotland’s hidden gems, where you won’t have to wait for a game, or pay a fortune.

If it’s natural beauty you want then few course compare to Boat of Garten golf club just outside of Aviemore. Described as the “Gleneagles of the North”  this is a fair, yet challenging, test of a golfers ability. 18 holes, each with their own character keep your mind on your game, yet it is worth looking up and taking in your surroundings, from the River Spey to the Cairngorm mountains.

Whisky

Speyside if famous for its whisky with its distinctive warm, lingering vanilla and cereal tones. More than half of all the distilleries in Scotland are located here, taking advantage of the waters of the Spey and the local barley.

When visiting Speyside you’ll find the natives are very knowledgable and proud of their whiskys and most of the Granton on Spey hotels have a wide selection of local malts for you to enjoy.

Many of the Speyside distilleries have visitor tours available and your hotelier will be able to guide you on which is the best of these.

Walking and Skiing

The Speyside Way links the Grampian mountains with the Moray coast, and largelly follows the course of the River Spey. It is 65 miles long and normally takes 4-5 days to complete. Typically most people start in Buckie and head toards Aviemore. As the walk has developed over the years so has the infrastructure to support it, with accomodations of various levels and food stops along the route.

The development of the skiing industry brought prosperity and a great deal of change to the small Highland town of Aviemore and it is now the hub of Cairngorm activity. It is very accessible by rail (and has a lovely railway station) and whatever equipment you need to buy or hire, you’ll find it hear. The town has a bustling and friendly energy with plenty of off-piste choices for relaxing.

Other Activities

Speyside has much to offer, including local crafts, Highland games, canoeing, pony trekking, or just simply a place to switch-off from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. If it does prove too quiet then a short drive, train or bus journey will take you to the Highlands capital of Inverness, a beautiful and clean city where you’ll find a selection of shops and eateries to keep you entertained.

Beyond and west of Inverness lies the legendary Loch Ness, home of Nessie. Will you see her?

Wherever you decide to go and whatever you decide to do you’ll find that Speyside has much to offer the visitor to Scotland. Grantown-on-Spey is a recommended base for disscovering the area. You can find out more at VisitScotland.com

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