Whisky runs through it
North East Scotland
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Route at a Glance
This route starts and ends in the splendour of the Cairngorm National Park. Places like Tomintoul, Aviemore, Grantown on Spey simply roll off the tongue as places of natural beauty. The Cairngorms do not have the dramatic crags and giant mountains of the West or of Norway but they have a gentle beauty that is no less intriguing and a sense of big spaces and solitude to relish. It reminds me of a giant scale park with an amazing landscape artist in charge. It is hard to believe that these vast tracts of land have not been manicured for purpose. The rivers are placed just so! The Valleys were brought in for good effect. The mountains were placed so we could appreciate the beauty from many viewing points. Of course many would say that the whole thing was brought together for a great leisurely motorcycle ride.
There are a few famous whisky distilleries en route. Most have visitor centres. Use them to visit or join the dots. This route is leisurely and pleasure all the way.
Route Notes & Highlights
(Icons on the map)
- Cairngorms National Park – Likened to the Hardangervidda landscape of Norway, containing a large upland plateau, the Cairngorms is the largest National Park in the British Isles and boasts the highest mountain range. Also home to the Dalwhinnie Distillery.
- Royal Lochnagar Distillery – Situated right next to Balmoral. You will be offered a guided tour or our traditional working distillery., which retains much of its original charm.
- Dalwhinnie Distillery – Another of the fine Highland Single Malt Distilleries. Its name is derived from the Gaelic word Dail-coinneeamh which means meeting place for the times when the cattle drovers stopped on their way to market. Tours are roughly 45 mins long.
- Aviemore – Best regarded as Scotland’s snow and mountain sports capital.
- Cairngorm Brewery – Keen to keep traditional recipes alive, as well as brewing new and interesting styles, the brewery has gained many awards and accolades for their beers.
- Tomatin Distillery – Situated at 315m above sea level it is one of the highest distilleries in Scotland but the soft mountain waters used to create our single malt produces a wonderfully delicate and mellow whisky.
- Tomintoul Distillery – Tomintoul-Glenlivet Distillery is based in Ballindalloch, the Speyside region of Scotland, producing malt whisky for both single malts and blends. It was once in the Guinness Book of World Records for producing the biggest bottle of whisky in the world at 105.3 litres!
- Glenlivet Distillery – Winner of Best Visitor Attraction at 2013 Scottish Thistle Awards. Founded in 1824 and operated continuously through all the worldly dramas, Glelivet describes itself as “the single malt that started it all”.
- Spey Bay – The location of the Scottish Dolphin Centre, one of the best land based dolphin watching hotspots in the world. Plenty to see and do and admission is free!
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Filling Stations on Route
Plenty of fuel stations along the way in the major towns.