The biggest whisky producing region in Scotland, Speyside is home to more than half of Scotland’s distilleries. And what better way to build up a thirst than exploring its unspoilt beaches, challenging golf courses, mountain biking trails and the River Spey.
This sector of the North East 250 route will take you through Fochabers, Rothes, Craigellachie, Aberlour and Ballindalloch.
The pretty village of Fochabers is a key stop off point on the Speyside Way, a long distance path from Aviemore to Buckie, and has many other attractions to visit, including the fascinating Fochabers Folk Museum, the beautiful Gordon Castle Walled Garden and the delicious Baxters Highland Village.
As you travel alongside the River Spey, you’ll reach Rothes. The village’s location, with its abundant natural resources, makes it the perfect place for whisky production. Glen Grant, Glenrothes, Glen Spey and Speyburn distilleries can all be found here. The Station Hotel is also a well-known landmark in Rothes, dating back to the 1800s and offering a touch of modern luxury as you travel around the North East 250.
As the River Spey meets the River Fiddich, you’ll come to Craigellachie. Dating back to at least 1750, in Craigellachie you’ll see the iconic Craigellachie Hotel, Craigellachie Distillery, The Macallan Distillery, Speyside Cooperage and the picturesque Craigellachie Bridge. Built in 1814 by renowned engineer Thomas Telford, the Craigellachie Bridge is the oldest cast iron bridge in Scotland, and is the perfect place to stop for some pretty pictures.
Another well-known bridge can be found in Aberlour. As well as this ancient pack horse bridge, Aberlour is home to the ruins of St Drostan’s Church, Aberlour Distillery and the world-renowned Walkers Shortbread. The Walkers brand is instantly recognisable to people across the globe, so why not stop by to taste the delicious shortbread in its hometown?
A short distance from Aberlour is Ballindalloch; one of the official starting points of the North East 250. Although small, Ballindalloch is rich in history and is home to Ballindalloch Castle, Ballindalloch Distillery, Glenfarclas Distillery and Ballindalloch Golf Course. Stop by the castle for a tour and kick off your North East 250 journey in style!