Our Operations Director Jacqui recently attended a Scottish Destination Management Association meeting which was held in Elgin and was delighted to find out that there is more Moray Speyside than numerous whisky distilleries…although these are amazing too!
Find out more about Jacqui’s trip below.
After the official meeting there was a speed networking session where I met with representatives from various local businesses.
Craggan Outdoors is a fantastic outdoor pursuits centre based in Grantown-on-Spey where you can try your hand at anything from Archery to Zip Wire. They can also organise mini Highland Games for small groups.
If it is gin or vodka you’re after then the check-out award winning Eight Lands organic spirits which are distilled and bottled at the family-owned Glenrinnes Distillery.
I was also enthralled to hear about the colony of dolphins which live in the Moray Firth and can be viewed for free from the Scottish Dolphin Centre at Spey Bay. I was so inspired I decided to stop by on my way home. Unfortunately I didn’t see any dolphins but the café and gift shop were great along with the information centre.
Of course we can’t forget about the whisky! I was lucky enough to meet with Alison from Strathisla Distillery which is known as the home of Chivas Regal as it was the first distillery owned by the Chivas Brothers. And we must mention the very popular Speyside Cooperage where visitors can see the barrels being made by the expert craftsman!
Castles and gardens are also in abundance, including the Fairytale Ballindalloch Castle around 30 minutes from Elgin. Built in the mid-16th century and still occupied by the Macpherson-Grant family, the interiors and gardens are a must see for visitors to the area.
Also following in the footsteps of the ever popular NC500 the area also boasts its very own road-trip to called the North East 250!
If it is a pitstop for some lunch or a cuppa you are after then why not try Baxters Highland Village in Fochabers. With a restaurant, food-hall, gifts, museum and play area it is an ideal stop when exploring the local area.
For the more adventurous travellers it is a great area to explore by bike and Ticket to Ride can sort you out with bike hire and an itinerary depending on your fitness level and areas of interest.
Accommodation isn’t an issue either, with lots of options from self-catering cottages like Speyside Cottages or Bluefolds Highlands Cottages to hotels like The Mansefield or Cullen Bay (where you can see the Northern Lights from on a clear night!)
The trip was finished off with a tour at Johnstons of Elgin which was established in 1797 and is still producing cashmere and fine woolens to this day! The Heritage Centre is fascinating and free tours depart every hour where you can see the process from start to finish before enjoying a cuppa or bite to eat in the coffee shop and some retail therapy in the store. They also have a wide range of homewares.
If you are interested in visiting the area and would like us to put together a package then please get in touch with Best of Scotland Holidays today!