Destination Guide to Speyside

Exploring Speyside: Whisky, Nature, and Heritage


Welcome to Speyside, a captivating region in the heart of Scotland known for its illustrious whisky heritage, breathtaking landscapes, and rich history. Whether you're a whisky connoisseur, a nature enthusiast, or a history buff, Speyside offers a wide range of experiences that will leave you enchanted. Speyside stands at the epicentre of Scotch whisky production, and it's famous for good reason. With over half of Scotland's distilleries calling this region home, Speyside is the go-to destination for whisky enthusiasts worldwide. The world-renowned Macallan, Glenfiddich, Balvenie, and countless other distilleries craft their exceptional single malt Scotch whiskies here. Embark on distillery tours to witness the artistry behind these liquid treasures.


How to get there


By Train:

  • The nearest train station to Speyside is in Elgin, a town in Moray, Scotland. You can take a train to Elgin from cities like Inverness or Aberdeen. From Elgin, you can continue your journey to Speyside by bus or taxi.

By Bus:

  • Buses run from various towns and cities to destinations within Speyside. You can take a bus from Aberdeen, Inverness, or nearby locations. The journey time and routes may vary, so it's good to check with the local bus operators for the most up-to-date schedules.

By Car:

  • If you prefer the flexibility of driving, you can rent a car in cities like Inverness or Aberdeen and drive to Speyside. The region is easily accessible by road, and you can explore the area at your own pace.

By Air:

  • The nearest major airports to Speyside are Inverness Airport (INV) and Aberdeen International Airport (ABZ). You can fly into either of these airports and then continue your journey to Speyside by train, bus, or car.


Things to do 


The Speyside Cooperage is a fascinating establishment in the heart of Scotland's whisky country. It is where the age-old craft of coopering, the art of crafting and maintaining oak whisky barrels, comes to life. Visitors to the cooperage can witness skilled artisans as they build, repair, and refurbish these essential casks used for maturing Scotch whisky. The experience offers a unique insight into the integral role that oak barrels play in shaping the flavour and character of whisky. It's a must-visit destination for whisky enthusiasts looking to deepen their appreciation of the whisky-making process.


The Macallan Distillery, situated in the heart of Speyside, Scotland, is an iconic and world-renowned whisky producer. Known for its dedication to craftsmanship and quality, The Macallan is housed in a stunning, architecturally modern facility that blends seamlessly with its natural surroundings. Visitors to the distillery can experience guided tours that take them through the whisky-making process, from the oak sherry casks to the ageing cellars. The highlight of any visit is the opportunity to sample a range of The Macallan's exceptional single-malt Scotch whiskies, each known for its rich flavour profile and complexity. It's a must-visit destination for whisky enthusiasts and those interested in the art of whisky production.


Ballindalloch Castle, located in the heart of Speyside, is a captivating historic estate combining grandeur and natural beauty. Often referred to as the "Pearl of the North," this picturesque castle is renowned for its fairytale-like appearance and is still privately owned by the Macpherson-Grant family. Visitors can explore the castle's opulent interiors, including the exquisite library and drawing rooms, showcasing a collection of art and antiques. The stunning gardens surrounding the castle are a treat for nature enthusiasts. They feature beautiful flowers. A walled garden. Scenic views of the River Spey. Ballindalloch Castle offers a glimpse into Scotland's aristocratic past, making it a must-visit destination for history and architecture enthusiasts. 


Glenfiddich Distillery, nestled in the heart of Speyside, is an iconic and pioneering whisky distillery renowned for its exceptional single-malt Scotch whiskies. Founded in 1887, Glenfiddich is one of Scotland's few remaining family-owned distilleries. Visitors can embark on guided tours that take them through the distillation process, from mashing and fermentation to the traditional copper pot stills and ageing warehouses. The distillery's commitment to craftsmanship and innovation has led to a wide range of whisky expressions, each known for its distinct flavour profile. A visit to Glenfiddich offers whisky enthusiasts a chance to explore its rich history and the artistry behind its world-famous whisky production. It's a must-visit destination for anyone seeking to deepen their appreciation of Scotch whisky.


Elgin Cathedral, also known as the "Lantern of the North," is a historic and majestic cathedral in Elgin. Founded in the 13th century, it was once one of Scotland's most magnificent cathedrals, but today stands in picturesque ruins. The cathedral boasts intricate Gothic architecture with towering stone walls, elegant arches, and detailed carvings. Visitors to Elgin Cathedral can explore the extensive grounds, admire the hauntingly beautiful ruins, and learn about the site's history through informative displays. It offers a serene and contemplative atmosphere, making it an excellent place for photography, historical reflection, and an appreciation of Scotland's rich mediaeval heritage.


Places to Stay


The Mash Tun is a charming and comfortable inn at the heart of Speyside. Located adjacent to the famous Mash Tun whisky bar and restaurant, it offers guests a cosy and convenient place to stay while exploring the region's whisky heritage. The Inn features well-appointed rooms, warm hospitality, and a delightful Scottish breakfast to start your day. Its central location makes it an ideal base for whisky enthusiasts and travellers seeking a comfortable and welcoming accommodation option in Speyside.


The Gables Whisky B&B is a delightful, unique bed-and-breakfast in a picturesque setting. Located in a quaint village, this charming B&B offers guests a warm and inviting atmosphere. Its focus on whisky enthusiasts sets it apart, providing an exceptional experience for those exploring the world of Scotch whisky. With comfortable accommodations and a passion for whisky, The Gables is perfect for those seeking a memorable and flavorful stay.

The Station Hotel is a historic and well-established accommodation in Speyside. Located in Rothes, this charming hotel offers comfortable rooms, warm Scottish hospitality, and a convenient location near local attractions and distilleries. The hotel is known for its classic charm and traditional ambience, making it a welcoming choice for travellers exploring the Speyside whisky trail. Guests can enjoy a meal at the on-site restaurant and relax in the cosy surroundings, making The Station Hotel a comfortable and convenient base for discovering the beauty and heritage of the region.

Blervie House is an exquisite and luxurious country house in Rafford, Moray. This elegant and historic mansion offers plentiful accommodation, impeccable service, and stunning views of the surrounding countryside. With its grand architecture, beautifully landscaped gardens, and spacious rooms, Blervie House is a premier destination for those seeking a lavish retreat. Guests can enjoy sumptuous dining experiences and explore nearby attractions such as Brodie Castle and the Speyside whisky distilleries. Blervie House is a sanctuary of comfort and elegance, making it an ideal choice for special occasions or indulgent getaways in the Scottish Highlands.

The Whisky Castle Inn, nestled in the heart of Speyside, Scotland, is a cosy and welcoming inn that celebrates the region's renowned whisky heritage. This charming establishment offers comfortable accommodation, a friendly atmosphere, and a traditional Scottish pub experience. The inn is well-known for its extensive selection of Scotch whiskies, allowing guests to savour the flavours of Speyside. Situated amidst picturesque landscapes and close to many distilleries, the Whisky Castle Inn is the perfect base for whisky enthusiasts and travellers looking to immerse themselves in the whisky culture of Scotland.


Places to Eat


The Copper Dog (Craigellachie):

  • Located at The Craigellachie Hotel, The Copper Dog is a gastropub known for its whisky collection and hearty Scottish dishes. It's a great place to enjoy traditional comfort food in a cosy atmosphere.


The Mash Tun (Aberlour):

  • The Mash Tun offers a diverse menu focusing on local produce and whisky pairings. It's a favourite spot for locals and visitors, known for its friendly ambience and quality food.


The Station Hotel (Rothes):

  • Situated in the heart of Rothes, The Station Hotel serves various Scottish and international dishes. It's a well-regarded restaurant with a warm and welcoming atmosphere.


The Croft Inn (Cabrach):

  • The Croft Inn is a charming countryside pub offering homemade and locally sourced dishes. It's an ideal place to relax after exploring the scenic beauty of the Cabrach area.


The Highlander Inn (Craigellachie):

  • The Highlander Inn is known for its extensive whisky selection and Scottish pub food. It's a cosy establishment with a reputation for its whisky expertise and warm hospitality.


Things to with Kids


Visit a Whisky Distillery:

  • Speyside is home to many whisky distilleries. While the whisky tours may not suit children due to age restrictions, some distilleries have visitor centres with interactive exhibits and gift shops where kids can learn about the whisky-making process (non-alcoholic options are available for tasting).

Walks and Nature Trails:

  • Explore the stunning landscapes of Speyside through family-friendly walks and nature trails. The Speyside Way, a long-distance walking route, offers various sections suitable for shorter hikes with kids. Keep an eye out for local wildlife and enjoy the fresh air.

Macallan Visitor Experience (for older kids):

  • The Macallan Distillery offers a modern visitor experience that includes a guided tour of the distillery and interactive exhibits. While the whisky tasting is for adults, the architecture and technology of the distillery can be fascinating for older children.

Speyside Cooperage:

  • Take a guided tour of the Speyside Cooperage, where whisky barrels are made and repaired. Kids can watch skilled coopers at work and learn about the craftsmanship involved in coopering. It's an educational and exciting visit.

Bike Riding and Cycling:

  • Speyside offers excellent opportunities for family bike rides and cycling adventures. You can explore the Speyside Way on two wheels, rent bikes, and ride through the picturesque countryside.


Speyside's allure lies in its blend of whisky heritage, natural beauty, and historical significance. Whether raising a glass to toast its rich traditions or exploring its enchanting landscapes, Speyside promises an unforgettable Scottish adventure. So, pack your bags and embark on a journey to this remarkable region – where whisky, nature, and history come together in perfect harmony.