Things to do in
Speyside

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Our most recommended things to do in Speyside

Speyside Whiskey & Moray Firth Tour from Inverness

1. Speyside Whiskey & Moray Firth Tour from Inverness

Depart Inverness at 9:15 AM and head to the first distillery of the day. At Glen Moray Distillery, opt to join a tour and discover the different areas of whiskey production and sample the golden-hued spirit itself. Next, move on to Elgin, where you can eat lunch, explore the ruins of a cathedral and look for whiskey gifts at a world-famous whiskey shop. After lunch, you arrive at Cardhu Distillery, which is the first distillery pioneered by a woman, Helen Cumming. Today, Cardhu is the most important whiskey in Johnnie Walker Black Label. You may take an extensive tour including a tasting of their delicious whiskies. On your final leg of the journey to Inverness, have a photo stop at Speyside Cooperage, one of the largest concentrations of whiskey casks. Finally, return to Inverness at approximately 6:45 PM.

From Inverness: Cairngorms and Speyside Whisky Tour

2. From Inverness: Cairngorms and Speyside Whisky Tour

You travel through Speyside to the majestic Cairngorms National Park. This is the largest National Park in the UK and home to mighty mountains and wonderful wildlife. The options are plentiful, and your guide will show you the best of the incredible scenery around Loch Morlich and Glenmore. Follow the famous river Spey past several distilleries to Glen Moray Distillery. Explore this historic, 120-year-old distillery boasting traditional copper stills. Opt to take a tour and sample the core range of Glen Moray's delicious whiskies. A short drive back to Inverness returns you in time for you to enjoy the sights and sounds of a lively evening in the capital of the highlands.

Inverness: Moray Coast, Puffins and Speyside Whisky Tour

3. Inverness: Moray Coast, Puffins and Speyside Whisky Tour

Explore the beauty of the Scottish highlands on this guided tour. Take the opportunity to explore local villages, visit a whisky distillery, see the adorable Puffin, and more, on this unforgettable tour experience. Depart Inverness and head straight for the historic village of Findhorn for a walk along the gorgeous beach. Trail the coast to Portknockie, where Bow Fiddle Rock, a dramatic sea arch, sits just off the shore.  Afterward, continue the village-hop to picture-perfect Cullen, home of the famous soup, Cullen Skink. Explore, eat lunch, and get excited about the next stop.  Take a walk at Troup Head Nature Reserve and look out for puffins and sea birds; you might even be lucky enough to spot marine life. Then, journey inland on the Malt Whisky Trail to learn all about single malt production at a Speyside whisky distillery, and judge for yourself whether experience is the best teacher. Make one final stop at the oldest stone bridge in the Highlands, in the small village of Carrbridge, before returning to Inverness in the evening.

From Edinburgh: Speyside Whisky Trail 3-Day Small Group Tour

4. From Edinburgh: Speyside Whisky Trail 3-Day Small Group Tour

A warm welcome awaits you in Speyside, home to more than half of Scotland's malt whiskey distilleries. You’ll have a chance to sample the whiskey and enjoy the magnificent scenery of Cairngorm, Speyside and Royal Deeside. Day 1: Head north through the Kingdom of Fife to Lindores Abbey Distillery. This modern Scottish distillery is built on the site of the first-ever recorded distillery in the country. After lunch in Pitlochry, sample the delights of Scotland's highest distillery at Dalwhinnie, near the source of the River Spey. Once you’ve warmed with this dram of “the gentle spirit”, continue through the Cairngorms National Park before reaching Grantown on Spey - your base for 2 nights. Day 2: Enjoy a whole day exploring Scotland’s most famous whiskey region. After a scenic drive towards the coast, make your first stop of the day at Glen Moray distillery, where you can try whisky matured in a wide selection of casks. Travel back up the Spey River to Craigellachie for a visit to the Speyside Cooperage*, where you see another aspect of the whiskey-making process. After lunch in nearby Aberlour, visit Cardhu Distillery, which is the first distillery pioneered by a woman, Helen Cumming. Today, Cardhu is the most important whisky in Johnnie Walker Black Label. From here, travel back to Grantown on Spey. *Speyside Cooperage is only visited on Monday and Wednesday departures. Day 3: In the morning visit Scotland's highest distillery at Dalwhinnie, set in splendid mountain scenery at the heart of the Cairngorm National Park.  Then, enjoy the majesty of Royal Deeside. Pass by Balmoral Castle, and stop in the village of Braemar in the heart of the National Park. From here, the route south passes over Scotland’s highest mountain pass, through Perthshire, and back to Edinburgh.

Speyside Whisky Trail 1-Day Tour from Aberdeen

5. Speyside Whisky Trail 1-Day Tour from Aberdeen

Leaving Aberdeen in the morning you’ll arrive first in Royal Deeside, one of the favored holiday locations of the British royal family. At the Cambus O’May forest, walk in the woods and reenergize in the pristine environment that makes this area such a draw for visitors. Invigorated by the walk, head deeper into the national park as you travel past Cockbridge and Tomintoul. This legendary stretch of road regularly sees the first of the snowy winter weather and crosses the mountain pass known locally as the Lecht. You’ll have plenty of time for photo opportunities on this unforgettable route. Then, delve into the home of whisky in the Speyside region. Stop at the Speyside Cooperage where you’ll get to know the history of Scotland’s oak casks. Next, head to one of the Speyside towns for lunch before visiting Cardhu distillery. This is the first distillery pioneered by a woman, Helen Cumming. Today, Cardhu is the most important whisky in Johnnie Walker Black Label. You leave Cardhu full of appreciation for whisky and arrive in Aberdeen in the early evening. It’s now up to you whether you continue the whisky tasting into the night.

Inverness: Craigs Speyside Highland Private Whisky Tour

6. Inverness: Craigs Speyside Highland Private Whisky Tour

Be immersed in the stunning Scottish Highland scenery and discover world-famous scotch whisky distilleries on a private customizable tour from Inverness. Following a pickup from your hotel, take the A9 trunk route and head North on what is possibly one of the most beautiful trunk routes anywhere in the UK. Driving through Cairngorm National Park you'll be conveyed onto the Speyside Whisky area where you can visit the distilleries of your choice from Balvenie, Macallan, Glenfiddich, Cragganmore, Glenlivet, Cardhu, Glenfarclas, Benriach, Aberlour, Glenmoray, and Benromach. Decide if you'd like to tour the working part of the distillery, take a tutored whisky tasting, or simply visit the shop and visitor center to browse and perhaps purchase. Spend as little or as much time as you want each distillery or make unscheduled stops at any other attraction as you wish during the experience. Although not a distillery, Speyside Cooperage provides a popular tour showing how they make barrels for the Whisky industry.

Scottish Highlands 4-Day Castle Tour From Edinburgh

7. Scottish Highlands 4-Day Castle Tour From Edinburgh

Day 1: Depart from Edinburgh and travel north into the ancient Kingdom of Fife. Visit Falkland Palace, built in the 16th century and is set in the medieval village of Falkland. Continue to St Andrews and explore the cobbled lanes and ancient university buildings. Travel north towards Aberdeen and admire the House of Dun, a beautiful Georgian mansion located within a woodland estate. In the afternoon, visit Dunnottar castle - a ruined fortress on the top of the cliffs. Day 2: Spend the day in the Royal Deeside area, famous for its many castles. Visit Castle Fraser, one of the grandest of the Scottish baronial tower houses. Round off your visit with a walk through the beautiful 18th century walled garden. Later on, visit Banchory and look for salmon jumping at the Falls of Feugh. After lunch, explore the house and stunning gardens of Crathes Castle at your own pace. Wander through the outstanding, world-renowned June Borders, and admire beautiful vistas of the castle through the fusion of colourful flowers. Return back to Aberdeen for the night. Day 3: Heads further north and start the day with a visit to Fyvie Castle dating back to the 13th century and holding a fine collection of arms and armour as well as 17th century tapestries. Continue on and travel through beautiful scenery towards Nairn, and enjoy a lunch at nearby Brodie Castle. Explore this imposing castle’s unusual plasterwork and art collection. In the afternoon, take The Clan Stone Walkway which was designed to commemorate the Scottish Clans and their clansmen who fought at the battle of Culloden. After the visit, continue to Forres for your overnight stay. Day 4: Travel south through some of the most stunning scenery Scotland has to offer to Dalwhinnie Distillery and taste the ‘Water of Life’. After a lunch stop in Pitlochry,  head to Loch Leven. Next, you head south to Blair Castle. Here, you can learn about Mary Queen of Scots, discover a ballroom adorned with 175 antlers, and roam the 9-acre Georgian garden at your own leisure before you return back over the Firth of Forth to Edinburgh.

Other Sightseeing Options in Speyside

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What people are saying about Speyside

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 125 reviews

The guide (Willie) was very funny and entertained us with all sorts of stories about the region or individual points. Unfortunately, Strathisla wasn't available, so the guide spoke to us about whether we'd rather do a tour in Carshu for £17 or for £7 at the Whiskey Castle we can not only have more but also a larger variety of whisky. We chose the latter and it was great. You could have lunch in Aberlour, which is also a very nice town. Even if the tour was completely different from the description except for Glen Moray, we would definitely go again.

The tour allowed us to sample whiskeys from 6 distilleries over the weekend, broken up with amazing countryside and constant stories from our guide. Some slight trouble with distilleries being shut on weekends post-Brexit, but our guide found ones to go to regardless. Stayed in Granttown and would recommend heading to Craig's bar for a pie and drink.

A thoroughly enjoyable and interesting day. Our driver & guide, James, was excellent and kept us informed and entertained for the entire trip. A wonderful way to see the Highlands and it was also very good value.

Super guide who found some amazing gems for us can be highly recommended

Very well guided and enlightened by the knowledge of Duncan (guider)