Scotland: Perfect Trifecta: Whisky, Castles and Trekking
These vast lands are filled with historic castles, breathtaking lochs, mountainous ranges, and a number of famous whisky distilleries.
Upon arrival at Cairngorms National Park you will have the day at leisure.
This, Britain’s largest National Park, consists of a unique range of landscapes, habitats, wildlife and people. The Cairngorms contains the finest collection of different landforms outside of arctic Canada—from granite tors to the remains of Ice Age glaciers. Not only is the park home to a wide variety of animals (including pine martens, red squirrels, badgers, and wildcats), but it is also home to over 17,000 people, living in towns, villages, hamlets, and houses in the countryside.
Your guide will meet you at your hotel this morning for a day in the park.
Today you will have the opportunity to explore the Cairngorms moorlands, forests, rivers, lochs and glens. Sites designated as important to national heritage take up almost half of the land area. The archaeological record and Gaelic place names illuminate the history of the relationship between people and place, each name offering an insight into the culture, history and environment. Today, you can still see remains from prehistoric, Celtic and Pictish times.
Return to the hotel later this afternoon, the remainder of the day is at leisure.
You will be met by your guide again this morning for a full day of mountain biking or hiking through the park.
This morning is at leisure prior to your departure for Inverness, a lovely city in the Scottish Highlands.
On arrival in Inverness you will be met by your private guide. Visit Cawdor Castle and Speyside Cooperage, where whisky barrels are made. Dating back to the late 14th century and home to the Cawdor family to this day, Cawdor Castle is best known for its literary connection to Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth, although the castle was built many years after the events of the play.
Later, stop by the whisky museum before arriving at the Balvenie Distillery and Maltings. Several decades after construction, Balvenie Castle stood empty, but it soon developed a new role as the heart of a distillery from which the first spirit flowed on May Day, 1893. The basement became a warehouse, the first story a malt floor, and the top floor a loft to store the barley from the fertile acres of Balvenie Main (the adjacent farm).
Today your guide will accompany you to Glenlivet for a short hike on a ‘whisky smugglers trail’. Following the hike, visit the Glenlivet Distillery, an establishment with an award winning single malt Scotch whisky, described as ‘the single malt that started it all’. The minimum age of Glenivet whisky is 12 years, and casks (barrels) of only the very finest quality are selected.
After lunch, visit the Aberlour Distillery for a guided tour. Situated at the junction of the Rivers Lour and Spey, the distillery lies in a beautiful glen, surrounded by scenery dominated by the rugged peaks of Ben Rinnes, a short distance away.
Transfer to Aviemore to connect with a train north to Inverness or south to Edinburgh/Glasgow for your departure home, or to continue on to your next Willing Foot adventure.
This is just the beginning.
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