Things To Do
Glenlivet is synonymous with Scotch whisky distilling and is a “must visit” for anyone who appreciates whisky. This is the heart of speyside “whisky country” and there are dozens of distilleries scattered throughout the region – many offering tours and visitor centres with exhibitions, cafes and gift shops. The Glenlivet distillery itself is only minutes away by car. Glenfiddich, Macallan, Tomintoul, Aberlour, Balvenie, Glenfarclas, Cardhu, Tamnavulin, Strathisla…. so many iconic brands are made nearby.
Discover the history of the whisky industry, visit the Scotch Whisky Capital, Dufftown, and nearby Speyside Cooperage, explore the hill passes used by smugglers in bygone days and take part in nosing and tasting sessions. Why not coincide your visit with the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival.
The unique mix of upland and farmland habitat surrounding the cottage plays host to a varied blend of flora and fauna – from eagles and red deer, pine martin and mountain hair, to warblers and cuckoos, rare lichen and remnants of ancient woodland. A wide selection of birds and animals frequent the garden, and in the spring the farmland around the cottage becomes home to visiting curlew, lapwing, snipe and oystercatcher who return each year to breed.
Explore nearby nature reserves to discover rich and diverse ecosystems, and head up to the Moray coast to see dolphins, whales and seals as well as a wealth of sea birds. What’s more, the summer months bring the countryside alive with beautiful wild flowers and grasses, making the area a nature enthusiast’s heaven!
History & Heritage
This is a place steeped in history. Discover stories of elicit whisky distilling, of smuggling and rebellion. Visit the nearby 18th century seminary – a beautiful short walk from the cottage. Explore historic planned villages, traditional fishing harbours on the Moray coast and dozens of spectacular castles nearby – including the Queen’s very own holiday residence, Balmoral. Majestic Elgin cathedral and the mysterious Sueno’s stone are also in easy reach, while folk and transport museums and heritage steam railways offer a taste of bygone days. There are so many fascinating places to explore!
Out & About
The roads around the area are some of the most scenic and spectacular in the Grampian Highlands. Take a trip on the famous Cock Bridge to Tomintoul road, or the Bridge of Brown and Gairnshiel passes, and you’ll discover wild and remote scenery. Stop off and explore pretty villages along the way – each with their own charm and amenities.
The larger towns of Huntly and Elgin are also within 50-60min drive where you’ll find a larger selection of shops and facilities. The northern cities of Inverness and Aberdeen are within easy reach too.
The location is also an excellent springboard from which to explore the North East corner of Scotland with its quaint villages, historic fishing harbours, beaches and nature reserves.
There are countless walks and paths to enjoy and explore – many directly from your door – from short strolls around the rolling farmland and gentle forest trails, to moderate hill walks over beautiful heather-topped hills, and strenuous adventures into the mountainous terrain of the North East Cairngorms.
The Ladder and Cromdale hills are on the doorstep, as well as iconic Ben Rinnes. Access points to Munros (Scottish hills over 914m) such as Lochnagar, Ben Avon, Beinn a’Bhuird and the central Cairngorm Massif (including Britain’s second highest mountain) are within easy reach. The coastal walks of the Moray Firth are a short drive away. Route and access information is provided in the cottage to help you plan the perfect route; and why not plan a visit to coincide with the Tomintoul Walking Festival?
If you enjoy biking you’ll love testing your skills on the nearby Glenlivet mountain bike trails (cycleable from the cottage) and the many other purpose built trails in the area (e.g. Moray Monster Trails, Lecht downhill trail, Pitfichie) – professionally designed to provide challenges and excitement for all abilities, with the reward of spectacular views.
Or why not make your own trail discovering the miles of open hill track directly accessible from the cottage, or the roads of nearby forests.
Tomintoul and Glenlivet play host to the annual Rock and Road Festival as well as road cycling events such as the Etape Royale.
Snow & Outdoor Sports
Visit in winter and enjoy excellent downhill and cross country (Nordic) skiing and snowboarding at the nearby Lecht, Glenshee and Cairngorm ski centres, Huntly Nordic ski centre and purpose build cross country forest trails. The tracks and countryside around the cottage are also great for cross country skiing.
The fishing beats and canoe trails on the rivers Spey, Avon, Don and Dee are within easy reach. Horse riding, golf courses, clay pigeon shooting, are all available nearby.
There’s plenty to keep the children happy – from the antics of the lambs and calves in the surrounding fields in spring to adventure playgrounds and activity centres. Lay siege to centuries old castles, explore towers, suspension bridges and dungeons, and hop aboard exciting train rides. Karting, biking, skiing, pony trecking…plenty for the adventurous…and miles of open countryside and forest to explore.
The skies around Glenlivet are amongst the best in the country for star gazing due to low light pollution. There are officially designated Dark Sky Discovery Sites around the Estate only minutes away by car; and the cottage garden itself provides your very own excellent vantage point for exploring the northern skies, the Milkyway, and if you’re very lucky, the Northern Lights.