Holidays in Glenlivet

Visitor Guide

Towns and Villages

Towns and Villages

 in Glenlivet and the Cairngorms, Aberdeenshire, Grampian,

Moray, Nairn and Inverness-shire

 

Reviewed Jan-Feb 2018

 

Please e-mail us with any comments, reports on broken links, suggestions or questions

We have included links to many other websites.  We shall eventually get round to informing all of these about our links, but if we haven't yet been in touch and you would prefer us to remove the link to your site, then please let us know.

This section is not intended to be a complete list of towns and villages; it's just somewhere to mention places to visit that aren't mentioned elsewhere in the guide.  Some places are also mentioned elsewhere in the guide, but this page doesn't always mention nearby attractions mentioned on other pages.

 

Tomintoul                                                                               0.10

Undiscovered Scotland webpage for Tomintoul

Bing Images of Tomintoul

At the top end of the village, you will find the Glenlivet Estate Visitor Centre and an adventure playground.  There is also a children's play park half down Main Street on the right-hand side.  The Visitor Centre is usually open from  9.00 and 5.00 pm during the week, but will close if there are no staff available to man it - so check before you go.

In the centre of the village there are a number of shops including The Whisky Castle, The Tomintoul Gallery, Spindrift which sells outdoor clothing, art prints, books, gifts etc, and the Post Office cum General Store.

The museum is currently closed for redevelopment as a Discovery Centre and is expected to be open Easter 2018.

 

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Grantown on Spey                                                               0.34

Undiscovered Scotland webpage for Grantown on Spey

Bing Images of Grantown on Spey

One of the earliest of the eighteenth century new towns that abound in the

north east of Scotland.  With the coming of the railways in Victorian times,

it became the convalescent capital of Britain with a higher proportion of

older people than anywhere else in the country – hence all the rather grand buildings.  Good range of local shops, including one that hires out bikes.

A museum with an extensive collection of photographs and other records that illustrate the town’s along with modern interactive audio visual displays.

Museum open Mon-Sat 10.00-5.00 from April to October.   TA

01479 872 478

Grantown Museum website    

There are some excellent forest walks in the community owned Anagach Woods which lie between the town and the River Spey. 

Anagach Woods website

 

Not far away, on the road to Inverness via Dulnain Bridge and Carrbridge, there is a fascinating geological site just before Dulnain Bridge with a lay-by to park in on the right hand side of the road (just watch the kerb between the road itself and the lay-by).  There are fine examples of whalebacks and roches moutonnees, exposed rock forms created by glaciation.  The interpretive panels are a real work of art - slabs of rock mounted in a dry-stane recreation of the rock formations they are describing.  The path round the site provides a very pleasant stroll through pine forest.

 

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Aberlour and Craigellachie                                    0.23 - 0.26 Undiscovered Scotland webpage for Aberlour

Undiscovered Scotland webpage for Craigellachie

As well as having its own distillery, Aberlour is home to Walkers Shortbread, and it's always worth popping in to their factory shop to see what they have in the way of seconds.  There's also a good delicatessen next to the Square.

There's a short woodland walk up the Lour Burn behind Aberlour distillery to

quite an attractive waterfall - the Falls of Ruthrie.  You can then walk down the Burn to the River Spey and through Alice Littler Park where there is a children's play area.

The Speyside Way passes through the Park, and you can follow the river downstream to Craigellachie and have a look at the magnificent Craigellachie Bridge, built by Thomas Telford in 1814 and still the main crossing on the Spey until the early 1970s.  Just think of lorries and buses turning right at the far end of the bridge.  Although we now think of the main road as going from Aberlour towards Elgin, this is all part of the "Historic County of Banffshire", and the main road actually went to Keith.

Craigellachie also has its own distillery up the top of the hill, but it's not open to the public.  However, just outside town on the way to Dufftown is the Speyside Cooperage, which is well worth a visit.    TA

01340 871 108

 

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Dufftown                                                                                0.20

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Dufftown

An old rhyme goes "Rome was built on seven hills - Dufftown's built on seven stills".  Two further distilleries were built, but two have been demolished and problems with its water supply meant that the rather attractive Parkmore hasn't distilled since 1931 and is now only used a a warehouse.  That leaves six active distilleries.  Only Glenfiddich and Balvenie are open to the public, but there are also a specialist whisky shop and a whisky museum in town - see separate Distillery page.

Dufftown was founded in 1817 by James Duff, the fourth Earl of Fife, but it incorporates several older settlements, most notably that around Mortlach Church which is on the site of a Christain community founded by St Moulag in 566.  Legend has it that King Malcolm II extended the church by three spears' lengths as a thanksgiving after defeating the Danes on the haugh just below the church in 1010.   The Church was substantially rebuilt and remodelled in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but incorporates much older features. There is a watch tower in the graveyard to guard against grave robbers.

There is a pleasant circular walk up the Dullan Water from the Church - through a little wooded gorge - takes 60 to 90 minutes.  You can download a guide to this and other walks in and near Dufftown from the Moray Ways Website.

 

The Clock Tower was completed in 1839, originally as a jailhouse, then the Burgh Chambers.  Its clock is much older, reputed to be "the clock that hanged Macpherson".  Macpherson was a latter day Robin Hood condemned to be hanged in Banff in 1700.  Local inhabitants successfully raised a petition for his reprieve, but the local Sheriff moved the clock an hour forward so that he could hang Macpherson before the expected pardon arrived.

It's not at all obvious, but  Balvenie Castle is quite an impressive ruin that stands on the wooded hill next to Glenfiddich Distillery - well worth a visit. TA

For the more energetic, there is a walk down the old railway line between Dufftown and Craigellachie that follows the River Fiddich down to the Spey.  About five miles down hill - five miles uphill back to the car - or you can get a bus back up to Dufftown.  Moray Life guide to the walk.

Dufftown is also home to the Keith and Dufftown RailwayTA

 

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Nairn                                                                                                                                                  1.05

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Nairn

Nairn is yet another place that you could drive through and completely

overlook, especially since the main Inverness to Aberdeen route was diverted

from the High Street.

It's a town of two quite distinct parts.  The older Fisherton, which lies along the

west bank of the river between the A96 and the Moray Firth, is a fascinating collection of tightly packed streets and alleys – typical of the older parts of many fishing villages, but on a much larger scale.  Best just to go right down to the seafront to get parked and then walk back inland if you're interested.

To the west of the River Nairn, the seafront consists of a sandy beach and an extensive area of grassy links, including the Nairn Leisure Park with its putting green, crazy golf, adventure areas, tearoom etc.  To the east lie the Culbin Sands, the start of a great expanse of sand and dunes that stretches all the way to Findhorn Bay.

The rest of the town with its grand Victorian mansions grew as a result of Nairn's reputation for healthy sea air and water and lots of sunshine.  Even before then, rural people are reputed to have visited Nairn for the medicinal benefits of the seawater.  It's first bath house was built in 1821 and then replaced in 1873 with what was then the largest indoor pool in the world, complete with a fountain in its centre fed by steam pumps that drew salt water from the sea.

The best thing in Nairn, if you are in the vicinity, is the Nairn Museum - small but well laid out with interesting exhibits and stories and excellent photographs and paintings.  The large portrait of the Watsons outside their greengrocer's shop is almost worth the entrance fee in its own right!  It's a while since I was there, but I see they were still getting good reviews on TripAdvisor in 2017.   TA

Nairn Museum Website

Probably open as follows, but check the website before you go.

April to October:

Monday to Friday from 10 am to 4.30 pm

Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm

Last admission 30 minutes before closing

01667 456 791

 

Two miles to the east lies the village of Auldearn, home of Auldearn Antiques, an architectural reclamation business housed in an old church.  They have an astonishing array of stuff - fireplaces, chimney pots, statues, vintage clothing, bric-a-brac - very easy to wile away an hour or two!  Open daily from 9.30 until 5.00 pm except for Christmas and New Year.

Auldearn Antiques Website

 

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Inverness                                                                                 1.16

Undiscovered Scotland page for Inverness

Bing Images of Inverness

A word of warning - if the Kessock Bridge is closed, Inverness might well be gridlocked!

The Museum on Bridge Street is certainly worth a visit - plenty to interest all the family and a good cafe.  It's a well thought out Museum that makes you want to read everything about the Highlands, its geography, wildlife and people - gives you enough information without overdoing it.   TA

Undiscovered Scotland page for Inverness Museum

Highland Council Webpage for Inverness Museum

Opening Times:

November to March:

Tuesday to Thursday from 12.00 until 400 pm

Friday and Saturday from 11.00 until 4.00 pm

April to October:

Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00 until 5.00 pm

01463 237 114

Opposite the Museum on the other side of Bridge Street runs Church Street which is probably the most interesting street in Inverness with some of its oldest buildings.  At the far end is Leakey's Second-hand Bookshop which fills every corner of the Old Gaelic Church - great place to pass the time on a rainy day.  TA

Bing Images of Leakey's Bookshop 

At the southern edge of Inverness as you are heading towards Loch Ness, is Inverness Botanic Gardens - relatively small, but beautifully kept both inside and out - well worth a visit, especially if you're wanting a break and a cup of coffee before heading down the A82.   TA

HIghland Council Webpage for the Botanic Gardens

Bing Images of the Botanic Gardens

Open daily from 10.00 until 5.00 pm but check the website to make sure.     01463 713 553

 

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The Black Isle Villages -                                            1.19 - 1.44

Munlochy, Avoch, Fortrose, Rosemarkie and Cromarty

Just before you come to Munlochy, the first of the Black Isle villages en route from the A9 to Cromarty, you can visit The Clootie Well where pilgrims where pilgrims came to leave strips of cloth as offerings to cure illness.  The practice continues to this day.

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for The Clootie Well

Bing Images of The Clootie Well

The village of Munlochy overlooks Munlochy Bay, a Site of Special Scientific Interest that attracts a lot of bird watchers.  All of the stone used to build the massive structure of Fort George was quarried and shipped from the Bay in the eighteenth century.

Bing Images of Munlochy Bay

Archaeological note on Munlochy Bay

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Munlochy

Avoch (pronounced Och) has a long foreshore with houses facing across the Moray firth, but it also has several streets laid out in traditional fishing village fashion with cottages algined at right angles ot the shore.  It used to be a very busy fishing village until not that long ago.  Although Avoch doesn't have a museum to visit, they are very active on the heritage front as you can see from the following two websites.

Avoch Heritage Website

The Avoch Archive

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Avoch

Fortrose owes its origins to the founding of a thriteenth century cathedral for the Bishops of Ross.  The Cathedral is free to visit throughout the year - you can telephone 01667 460 262 to get hold of a key.  Look out for the signpost to Chanonry Point - this is a must if you've got this far - the view down the Moray Firth from the end of the Point is spectacular, and you might see dolphins.  Check the Wildlife Page for information on when best to see them.  If it's a nice day, you might like to walk along the beach to Rosemarkie.

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Fortrose

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Fortrose Cathedral

Historic Scotland Webpage for Fortrose Cathedral

Just half-a-mile along the road is the much older village of Rosemarkie, a major ecclesiastical centre for 700 years until the building of Fortrose Cathedral.  The site of the present-day Parish Church has been continually occuppied as a place of Christian worship since the sixth century chapel founded by St. Moluag.

You can investigate the village's Pictish heritage in The Groam House Museum.

As well as their own stock of Pictish stones, they have lots of rubbings of stones from elsewhere.  TA  01381 620 961

At the far end of the village, where the main road turns sharp left towards Cromarty, you can turn right down to the beach where you will find a cafe run by the local community with lovely views across the Moray Firth.

The Community Council Website has details of some lovely walks.

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Rosemarkie

Lying at the north eastern tip of the Black Isle, Cromarty is a fascinating place to wander around and well worth a visit in its own right with the Hugh Miller Museum, Cromarty Courthouse Museum and East Church.

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Cromarty

Hugh Miller was a stonemason who gained international renown as a geologist, writer and church reformer in the nineteenth century.  The Museum covers all aspects of his life and work along with displays of his tools and fossils that he collected.  It's open daily from 1.00 until 5.00 pm from 17th March to 19th October (last entry at 4.30).   TA

National Trust Website for the Hugh Miller Museum and Birthplace

The Cromarty Courthouse Museum has audio-visual presentations of the town's history and people.  It closes over the winter, but opens daily from 12.00 until 4.00 pm from April.  Check website towards the end of summer to check when it closes again.   TA

Cromarty Courhouse Museum Website

The East Church is one of the finest "Post-Reformation" churches on Scotland and featured in the finals of the BBC's 2006 Restoration Village series.  Although, it didn't win, it did subsequently receive Heritage Lottery Funding.  The Church is open every day to visitors.   TA

Undiscoveredscotland Webpage for Cromarty East Church

Cromarty East Church Website

If you've made it all the way to Cromarty and want to take a differnet route home, you could take the two-car ferry service across the mouth of the Cromarty Firth during the summer (June to  September).  Apart from ferries to the Northern Isles, it's the only car ferry on the east coast of Scotland and not that expensive!  The Highland Ferries Website has details of times and prices.

I don't know if you have to book, but for information you apparently telephone Dougie Robertson on  07468 417 137.

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for The Cromarty Ferry

There are some fascinating place names in the Black Isle - have a look at the

Black Isle Info Website for more detail about the area.

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Forres                                                                                                                                                0.51

Forres Heritage Trust Website

Forres has a relaxed, open, uncluttered feel to it and has some beautiful parkland on its southern edge, most notably Grant Park with its sunken garden and floral sculptures during the summer months.  Alexander Grant apparently made his money by inventing the McVitie's Digestive Biscuit.

Cluny Hill, which rises from Grant Park, is well worth the short climb with its magnificent view across Findhorn Bay and the Moray Firth beyond.  The best time to go is actually between 2 and 4 pm from April to September when you can climb up the Nelson Tower on the top of the hill and get an even better view - they fly a Red Ensign from the mast when it's open.  Take the path that runs up the hill from behind the bowling green and you will also come across the Cluny Hill Cemetary - this is an absolutely beautiful place with lots of mature trees and well worth a visit in its own right.

Historic Scotland Webpage for Grant Park and Cluny Hill

The Forres Footpaths Trust has laid out a number of marked trails taking in both the town itself and the surrounding countryside.  Their website contains a lot of interesting information on what can be seen in and around Forres.

Forres Footpaths Trust Website

Forres is home to the Falconer Museum.  It has a sizable collection of objects but only a limited amount of space for display.  Nonetheless, it has some interesting displays and lots of hands-on stuff for young children.  Free admission.  Open April to October from 10.00 until 5.00 Tuesday to Saturday and from 1.00 until 5.00 on Sundays.  01309 673 701     TA

There are some interesting buildings in the High Street, which has quite a number of closes and alleys off it - some residential, some with shops.  At the western end of the High Street is St Laurence's Church - not all that old, built in 1906, but still a strking building.  It's the latest in a line of chapels and churches dedicated to St.Laurence stretching back to the thirteenth century when Alexander III built a chapel i memory of his late wife.  Open weekdays from May to September from 10.00 until and 12 noon and from 2.00 until 4.00 pm.

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for St.Laurence Church

 

 

 

Findhorn                                                                                 1.02

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Findhorn

A popular yachting centre, the village lies on a tidal lagoon at the mouth of

the River Findhorn with a long expanse of sandy beach running all the way

to Burghead in the east.  The coastline keeps changing here, and the present village dates from the beginning of the eighteenth century after a previous

site had been lost to the sea.  It’s a fascinating place to wander around, with

lines of small cottages all crammed together.

The Heritage Centre has displays about the history, life and trading links of

the port, along with albums of historic photographs.  The neighbouring 150

year old ice house has displays about ice making and the local salmon fishing industry that it supported.  Open 2.00-5.00 daily from June to September, but only at weekends during May and September.  Admission Free.   TA

Findhorn Heritage Website

Just outside the village is The Park, home to the Findhorn Foundation,

founded in 1962 as a spiritual community.

Findhorn Bay is a nature reserve, and there’s a car park just to the south of

the village that gives access to a hide as well as somewhere to watch the

planes coming and going at neighbouring RAF Kinloss.  Their website has a lot of useful information on what birds you can see at various times of year.  Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to like being linked to, but you can access it by typing   fblnr.org  in your browser.  The Bay has a very narrow opening to the Moray Firth, so it's quite interesting to see the tide going in and out.

Tide times for Findhorn

Bing Images of Findhorn Bay

On the way to Findhorn, there’s a ruined Cistercian Abbey in the nearby village of Kinloss.  Unfortunately, most of the stone was sold to Cromwell to construct the Citadel in Inverness, but there are still a few bits left standing in the graveyard along with the graves and memorial for those who lost their lives while serving at RAF Kinloss.  It's free to visit all year round.   TA

Bing Images of Kinloss Abbey

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Kinloss Abbey

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Elgin                                                                                        0.48

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Elgin

Elgin was designated a Royal Burgh in the thirteenth century, and much of

it’s mediaeval street plan is still well preserved with lots of wynds and closes linking the main street to parallel streets.  A few buildings still have the

arched facades that were common in the early eighteenth century.

The Elgin Museum has renowned collections of fossils from the surrounding

area as well as Roman finds and Pictish stones and has displays depicting a thousand years of Scottish history from a local perspective.  TA

Re-opens 28th April check website for details.  Admission free.  01343 543 675

Elgin is also home to the fascinating Moray Motor Museum.  TA

Open daily 11.00 to 5.00 pm from Easter weekend to the end of October.

01343 544 933

Gordon and Macphail, one of the major bottlers of Malt Whisky, have their shop in South Street.   TA

Johnstone's of Elgin, renowned manufacturers of cashmere, have their Mill just the other side of the Cathderal from the Town Centre.  They have a Heritage Centre and Shop, a Restaurant and also offer tours of the Mill.  Scroll to the bottom of their webpages to see the index of what's on the website.   TA

01343 554 088

Details about Elgin Cathedral and nearby Spynie Palace can be found on the Churches page and the Ruined Castles and Houses page respectively.

For a bit more action, Elgin also has a Bowling Alley 01434 541 444 (TA) and

a Leisure Centre with swimming pool, ice rink 01343 550 033.

There's also a Kart Racing Centre just out of town 01343 843 666 (TA).

 

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Lossiemouth, Hopeman and Burghead                 0.56 - 1.16

As its name suggests, Lossiemouth overlooks the River Lossie as it flows into the Moray Firth, and it's that view that makes it worth visiting - especially if you drive up the hill. There are extensive sandy beaches stretching away from both sides of the river.  The town was founded as a port for Elgin in the sixteenth century when storms had blocked the entrance to Loch Spynie with sand and shingle.

Bing Images of Lossiemouth

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Lossiemouth

There is a small but very interesting Fisheries and Community Museum down by the dockside with displays not only of fishing, but of boatbuilding and the former workings of nearby Covesea Lighthouse.   TA

Tours of Covesea Lighthouse are available at 10 and 11 o'clock on Saturday mornings from Easter until the end of October, but spaces are very limited and prebooking is recommended.

Try the ice cream - Clifton Road beside the river.

Lying five miles to the west, Hopeman was originally founded to house workers at a couple of nearby quarries at the beginning of the nineteenth century.  A harbour was built towards then end of the 1830s to facilitiate the export of stone and also provide a base for fishing boats.  By 1880 there were 120 fishing boats and five fish-curing businesses in Hopeman - alas, all gone.

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Hopeman

There's an art gallery and craft shop down by the harbour.

Some more good ice cream here - about halfway back up Harbour Street from the harbour.

To the east, you can walk along the beach past some beautifully painted beach huts and some interesting rock formations including a cave.

Bing Images of the beach huts and rock formations

To the west, you can follow the old railway line to Burghead - about 9km there and back - some of it running close to the beach.

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Hopeman

 

Burghead was originally the site of by far the largest Pictish fort in Scotland, built on a headland jutting out into the Moray Firth.  The former Coastgaurd Lookout

at the top of the hill has been turned into a small Visitor Centre - so a very good view over the Firth!  TA

Open daily from 12.00 until 4.00 pm from April to end of September

01343 835 518

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Burghead

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Burghead Fort

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Burghead Well

 

 

Fochabers and Buckie                                            0.44 - 0.58

It might seem strange to group Fochabers and Buckie together, but it makes sense to visit both if you’re starting out from Glenlivet.

Fochabers was founded as a planned village by the Duke of Gordon in 1776 – just to the east of the last bridging point on the River Spey before it flows into the Moray Firth at Spey Bay.  As with many other places, the story goes that the Duke had a bit more peace and quiet at nearby Gordon Castle, and his tenants had better houses.  Now that the main Aberdeen-Inverness road bypasses the village, it’s quite an attractive place to wander around with many buildings of architectural interest and The Fochabers Ice Cream Parlour (TA).  The Folk Museum is housed in a former church in the High Street - probably open May to September, but phone 01343 821 204 to check

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Fochabers

Bing Images for Fochabers

Christies of Fochabers (TA) lies at the eastern edge of the village - originally just selling plants (still the largest independent, family-run tree nursery in the UK) but now a garden centre with restaurant, gift shop and play-garden.

Baxter’s Highland Village (TA)  and the Gordon Castle Walled Garden (TA) are also close by.

Buckie is still very much a commercial port supporting the fishing fleet and with an active shipyard.

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Buckie

The Fishing Heritage Centre has models of various fishing boats, lots of artefacts and thousands of photographs.  TA  

Close by is the Seamen's Memorial Chapel, set up in an almost derelict nineteenth century chapel in 1982 as a result of the efforts of three ladies who had lost close family members at sea while fishing.  The building was renovated and furnished with six new stained glass windows.  There are around 200 names recorded of those lost at sea, mostly from towns and villages along the Moray coast.

The Heritage Centre is open as follows

26th March to end September

Weekdays from 10.00 until 4.00 pm

Saturdays from 10.00 until 1.00 pm

October to Christmas

Weekdays from 1.00 until 4.00 pm

01542 834 702

The following website give information on the neighbouring villages of Portgordon and Buckpool, which, in succession, were the main ports on this stretch of coastline before the harbour was built at Buckie.

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Portgordon

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Buckpool

If you’re interested in fishing boats, the following website about the former shipyard in neighbouring Portessie is worth a look

McIntosh Boatbuilders Website

If you have absolutely no interest in fishing at all, this is still a part of the world you should visit so that you can see the Land Girls Memorial at the nearby village of Clochan      TA

Press Release from the Prince of Wales  

Bing Images of the Memorial   

 

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Cullen, Portknockie and Findochty                      0.57 - 1.08

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Cullen

Bing Images of Cullen

Discover Cullen Website

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Cullen Old Kirk

Most of what you see in Cullen dates from the 1820s after the harbour was built by Thomas Telford.  Before that, the town was centred around the Auld Kirk of Cullen, the only building left of the old town.  It’s said that the new town was founded either to provide the population with better housing or to provide the Earl of Seafield more privacy in Cullen House – or a combination of the two!  The Seafield Estate’s refusal to allow the railway to encroach onto the land around Cullen House in the 1880s has left us with the magnificent viaducts that form such a feature of the town.

A must for all visitors is the ice cream shop on the left below the square.  TA

You can then go down the hill with your cone and sit on the grassy slopes overlooking the bay or wander around Seatown, the community of fishermen’s houses that runs along the shore to the Burn of Deskford.

There are some excellent walks (short and long) starting from Cullen – eastwards to the beautiful Sunnyside Beach, Findlater Castle and Sandend or westwards towards the Bow Fiddle Rock, Portknockie and Findochty.

There are also a number of antique and collectible shops in town.

Home to the Cullen Skink World Championships!

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Portknockie

Bing Images of Portknockie

Portknockie Website

Portknockie lies a couple of miles to the west, a fishing village founded in 1677 and home over 100 fishing boats at the height of herring boom, but site of an ancient Pictish fort on the Greencastle promontory that shelters the harbour.

Portknockie's answer to Acapulco - not recommended and please excuse the language!  Apart from anything else, the monthly average sea temperatures are only 5 to 15 degrees Celsius here as compared with 26 to 31 in Acapulco.

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Findochty

Bing Images of Findochty

Findochty (or Finechty as it is also known) is a very traditional fishing village.  It was once home to a sizable fleet, but most of the boats were moved to Buckie after its harbour was enlarged in 1877.

See the note about the Land Girls Memorial in the Fochabers and Buckie section above.  You can come back from Cullen via Clochan on the B9016.

 

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Fordyce and Portsoy                                                 1.01 - 1.08

Fordyce may look a bit off the beaten track, but, before it was bypassed by

road and rail, it was the very centre of this prosperous farm land with its markets and fairs.  Now it is a beautiful wee village that can easily hold your attention for a couple of hours on a warm sunny day.  Apart from a stroll through the village for its own sake, the major attractions are the Old Kirk and Graveyard and a fascinating old carpenter’s workshop, preserved as a museum but still used by craftsmen.  Phone 01261 842 743 to check when the workshop museum is open.

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Fordyce

Aberdeenshire Council Webpage for Fordyce Carpenter's Workshop Museum

Aberdeenshire Council Webpage for Fordyce Kirkyard

 

You could easily drive through Portsoy and think there was nothing to see,

but turn off to the harbour and you’ll drive through a maze of narrow streets

to find one of the earliest ports to be established on the Moray Coast with

some fairly impressive buildings dating back to the seventeenth century.

The Salmon Bothy is an old ice house and the high vaulted rooms of its ground floor now house a small but interesting museum not only about the coastal salmon fishing industry but about the harbour and the trade and industry that it helped to create - including the export of Portsoy Marble for a couple of fireplaces in the Palace of Versailles.  Phone 01261 842 951 to check opening times.   TA

To the south of the main raod through town, Loch Soy (more of a large pond really and created from an old mill pond) is surrounded by an attractive park and children's play area.  Boats of various shapes and sizes can be hired during the summer.  There's also a putting green.  The excellent Portsoy Ice Cream Shop is close by - click on the following TA link and the map will show you the location of the Loch and the Ice Cream Shop.  TA

If you're around at the beginning of July, don't miss the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival - it's a good day out with lots to see.

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Portsoy

Bing Images of Portsoy

 

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Aberdeen                                                                                                                                       1.38

Undiscovered Scotland Webpage for Aberdeen

A city where the docks are right in the centre of town, so you can easily view all

the ships that service the North Sea oilfields.  The Maritime Museum is also close by - excellent coverage not only of the past but of the present day activites surrounding the North Sea oil industry.  01224 337 700    TA

Aberdeen is renowned for its granite buildings, and one of the most striking is the facade of Marischal College just the other side of Union Street.  Most of the building has been demolished, but the facade will incorporated into new Council buildings.  Some of Aberdeen's oldest buildings are nearby - the sixteenth century Provost Skene's House (01224 641 086  TA) and the seventeenth century Tolbooth (01224 621 167  TA).

Aberdeen has a very good Art Gallery, but it is undergoing redevelopment at the moment and not open to public.

Old Aberdeen was a separate Burgh that was only incorporated into the City in 1891 and was an important ecclesiastical and eductional centre.  It has been a site of Christian worship since St Machar established a church there around 580.  This was eventually replaced by a Norman style cathedral in the middle of the twelfth century, with the present building being constructed at various times between 1350 - 1520.

St.Machar Cathedral website     Bing Images of St. Machar's    Bing Images of Old Aberdeen

King's College was founded at the end of the fifteenth century, the third of Scotland's universities and the fifth oldest in the UK.  There are still some sixteenth century buildings on campus.  Marischal College was founded about a century later, and the two colleges merged into the University of Aberdeen in 1860.

Aberdeen University Website     Bing Images of King's College

Although not in the same league as wandering around Oxford or Cambridge, it's a pleasant short walk from St Machar's up The Chanonry, across St.Machar Drive, past the Old Town House to King's College.  Just before you reach St.Machar's Drive, you will see the Botany Department on your right and the entrance to the 11 acre Cruickshank Botanic Gardens - a very relaxing place to have a stroll.  TA   At the far side of the gardens you can go into the Zoology Department and wander round their Museum 01224 274 330.  TA   No entry charge for the gardens or the museum.

Bing Images of the Cruickshank Gardens and the Zoology Museum

At the other end of town is the outstanding Gordon Highlanders Museum.  Even if you're not bothered about militaria and displays about the exploits of the Gordons, this place is worth visiting just for the atmosphere created by the volunteer staff and the Tea Room.  The garden is also worth having a look at - beautifully tended, unfussy and relaxed, but also a very moving place with plantings dedicated to former soldiers and their families.  There is an excellent Tea Room - unfortunately well regarded by Aberdonians so it can get rather busy!  01224 311 200    TA

If you're going from Old Aberdeen to the Gordon Highlanders Museum, you'll probably be passing Duthie Park with its Winter Gardens - always a good display of colour.  01224 583 155   TA

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