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Moray & Speyside

Clava Cairns offers a unique and atmospheric experience, allowing visitors to explore the ancient burial chambers and standing stones. We arrived early at around 8:30 a.m. to avoid the crowds and fully enjoyed the tranquility of the site. With 30 minutes, you had enough time to walk around the area, take in the surroundings, and capture some beautiful photos.

One of the notable features of Clava Cairns is its well-preserved passage graves and circular cairns, which are believed to date back around 4,000 years. These structures consist of stone chambers and passageways, often covered by mounds of earth and stones. The alignment of the standing stones adds to the mystique of the site.

Another positive aspect of Clava Cairns is that there is no admission charge, making it accessible to all visitors. This allows people to appreciate the historical significance and natural beauty of the area without any financial barriers.

We had a wonderful and memorable visit to Clava Cairns. Exploring this ancient burial site and its connections to Outlander would undoubtedly provide a unique experience for fans of the series and history enthusiasts alike.

This is an image of one of the stones at Clava Cairns

Clava Cairns

Our next stop was the Cathedral in Elgin! Elgin Cathedral is a historic ruin located in the centre of  town.  As a ruined cathedral, it offers a glimpse into the region’s medieval past and attracts visitors with its architectural beauty.

When we arrived, we found parking near the Library, which provided convenient access to the cathedral. It’s worth noting that payment is required for parking, but the short walk from there to the cathedral allowed you to easily reach your destination.

Elgin Cathedral dates back to approximately 1224 when construction began. The cathedral was an impressive structure in its prime, known for its grandeur and significance in the region. While it is now in ruins, it still holds a certain charm and historical appeal.

One of the highlights of visiting Elgin Cathedral is the opportunity to explore the towers. By gaining entry to the towers, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the cathedral grounds and the surrounding area. These vantage points offer a unique perspective and a chance to appreciate the scale and layout of the site.

My guests thoroughly enjoyed the visit to Elgin Cathedral. Ruined cathedrals often hold a special allure, evoking a sense of awe and wonder at their former glory. Exploring the site and experiencing its historical and architectural significance can be a memorable and enriching experience for visitors.

If you’re planning to visit Elgin Cathedral in the future, it may be worth considering booking tickets online in advance to streamline the entry process and ensure availability. This can help you make the most of your time at the cathedral without any potential delays or inconveniences.

Overall, our visit to Elgin Cathedral was a  fantastic experience, allowing my  guests to immerse themselves in history and appreciate the beauty of this remarkable ruin.

 
 

Elgin Cathedral

We only stayed around 1 hour because of an existing booking but we could have stayed longer. The staff were very pleasant and helpful.

Our next visit was a short drive to Glen Moray Distillery, Elgin. 

This is one of Speysides famous Malt Whisky Distilleries. 

Glen Moray Distillery in Elgin is indeed a renowned Malt Whisky Distillery in the Speyside region of Scotland My guests enjoyed the 1-hour tour at the distillery and had the opportunity to sample two drams of whisky.

While the kitchen was closed during your visit, it’s worth noting that the distillery also has a cafe that typically serves food. If the kitchen is open during your next visit, having lunch at the cafe would be a great option. In addition to hot drinks and cakes, the cafe usually offers a selection of meals and snacks to complement your whisky experience.

Please keep in mind that it’s always a good idea to check the distillery’s website or contact them directly to confirm the availability of food service and any specific timings before your visit. Enjoy your future trip to Glen Moray Distillery!

Glen Moray Distillery

Glen Moray

Failing that you can visit a local place or we drove towards our next destination for some Lunch

I took a slight detour to Dufftown and the Sidings cafe. This is a quirky place with old railway carriages converted for eating. We have visited before and my guest enjoyed their lunch.

Visiting Ballindalloch Castle and Gardens was a fantastic addition to our itinerary. The castle, with its Scottish Baronial style, has been in the ownership of the Macpherson-Grant family since 1546, making it a historically significant site.

I and my  guests thoroughly enjoyed the tour of the castle and gardens. The estate is known for being a working estate, which adds an authentic touch to the experience. The 5-minute video about the history and current position of the estate must have provided valuable insights into the rich heritage of Ballindalloch Castle and its surrounding grounds.

 There is an admission fee for the castle, which typically includes parking as well. This fee helps support the maintenance and preservation of the castle and gardens, ensuring that future visitors can continue to enjoy this magnificent attraction.

Exploring the castle and strolling through the gardens was a  memorable experience.

Ballindalloch Castle

Ballindalloch

We then continued our journey to Grantown on Spey and Carrbridge are both charming locations with their own unique attractions.  My guests were keen to view the Old Pack Horse Bridge in Carrbridge and that they were not disappointed.

The Old Pack Horse Bridge in Carrbridge is a historic landmark that dates back to the 18th century. It is an iconic stone bridge and is considered one of the oldest and most famous bridges in the Highlands of Scotland. Its picturesque setting and rustic charm make it a popular spot for visitors to admire and capture photographs.

Carrbridge itself is a small village known for its quaint beauty and tranquil atmosphere. It offers a peaceful escape and a chance to appreciate the natural surroundings of the Scottish Highlands.

Exploring the Old Pack Horse Bridge and taking in the scenic beauty of Carrbridge was a delightful experience my guests. 

Old Pack Horse BridgeCarrbridge

Old Pack Horse Bridge Carrbridge

Traveling north on the A9 from Carrbridge to Inverness would have offered my guests a scenic and leisurely drive. The A9 is a major road that runs through the Scottish Highlands and provides beautiful views of the surrounding landscapes.

Inverness, often referred to as the “Capital of the Highlands,” is a vibrant city situated on the banks of the River Ness. It is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and proximity to famous Scottish landmarks such as Loch Ness.

When your tour finishes in Inverness, the city itself offers plenty of attractions and activities to explore. You might consider visiting Inverness Castle, taking a stroll along the picturesque River Ness, or exploring the city’s charming old town, where you’ll find historic buildings, shops, and restaurants.

Additionally, if time permits, you could also venture out to nearby attractions such as Culloden Battlefield, where the historic battle took place, or embark on a boat tour of Loch Ness to search for the legendary Loch Ness Monster.

Inverness is a great place to conclude the tour.

 
 
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