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The best things to do in Speyside, the home of whisky

The Speyside region of Scotland is world famous for being the home of whisky and over 50 distilleries. It’s also been our home here at The Glenlivet since 1824.

Single malt whisky is within the air we breathe and paths we tread here in Speyside – it may as well run through our veins. But while whisky takes a leading role when planning things to do in Speyside, it’s not the only thing that makes the area a must-visit. 

From dramatic natural scenery to explore, to historic sites to wander, and unspoilt coastline to enjoy, Speyside is a gift that keeps on giving. Rest assured that there’s something for your entire party to enjoy during your stay.

Where is Speyside?

But first, it’s time for a mini geography lesson.

Speyside, or Moray Speyside as it’s also known, is located in the northeast of Scotland. Our easterly neighbour is Inverness and the Highlands, and our Westerly friend is Aberdeenshire.

It’s an area of stunning natural contrasts – Speyside’s northern edge is along the coast, and the lower part is within the Cairngorms National Park, an area rich with mountains, rivers, forests and lochs.

If you’re a lover of the great outdoors, it doesn’t get better than this.

Discover the Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms National Park is indeed a great place to start when putting together your things to do in Speyside itinerary.

It’s the largest national park in the UK and includes four of the five highest mountains in the UK too, with Ben Macdui being the Cairngorms’ highest at 4,295 feet. 

This breathtaking area offers Speyside visitors an abundance of outdoor activities, including mountain climbing, walking and biking trails, watersports, wildlife and bird watching, and more.

The Cairngorms National Park is sure to provide you with plenty of unforgettable experiences in the region’s incredible landscape, and it’s also guaranteed to build up a healthy thirst…

Experience The Glenlivet Distillery

It’s quite frankly an offence to visit Speyside without making a trip to The Glenlivet Distillery

The Glenlivet is the yardstick for single malt whisky, which is why you should make a visit to our distillery a priority during your holiday.

Located in an enchanting wild and isolated glen, our distillery is the place to learn about Speyside whisky, our fascinating history and of course, sample our Speyside whisky collection. We have whisky tours and experiences for all budgets, each including guided tasting of our world famous range. 

It’s not often that top brands allow such intimate access to their inner workings, but it’s something we pride ourselves on at The Glenlivet. 

Sharing The Glenlivet history and what makes our whisky the best of the best will always be a priority, and we welcome whisky aficionados, novices and everybody inbetween to experience it for themselves. 

Explore Elgin Cathedral

This captivating ruin dates from the 13th century and holds an abundance of history within its mediaeval walls, windows and arches. 

And Elgin Cathedral has certainly had a turbulent history, including ravaging fires, attacks, storms, and the Scottish Reformation.

Both the West Front tower and the Chapter House tower are open for the public to climb, and climbers will be compensated with spectacular views of Elgin and plenty of local landmarks.

With exhibitions to see, countless corners to explore and stewards on hand to share more about the cathedral’s history, Elgin Cathedral deserves a place on your things to do in Speyside list. It also makes a great family friendly day out.

Walk the Moray Coast Trail

There’s something for everyone along the diverse Moray coastline – sandy bays, quaint fishing villages and rugged cliffs.

The Moray Coast Trail incorporates around 50 miles of this stunning coastline, from Findhorn to Cullen. 

If you’re an experienced long distance walker, feel free to take on this challenge all in one go, which should take you three – five days. Or if you’d prefer just a taster, why not dedicate a day during your Speyside visit to completing one section of the hike? 

The views are unrivalled and there is plenty of wildlife to see – perhaps even dolphins if you’re lucky.

A day (or five!) of walking the Moray Coast Trail and taking in unspoilt shoreside views, whether that’s harbours, cliff formations or sand dunes, will be sure to blow any cobwebs away and refresh both your body and mind.

Enjoy a round of golf

Scotland is the home of golf as well as the home of whisky, and while we’re not even going to bother to tell you which we prefer, we still love a round of golf as much as the next person! 

Speyside has countless picturesque golf courses which provide unbeatable views and experiences for golfers of all abilities. 

Whether you opt for a coastal round at Hopeman Golf Club, or an inland experience at Elgin, a Speyside golfing experience is a very worthy item on your things to do in Speyside list.

Now that we’ve shown you just how magical and abundant Speyside is, the only logical thing to do is book your trip! 

We look forward to welcoming you to The Glenlivet Distillery very soon.