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Issue 53 - The visitors' guide to... Speyside

Whisky Magazine Issue 53
January 2006


This article is 12 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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The visitors' guide to... Speyside

In each issue of Whisky Magazine this year we will look at a whisky region from a tourist's point of view. First up, Speyside

Some might consider Speyside to be the epicentre of malt whisky production and it can claim to have the greatest geographical concentration of distilleries anywhere in the world.

Depending on where you draw the boundaries, between a third and a half of all Scotland's malt distilleries are here.

Many famous and some frankly obscure names appear at almost every bend in the road. Signs offer distillery tours and tastings.

With so much to see and do, how do you choose?

Here's our handy guide of the best the region has to offer.

The vast area is made up of stretches of rich, fertile farmland pitted against bleak, dramatic areas of moorland, studded with the pagoda roofs of distilleries and the stark, stone towers of castles.

The jewel of the region, and the lifeblood for many of the distilleries, is, of course, the River Spey. Renowned as one of the best salmon rivers, it rises in the high country of Badenoch, south west of the Cairngorms, and flows by Aviemore, Grantown, Craigellachie and Rothes to the sea between Elgin and Buckie.

Apart from the summer, the best times to head to this corner of Scotland are in May and October when the countryside colours are vivid.

With classic names like Glenfiddich, Macallan, Aberlour and Glenlivet, and an official whisky trail, it is really up to the visitor to chose their own path.

Outside of the whisky centres visitors should not neglect the coastline of the Moray Firth, which has plenty of beaches and picturesque fishing villages t...

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