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FAMILIARISATION TRIP - HIGHLANDS, MORAY, SPEYSIDE & THE CAIRNGORMS BLOG MAY 2022

By Pauline Felstead

 

I was invited to visit the Scottish Highlands and the areas of Moray Speyside and the Cairngorms on a familiarsation trip!

 

Day 1 - We were picked up in Edinburgh & drove over one of the road bridges. The Forth Bridge was in the sunshine and we could admire it in all its glory. Then we had a stop at The House of Bruar, a lovely garden centre with a café.

<img src="280360391_720123005856498_4058114010984435296_n.jpeg" alt="The House of Bruar">

 

Our next stop was to The Grant Arms for Dinner. A lovely meal was served. The Macdonald Drumossie Hotel was our destination to stay for 4 nights.

 

Day 2 - The first stop was at the Speyside Cooperage where they produce the finest casks, using traditional tools and methods. The was a short film, then we were taken to a gallery which overlooked the workers. This is a very skilled job and takes about 4 years to learn the skills needed. The made it look easy, but it isn’t!

<img src="picture2.jpeg" alt="Speyside Cooperage">

 

Next, we visited Johnson’s of Elgin. They make a lot of cloth for very high-end names. We had a tour around the mill. Then had a lovely lunch in the café.

<img src="picture4.jpeg" alt="Johnsons of Elgin">

 

Our next stop was Blervie House, a 5-star private accommodation B&B. Beautifully restored. This was stunning. We then headed to Brodie Castle for a tour.

<img src="picture5.jpeg" alt="Blervie House">

 

<img src="picture6.jpeg" alt="Brodie Castle">

 

Day 3 - A busy day ahead! We were shown around the Grant Arms Hotel. This is a favourite hotel for Bird Watchers, with views Grantown on Spey-View from the hotel. Next was Alvie Estate - A lovely welcoming place we were shown around, and we had soup & sandwiches, with the Laird, Jamie giving us a talk. He was very interesting. The photo below is the Larid office from earlier times. 

<img src="picture10.jpeg" alt="Alvie Estate">

 

The Highland Wildlife Park was next. A beautiful park with stunning surroundings. We were taken on a bus through the dangerous animals’ area. Then a walk around the park. We got to see wild horses, snow leopards and tigers.

<img src="picture11.jpeg" alt="Highland Wildlife">

 

The next stop the Kinara Distillery which makes various gins. We had a talk from a lovely lady and tasted 5 different gins.

<img src="picture14.jpeg" alt="Kinrara Distillery">

 

In the evening we were taken to the Inverness Town House, upon entrance, we were greeted by a piper and got to watch Highland dancers perform!

<img src="picture15.jpeg" alt="Inverness Bagpiper">

 

<img src="picture16.jpeg" alt="Inverness Town House ">

 

<img src="picture17.jpeg" alt="Scottish Dancers">

 

Day 4 - The Dundreggan Rewilding Centre, due to open Autumn 2023, a work in progress to encourage the local trees and plants to be brought back to the area. Then onto the Kingsmill Hotel Inverness. A lovely 5 star hotel. This is maybe a 10 mins walk from Inverness.  The manager and the lady showing us around was very knowledgeable of the hotel and local area and extremely pleasant. Then to Firth Attractions rib boat cruise. I went on it and loved it.

<img src="280268131_328181296105354_6313758051081303442_n.jpeg" alt="Boat Cruise">

 

Next Cawdor Castle - A stunning beautiful, lived in Castle. So many lovely, decorated rooms. We had canapes and champagne with Lady Cawdor.

<img src="picture20.jpeg" alt="Cawdor Castle">

 

In the afternoon we visited Blair Atholl Castle. What an interesting place! They had a display of costumes from many years ago.

<img src="picture23.jpeg" alt="Blair Atholl Castle">

 

<img src="picture25.jpeg" alt="Inside Blair Atholl Castle">

 

The final destination was the Murrayshall Estate, Perthshire. A wonderful Hotel with breath-taking views, we had a show around and a lovely lunch, they are extending with approximately 45/50 rooms.

 

Book one of our fabulous Scottish holidays here!

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Railtrail Tours Limited
21 The Smithfield Centre, Leek
Staffordshire Moorlands, ST13 5JW
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