As I’ve said in my previous post, Scotland is stunning and driving around can take your breath away!
We passed by Braemar, Linn of Dee Bridge, Glenlivet and many more picturesque places and we had a superb time while we were there.
Therefore to help you make your plans, I’ve got a list of the places I’ve been and the ones I knew we would be passing nearby but didn’t have time to go.
On the first day, we arrived at Edinburgh airport in the evening. We collected our rented car and drove to Braemar (around 2 hours).
On the following day, we had a brief walk in Braemar and headed to Glenlivet distillery. After that, we continued to drive in the stunning Cairngorm National Park (by the way, for car lovers, those small roads are a dream to drive through), passing by Aviemore and we slept in Spean Bridge.
On the third day, we woke up very early and went to Glenfinnan Viaduct, Fort William, Glencoe and Falls of Dochart in Killin, and we slept in Callander.
And on our last day, we strolled in Callander, and early afternoon we arrived in Edinburgh, where we were sightseeing until the evening.
What did we visit?
From Braemar, you can drive by breathtaking routes, until you reach the River Dee and access the Mar Lodge Estate, which is part of the National Trust for Scotland.
Following the river, you reach the Linn of Dee Bridge, which, according to historians, was one of Queen Victoria’s favourite places. It was even her who inaugurated the bridge in 1857.
Some say this is one of Scotland’s coldest places.
The post code for the bridge car park is AB35 5YB, and National Trust members do not pay for parking (entrance to the park is free to all).
Also, I’ve heard that there are lots of hiking trails around the river and all around Mar Lodge Park.
Mar Lodge Estate is a highland estate and one of the most significant areas for nature conservation landscapes in the British Isles.
It covers over 29,000 hectares, and occupies nearly 8% of the Cairngorms National Park, with 15 Munros on or within its boundaries.
FYI: Munros is any mountain in Scotland with a height over 3,000 feet.
Braemar Castle was built in 1628 by the Earl of Mar as his Highland hunting lodge and in the first Jacobite uprising it was burned. It was rebuilt in 1748 and nowadays is owned by Clan Farquharson but has been leased to the local community who runs it. For more information: http://www.braemarcastle.co.uk
And if you’re in the area on the first Saturday of September, you can attend the Highland Games Gathering which is held in Braemar and the British Royal Family regularly attend.
Scotland is home to more than 100 distilleries producing whisky, roughly half of it is in the Speyside area offering the Malt Whisky Trail.
So, we decided to visit the Glenlivet Distillery because it is one of the whiskies we bought a couple of years ago to give to my friends in Brazil.
Sadly, you can’t take pictures inside the factory, but I can assure you that the tour is very enlightening and it was cool to learn how the whisky is made and all the processes involved.
We’ve done The Glenlivet Classic Tour, and it costs £12.50 for 1 hour 15 mins.
The address is Ballindalloch, Banffshire, AB37 9DB.
And if you would like more info about the distilleries go to this website: https://www.spiritofspeyside.com.
A mile from the distillery there is the Old Bridge of Livet. This beautiful packhorse bridge dates at least to the 18th century, and the name of the distillery was given because of the river Livet.
And near Glenlivet, you can visit a few more distilleries like the Cragganmore, Glenfarclas plus some attractions like Tomintoul village, Ballindalloch Castle, Drumin Castle, Knockando Woolmill, Linn Falls, Caorunn Gin Tour, Carrbridge (the oldest stone bridge in the Highlands) and many more.
It is the most popular holiday destination in the area.
However, as we were tired and still had 2 hours of driving, we decided not to stop in the town, also because the only thing we wanted to do there was to go to the funicular, but it was closed.
Here are some things you can do in the village:
– Cairngorm Brewery – the brewery shop is open: Monday to Saturday: 10 am – 5.30pm and Sundays 12.30pm – 4 pm and to visit the brewery: Monday to Friday 11.30am or 2.30pm and at weekends – prior booking is essential. Cost £7.00 per person (duration approximately 1 hour). Address: PH22 1ST
– CairnGorm Mountain – it has a funicular to the top of the mountain (it’s out of service). There are a cafe and free museum almost at the top with toilets and a gift shop. Address: Aviemore PH22 1RB
– Strathspey Railway this ten-mile steam railway train that goes from Aviemore, stopping at Boat of Garten and finishing at Broomhill Station. More info here: https://www.strathspeyrailway.co.uk
Additionally, inside the Cairngorm National Park, besides the numerous trails for you to hike, cycle, mountain biking, climbing and canoeing, there are quite a few sites to visit, for example, Loch Morlich, Loch an Eilein, Blair Atholl, Highland Wildlife Park and such.
And for skiing and winter sports there are the Cairn Gorm Ski Centre, Glenshee Ski Centre and The Lecht Ski Centre.
Next time, I will be telling you about the rest of my trip to Scotland, like the Glenfinnan, Glencoe and Callander.
I hope you have a lovely day!