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Holiday Cottages in Moray And Speyside

Scotland’s north-east, between the River Dee and Spey. It lies not just in the hills, but partly beyond them. Explore it’s peerless coastline and enjoy watching the dolphins play in the tides of the Moray Firth. This is a holiday experience for those who enjoy somewhere different. This corner of Scotland was bypassed by some of the main events in Scotland’s stormy history, allowing many of it’s castles to survive.

Whatever the truth, the many castles built to the west and north of Aberdeen, around the Rivers Dee and Don – represent the finest flowering of Scotland’s castle building tradition. The very best of those lie on a signposted trail, which leads to 16th century Crathes Castle. See the painted ceilings and colourful garden. Or explore Fyvie Castle and it’s superb collection of paintings. Find your perfect holiday cottage in Moray and Speyside today with Discover Scotland.


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Moray And Speyside

Speyside and Moray is famed for its Whisky and is also home to two of Scotland’s most well-known and loved brands, Walkers Shortbread and Johnstons Cashmere (of Elgin).

The region sits equal distance from Aberdeen (in the east) and Inverness (central Highlands) and is packed with character-filled small towns and villages such as Forres and Grantown-on-Spey.

Queen Victoria fell in love with the pine-clad slopes and rushing waters of the valley of the River Dee. More than a century and a half later Balmoral Castle is still a favourite holiday home of today’s royal family. The royal connections can also be explored by following the Victorian Heritage Trail, which takes in the commemorative arch and a distillery at Fettercairn in the south of the area, before coming over the high-level Cairn o Mount road and dropping into Royal Deeside.

The recently restored Old Royal Station in Ballater also sheds light on the royal family’s affection for the area.

The malt whiskies of the valley of the River Spey are drinks of rare subtlety and lightness. Some taste a sweetness, almost a honey flavour – but it is the sort of discussion you should have round a well-stocked gantry at any one of a number of pubs while travelling in Moray. Better still, a signposted trail takes you round distilleries open for visitors to take a tour (and, usually a sample dram). There you can gain an insight into how yeast, peat-smoke, meltwater from the Cairngorms and barley from the sunny coastal plain of Moray combine in a magical way into one of Scotland’s most distinctive products.

Choose this area for its sense of authenticity. This a real Scotland of fishing, farming and distilling, of true tastes and flavours and a natural, down to earth friendliness. A good choice of heritage centres and local museums, plus a wide variety of outdoor pursuits such as riding, trekking and angling (with skiing in season), mean there is certainly plenty to do.

Things To Do


The Malt Whisky Trail | Across the Region

The Malt Whisky Trail spans the Moray Speyside region and is the best way to savour some of Scotland’s most iconic distilleries and Single Malts. The trail is made up of nine locations.

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The Speyside Way | Cairngorms to Moray Coast

The Speyside Way is one of four long distance walking routes in Scotland, running from the edge of the Cairngorms to Buckie on the Moray Coast. The trail covers a distance of approximately 65 miles.

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Castle to Cathedral to Cashmere | Explore Elgin

The Castle to Cathedral to Cashmere experience tells the story of the buildings, past and present, those who visited the town and those who lived and worked in the town of Elgin.

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WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre | Fochabers

Looking for an experience like no other? Visit the WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre at Fochabers, Moray and spot the amazing Bottlenose Dolphins and various other mammals and birds.

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Braemar Gathering

There have been Gatherings of one sort or another at Braemar since the days of King Malcolm Canmore, nine hundred years ago; the Gathering has been run in its present form since 1832. Now, one of the most famous highland games in the world, over 13,000 people descend on the beautiful village of Braemar for the gathering, including our very own Her Majesty the Queen! Click here for tickets and more information:

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Royal Deeside Railway

The Royal Deeside Railway is a standard gauge steam and diesel hauled heritage railway, in a beautiful setting running alongside the River Dee. The line is currently about one mile long and the return journey lasts about 15 to 20 minutes. With events throughout the year, check out their website for whats going on throughout the year.

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Family Favourites

Spey Bay Dolphin Centre, Elgin
Offering daily tours and walks.
Open 7 days a week 10.30am-5pm – More Info

MacDuff Marine Aquarium
Find out all you need to know about one of the best visitor attractions in the North East of Scotland, plan your day out and learn about some of the wonderful sea life exhibited in the award-winning Aquarium.
Open Saturday – Wednesday 11am-4pm – More Info

Suggested Walks

Cullen Bay and Bowfiddle Rock – Cullen – More Info

Findlater Castle – Banff – More Info

Bennachie – Aberdeenshire – More Info


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