Ballindalloch Castle and Speyside Tour – Itinerary
Our shortest tour on the North East 250 is our Ballindalloch Castle and Speyside Tour. We travel into Speyside, to visit the castle known as the Pearl of the North – Ballindalloch. Then there are several options open to you. You can fill your time enjoying the castle gardens to the full, or you can visit any one of Cragganmore, Cardhu or Dallas Dhu Distilleries on your way home. Another alternative visit for your return journey would be the Knockando Woolmill.
Ballindalloch Castle and Gardens
This Castle has been the home of the MacPherson-Grant family since 1546. Ballindalloch make many of their rooms available to view, despite this being a family home. As a result we particular enjoy a visit to this castle known as “The Pearl of the North”. The gardens are magnificent, and designed to be filled with interest from Spring until Autumn. Ballindalloch has the oldest herd of Aberdeen-Angus Cattle in the world. The present Laird’s mother, Clare Russell, is an author in her own right. She has written three acclaimed recipe books, and one book that captures the essence and culture of the people and places of Banffshire.
Cragganmore is a lovely distillery visit. Big John Smith began this distillery in 1869. John’s Cragganmore was described as one of the most complex and characterful malt whiskies of the Speyside region.We think this was because he was said to be the most experienced distiller of his day, The distillery remained in the same family until 1923 when, as a result of the national economic situation, it was sold to White Horse Distillers Ltd.
This Woolmill was first established in 1784, and has been producing textiles ever since. The year 2000 saw a trust established to ensure the future of this rare survivor, and since 2012 it has been open to the public. Visitors can experience the sights and sounds of a working Woolmill, learn the rich history of the site and browse the range of quality woollen throws, scarves and accessories.
Moonshine is the root from which Cardhu sprang, because Helen Cumming’s first still, in 1811, was illegal, so it would be fair for us to say that. She went legitimate in 1824, which makes Cardhu the first distillery on record to be founded by a woman. It will come as no surprise that she made a very good job of it. So much so that it is now the primary component in Johnnie Walker. Her successor was her daughter-in-law, in 1871
Dallas Dhu Distillery
This Distillery closed in 1983, so, of all of today’s choices, it is the only distillery which no longer produces whisky. However, Historic Environment Scotland has made a very good job of creating a time capsule of the distiller’s art. And in the spirit of highland hospitality they are always happy for you to have a taste as well as a tour.
Ballindalloch Castle and Speyside Tour – Departure
The tour departs from your Inverness accommodation, or any transport hub you prefer, such as bus station, train station or airport. You tell us, and we’ll be there.
Ballindalloch Castle and Speyside Tour – Price
£320 for up to seven passengers.