Out in the Middle of Somewhere - Part 1
**Disclosure: We were guests for the weekend at Lyn of Shenval Croft. Regardless of this, please be advised that all opinions expressed in this blog post are genuine and authentically our own.**
At first you think you are in the middle of nowhere, but you soon realize you are in the middle of somewhere, "somewhere" being Scotland's famous Speyside Malt Whisky Trail. It is here where one finds the world's largest concentration of whisky distilleries, and hence, it is often referred to as "the ultimate Scotch experience."
Nearby this world renowned trail full of history, culture and passion, only 10 miles from Dufftown ("the malt whisky capital of the world") there happens to be a white, cozy, inviting and characteristic croft (cottage). Known as Lyn of Shenval, this perfectly located traditional croft is set in a beautiful rural setting which lends itself to the peaceful and soul soothing views over the open countryside.
Lyn of Shenval accommodates to all minor and major details to making sure one's stay is enjoyable and safe . As experienced quality auditors, both Barry and I could not help but notice the small details throughout the cottage. We loved how the host had a decanter full of whisky with a message to help ourselves to a dram as a welcome token to the cottage.
Additionally, we were highly impressed with the owner's consideration of providing
high visibility jackets and a large flashlight near the back door. Aware of the cottage's quiet and remote yet accessible location, these items always came in handy at night time. Safety is no accident!
More Than Just a Pretty View
Aside its enormous character and comfort, Lyn of Shenval ticked all the boxes when it came to things to do. It is in a brilliant location for outdoor activities such as mountain biking, golf, fishing, shooting, horse back riding, skiing and nearby walks, as well as visiting numerous whisky distilleries...just choose from your favorite one!
Our mini weekend getaway comprised of arriving on Friday night and returning back home on Sunday evening. We made every second count upon arrival, and we started doing so by walking to the nearby local pub, The Croft Inn, for dinner (less than a 5 minute walk). With less than 8 tables in the restaurant, the food was good and wholesome (best steak pie ever!), management was very friendly, and its décor was inviting.
Walking back home we joyfully admired how the stars twinkled in the firmament, and once back to the cottage, we quickly settled in and made ourselves comfortable in the lounge room by starting the wood burning stove, and delving into a good read, and researching about Portugal, our next client's destination. Priceless. We loved our temporary new office.
Waking up to a clear sky with magical views was a winner. Having breakfast in the dining room followed with a short journaling session was ace. Beginning late in the morning by car, our bespoke itinerary first led us to Packhorse Bridge. The picturesque bridge built in the 16th century which helped packhorses (horses loaded with side bags) to cross the river, was only minutes away from the cottage.
A stone's throw from the castle is the world famous Glenlivet Distillery, producer of the second most consumed malt whisky in the world. Although we did not have time to experience the distillery tour, and partake of the "water of life", we had previously visited this distillery and we can highly recommend the tour and its fantastic café.
Drumin Castle and its gardens followed next on our list after a quick car ride to this fortified tower house, dating from the 15th century which has little written history.
From here we hopped onto our car and drove for roughly half an hour to visit Old Spey Bridge,located in Grantown-on-Spey. This 3-span bridge crosses the river Spey and was built as a miltary bridge in 1754.
We had a leisurely late afternoon and early evening which we brought to a wrap in Tomintoul. Here the intention was to attend a dark sky event to explore the night skies and watch Mercury setting and Jupiter rising. Additionally, viewing a few constellations of stars and the Moon's craters through a newly purchased telescope were on the list. However, the weather did not cooperate, but we did enjoy a free astronomy class with town locals. Cosmic fun!
Please join us for our next BESPOKE travel blog post when we describe how we embraced our Sunday Funday out in the heart of whisky country. We will give you a clue: whisky.
Until then, happy reading and safe travels!
*Interested in staying at Lyn of Shenval croft? For more information visit Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Lyn-of-Shenval-Croft-1406454549661800/. Ready to book? Check out: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/7685528.