Out in the Middle of Somewhere - Part 2
**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.**
In our previous blog post we set the stage of being out in Scotland's famous Speyside Malt Whisky Trail, where one finds the world's largest concentration of whisky distilleries. Our weekend getaway was made more special by having the exceptional experience of staying over at the comfortable and perfectly situated Lyn of Shenval croft, and which we used as a base to venture out on both Friday evening and Saturday.
Now Sunday had creeped up on us too soon, but we were ready to do so much more on Sunday Funday.
Croft Sweet Croft
Sunday morning offered another day of perfect weather. Cozily, we enjoyed our decked out porridge for breakfast while quietly taking in the breathtaking views from the dining room. Lyn of Shenval offered us so much comfort, and undoubtedly, had greatly helped to make our getaway be successful as it was.
We had quickly taken a liking to the cottage upon arrival for its overall inviting energy.
Possibly dating back to the late 19th century, the stone cottage's exterior offers a spacious and well manicured garden and lawn area, a welcoming patio and ample parking space. Inside, this comfortable two story getaway cottage includes three double bedrooms all located on the first floor along with a bathroom, a spacious kitchen with a fire engine red AGA cooker as the room's bold focal point, a dining room with a panoramic view of Scotland's landscape, a utility room with shower, and an inviting lounge room decorated in soothing hues, with a wood burning stove, comfy furniture, and eye catching knick knacks from the area.
We were sad to part, but we knew we had found our perfect spot for our next Highland getaway holiday.
Only a 15 minute drive from the cottage, our first attraction site was Glenfiddich Distillery. Glenfiddich means ‘Valley of the Deer' in Scottish Gaelic, hence the presence of a stag symbol on Glenfiddich bottles. We paid 10 GBP per person for the tour which lasted nearly an hour.
It was led by "Young Paul" who had been with the distillery for over 20 years ("young" for he is the employee with less years being on the job), and who provided a well explained tour. Glenfiddich was founded by William Grant in Dufftown, Scotland, and it is currently managed by the fifth generation of William Grant's descendants. Trivia information: Glenfiddich is the world's best-selling single malt, and it is sold in 180 countries.
A Commanding Presence
A few minutes walking distance from the distillery, we visited Balvenie Castle, built as a heavily fortified stronghold. This is a great castle to visit to which there was a 5 GBP fee per person. Originally known as Mortlach, it was built in the 12th century by a branch of the powerful Comyn family (the Black Comyns) and extended and altered in the 15th and 16th centuries. Additionally, there were Highland Cattle next door.....a must see treat!
Down in Dufftown
Dufftown is a vibrant town in the Highlands which has spacious streets laid out in a regular plan, like all villages of its time. Proclaimed as the "Malt Whisky Capital of the World," we stopped and walked where its four main streets converge at the Clock Tower, which was completed in 1839. The Clock Tower was originally the town jail, then became the Tourist Information Centre, and is now vacant.
We crossed the street and visited the Whisky Shop which offers a selection of over 600 whiskies. Options are definitely good, but in this case, it was overwhelming good.
The castle, just a shell, and its scenery are incredibly beautiful. However, there is a distinct lack of information boards which would have been nice. There is nothing on site to tell the castle's history. We had done our research though, and the general story of the castle was included in the itinerary that we had created for our weekend. It is important to mention that there is a dedicated car park for the castle just up the track. There is no admission fee or opening hours - you just go anytime and enjoy it. Most lovely of all is the setting - set on high ground with views over wild heathery hills.
Bridging the Gap
After a quick 20 minute drive from Dufftown, we drove to Craigellachie. We parked next to Craigellachie Bridge which spans the Rivery Spey. Here we admired the cast iron bridge that was built between 1812 - 1814. It is the oldest surviving cast-iron bridge in Scotland and is considered one of the finest of its type in Britain.
Aberlour - Short and Sweet
We walked the bridge, took its beauty in, and soon wrapped up our weekend getaway at The Mash Tun, a whisky bar offering delicious contemporary Scottish cuisine, and just 5 minutes drive from the bridge in the small village of Aberlour (home to the yummy Walker's Shortbread). Although it is not always necessary to reserve a table at The Mash Tun, we suggest you call to guarantee one.
Please join us for our next BESPOKE travel blog post when we visit the beautiful Glenesk, in Angus, Scotland.
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.
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