We take note of all the essential things to see, do and experience in the Scotch Whisky Capital of the World
Much like kilts, the Highlands and bagpipes, Scotland is inseparable from whisky, its national drink. So it makes sense that the only malt whisky trail in the world is nestled among historic castles in the rolling green hills of Speyside, a region in the northeast Highlands. But Speyside is more than just Scotch Whiskies; it’s also an indulgent and historical getaway for travellers, with amazing experiences on offer provided you know what to do…
STAY IN A CASTLE
What better way to put a 'legitimatize’ your Scottish adventure than to stay in an authentic castle. Currently leased by DIAGEO, one of the biggest distributors and owners of spirits in the world, Drummuir Castle is nestled in the heart of Speyside, in the village of Drummuir within the vicinity of Dufftown. The castle not only boasts tastefully decorated rooms with modern amenities but it also stocks a fully loaded bar area filled with DIAGEO spirits. The castle is open to the public but bookings have to be made well in advanced owing to limited space.
Drummuir Castle, Banffshire AB55 5JE.
TOUR A DISTILLERY
There are several thousand distilleries in Scotland and most of them are in operation within the Speyside area. Cardhu just so happens to be one of the oldest and most established distillers in the region and they also produce and mature Scotch Whiskies that are used in award-winning Johnnie Walker blends. The Cardhu distillery has been in operations for over 130 years and boasts a very strong heritage of producing Scotch Whiskies. Like most distilleries in Scotland, Cardhu also offers guided tours, which offer a good insight to the Whisky making process with daily Scotch Whiskie tastings.
Cardhu Distillery, Knockando, Aberlour AB38 7RY.
STROLL THE STREETS OF EDINBURGH
The capital of Scotland also happens to be one of the oldest cities in Europe and stands as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is historical in nature complete with cobblestone pathways, old monuments as well as castles that surround the area. Easily accessed and enjoyed by foot, the city is a feast for the eyes as it oozes old world charm and has also become one of the leading cities for arts in the UK.
STOMACH A SERVING OF HAGGIS
Admittedly, it’s an acquired taste but no trip to Scotland would be complete without tucking in into one of its signature dishes. Haggis is made up off a combination of minced meat, onions, oatmeal, spices all of which are mixed, encased and cooked in sheep intestines for several hours. The idea of it may sound disgusting but it’s actually not half that bad especially when you savour a serving in a traditional fashion complete with a kilt-wearing host who will gleefully cut into it whilst reciting an old Gaelic poem.
EXPERIENCE A ROUND OF GOLF AT GLENEAGLES
With a perfect setting, manicured lawns and gently rolling hills it’s easy enough to understand why this noted golf course remains one of the top in its class in the world. Avid golfers can tackle three courses here – The King's, The Queen's and the PGA Centenary, which just so happens to be the host venue for the Ryder Cup in 2014. But make no mistake, the courses here are tough and will test the mettle of a golfer's game, even if you are a pro. But once you've teed off and completed an 18-hole run with your pride and ego intact, you'll make no qualms bragging about it as you sit down to relax at the Dormy Clubhouse right after.