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The Moray Coast and Beyond: Our Northern Highlights Tour
SUMMARY: Experience the history and beauty of the North East of Scotland as we travel a path less trodden and experience some of Scotland’s hidden treasures along the Moray Coast Trail.
Beginning in Aberdeen, ‘The Granite City’, we will explore a region of ancient castles, rich agriculture and majestic rivers. Enjoy the peace and tranquility of the unspoiled beaches and windswept sand-dunes, and explore the picturesque fishing villages and famous links golf courses of the Moray Coast before ending our tour in Inverness ‘The Capital of The Highlands’.
Take time to sample our wonderful Scottish food and drink: enjoy a bowl of heart-warming Cullen Skink in the town that made this Scottish delicacy famous; or perhaps sample a dram from one of the local distilleries that turn our sun-kissed barley and pure spring water into a glass of golden heaven.
TOUR DURATION: 3 days. Starting Aberdeen, finishing Inverness.
HIGHLIGHTS & KEY LOCATIONS: Moray Coast Fishing Villages, Pictish Art, Distillery Visit, Elgin, Nairn, Inverness, Cromarty
Day 1: Departing from Scotland’s Oil Capital of Aberdeen, we will head through he Aberdeenshire countryside visiting Barra castle and the ‘Turra Coo’ en route Banffshire for a visit to the elegant Duff House. This exquisite Georgian Estate house was built by world renowned Scottish architect William Adam in 1735 and houses art works from the National Galleries of Scotland.
After continuing northwards through rich agricultural land, we will reach the Moray coastline and the historic fishing villages of Portsoy and Cullen. At the harbour, we can sit back, relax and watch the boats venture out into the North Sea in search of haddock, cod and prawns while lunching on their catches.
After lunch we will head along quiet roads through Portknockie and Findochty before reaching Gordon Castle, famous for its walled garden and pleasant tearoom. Our final section of the day sees us heading towards Speybay and the Scottish Dolphin Centre. The Moray Firth is famous not only for the number of dolphins that inhabit the waters, but also for their size: an extra layer of blubber to insulate against the cold North Sea makes them the fattest dolphins in the world!
Our overnight stop in Elgin.
Day 2: After a full Scottish breakfast, we will head along the coastal road to Kinloss before stopping at Findhorn Bay with its beautiful beach and delightful harbour. We are now in the Land of the Picts, the ancient inhabitants of this part of Scotland. Although they left no written records, they did leave many mysterious standing stones, often decorated with strange symbols, in the landscape and we will stop to see one of the finest; Sueno's Stone at Forres. From there we will tour a local whisky distillery to learn more about Scotland’s most famous export, whisky; tastings will be available for those who wish.
The afternoon we will visit Brodie Castle, with its wonderful gardens, before continuing through Nairn with breathtaking views of the coastline, to the Connage Highland Dairy for a tour of the cheese making facility and a chance to sample their excellent cheeses!
Our overnight stop in Inverness area.
Day 3: After breakfast we will depart Inverness, Scotland’s most northerly city, for the Black Isle and Fortrose Cathedral and Rosemarkie, with superb photo opportunities across the Moray Firth. We will then head east to the quaint village of Cromarty, home to the famous Scottish geologist Hugh Millar, where we will stop for lunch and a stroll along the sea shore.
Following lunch we will continue to Conon Bridge, Muir of Ord and picturesque Beauly, where we can visit the wonderful ruined priory. Our journey ends as we drive back across the Beauly Firth and into the historic city of Inverness.
OVERNIGHT STOPS & ACCOMMODATION: 4* accommodation is available in both Elgin and Inverness.
PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES: There will be many opportunities for photo stops during the tour including castles, Moray Firth beaches, fishing villages, Elgin and Beauly Cathedral, and Cromarty.