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Craigellachie Bridge

bridge which was built over the River Spey by Thomas Telford

Photography by Gary Paul

This tour was with a group of friends from Turkey and started with a visit to the Biblical Gardens and Elgin Cathedral where the group took photos. They were then driven into the Moray countryside and shown the Millbuies and Wardend fisheries and then to Ben Riach where they finished with a tour of the Ben Riach Distillery.

The following day they were driven to Dufftown where they went on a tour of the Glenfiddich and the Balvenie distilleries.

Following the tours they were taken back to Elgin and the Kirkie bar in New Elgin where they enjoyed local beers. They mixed with the locals in a friendly atmosphere and enjoyed the local banter while playing pool. While at the Kirkie they learned about the working lives of the people, whisky, farming and fishing.

Bishopmill and the Rising Sun Bar was visited next and they enjoyed a sing along to the song made famous by the Animals “The House Of The Rising Sun” From there the group were taken to the Muckle Cross pub for a meal and drinks.

The following day Guvnor took the group to the Macallan Distillery where they enjoyed the distillery tour. From there they went to The Aberlour Hotel for a whisky exhibition with tastings and learned a bit more about the whisky industry. They thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition and whiskies. After the end of the exhibition they dined on traditional scottish food in the hotel dining room.

On leaving the Aberlour Hotel Guvnor played the bagpipes and created a nice Scottish welcome for the tourists and locals who were attending the exhibition and allowed them to take photographs. Leaving Aberlour traveling west on our way to the Glenfarclas Distillery we passed Ben Rinnes, one of Moray’s highest landscapes. At Glenfarclas the group enjoyed an extensive tour and posed for photos outside the copper still and with Ben Rinnes in the background.

On route back to Elgin Guvnor took them to the famous Craigellachie bridge which was built over the River Spey by Thomas Telford. A favourite spot for tourists and salmon fishing. They enjoyed a dram of Glenfarclas 105, as good a dram as any to be found in Speyside, Moray as Guvnor played a few tunes on his bagpipes to the sound of the river flowing to the sea. A more picturesque setting in Scotland would be hard to find. A feature on this tour was a competition to see who could get the most skims across the river. Soon everyone was busy searching for the flattest stones on the riverbank and skimming to find who can get the most skims. Soon we had a winner, king of the skimmers of the Spey and his prize was that he bought the first round of drinks at the Kirkie bar.

The last day the group were picked up from the Moraydale Guest House where they had earlier enjoyed a full Scottish breakfast of sausage, bacon, eggs, black pudding, haggis, potato scone and baked beans. They made their last journey of the tour east to the market town of Huntly, Aberdeenshire and the Glendronach Distillery where they enjoyed a great tour and tasting session. A first class distillery to end the journey and with the sun out making the day even more special. At the end of the day they said farewell at Huntly Station and departed for Edinburgh with fond memories of Scotland, their whisky tour and Guvnor.