Bainton Bikes

Overview

Explore the magnificence of the world famous Speyside and the Moray Coastline

 

Breathtaking views and centuries-old traditions come together around the spectacular River Spey, Scotland’s fastest flowing river. Renowned for its salmon, its castles and above all for its whisky, Speyside offers something for everybody. This tour will enable you to savour the very spirit of Speyside and the Moray coast as we follow the river on its journey, seeing the forests, mountains and the villages that it passes on its way to the sea. 

 

 We will have time to pause at some famous distilleries and see something of the Fiddich and the Livet that feed into the Spey, before arriving at the coast with its dolphins and views across to the Black Isle.

 

This tour is guided with set dates. We have scheduled stops at our favourite sights, eateries, distilleries and hotels. Our guides will ensure you don't miss a thing.

 

This luxury guided holiday includes hotel bookings, luggage transfers, dinner on 3 evenings, lunch every day and entrance to attractions.

Itinerary

Day One

The first day is an easy day to help introduce this beautiful part of Scotland, the Spey valley.

We depart Aviemore and head towards the hidden Loch Eilein & her Castle remains before we head towards the Glen More Forest Park on the edge of the Grampians before turning north to follow the east side of the beautiful River Spey. We will be seeing a lot more of the Spey as it forms the constant factor in our exploration of Speyside’s distilleries. We turn off after a few miles to enter the wonderful Abernethy Forest, home to pine martens, wildcats, numerous deer and breeding area at Loch Garten for the rare osprey.

We head to Nethy Bridge for a warming Scottish lunch. 

Afterwards we join the Speyside way and ride off-road, skirting the edge of the Hills, passing by the Castle Roy before following the River Spey into Grantown-on-Spey, famous for its salmon fishing and smokehouses

Day Two

From Grantown we follow around the Hills of Cromdale, briefly stopping in the picturesque Bridge of Brown (famous for its tearoom and old bridge) before heading to our lunch destination in Tomintoul, where we visit a traditional restaurant to enjoy a lunch of local produce. We join the famous A939 road, often the first road closed by snow in the winter between Tomintoul and Cockbridge. We turn off the A939 towards Tamnavoulin and then head to Glenlivet, where we first visit the Castle of Blairfindy followed by a visit to the famous Distillery for a guided tour and tasting experience.

After a warming dram we continue through Glenlivet passing by the Tower of Drumin and follow the River Livet until it joins the Avon, before arriving at the Delnashaugh Hotel at Ballindalloch, with the fantastic castle a main feature for this quaint village, perched high above the junction of the Avon and the Spey.

Day Three

Today we descend to the Cragganmore distillery where we join the off-road waterside path, the Speyside Way. We ride alongside the river here towards Knockando distillery (and nearby Cardhu), before following the top road through to Archiestown, where we stop for a lovely lunch.

Afterwards we descend back to the Speyside Way, stopping along the way to marvel at the tantalising Speyview Waterfall before heading down to Charlestown of Aberlour with its famous distillery and the home of Walkers before heading to Craigellachie. Here we first stop at the Cooperage to learn the history and method for making the whisky barrels, and later we pause for a special whisky tasting session in The Quaich (founded in 1893, the world's leading whisky bar, housing over 900 single malts).

Afterwards we pass Macallan just above the famous Craigellachie bridge designed by Thomas Telford. We ride for just a short distance when we pick up the Speyside Way again to take us to our overnight stop at Dufftown.

Day Four

Today is an easier day ending early by the beautiful coast of Moray Firth, offering fantastic views across the North Sea.

We begin by following the route of the Keith & Dufftown railway along the river Isla (‘the Whisky line’) before our first stop at Drummuir Castle, which is located in a very splendid wooden glen. After a brief stop we continue up to the town of Keith where we stop for lunch and an opportunity to visit the memorable Strathisla Distillery. 

After lunch, we leave Keith behind and have time to enjoy Scotland's natural beauty: we have a leisurely ride through tantalising countryside with wildlife, forests and rivers, and hopefully catch sight of an osprey overhead.

We end the day early in the coastal town of Buckie, allowing plenty of free time to explore this historic town.

Day Five

We begin today by exploring the coast of the Moray Firth. We leave Buckie behind and pass the old wartime RAF station at Upper Dallachy before arriving at Spey Bay. Spey Bay is an important centre for watching and monitoring dolphins and other whales which are relatively common in the Moray Firth.

A short distance back from Spey Bay we pick up the cycle trail and old railway line that leads us traffic free over the Spey to Garmouth. We head east passing by ‘Innesmill’ Stone circle towards the beach in Lossiemouth where we stop to enjoy our lunch of locally caught fish with chips, a British Classic!

After lunch we venture over the wonderful beach bridge over the outflowing Lossie, before heading along the dunes on the coast closely passing past Gordonstoun school where Prince Charles was educated.

We will stop briefly for a refreshment and soak in the coastal atmosphere in Burghead, before turning back to Elgin with its spectacular ruined cathedral, distilleries and shops where we will spend the night.

Day Six

We leave Elgin and head for Kinloss to stop briefly and explore the Abbey remains, before crossing another famous salmon river, the Findhorn, before pausing to admire Sueno's Stone, at 6.5m Scotland's largest standing stone, and make our way into the town of Forres for lunch.

After lunch we will visit the local distillery of Benromach for our final distillery tour and tasting session: today we take the Contrast Tour, offering a leisurely guided tour followed by a tutored tasting of four drams from the whisky collection.

We leave Forres behind and head to the elegant and grand Brodie Castle on the way and also at the site of the battle of Auldearn together with Boath Doocot, a reminder perhaps of the value of doves in the winter when food was scarce.

We arrive at the ancient fishing port of Nairn where we finish our tour, in time perhaps for a walk along the beautiful beach before heading back to our hotel for a wee dram.

Food & drink

We have carefully selected the best cafes, pubs and restaurants on the route which offer traditional dishes using locally sourced ingredients.

Accommodation

We have very carefully selected the best accommodation along the route, using independent award winning hotels wherever possible who all provide a luxury overnight stay.



Hotels may vary depending on availability.

Bikes

We use high quality touring bikes for our excursions, all of which are fully serviced and set up for your safety and comfort. Rear pannier bags are supplied as standard as well as touring pack to help carry small items of luggage or shopping picked up along the way.

 

Electric bikes and tandems are available.

Key facts

Tour Length- 174 Miles / 281 Km
Difficulty – Easy / Medium
Tour Duration - 6 days
Suitability - Touring, Electric and Tandem Bikes
Standard Price - £1275

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