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7 Days Distillery Tours, Sightseeing, and Cycling Holiday in Scotland, United Kingdom

Aviemore, Scotland

Leisure Cycling Holiday UK

Breathtaking views and century-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 savor the very spirit of Speyside and the Moray coast as you follow the river on its journey, seeing the forests, mountains, and the villages that it passes on its way to the sea.

Key information

  • Trip type: Guided
  • Lodging: Point to point
  • Difficulty level: Easy (cyclist does not need to have certain level of fitness, mostly flat terrain though occasionally they will ride in unpaved or hills, 10-30 miles per day) to moderate (cyclist needs to have a good level of fitness, terrain is mostly hilly or unpaved but they will ride on flat terrain sometime, 31-45 miles per day)
  • Total distance: 145 miles / 231 kilometers
  • Type of bike: Touring bike and Tandem bike
  • E-bike: Available for rent

Highlights

  • Guided cycling rides
  • Distillery tours and visits to museums
  • Cycle through picturesque routes and landscapes
  • 5 nights accommodation
  • Delicious meals daily
  • Luggage transfers

Styles


6 days with instruction
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Accommodation

During this cycling holiday, you will be provided six nights of accommodation. Bainton Bikes 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.

Night 1: Welcome to Scotland

  • Central location in Aviemore
  • Short walk to the center

Night 2: Relax in Grantown-on-Spey

  • Unique shops to explore
  • Perfect location to enjoy some locally smoked Salmon

Night 3: Quaint Ballindalloch

  • A chance to relax in this peaceful location
  • Take time to enjoy the natural beauty

Night 4: Vibrant Dufftown

  • The "Malt Whisky Capital of the World"
  • Fantastic selection of pubs, shops, and restaurants

Night 5: Historic coastal town of Buckie

  • A busy small town with its own large harbor and Marina
  • Perfect location to explore the Moray Coastline

Night 6: Historic Elgin

  • Thriving town packed of great shops and distilleries
  • Enjoy exploring the local castle and cathedral remains

Program

On this cycling holiday, you 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. There are scheduled stops at beautiful sights, eateries, distilleries, and hotels. The guides will ensure that you will not miss a thing. You will be given a welcome pack, which includes detailed information for the tour, contact details for Bainton Bikes, tour guide details, maps, and recommendations for points of interest and restaurants to visit during the tour.

Daily itinerary

Day 1: Aviemore to Grantown-on-Spey

The first day is an easy day to help introduce this beautiful part of Scotland, the Spey valley. You will depart Aviemore and head towards the hidden Loch Eilein and her sastle remains before you 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.

You will be seeing a lot more of the Spey as it forms the constant factor in the exploration of Speyside’s distilleries. You will 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. You will head to Nethy Bridge for a warming Scottish lunch.

Afterwards, you will 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 highlights

  • Loch Eilein and Castle ruins
  • Loch Eilein Crofters House
  • River Spey
  • Castle Roy
  • Osprey Centre
  • Loch Garten

Key facts

  • Distance: 24.3 miles / 39.1 kilometers
  • Elevation gain: 787 feet / 240 meters
  • Difficulty: Easy

Day 2: Grantown-on-Spey to Ballindalloch

From Grantown, you will follow around the Hills of Cromdale, briefly stopping in the picturesque Bridge of Brown (famous for its tearoom and old bridge) before heading to your lunch destination in Tomintoul, where you will visit a traditional restaurant to enjoy a lunch of local produce.

You will join the famous A939 road, often the first road closed by snow in the winter between Tomintoul and Cockbridge. You will turn off the A939 towards Tamnavoulin and then head to Glenlivet, where you will 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, you will 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 highlights

  • Bridge of Brown
  • Tamnavoulin Distillery
  • Glenlivet Distillery Tour and Tasting
  • Blairfindy Castle
  • Drumin Tower
  • Ballindalloch Castle

Key Facts

  • Distance: 27.68 miles / 44.54 kilometers
  • Elevation gain: 1959 feet / 597 meters
  • Difficulty: Medium

Day 3: Ballindalloch to Dufftown

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

Afterwards you will 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, you will first stop at the Cooperage to learn the history and method for making the whisky barrels, and later you will pause for a special whisky tasting session in The Quaich (founded in 1893, the world's leading whisky bar, housing over 900 single malts).

Thereafter, you will pass Macallan just above the famous Craigellachie bridge designed by Thomas Telford. You will ride for just a short distance when you pick up the Speyside Way again to take you to your overnight stop at Dufftown.

Day highlights

  • Speyside Way
  • Knockando & Cardhu Distillery
  • Aberlour distillery
  • Speyview Waterfall
  • Walkers Shortbread Factory Shop
  • Craigellachie Cooperage
  • The Quaich special Whisky Tasting session
  • Dufftown distilleries
  • Balvenie Castle

Key Facts

  • Distance: 33 miles / 53 kilometers
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Elevation: 1959 feet / 597 meters

Day 4: Dufftown to Buckie

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

You will begin by following the route of the Keith & Dufftown railway along the river Isla (‘the Whisky line’) before your first stop at Drummuir Castle, which is located in a very splendid wooden glen.

After a brief stop, you will continue up to the town of Keith where you will stop for lunch and an opportunity to visit the memorable Strathisla Distillery. After lunch, you will leave Keith behind and have time to enjoy Scotland's natural beauty. You will also have a leisurely ride through tantalizing countryside with wildlife, forests and rivers, and hopefully catch sight of an osprey overhead.

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

Day highlights

  • Drummuir Castle
  • Keith
  • Strathisla Distillery
  • Aultmore Forest
  • The Nook

Key Facts

  • Distance: 26 miles / 41.8 kilometers
  • Elevation Gain: 408 feet / 124 meters
  • Difficulty: Very easy

Day 5: Buckie to Elgin

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

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

After lunch, you will 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.

You 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 you will spend the night.

Day highlights

  • Spey Bay dolphin, whale, and osprey watching
  • Spey Bay dolphin centre
  • Lossiemouth
  • Coastal Dunes
  • Sculptor's Cave
  • Clashach Cove
  • Moray Coastal Trail and Lighthouses
  • Burghead Fort, Well and Harbour
  • Quarrelwood
  • Elgin distilleries, Castle and Cathedral (remains)

Key Facts

  • Distance: 36.26 miles / 58.35 kilometers
  • Elevation Gain: 1122 feet / 342 meters
  • Difficulty: Medium

Day 6: Elgin to Nairn

You will 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 6.5 meters Scotland's largest standing stone, and make your way into the town of Forres for lunch.

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

You will 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.

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

Day highlights

  • Kinloss Abbey
  • Findhorn River
  • Sueno's Stone
  • Benromach Distillery
  • Brodie Castle
  • Auldearn battle site
  • Rodney's Stone

Key facts

  • Distance: 28.79 miles / 46.33 kilometers
  • Elevation gain: 701 feet / 214 meters
  • Difficulty: Easy / Medium

Day 7: Departure

This day marks the end of the tour, and you will depart to your onward flight home.

Bike information

Bainton Bikes use high quality touring bikes for the 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 also available.

Included excursions

  • Cooperage tour
  • Exploration of the Osprey Centre
  • Glenlivet Distillery tour
  • Spey Bay Visitor Center and Museum tour
  • Visit to Kinloss Abbey, Brodie Castle, and Forres Distillery Contrast tour
  • Visit to Tomintoul Museum

Location

This cycling holiday will be held in Scotland. It will cover places including Spey valley, Aviemore, Loch Eilein, Glen More Forest Park, Abernethy Forest, Grantown-on-Spey, Cromdale, Bridge of Brown, Tomintoul, Cockbridge, Tamnavoulin, Ballindalloch, Archiestown, Speyview Waterfall, Charlestown of Aberlour, Craigellachie, Cooperage, Macallan, Dufftown, Moray Firth, Keith, Buckie, Garmouth, Lossiemouth,Burghead, Elgin, Kinloss, Benromach, Forres, and Nairn.

Food

The cost of the packages include daily breakfast and lunch, as well as three evening meals. Bainton Bikes have carefully selected the best cafes, pubs, and restaurants on the route which offer traditional dishes using locally sourced ingredients.

Breakfast

  • Start your day right
  • Full traditional Scottish breakfast included everyday
  • Vegetarian and light options available

Lunch

  • Fine lunch dining
  • Contemporary fine lunch dining available
  • Selected restaurants which use local produce
  • Traditional lunches
  • Enjoy classic pub grub in country inns
  • A number of great locations on route
  • Enjoy classic Scottish dishes like Neeps and Tatties or the famous Haggis

Dinner

  • Traditional Scottish pub dining
  • Great food in great pub locations
  • Local produce served in classic settings

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • Guided cycling rides
  • Glenlivet Distillery tour
  • Cooperage tour
  • Spey Bay Visitor Center and Museum tour
  • Visit to Tomintoul Museum
  • Visit to Kinloss Abbey, Brodie Castle, and Forres Distillery Contrast tour
  • Entrance to Osprey Centre (donation)
  • Luggage transfers
  • 3 evening dinners
  • Daily breakfast and lunch
  • Entrance fees to attractions
  • Services of a tour guide
  • Welcome pack

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 17% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 14 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 1 days before arrival.
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