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Bainton Bikes welcomes you to stunning Scotland, Speyside, and Moray coastal cycling holiday. The carefully selected cycling routes offer the best way to see the finest sights this wonderful part of Scotland has to offer. From magnificent natural views, historic castles and the finest whiskey distilleries in the world, you will cycle your way through the outstanding rural countryside with plenty of time to stop and enjoy the splendour of the unspoiled landscape. Each day has carefully selected lunch and refreshment stops to ensure a wonderful time is had both in and out of the saddle.
Bainton Bikes has very carefully selected the best accommodation along the route, using independent award-winning hotels wherever possible who all provide a luxury overnight stay.
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.
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. Bainton Bikes has scheduled stops at their favourite sights, eateries, distilleries, and hotels. The guides will ensure you don't miss a thing. This luxury guided holiday includes hotel bookings, luggage transfers, dinner on three evenings, lunch every day, and entrance to attractions.
Arrive in Aviemore.
The first day is an easy day to help introduce this beautiful part of Scotland, the Spey valley.
You depart Aviemore and head towards the hidden Loch Eilein and her castle 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 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 head to Nethy Bridge for a warming Scottish lunch. Afterwards, you 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.
From Grantown, you follow around the Hills of Cromdale, briefly stopping in the picturesque Bridge of Brown (famous for its tearoom and old bridge) before heading to the lunch destination in Tomintoul, where you 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 turn off the A939 towards Tamnavoulin and then head to Glenlivet, where you 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 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 the main feature for this quaint village, perched high above the junction of the Avon and the Spey.
Today, you descend to the Cragganmore distillery where you join the off-road waterside path, the Speyside Way. You ride alongside the river here towards Knockando distillery (and nearby Cardhu), before following the top road through to Archiestown, where you stop for a lovely lunch.
Afterwards, you descend back to the Speyside Way, stopping along the way to marvel at the tantalizing Speyview Waterfall before heading down to Charlestown of Aberlour with its famous distillery and the home of Walkers Shortbread (where you will have time to explore the shop) before heading to Craigellachie. Here, you first stop at the Cooperage to learn the history and method for making the whiskey barrels, and later you pause for a special whiskey tasting session in The Quaich (founded in 1893, the world's leading whiskey bar, housing over 900 single malts).
Afterwards, you pass Macallan just above the famous Craigellachie bridge designed by Thomas Telford. You ride for just a short distance when we pick up the Speyside Way again to take you to the overnight stop at Dufftown. As well as Balvenie castle, Dufftown is home to Glenfiddich and The Balvenie distilleries so you should sleep well!
Today is an easier day, ending early by the beautiful coast of Moray Firth, offering fantastic views across the North Sea.
You begin by following the route of the Keith and Dufftown railway along the river Isla (‘the Whisky line’) before the first stop at Drummuir Castle, which is located in a very splendid wooden glen. After a brief stop, you continue up to the town of Keith where you stop for lunch and an opportunity to visit the memorable Strathisla Distillery.
After lunch, you leave Keith behind and have time to enjoy Scotland's natural beauty: you have a leisurely ride through the tantalizing countryside with wildlife, forests, and rivers, and hopefully, catch sight of an osprey overhead. You end the day early in the coastal town of Buckie, allowing plenty of free time to explore this historic town.
You begin today by exploring the coast of the Moray Firth. You 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, you pick up the cycle trail and old railway line that leads you traffic free over the Spey to Garmouth. You head east passing by ‘Innesmill’ Stone circle towards the beach in Lossiemouth where you stop to enjoy the lunch of locally caught fish with chips, a British Classic!
After lunch, you 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.
You 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-meter 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: today you take the Contrast Tour, offering a leisurely guided tour followed by a tutored tasting of four drams from the whiskey collection.
You 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 arrive at the ancient fishing port of Nairn where you finish the tour, in time perhaps for a walk along the beautiful beach before heading back to the hotel for a wee dram.
Depart to your hometown.
Bainton Bikes uses 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 available.
This tour will take place in Scotland, UK, including Aviemore, Grantown-on-Spey, Ballindalloch, Dufftown, Buckie, Elgin, and Nairn.
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