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An elegant Georgian town on the edge of the magnificent Cairngorms National Park, Grantown- on-Spey is a planned settlement, founded in 1765 by Sir Ludovic Grant to be a centre for the linen industry. The town is surrounded by verdant woodland and mountains, making it a popular holiday destination for hikers, climbers, skiers and snowboarders. Its location near the River Spey means it is also a favourite haunt of fishermen. From Edinburgh, it is a four-hour journey on public transport.
What to see in and around Grantown-on-Spey
Grantown on Spey is situated in the centre of the Scottish Highlands and only 14 miles from Aviemore. A traditional Highland town on the River Spey by the northern edge of the Cairngorms National Park. The town is surrounded by community-owned ancient woodlands. Known as the Anagach Woods, there are plenty of walks and trails to be explored which offer amazing views of the surrounding scenery of the Highlands. Fifteen minutes from Grantown-on-Spey is the magnificent Abernethy Forest, which is known for its spectacular wildlife. Nearby is the beautiful Loch Garten, which is a good place to picnic and see otters, sea eagles and ospreys.
Grantown Museum in the town’s centre is a small museum that tells the story of Grantown’s founding and its time as a favourite Victorian retreat. There are also temporary exhibitions featuring photography and art.
Castle Roy is less than ten minutes from the town centre and well worth a visit. A 12th century fortress, it would have changed hands many times through marriage and alliances. It is unique because, despite being in ruins, it remains unaltered since it was first constructed making it one of the oldest unchanged castles in Scotland.
The stunning rose-coloured Brodie Castle has been the ancestral home of the Brodie clan for over 400 years and lies 24 miles from Grantown-on-Spey. It houses a magnificent collection of artworks, furniture, ceramics, tapestries and books. The castle was destroyed by a fire in 1645 and converted into a large mansion house in the 19th century. It is surrounded by the Playful Garden which you can walk around and explore the history of the Brodie family. The garden features 400 varieties of daffodils.
Glenfiddich Distillery is a Speyside whisky distillery in Keith, over half an hour from Grantown. It was founded in 1887 and was built by hand by William Grant and his family. It is the world’s best-selling single-malt whisky and also the most awarded at the International Spirits Challenge. Speyside whisky refers to whisky that has been created near the River Spey so it is worth giving it a try while in the area.
Ben Macdui is the highest in the Cairngorms National Park and the second highest mountain in the United Kingdom after Ben Nevis. From the summit, you can experience a magnificent mountain panorama and be able to see other mountains such as Lairig Ghru, Carn Toul and Braeriach. When Queen Victoria was 40, she climbed to the top of Ben Macdui and afterwards described the experience as: ‘It had a sublime and solemn effect, so wild, so solitary – no one but ourselves and our little party there … I had a little whisky and water, as the people declared pure water would be too chilling’. It can be quite a difficult walk so some level of experience and preparation is required. The best place to start the walk is at the Cairngorms Ski Centre, 40 minutes from Grantown.
If you would like to explore the charming Grantown-on-Spey, our Scottish Whisky and Other Wonders tour spends four nights in the town and visits some of the surrounding landmarks mentioned in this article.
Articles about Scotland published by Odyssey Traveller.
The following list of articles published by odyssey Traveller for mature aged and senior travellers to maximise their knowledge and enjoyment of Scotland when visiting;
- Visiting Scotland
- Scotland & Scotch Whisky
- Visiting Edinburgh places to consider visiting
- Country Spotlight; Scotland
- Nelson Mandela Place; a Glasgow story
- Peat and Scotland
- Glasgow’s Architectural heritage
- Stone circles
External articles about the City of Edinburgh and Scotland for travellers.
We also publish articles to give more information to our loyal and prospective clients. You can start by reading our our country spotlight on Scotland.