This morning we left our Clan Sinclair base at Wick in the Highlands and drove south, initially through dense fog. First leg of  journey lasted just over about 90  minutes to our first destination of Clynelish Distillery at  Brora. Here the weather was cold and wet and we had to wait 30 mins until commencement of our Distillery Tour which lasted about 45 mins.

Clynelish Distillery

Distilling on the Clynelish site dates back to the early 19th century. The present distillery dates from the 1960s but we were showed the mothballed Brora stills. Brora whisky is no longer produced although it is still possible to buy bottles of the single malt at a premium price.

At Clynelish we were taken through the malting, mashing, fermentation, distillation and maturation process, which was quite interesting. Interestingly, the distillery had just re-commenced activity again after a short break due to shortage of water in turn due to the recent dry spell.

Clynelish form part of the Diageo international drinks group.

After our distillery tour we drove just a few miles, past an ancient broch to Dunrobin Castle, ancient seat of the Dukes of Sutherland.This 189 room mansion mainly dates from the 19th century and evolved from a more conventional castle structure of a few hundred years previous parts of which can still be seen.

Dunrobin Castle

Inside the castle can be found tapestries, furniture, paintings, portraits and objets d’art . Outside can be viewed beautiful gardens, trees and fountains with the beach beyond.

In the small museum can be found a good collection on carved Pictish stones,with one such stone remaining outside.

After lunch at Dunrobin we continued south to visit the Moniack Winery, about 20 mins from Inverness. Unfortunately, this has changed considerably since my last visit with production no longer undertaken on site . However, wine and conserves are still available for purchase at the shop.

Moniack Winery

Our final visit of the day was the prehistoric Clava Cairns, near Culloden. These impressive burial chambers and stone circles date back to at least to 2000 BC.

Clava Cairns

The Clava site concluded our tour for the day following which we headed back to our lodgings for the night, Ballifeary Guest House, in Inverness.

This afternoon/evening, the weather cleared up although prognosis for tomorrow is for heavy rain!!

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