Great Hall, Stirling Castle

Great Hall, Stirling Castle, Scotland

 This morning I collected my guests from their Edinburgh hotel and then drove north, first stopping for a quick tour of historic Stirling Castle. This castle is strategically situated in the centre of Scotland and in medievaltimes was critical to the control of the country. Two key battles were fought near here: Bannockburn in 1314 and Stirling Bridge in 1297. The castle had a combined military and prestige function in that it was also  Royal palace and built to impress. Above is the Great Hall whilst immediately below is the Chapel Royal, built in the space of just 9 months for a Royal christening.

Chapel Royal, Stirling Castle

Chapel Royal, Stirling Castle, Scotland

 Here is a statue of Robert the Bruce with snowbound Ochills in background. Bruce was the victor at Bannockburn and thus secured Scotland’s independence (from England) for the next 400 years. He is buried at Dunfermline Abbey.

Statue of Robert the Bruce

Statue of Robert the Bruce, Stirling

 Next we moved on to our first distillery, Glenturret which falls within the Famous Grouse marketing umbrella. Glenturret is actually one of Scotland’s smallest distilleries with most of its output going into the Famous Grouse blends.

Famous Grouse, Glenturret

Famous Grouse, Glenturret, Scotland

Glenturret Distillery

Glenturret Distillery, Scotland

 Sampling of various Grouse blends at Glenturret.

Whisky at Famous Grouse

Whisky at Famous Grouse, Scotland

 This is a shot of draff, a by-product of whisky making, being loaded  into a trailer prior to  transportation to a local farm for animal feed.

Draff at Glenturret

Draff at Glenturret Distillery

 En-route to our next stop, Edradour Distillery, we encountered this rural scene.

Sheep Hazard on Road

Sheep Hazard on Road, Scotland

On arrival at Edradour we discovered that tours were suspended due to maintenance/repair issues but we were able to visit the well stocked shop, sample some malts and make purchases from the very extensive range of whiskeys on display. (Image to follow)

Finally, we drove north for about 90 mins, through increasingly snowy conditions, to our destination at Grantown-on-Spey, in the heart of the Speyside Whisky Industry, where we commence day 2 of our tour tomorrow.

Weather conditions started appallingly, with heavy rain and then snow. However, towards the middle of the day the precipitation eased off .Temperature here in Grantown tonight is around 1 degree centigrade.

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