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Today, weather was as predicted-dry in the morning and increasingly wet in the afternoon- so we achieved most of objectives by concentrating on key sites in the first half of the day, viz:

Start 0930 from Distillery Guest House in central Fort William then a short trip down the road to visit Old Inverlochy Castle.This is a substantial ruin on the banks of the River Lochy and dates from the 13th century when it was associated with the Comyn family of Badenoch. The Comyns were powerful establishment figured but were pushed aside by Robert the Bruce in his endeavour to gain control of the Scottish Crown.

Next we move on for a trip down Glen Nevis, a delightful ride around the base of Ben Nevis (Scotland’s tallest mountain) and the associated Nevis Range. En route we encountered a very docile herd of Highland Cattle which was quietly munching away on the side of the road.There were no fences and we were able to get the car right up close to obtain a great set of photographs.

Just a short distance from the cattle we arrived at Lower Falls a modest but impressive waterfall set in magnificent Highland scenery. Here we spent about 20 mins enjoying the scenery and taking photographs.

Our next destination was Glencoe about 40 minutes south of Fort William. We drove through the village where the infamous massacre of MacDonalds by Campbells under British military control took place in 1692 and thence to the National Trust Visitor Centre for refreshments and more scenery and photos.

After Glencoe we continued south across the desolate Rannoch Moor down into the Trossachs and our final destination of Luss on Loch Lomond. This is a quaint heritage village on the banks of Loch Lomond where we enjoyed a very pleasant light lunch at the Loch Lomond Trading Company restaurant, However, we were thwarted by the increasingly heavy rain in plans to tour this charming village and churchyard so we headed back to the car and moved on down to Glasgow for final destination of lodgings at the upscale One Devonshire Gardens Hotel in Glasgow’s West End.

Overall, the day went more or less to plan for this final day of our round Scotland tour.

The videos below cover the Highland Cattle, Lower Falls at Glen Nevis and Old Inverlochy Castle

Read more on Fort William Tour, Scotland…

Today, we benefited from clear, dry but cold weather.

After departing lodgings in Dunkeld, central Scotland, we drove about 20 mins north to Pitlochry where we availed of a tour of Edradour, Scotland’s smallest whisky distillery. This was a good value experience.

Here is the overnight lodgings-Atholl Arms Hotel at Dunkeld.

View of Dunkeld

Bar at Edradour, Scotland’s smallest distillery. Refer also video clip below.

After Edradour we continued north to Aviemore in the Cairngorms national park. Here we obtained a spot of lunch in this centre for outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing and mountain biking. We noticed snow on the mountain tops.

After a light lunch we continued north to Culloden, site of the last battle on British soil. This took place in April 1746 and marked the final defeat for the Jacobite cause of Bonnie Prince Charlie at hands the British (Hanoverian) army. There is a good interpretation and visitor centre which is run by the National Trust.

Reenactment soldier at Culloden.

Next we drove to nearby Clava Cairns, a prehistoric site dating back some 4000 years and which comprises burial cairns and stone circles. If only we could get inside the minds of our ancestors who built this and similar sites across the British Isles! Here is an image of a well preserved passage grave.

Finally, we headed for our lodgings for the night in central Inverness.

Tomorrow we visit Loch Ness and Skye. Fingers crossed for favourable weather!

Read more on Highlands Tour Scotland…

Today turned out fine. After overnighting at the very comfortable, 5 star An Cala Guest House at Grantown-on-Spey we drove up the Spey valley through some spectacular scenery and encountered a wide variety of wildlife and animals including birds of prey, hundreds of pheasants, Llamas and Highland Cattle.

We arrive at Aberlour Distillery in good time for our tour which was of the ‘Connoisseur’ variety, lasting over two hours and ending with a tasting of 5 whiskies. Tour Guide was first class. The distillery dates from 1826 but was rebuilt by James Fleming in 1879 and is now owned by Pernod Ricard of France. Aberlour produces a 10 yr old 40pct, 12 year old 40pct., 15 yr old 40pct and A’Bunadh 59.6pct.

Next we moved on to nearby Glenfiddich for a spot of lunch and another Connoisseur Tour led by another competent tour guide.

Glenfiddich was founded in 1887 by one William Grant (who literally built the distillery with his own hands) since when then product has become the world’s biggest selling single malt which is made with lightly peated water from the Robbie Dhu spring nearby. Glenfiddich operates 28 stills in trios. A combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks are used along with new oak from which various expressions are married and experimentation with new blends is carried out.

Glenfiddich uses traditional practices to produce its whisky, principally the 12 year old Special Reserve 40pct but also a 15 year old 40pct., and an 18 year old 40pct.

Excellent tour of all facets of the distillery and warehouse (maturing whisky) which culminated in a tasting session of the various malts.

Tasting at Glenfiddich

Glenfiddich Distillery
Stills at Glenfiddich
Mash Tuns at Glenfiddich

Tasting at Aberlour
Stills at Aberlour
Taking away the freshly distilled spirit at Aberlour

Tour Group at Aberlour
Rare and expensive whisky at Aberlour

Pheasant in Spey Valley
Llamas in the Spey Valley

Read more on Private Speyside Whisky Tour Scotland…