One of the attractions of staying at the Orton Holiday Cottages is that it provides our guests with a convenient base from which to tour the wider Scottish Highlands. Our dedicated team in the Estate Office can help plan and prepare an itinerary of visits whilst you are here.
Journey a few miles along the narrowing rim of the Moray Firth and you will reach Inverness, the ‘Capital of the Highlands’ and egress for Loch Ness, home to Scotland’s most famous monster. Further west lies the rugged and starkly beautiful Isle of Skye, a must-do daytrip in the summer months and worthy of an overnight stay all year round. A short journey east from Orton finds the cosmopolitan city of Aberdeen, the ‘Granite City’, a major port and the rich hub of the Scottish oil industry. Whilst a trip south brings the world famous ski resort of Aviemore, then onward and a spectacular journey across the Cairngorm Mountains finds the city of Perth, the ‘Gateway to the Highlands’.
Closer to home there is plenty of history, heritage and culture waiting to be discovered as well. One of the most iconic is Elgin Cathedral, one of Scotland’s most beautiful medieval buildings, dating back to the 13th century. The real Macbeth was crowned King of Scotland in 1040 at nearby Pitgaveney. Every hillside and valley hides an ancient castle: Ballindalloch, Balvenie, Brodie, Cawdor; home to the ancient clans that once ruled Scotland and each with its own unique story to tell.
On the coast lies Fort George, the mightiest artillery fortification in Britain, began in 1746 following the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie at nearby Culloden, the last battle to be fought on British soil. The agricultural and industrial heritage of Scotland is well preserved hereabouts too: just one example being Knockando Woolmill, which dates back to 1754 and is the oldest district working mill in Northern Europe. All of these attractions have visitors centres, cafes and shops and make for an ideal day out.
Malt Whisky: “Uisge-beatha – The Water of Life”. More than half of Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries are situated in the Speyside area of Moray. Hardly a road can be taken without seeing the charcoal stained, stone bonded warehouses and pagoda roofs distinct of the distilling industry. Over forty are listed on the famous ‘Moray Malt Whisky Trail’, which means they have visitors centres and shops and offer tours so you can take ‘a nosing’, learn the secret arts of the distiller and purchase a bottle or two of ‘liquid gold’ to take home with you.
During the Summer months many of Scotland’s iconic Highland Games take place on Speyside and close by and are well worth visiting for a great family day out.
As with more general itineraries, the Estate Office can team can prepare whisky tour itineraries and book transport so that all can enjoy a memorable dram.
Some of Scotland’s most famous exports are produced nearby: Baxter’s Soup, Walker’s Shortbread, Johnston’s Cashmere and Fine Woollens amongst them. Again, there are visitors centres, cafes and shops to sample and tours to be taken. These can be built into an itinerary with other activities or just enjoyed individually.
Ballindalloch Castle: www.ballindallochcastle.co.uk
Baxters Highland Village: www.baxters.com
Benromach Distillery: www.benromach.com
Brodie Castle: www.nts.org.uk
Cawdor Castle: www.cawdorcastle.com
Culloden Battlefield and Visitor Centre: www.nts.org.uk
Dallas Dhu Historic Distillery: www.dallasdhu.com
Duff House: www.duffhouse.org.uk
Fort George: http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk
Glenfiddich Distillery: www.glenfiddich.com
Glenlivet Distillery: www.theglenlivet.com
Johnstons Of Elgin Cashmere Visitor Centre: www.johnstonscashmere.com
Knockando Woolmill: www.knockandowoolmill.org.uk
Logie Steading: www.logie.co.uk
Macallan Visitor Centre: www.themacallan.com
Speyside Cooperage: www.speysidecooperage.co.uk