Living in the North East of Scotland you can’t always be ootside raking aboot cause well it does rain a fair bit and I kane skin is waterproof but sometimes I like to visit places inside too! As much as I find whisky distilleries interesting place to go and visit I just canna drink the stuff. Gin on the other hand is a whole different story I love gin and I have certainly tried plenty.
Just a wee drive or bus trip to Elgin is far there is a wee gin distillery called Avva. Jill the owner and distiller produces the lovely stuff on site in their bespoke gin still called Jessie-Jean that was handmade by one of my friends Derek & his team at Speyside Copper Works. https://www.speysidecopper.com/
Their gin is made with Speyside water and a mix of highland and Speyside botanicals. If you chose to go for a tasting/tour you will get a chance to taste all 4 of their lovely gins they produce as well find out more about how Avva gin is produced.
JIf you don’t have time for a tour can also visit their onsite shop, where they have a lovely selection of Liqueurs, mixers, glasses and of course the all important gin.
I had a lovely morning chatting with Jill not only about gin but about a million other things too! I highly recommend giving them a visit if not for a tour/tasting but just a wee look in the shop!
Keith is situated almost slap bang in the middle of the A96 between Aberdeen and Inverness. With a population of around 4500 people. I have lived in Keith more than half of my life and think I have walked every path and photographed every landmark and place of interest many times. I could make a long list of paths to walk and parts to visit but I will just tell you about a few of my favourites.
A great walk to explore is the Den woods, Falls of Tarnash and Dunnyduff woods you can make it a short wee walk of a couple miles or if you are feeling energetic you could put on your hiking boots and carry on up the Balloch hill. It is about a 10 miles round trip but totally worth it if the weather is good. Check out this link there are a great selection of walks to try. Keith – Moray Way
I haven’t gotten round to doing this yet but is on my list but does come highly recommended. You could jump on the train to Dufftown then rather than taking the train back you could walk the Isla way The Isla Way – Moray Ways
Not far from the station is the very photogenic Strathisla Distillery that looks beautiful in all weathers the folks at Strathisla do a range of different tours from blending, tasting and walking tours . Even if whisky is not your thing it is still worth a visit. We did do a blending tour a few years back and it was a great afternoon out! https://www.maltwhiskydistilleries.com/strathisla/
There are quite a few lovely buildings in Keith the St Rufus Church is quite a notable one as you pass through Keith.
As well as the St Thomas’ Church with its copper dome and the town clock that dominates the main street and the sky line of Keith.
Keith is split in two by the Union bridge with Keith on one side and Fife-Keith on the other with the River Isla running through the middle. Just beside the Union bridge you will find the Auld Brig that dates back to 1609. There is nice wee area here that makes a great picnic location.
As I said earlier I could make a massive list of places but where is the fun in that make your own wee adventure and discoveries. If you do make a visit to Keith don’t forget to have look round some of our lovely independent shops we have as well as several cafes, takeaways and hotels if you are looking for somewhere to eat or even stay!
For more information on Keith I have posted some useful links below with more information.
I love to go to lots of places like Ullapool and Skye but you cant just chuck the dogs in the car and be there in 20 mins! But Cullen is just down the road and with lots of options of walking routes Cullen is not just a place to go to the beach!
One of my favourite hills is the Bin of Cullen which over looks Cullen its a great walk for all the family. On the clear day there is amazing view of the Moray coast line and the hills and mountains in the Blackisle. https://discovercullen.com/bin-hill/
Next stop on my virtual tour of my favourite places of Cullen is Cullen house. The beautiful building that was built in 1602 although it is now converted to separate private dwellings. The grounds can be visited on a Tuesdays and Fridays from 1.30pm till 4.30pm https://discovercullen.com/cullen-house-cullen-auld-kirk/
Cullen is famed for their amazing beach but instead of heading for the main beach of the 3 Kings. We are going to a stunning beach called Sunnyside that can only be reached by foot.
No walk to Sunnyside beach is complete without walking a little bit further on to visit Findlater Castle. The first historical reference to the castle is from 1246. The remains that are still there are from the 14th-century rebuilding. http://www.findlater.org.uk/Castle.htm