Moray Speyside makes a great base from which to tour the North East of Scotland. Elgin is the main town in the area. Within 90 minutes lie Inverness to the east, Aberdeen to the west and Aviemore to the south. Day trips and side trips from the area include:
- Culloden Moor
- Clava Cairns
- Urquhart Castle
- Loch Ness
- Cawdor Castle
- Boat of Garten
- Balmoral Castle
Day trips to Inverness
One of the most popular day trips from Moray is to the Inverness area. Inverness is a vibrant city. It’s a fairly small place and makes a good place to explore on foot. Inverness Castle and Inverness museum are very central and across the River Ness you’ll find Inverness Cathedral.
To the east of Inverness you’ll find Culloden Moor scene of the last major battle in the UK. A haunting place with an impressive visitor centre. Close by you’ll find the Clava Cairns which are series of burial chambers. These are free to visit. Once off the beaten track, they have become a must see for Outlander fans. En route to or from the Inverness area you might want to visit Cawdor Castle which has beautiful gardens.
To the west of Inverness you’ll find Loch Ness with Urquhart Castle on its shores. There are a number of boat cruises down Loch Ness and depending on your cruise itinerary, you can even disembark at Urquhart Castle.
If you are covering all of these places in and around Inverness it might be easier to have two day tours planned.
Day Trips to Aviemore
Aviemore and the Cairngorm Mountains are within easy reach of Moray Speyside. From Elgin you are looking at less than 90 minutes and less than an hour from places like Aberlour. You could say Aviemore is built for the outdoor enthusiast with lots of activities including kayaking, mountain biking, skiing and walking close by. It can be quite busy in the summer months and if the snow arrives, it returns to its roots as a snow sport centre. Mountain bike hire and skiing equipment is readily available in Aviemore.
Close to Aviemore you’ll find Boat of Garten, famous for its ospreys and at Carrbridge, a 300 year old pack horse bridge. Carrbridge is also host to Landmark, an outdoor forest adventure area. There’s also the Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore which is an Outlander film location.
Day trips to Aberdeenshire and Balmoral Castle
East of Moray Speyside is Aberdeenshire which has lots of castles with visitor centres. These include Balmoral Castle, Dunnottar Castle, Fyvie Castle, Huntly Castle and Leith Hall. Queen Victoria fell in love with this part of Scotland and Balmoral Castle has become the Scottish residence of the Royal Family. Aberdeen is on the east coast. It’s known as the European Oil Capital. It has lots to offer in terms of eating and drinking places. It’s also home to Aberdeen Art Gallery, Tolbooth Museum and Aberdeen Maritime Museum.