Guide to Moray Speyside

Things to do in Dufftown

Dufftown Clock Tower
Dufftown Clock Tower

Dufftown is the whisky capital of the world. and it’s often said, Rome was built on seven hills and Dufftown was built on seven stills. There are many things to do including visiting distilleries, castles and walking. It is home to the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival. Every year visitors arrive from all over the world to take part in a wealth of whisky related events from tours, to tastings, to blending experiences to music evenings. Things to do in Dufftown include:

  • The Keith and Dufftown Railway – The Whisky Train
  • Glenfiddich Distillery
  • Balvenie Distillery
  • Balvenie Castle
  • Mortlach Kirk
  • Walking in Dufftown
  • Auchindoun Castle
  • Ben Rinnes

Glenfiddich Distillery

Glenfiddich Distillery started production on Christmas Day 1887. It is one of the most popular whisky visitor attractions in Scotland offering a number of tour types.

Balvenie Distillery

Just a short walk away from Glenfiddich lies Balvenie Distillery. It offers an in depth distillery tour followed by a tasting. Balvenie Distillery is one of the few whisky distilleries still operating floor maltings.

The Keith and Dufftown Railway – The Whisky Train

The Keith and Dufftown Railway originally opened in 1862 to serve the whisky industry and towns. It is testament to the hard work of volunteers who have taken over the 11 mile line and refurbished the train station at Dufftown. It takes about 40 minutes for a one way trip and there is a converted train carriage café (Buffer Stop) at Dufftown station serving snacks and drinks.

Balvenie Castle

Balvenie Castle was built in the late 1200s and altered by later occupants.  It is a defensive stronghold – huge walls and a defensive ditch surround the courtyard indicating the lack of security in times past. There is a pleasant walk back to Dufftown. Look out for the Highland Cows, which can often be seen in the field behind.

Mortlach Kirk

Mortlach Kirk stands near Dufftown Distillery down at Dullan Water. It’s believed to be on the site of a 6th century Christian missionary centre founded by St Moluag. St Moluag came from Ireland and was an associate of St Columba.

Walking in Dufftown

Dufftown has a well organised network of paths. There are longer walks (e.g. The Isla Way to Keith) and well sign posted shorter paths. The Giant’s Chair walk takes you past Mortlach Kirk, and along Dullan Water. The smell of whisky hangs in the air as you pass Dufftown Distillery. There are points of interest including the Linen Apron Waterfall, the Giant’s Chair and the Giant’s Cradle (a strange rock formation). There’s also an interesting memorial hidden on the left after the Giant’s Chair. Most walks start from the Dufftown Clock Tower.

Auchindoun Castle

This impressive 15th century castle sits in a stunning location surrounded by defensive ditches. Although a ruin, it is very well preserved with much of the walls and inner tower still standing. The access path is situated on the A941 where there is a space for two or three cars. A 20 minute, sometimes muddy, uphill walk from the road takes you through a farmyard and then left up to the castle.

Ben Rinnes

Ben Rinnes at 840m is one of the highest mountains in Moray. It is a relatively gentle hill walk along clear paths and through stunning scenery.  The final ascent is a bit steeper but worth the views over Speyside, Moray and the surrounding area. Take the B9009 from Dufftown for approximately 2.5 miles. Turn right into the Edinvillie Road and continue to the car park.

Eating & Drinking in Dufftown

Dufftown has a number of eating places including a fish and chip takeaway, indian restaurant and chinese takeaway.  Popular places to eat include the Coffee Pot, Seven Stills and don’t forget the Malt Barn at Glenfiddich Distillery.

Dufftown is the centre of whisky production in the area. It’s not too far from Craigellachie (5 miles) and Aberlour (5.5 miles).

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Things to do in Speyside

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