Most visitors touring central Scotland venture up to Speyside and discover Aberlour. Aberlour on Spey is a small town in one of the loveliest parts of Scotland. The river Spey (on the left), renowned for its amber coloured, crystal clear waters and salmon fishing, flows swiftly past the town. Gentle, wooded hills surround it.
This is a wonderful area for fishing, walking, cycling or spotting wildlife. We saw two birds of prey kill and devour a rabbit in front of our eyes. Pheasants are plentiful and scurry unnervingly across roads. Birdwatchers will be in for a treat. A pleasant wooded walk starting close to the Aberlour Distillery takes you to the Linn Falls. The Speyside Way provides a fairly lengthy walk for the more adventurous walker - although you could just walk certain stages of it. The terrain along the walk is varied, taking in woods, disused railway lines, paths along fields - all quite lovely and peaceful. There are pubs for refreshments along the way.
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Aberlour itself is a little touristy, but not excessively so. You will find a pleasant walk along this fast flowing river, a swing park for the children, a car park, and numerous pubs, hotels and restaurants serving fine Scottish food.
The Village Store is quite an attraction. Located in the high street, it bears testimony to frugal living and the advantages of hoarding. A certain Mr. A. Macintyre owned the premises in the early 1920s and ran it as a village store until he retired in 1978. Not a man to throw out anything of possible value, he kept all out-of-date stock along with meticulous records. The result is a village store which will take you back to your childhood with goods, posters and artefacts that date back to the 1920s.
Aberlour has its own swimming pool. Telephone 01340 871 641. Highland Games are held on the first Saturday of August each year. The spectacle of massed pipe bands is not be missed.
There are many places to visit in and around Aberlour. Several distilleries contribute to the whisky trail by organising visitor tours and sampling are of interest; Cardhu at Knockando, Aberlour (Tel: +44 (0)1340 810204). Glenfarclas (Tel: +44 (0)1807 500257) and Glen Grant (Tel: +44 (0)1542 783318) distilleries are just a short drive away. Aberlour does have its own distillery but it is not open to the public for tours.
Up to 1,000 children at a time were once housed in the Aberlour orphanage on the west side of the town. The need for the large buildings diminished with the social shift from large residential homes to smaller family style units. The Aberlour Childcare Trust evolved to provide care for children in Scotland. It organises various outdoor events as part of its fund-raising activities.
Aberlour is also famous for its Walkers shortbread factory. New products are tested in the Aberlour village shop - your opportunity to contribute to the biscuits of tomorrow!. The Speyside Cooperage demonstrates how barrels are made through the 'acorn to cask' exhibition in Craigellachie. Ballindalloch Castle is also nearby.