Tomintoul in the Scottish Highlands
High in the Cairngorm Mountains leading up to Speyside you will find the Highland village of Tomintoul - the highest village in the Highlands. Not very much more than a high street and village square with houses, shops, hotels, a museum and a tourist information office, but the countryside is spectacular with established walks and plentiful wildlife. Alternatively, you could take in the scenery on horseback as you trot along on one of the horses from the local riding centre.
The museum in the square displays accounts of local history and wildlife which would be a good introduction to the area for visitors.
The local wood carver's is recommended for a visit. The owner's sense of humour is evident in both his products and conversation.
Some of his 'big heids' are shown on the left. You will find a good selection of all types of hand-made wooden goods.
Every purchase comes with a free bungee jump. You'll have to visit to find the catch!
The surrounding countryside is teeming with game. It's difficult avoiding the suicidal pheasants on the road, so drive carefully unless you want to pluck pheasant for dinner. Shooting and deer stalking can be found on one of the many large estates in the area. A few blissful hours can be spent fishing for salmon and trout on the banks of the Rivers Avon (Estate Office at Ballindalloch Castle on 01807 500205 for fishing permits )and Livet.
Tomintoul hosts its own Highland Games on the third Saturday of July each year when you can see the tossing of the caber, throwing the hammer and other such manly skills. It's also a good opportunity to enjoy some traditional music and dress, dancing, and a malt or two.
This is Whisky Trail country where you can continue to pursue your search for the best malt whisky. Distilleries are almost as plentiful as pheasants!
Seven miles further south is the ski resort of the Lecht on the A939 which offers alternative attractions outside the skiing season of dry ski slope, go-karts, chairlift rides and quad bikes - great fun for the whole family. Telephone: 01975 651440
|Dry ski slope and karting
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