Bank House

Bed & Breakfast

Regrettably, due to illness we are currently not able to take any bookings...
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Whisky

Being located on the Whisky Trail we are obviously surrounded by distilleries and other whisky related businesses and attractions. The following is a small selection of the Speyside distilleries that are close to Bank House and open to the public. Click on the distillery logos to visit their websites for more information.

website A good one to start with is "The One That Started It All". Founded by George Smith and legalised in 1824 The Glenlivet is one of the world's most famous whiskies. The Glenlivet distillery is within walking distance from Bank House and we have probably the best view towards it.
The visitor centre opens daily from Easter until the end of October.
Throughout the season special Spirit Of The Malt tours can be booked. This exclusive tour takes you on a "journey following in the footsteps of George Smith", to find out what makes The Glenlivet such an iconic whisky. The tour includes a visit to Josie's Well (their water source), a tour of the distillery, a tutored tasting of 7 different Glenlivet whiskies, including new make spirit, and an exclusive visit to the traditional dunnage warehouse, where are offered a sample a dram straight from one of a selected aged casks. The cost of this tour is 30(2013). Being within staggering distance from the distillery Bank House is the ideal place to stay following a Spirit Of The Malt tour!

website Like The Glenlivet, the Aberlour distillery offers two tours, but these are not free of charge and booking is advisable as places are limited.
The Aberlour distillery is open seven day per week from April to October, weekdays in November and December, and is located at the south end of the village of Aberlour, about twelve miles from Bank House.

website Cragganmore Distillery sits on the banks of the river Spey at Ballindalloch. It is home to one of the most complex and characterful malt whiskies of the Speyside region. Cragganmore Single Malt is the most complex Speyside whisky. It is, however, in limited supply as it is one of the region's smaller distilleries.
Cragganmore Distillery is open to the public weekdays until October and offers a number of different tours. An entrance fee is charged. The distillery is about seven miles from Bank House.

website The Glenfarclas distillery was bought by John Grant in 1865, and to date Glenfarclas Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky is distilled and matured at this family owned and run distillery, which thanks to the foresight of the Grant generations remains independent.
The Glenfarclasvisitor centre opens weekdaysall year with the exception of two weeks around Christmas and new Year. There is an admission charge for the tour and tasting, and on Fridays from June till September there is a Connoisseur's Tour at 2pm.
The Glenfarclas distillery is located on the A95 towards Aberlour at about eight miles from Bank House.

website Probably the best known Scottish malt whisky in the world, the Glenfiddich distillery sits on the outskirts of Dufftown. You can visit the Glenfiddich Distillery for free with their Glenfiddich Classic tour. If you wish to take a more in-depth tour, the Glenfiddich Explorers Tour enables you to discover more about the way they create their single malt. However, if you are a true Glenfiddich fan then the Glenfiddich Pioneers Tour will give you a true insight into Glenfiddich malt whisky.
The Glenfiddich Distillery is about twelve miles north of Bank House and is open all year.

website Right beside the Glenfiddich distillery is The Balvenie. They do two tours a day, limited to eight people (booking essential) and at a charge of 25, every Monday till Thursday, and just one tour Friday mornings. The tours last three hours and are unique as they include a visit to their own maltings and cooperage.

website The Speyside Cooperage is located on the A941 between Craigellachie and Dufftown. Here oak casks for the whisky industry are built, repaired and restored. It has a visitor centre and a viewing gallery allows you to see the craftsmen at work. The cooperage is open weekdays all year round. An admission charge applies, but it is well worth it!

Walking

The Speyside Way

The Speyside Way is a long distance walk between Buckie at the Moray coast and Aviemore at the base of the Cairngorm Mountains. About halfway the main route is a fifteen mile spur route from Ballindalloch to Tomintoul. This spur is what is considered the most beautiful stretch of the route, and we don't say that just because we are located halfway this spur.
Although the spur route officially ends in Tomintoul, there is actually a public footpath from Tomintoul to Nethy Bridge where the main Speyside Way can be picked up again.
We are happy to pick up and drop off guests at the main Speyside Way at Ballindalloch Station or Blacksboat. We also frequently drop off people at Tomintoul to walk eight miles back to us and finish their walk with a tour at The Glenlivet distillery before returning to Bank House. For more information on the Speyside Way and other long distance paths visit the Moray website.

Glenlivet Estate

As we are situated on the Glenlivet Crown Estate, we can offer our visitors a number of pleasant to moderately strenuous walks in the immediate vicinity of Bank House. The Crown Estate have waymarked a number of walks which are also described in various booklets and leaflets that are available from the estate office in Tomintoul or can be downloaded from the Crown Estate website.

Other walks

About one mile north of Bank House and just outside the Glenlivet Crown Estate lies the Morinsh Woods carpark from where a few short circular walks (up to about four miles) start. With a bit of luck you will meet roe deer or red deer, a fox, red squirrels, buzzards, woodcocks and more. A longer walk takes you from the woods to Allanreid car park on the estate. The woods can also be reached by walking through some fields setting off from Bank House.

One of our own favourite walks is the Glenfiddich - Glenlivet walk. An 11 mile fairly flat hike starting near the Cabrach and following the river Fiddich upstream until the river Livet is met. In the serenity of these hills you are unlikely to meet anything but wildlife - particulalry large herds of red deer but also grouse and possibly an eagle.

For those looking for a bit more height there is Glenmore Forest and the Cairngoms. Although this area can be very busy during the summer season, a quiter route is up Meall a Bhuachaille (810mtr) from Ryvoan Bothy offering spectacular views onto the Cairngorm mountain range

The beautiful and distinctive outline of Ben Rinnes, locally known as "The Ben" is one of the best loved landmarks in Moray. At 840m or 2775ft it is not a munro but especially from the south it looks an impressive hill. There are three trails leading to the summit which is about five miles north of Bank House. From the granite tors of its summit the views in all directions are superb, ranging far over the Moray Firth to the hills of Sutherland and Caithness in the north and Lochnagar, the Cairngorms and Monadhliath in the south and west.

But there are a few more walks we can recommend...

Wildlife

Wild farm walk

If you would like to see some unusual farm animals, visit Tilly Smith's Highland Farm on the west side of the Glenlivet Estate. There are Soay sheep, red and fallow deer, wild boar and waterbuffalo. The heighlight of the visit is hand feeding the reindeer herd. July and August only.

The Cairngorm Reindeer Herd

Although a reindeer herd can be visited on the Wild Farm on Glenlivet Estate, part of the herd grazes on the Cairngorm Mountain. Guided tours to this herd are organised from the Reindeer Centre in Genmore: Cairngorm Reindeer website.

Wildlife tours

For the Wildlife enthusiast, the Glenlivet Wildlife company organise a variety of Land Rover safaris and guided walks in the Glenlivet Crown Estate. The type of safari and walk is season dependent and the exact route depends on the weather. For more information visit the Glenlivet Wildlife website.

Loch Garten and the ospreys

When the osprays returned to breed in Scotland they chose the ancient caledonian pine forest around Loch Garten. The RSPB has opened a visitors centre where the birds can be observed: RSPB Loch Garten website.

Falconry centre

To see more birds of prey in action visit the falconry centre near Huntly: Huntly Falconry website.

Other activities

Cycling

Beside hiking trails, the Glenlivet Crown Estate have waymarked a number of cycling trails. Maps with these trails are available at the estate office in Tomintoul as well as on the Crown Estate website.
In November 2013, under the name BikeGlenlivet, two mountain bike trails have opened in the centre of the estate. For beginners and intermediate bikers there is a 9km blue trail and for real thrillseekers there is a 22km red trail, both offering excellent views of the surrounding area. At the entrance to the facility you will find the Coffee Still Cafe offering refreshments, hot snacks and home baking.There are toilets, bike hire and wash facilities, spares for sale etc. For more information visit the Crown Estate website.

Fishing

The Rivers Avon (pronounced A’an) and Livet are major tributaries of the renowned River Spey and they enjoy a significant reputation for the quality of the salmon and sea trout fishing that can be enjoyed along their reaches.
The Glenlivet Community Association leases two stretches of fishing on the Livet. The upper beat (B) extends from the Allanreid car park at the head of the Tombae road, downstream on both banks to the metal footbridge by the Tamnavoulin Distillery. The lower beat (A) runs from the junction of the Livet with the Burn of Tervie at the Glenlivet Community Hall, downstream on both banks to the confluence with the River Avon excluding the Falls Pool.
Permits for both beats are available from:
Tomnavoulin Post Office Tel: (01807) 590220
The Croft Inn Tel: (01807) 590361
Ballindalloch Post Office: Tel: (01807) 500213
Delnashaugh Hotel Ballindalloch (01807 500255)
Tomintoul Tourist Office (01807 580285)
Costs: £10 per day £35 per week per rod for visitors
For more information on fishing on the Glenlivet Crown Estate see the Crown Estate website.

Golf

Two golf courses are available in the area.
Ballindalloch Castle golf course is a Championship standard golf course designed by Donald Steel and Tom Mackenzie, both internationally recognised golf course architects with courses in over fifteen countries. They have created a heady mix of challenging golf and aesthetic appeal, just as they have done at their other famous Scottish design, the Carnegie Course at Skibo Castle.
With its nine holes and eighteen tees, the course provides a fair test for golfers of all standards and is well placed to become known as the finest course in Scotland with this particular configuration. The course is set on the banks of the River Avon, among 150 year old trees and with marvellous views of the surrounding purple heather-clad hills and native birch woods.
Dufftown Golf Club is an 18 hole course set amongst the most breathtaking scenery in Speyside, the heart of the malt whisky country. Visitors return regularly to enjoy golf in this beautiful Banffshire setting where two of the holes (7th & 10th) feature in "Britain's 100 Extraordinary Golf Holes" by Geoff Harvey and Vanessa Strowger.
All holes have different playing tactics due to the undulation of the course. From the first tee the course appears to climb for the first two holes, but once you are on the second green any inclines after that are not too noticeable. Your thoughts are taken up with the challenge the course sets and the superb scenery and the overall experience is of rolling fairways lined with heather and heath. More information on the Dufftown golf course (including green fees) are available on the Dufftown Golf Club website.

Clay pigeon shooting

On the west side of the Glenlivet Estate the Dell farm offers clay pigeon shooting. Beside open competition days, practice facilities and lessons can be booked as well as corporate entertainment packages and private hires. For further information see the the Dell Glenlivet website.

Mountaineering

For those visitors who would like something a bit more challenging than the accessible trails in the Glenlivet Crown Estate, the Cairngorm Mountains are only a stonethrow away, and one of the main access points to the mountains is of course Aviemore. The internet provides a wealth of sites of mountaineering clubs and schools.

Linn falls

If you have some time to fill in, the Linn falls in Aberlour are worth a visit. Park the car opposite the Aberlour distillery and follow the footpath starting at the distillery entrance for about a mile to find the falls.

Castles

Ballindalloch Castle

Ballindalloch is one of the most beautiful and renowned castles in Scotland. Known as the Pearl of the North, it is located in the heart of Speyside, near to the famed whisky distilleries of Glenfiddich, Glenfarclas and Glenlivet. Surrounded by majestic hills, and with the tumbling waters of the Rivers Spey and Avon flowing through the grounds, the setting is truly magnificent. A much loved family home, Ballindalloch is one of the few privately owned castles to have been lived in continuously by its original family. The Macpherson-Grants have resided here since 1546. The castle has its own website.

Corgarff Castle

Following the road across the Lecht towards Strathdon, on the descend from the summit of the Lecht you cannot fail to see Corgarff's medieval tower house surrounded by a distictive star-shaped perimiter wall, standing on its own in the bleak surrounding moorlands. The castle is thought to have been built in about 1550 by John Forbes of Towie. It would initially have comprised a tower house set within a walled enclosure. The tower house would have been similar to the structure you see today: the surrounding wall would have been very much simpler and probably rectangular in plan. The castle is now owned by Historic Scotland and their website provides further information.



Bank House Bed & Breakfast
Helen & Ruud Wester
Glenlivet, Moray, AB37 9EJ
+44 (0) 1807 590321
info@bankhouseglenlivet.co.uk

website © by R Wester, Glenlivet - background image by D Walters, Byfleet