ABERDEENSHIRE AND MORAY: SCOTLAND'S NORTH EAST
THE CASTLE TRAIL AND THE MALT WHISKY TRAIL
The Castle Trail and the Whisky Trail are what the North East is best known for, so include visits to castles and distilleries on your holiday in Moray and Aberdeenshire. The castles should include the imposing ruins of Huntly Castle. And for a good picture of how whisky is made, go to Historic Scotland's Dallas Dhu Distillery. Along the Moray Firth, east of Nairn, there are small fishing villages such as Portsoy, lossiemouth and Cullen, although, sadly, they are no longer the thriving hubs for fishing boats as the once were. Ask the staff on your holiday park where you can join a dolphin-watching boat trip in the Moray Firth. Inland you can enjoy the changing seasons on Aberdeenshire's rich farmland - the county is the home of Aberdeen Angus cattle and the farms among the most fertile in Scotland..
For an in-depth visit to a distillery, go to picturesque Dallas Dhu near Forres. Built in 1896 and now in the care of Historic Scotland, it is a unique time capsule. Although whisky is no longer made here, the story is told in detail at your leisure. Not far away, in Elgin is the magnificent ruins of Elgin Cathedral. A few miles to the north is Spynie Palace, once the home of the Bishops of Moray. All are in the care of Historic Scotland..
West of Aberdeen is beautiful Royal Deeside. Start off at Maryculter on the South Deeside Road and head for Aboyne on the South Deeside Road, then cross on to the North Deeside road for a change of scenery from lowland to the edge of the Highlands and the Cairngorms National Park. At Ballater you can visit the Royal Station - where Queen Victoria and her family arrived by train before journeying on to Balmoral Castle.