Escape & Explore

Seeking recommendations? Only the best make the list!

Discover Feast Tulcan: A Hidden Gem for Dining

We were delighted to recently dine at Feast Tulchan on not one, but two delicious occasions.  It comes highly recommended and we’d love for you to plan this unique culinary experience into your itinerary when in town too.  It is a short scenic drive is certainly recommended to plan within your itinerary for this unique dining option.





At Feast Tulchan, the focus is on celebrating the bounty of the estate, with much of its produce sourced directly from their its grounds. Every dish bursts with flavour, vitality and freshness. 

Setting it apart from any other dining establishment in the area is the lack of menu- there is the all important drinks, cocktail and wine menu.  However the menu is curated by Feast Tulcan Chef James and served family style for your table to share and enjoy.  Each time we have throughly enjoyed, been delighted and surprised by the menu presented with a variety of options and all tastes catered for.



As you arrive into Feast Tulchan, whether dining within their elegant interior or dining outdoors, surrounded by breathtaking vista, the feel of hospitality and warmth instantly greets you from the team on your arrival.  The welcoming ambiance, the soft music throughout, based in stunning scenery you are in for a treat!

Keep an eye out for special menus and events, easily accessible through Feast Tulchan’s Facebook page.  and Instagram Account: Tulchan_club

Feast Tulchan opens its doors Thursday through Saturday evenings, as well as Sunday for a superb lunch affair.   Reservations required in advance.  If we can assist with planning or reservations as part of your booking just reach out.

Sat Nav Address:  9GRR+JW, Grantown-on-Spey PH26 3LP

Feast @ Tulchan, address
Tel: +44 (0)1807 510200


Be rest assured, all dietary preferences and restrictions are not just accommodated, but celebrated, ensuring that every guest leaves satisfied.

We trust this helps with your plans for making tremendous holiday memories. 


A frequently asked question is, how close are Speyside Cottages luxury holiday homes to Feast Tulchan? Dufftown is a short drive, around 25 minutes duration and a direct and scenic road. We recommend you allow yourself comfortable drive time.   We can assist with taxi service planning or pass on details for you to make these plans too.

Our Dufftown homes include:

The Milking Sheds, 2 guests each, up to 4 guests on one site

Ben Shea Smart Home, Finalist of UK Hottest Property 2022, hosts up to 6 guests as super king or twin bedroom set up

The Tannochbrae, a stunning 150year Victorian historic home with 5 bedrooms all ensuite. or for a full gallery and details or reach out to us directly, we’d love to chat in more detail:  or +44780135072

The Macallan Origins

Mastering the Macallan Experience: A Guide to Booking the Ultimate Tour and Tasting at The Macallan in 2023

As with all visitor experiences, as they emerge into a new ‘norm’ whatever that may be, we see new offerings and approaches for how to interact and book.  This is true for The Macallan, they have focussed and refined their booking system and visitor offerings to increase the quality and ensure all guests have a high-end experience.  I was fortunate enough today to be invited to hear more about the Spiritual Home of The Macallan and learn top insider tips on how to book a visit for a memorable trip.

A great days 'work' at The Macallan
A great days ‘work’ at The Macallan

Great hospitality, knowledge and passion from all the team, and what an ‘office’ they have, from amazing facilities to stunning scenery and surroundings, a must-visit if you can make it when in Moray Speyside.

Returning visitors may be surprised to find the gates closed for ad-hoc drop in to the visitor centre, but The Macallan is certainly open for business and as welcoming as ever.  With a pre-booking you are warmly greeted at the gates, there after the hospitality continues.

It is always an experience in itself driving through the estate on the sweeping road that runs close to the glorious river Spey where The Macallan has its very own sought after beat for wild salmon fishing.  This is a conservation focus of utmost importance to the Estate.  As their work with the Atlantic Salmon Trust @AST_Salmon is a testament to this.  Currently, there are two imposing and stunning ‘salmon’ installations which are a fantastic addition to the distillery foyer.

Upon being greeted by your host, whether for a tour, tasting or boutique experience, you will have a chance to peruse the fantastic Jewel Wall.  I won’t share too many pictures here, as it’s best enjoyed in person, but here you be able to view the first bottle dating back to 1848 and a great size it is too!  Learn the origins of The Macallan name, see the oldest full distilled bottle dating back to a whopping 1926, as well as view the record-holding bottle for the highest sales price gained at auction.   Between this, the gorgeous designer collaboration and Lalique bottles and even spotting your birth year, this is an interesting and beautiful start for your visit.

The Macallan Origins
The Macallan Origins

So with your appetite wetted and this has hopefully re-confirmed your intention to visit if it was ever in doubt – how do you go about planning and making your visit to The Macallan?

Preparation is key – plan well in advance, be familiar with the offerings which I’ve summarised below and be ready to jump online 3 months before your visit.  Too far in advance and the bookings calendars won’t be open, leave it too long and you risk losing the appointment options.  All tours and boutique visits can also enjoy the glorious bar, its stunning views and the option for delicious non-alcoholic serves as well as whiskies galore, some bottles are not readily elsewhere and a VIP tasting room for those extra special drams you want to enjoy can be offered.

Key note to be aware of:  Tour, Tastings and Boutique are available (by appointment only) on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday the Estate can still arrange a bespoke experience for that milestone, extra special occasion or corporate events, typically a 4-hour duration including lunch or dinner, but the details are all tailored for your preferences in this high-end bespoke service.

Thursday – Sunday inclusive offerings:


  • The Discover Tour up to 8 guests, 10 am or 11am start, around 2.5hour duration and £50/person
  • The Mastery Experience, starts once per day from 12noon, up to 6 guests, 4 hour duration with lunch offered £250/person
  • Tours Book online : The Macallan Tour Experiences – book now
  • Bar Experience with three levels of tastings offered, each including a flight of three drams to enjoy and for up to 8 guests.
    • The Story of Oak, a great opening and accessible £35/person at 1030am lasting approx. 45 minutes with option to stay on in bar subject to availability.
    • The Curated Collection, at 1430 each day and £75/person includes new releases and limited editions
    • The Macallan Through The Ages, explore the history and heritage with three high-aged expressions this is 12.30 each day and £175/person
    • Bar Book online:  The Macallan Bar Experiences – Book Now
The Macallan Bar - Elchies Estate Moray Speyside
The Macallan Bar – Elchies Estate Moray Speyside
  • The Boutique Experience a warm welcome, attentive service and plenty of space and time is provided to peruse the drams, choose one to bring home or select a special gift. There is plenty of time to ask questions and visit the Jewel Wall and the Bar too during this experience.  The boutique can be booked for 2 guests at a time, allowing approx. 30 mins and without initial charge.  The Boutique can be visited in conjunction with any of the other experiences too.
  • Elchies Brasserie, is next on my list to try next and I will be planning a visit to enjoy lunch. A seasonal tasting menu is offered, and lunch service is 12 noon-1600hrs, with the last orders at 1430hrs.  £10/person deposit is required at the time of booking and the overall cost is as per set seasonal tasting menu price, last season was £44 (an additional £34/guest after deposit). Drinks and additions are priced out with this.  A selection of whisky, wine or non-alcoholic serves can be paired with the menu.  5 guests maximum per booking but there are 2 or 3 tables per time slot so the speed of booking means you may be able to book for more than 5, bearing in mind the tables will be separate.  It is a stunning location with scenery and a fascinating distilling process all in sight.

Brasserie Booking link:  The Macallan Elchies Brasserie – Book Now

The Boutique Experience offers a warm welcome, attentive service as well as plenty of time and space to peruse a memorable dram to take home, or choose a special gift for someone.  Both tours and Boutique experience give you the opportunity to visit the incredible Jewel Wall and typically a visit to the bar should you wish.

All of these tips and information are correct as per my research and at the time of writing.  Changes of course will happen and I’ll do my best to keep it up to date as I learn of new offerings or changes to times and/or details.   If we can help with more detail on this, or a wider service of local information, plans and reservations we’re always happy to help when in conjunction with your booking to stay at any of Speyside Cottages luxury holiday homes.

A frequently asked question is, how close are Speyside Cottages luxury holiday homes to The Macallan? Dufftown is one of the closest towns, approx. 5 miles, and we recommend 15 mins for comfortable driving time.  Some have walked, but this is certainly more of a hike and the return journey is not so fun once you have relaxed.  We can assist with taxi service planning or pass on details for you to make these plans too.

Our Dufftown homes include:

The Milking Sheds, 2 guests each, up to 4 guests on one site

Ben Shea Smart Home, Finalist of UK Hottest Property 2022, hosts up to 6 guests as super king or twin bedroom set up

The Tannochbrae, a stunning 150year Victorian historic home with 5 bedrooms all ensuite. for a full gallery and details or reach out to us directly, we’d love to chat in more detail:  or +447801350723


What to do in Dufftown, Moray Speyside for New Year, to celebrate Hogmanay?

With Speyside Cottages’ central Dufftown town locations for its Dufftown homes, you will find you are well placed for jumping into the local celebrations. Yet with our cosy and stylish homes you may want to just stop in for your celebrations and fun, or relax with your feet up and a good book or film.


If you do want to enjoy some festivities in town here is a list of options:

Commercial Hotel, Church Street, Dufftown, it is essential to book tickets in advance, do this by calling : +44 (0)1340 820313 – Enjoy the night with David Hood to entertain along with the Dufftown Pipe Band, a stirring sight and sound to see that will give you lasting and fond memories of your trip to Dufftown.  Stovies* and a Dram is served.  Tickets are £15 for Adults and £8 for children.  The evening begins on Saturday, 31st December 2022 from 7.30pm


*What are Stovies you may ask?  This is a traditional and moreish hearty Scottish dish, a regular at parties and late buffets as well as a great way to make the most of leftover meat.  The dish typically consists of Tatties (potatoes), onions and usually beef, all cooked together – it is stewed together to cook it slowly, rather than boiling your potatoes.  Stewing is also known as ‘to stove’ in Scots hence the name of this popular and hearty Scottish dish, Stovies.  Enjoy with oatcakes and beetroot, and it can divide the room but tomato sauce/ketchup or brown sauce can be regular accompaniments.


Royal British Legion, Balvenie Street, Dufftown

A moment from the clock tower, walking down Balvenie Street the Legion is on your left

Celebrate Hogmanay, or bring in ‘Ne’erday’** at the British Legion in Dufftown on Saturday 31st December 2022.   Louise Low entertains with her great voice, along with a Hogmanay raffle to get lucky with, £1 per strip and tickets can be bought in the Legion Lounge at any time, or Rustic & Roses flower and gift shop on Fife Street.

** Ne’erday (nerde) is the Scottish term for New Years Day


Clock Tower not a ticketed or specific event, but an informal gathering typically takes place at the central and iconic Clock Tower to see in the Bells, as the clock strikes midnight.  A time to share the celebrations with friends old and new and some just made.


Did you know the Royal British Legion Welcomes visitors at any time, for all of their events or just to enjoy its bar and lounge facilities, including pool table.  A great local bar with many drams to choose from and have a blether (chat).  Monday night is typically ‘Stramash’ night, an evening of local music, song and entertainment, if you can play, sing or do a turn you are invited and very welcome to participate


Want to know what else is on in Dufftown today or during your planned visit – check out our Dufftown & District Community Association (DDCA) website – a great collation of all that is happening locally:

Glenrinnes wide open countryside - Speyside Cottages - self catering holidays homes

Fishing & Country Pursuits

All popular country pursuits that can be enjoyed during your stay, season permitting of course.

Salmon fishing runs February until end of September.

Stalking and driven shooting is only when part of an official party and planned activities.

Spey Bay - cafe and Dolphin spotting location, Speyside Cottages

Coastal Wildlife & Watersports

A host of watersports can be found at the Moray Firth. Findhorn Bay marina offers options for sailing, boating, kayaking and wind-surfing.

The area is well known for wildlife spotting, and is a haven for hundreds of bird species. And if you’re lucky enough, you can spot dolphins too – But, whether you see them or not, you’ll be awestruck by the incredible seascapes the Moray has to offer.

Golf with thanks to Markus Spiske


There is a fantastic array of golf course to choose from in Speyside, both 18-hole &  shorter 9-hole courses, some of the oldest courses steeped in tradition and many with views that will have any game performance feeling like an incredible day out.

Some of our favourites are listed below:

Dufftown Golf Club : 

Only a mile from our Dufftown homes.

Dufftown’s course has two holes (7th & 10th) featured in “Britain’s 100 Extraordinary Golf Holes” and the highest tee is 1,294ft!

If you fancy a dram with your swing or a tutored day out contact Speyside Tours or we’re happy to arrange on your behalf.


Strathlene Golf Club :

Couthy Harbour House is only a mile to this incredible course.

Strathlene at Findochty, near Buckie, is one of the oldest golf courses in Scotland. It was established in 1877 and is home to Strathlene Buckie Golf Club.  The views and potential of dolphin spotting only add to this great course experience. 

Driving range available here too.


Elgin golf course: is less than 2 miles from Glen Moray distillery

Moray’s old course, Lossiemouth

Ballindalloch Golf Club:

Keith Golf Course is closest to Strathisla Distillery

Balvenie Distillery - few from afar Speyside Cottages

Whisky Walking Tour

Speyside Tours

The renowned Dufftown Distilleries Walk is a relaxed walking tour around the past and present distillery sites of Dufftown. This tour allows access to otherwise closed distilleries as well as the opportunity to taste some sought after drams!

We highly recommend this tour, having enjoyed it ourselves and with all guests that do throughly appreciating this addition to their stay.  Whisky novices and connoisseurs alike will enjoy the drams, knowledge and laughs with a local aficionado as you walk around the stunning local scenery and sites.  

No designated drivers required either when staying at any of Speyside Cottages Dufftown homes, the walk starts a moment from your front door Booking is essential! 

Contact for tour details.

Speyside Tours - Whisky Walking Tours
Speyside Tours – Whisky Walking Tours
Speyside, home to more than 50% of Scotland's operational distilleries

Whisky Trails

The Whisky Trail
More than half of Scotland’s operational malt whisky distilleries can be found in Speyside, with 6 in the small town of Dufftown alone!

By and large, Scotch malt whiskies are grouped into five categories:
Highland, Campbeltown, Islay, Islands, Lowland and of course our home in Speyside.

Speyside malts are diverse in style and vary from the light, soft, floral Knockando and Cardhu to weighty, more complex and heavily sherried malts such as Mortlach and The Macallan.  Here you’ll find many of the most well known names in Scotch whisky, such as the world famous Glenfiddich, Glenfarclas, Glen Grant, The Glenlivet and The Macallan – to name but a few!

Learn everything you need to know about Scotland’s Liquid Gold on our famous Whisky Trails, don’t worry we can always help to plan your designated driver or local tour guide.

Whisky Nosing and Tasting
Typically from mid June to mid  Sept. Every Wednesday at 20:00 there is a central town whisky nosing.  We can arrange to pre-book tickets, you can contact below directly or we can always arrange a private nosing to suit your parties needs and preferences.
Gillian McGartland on +44 (0)1340 821513 or email:

The Whisky Shop, Dufftown has a wealth of knowledge to share, and an extensive range of single malts to choose from, along with a growing gin collection. See their website to find out about other events they may be hosting during your stay, or let us know of anything we can help arrange.  When in store you may even meet our very own Keeper of the Quaich, Mike Lord, owner of The Whisky Shop 

Award winning luxury single malt Balvenie St. Ice cream available in Dufftown from Speyside Cottages

Balvenie St. Award-Winning Ice Cream

Our very own Ice Cream Parlour can be found on in Dufftown, on Balvenie Street.  You can sample the award-winning Luxury Single Malt whisky ice cream, discover if you are a Sweet & Sexy, Rich & Fruity or Smoky & Peaty fan.  As well as many other flavours to choose from.

Our love of Scotland’s finest export and James’ chef expertise has driven our passion to promote whisky and make this great flavour accessible as a perfect combination of creamy vanilla ice cream and single malt whisky, yum!  These are delicious on its own, and the smoky & peaty we highly recommend with sticky toffee pudding, a great taste sensation.

Pipe Band with thanks to Melody Ayres Griffiths

Music & Entertainment

Royal British Legion, on Balvenie Street is only a short walk from The Milking Shed cottages or Ben Shea Smart Home. You can find the usual pub activities here, such as pool, snooker and darts, and every Monday night, throughout the year the venue hosts ‘Stramash’ – an evening of Scottish music.

On Thursdays, during summer months, you can whirl the night away at the local Ceilidh – the venue alternates between The RBL and The Commercial Hotel, and an advert outside the Whisky Shop will always confirm the location.

We also have a Cinema Night on the 3rd Saturday of every month. 

During the summer months, there is always something happening in one of our town pubs or venues, be it live music and dancing or walking whisky tours. These events are always advertised locally – check out The Whisky Shop window for details of upcoming nights. 

You can also see our town magazine online for more detailed information about traditional Scottish dancing and other events in Dufftown.

Glenrinnes wide open countryside - Speyside Cottages - self catering holidays homes

Walking, Hiking & Cycling – Dufftown

Stunning walks and cycle pathways aplenty to be found in Dufftown.   Relax with a gentle amble around town taking in the historic sites and distilleries, or take on more ambitious and lengthy routes knowing you have a cosy base with home comforts to return to.  

For more info, we love this detailed and helpful site:  Walk Highlands


Isla Way & Speyside Way

The Isla Way connects Dufftown to the Speyside way.  It gives lovely shorter walks and can be joined next to the Dufftown Station. The Sidings Café provides a handy refreshment point as you join or leave the pathway.

The Speyside Way is one of the few official long-distance walking routes in Scotland.

See for details for all walking routes including The Isla Way, The Speyside Way and the Moray Coastal Route.


Local Ambles & Walks

A nice loop heading up the hill from the Clock tower on Conval Street out of town.  Staying on this road you pass the option to access Megs Wid, this is just before you go on the pathway just above road level.   If you continue walking out of town there are glorious open views of the countryside, stay on this road pathway until you pass Dufftown Golf Club, you want to take the next road on the left after this, you won’t miss the T-junction.  Once on this single track road it will wind you back into town, it is quiet road but be mindful there will still be occasional traffic.  As you follow the winding road you will come back into town at the Dufftown Distillery & Mortlach Church, either:
– Turn left and continue uphill on Church Street, taking you the most direct route back to the Clock Tower. 
– Alternatively, turn left but stay on the level road, this takes you past Mortlach Distillery, continue walking to the t-junction & turn left uphill on Fife Street, again returning you to the Clock Tower starting point.   

I would recommend, if time allows to take some time at Morlach Church, this dates to 556AD and interesting Battle stone to be found.  If you wind through the Church yard you can cross The Dullan Waters, and this loops you back to the road at Mortlach Distillery.

For those that have more time, or want to come back to The Dullan Waters then as you cross the river this is the starting point of the Giant’s Chair walk.  To access this cross the river from the Church yard and turn right, staying on the path.  Sturdy shoes are required.  When it is open this is where you will find the Dufftown Fairy Village too.   The Giant’s Chair loops you back around past Dufftown Distillery (when you come to a road again after doing the woodland section just make sure you turn right) 

Hope this helps illustrate the multiple local routes making for a great detox in nature,

Dufftown Clock Tower the iconic starting point for many local walks
Dufftown Clock Tower the iconic starting point for many local walks – Speyside Cottages

space to explore is literally on your doorstep.

More routes and directions can be found in attached link, or we can provide clarification and more info as you need.