Escape & Explore

For travellers seeking relaxation,  spectacular scenery and historic whisky or castle trails – Only the best make the list!


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.