North East 250

North East 250

Length 250 miles / 402 km

It’s Scotland’s circular touring route which boasts the perfect combination of the spectacular whisky distilleries of Speyside, the incredible mountain passes of the Cairngorms National Park, the popular castles of Royal Deeside and the atmospheric Aberdeenshire coastline. Explore the picturesque villages along the Moray Firth Coast, wander through the historic streets of Aberdeen, delve into the splendid food and drink scene, and make sure you uncover the fascinating history in the many attractions and castles along the North East 250.

Highlights

GORDON CASTLE AND WALLED GARDEN, FOCHABERS

Over two hundred years old, explore one of Scotland’s largest and oldest walled gardens.

If you’re looking for an enjoyable day out in north-east Scotland, head to Gordon Castle and Walled Gardens located in Fochabers near Elgin. The castle boasts an incredibly structured and detailed walled garden, designed by Arne Maynard, and features a modern twist in this traditional setting. Make sure you visit for the Gordon Castle Highland Games and Country Fair which is truly amazing and not to be missed.

BOW FIDDLE ROCK, MORAY

Head to see one of the most magnificent natural formations on Scotland’s coastline.

Located just off the coast at Portknockie, Bow Fiddle Rock is an incredible natural formation, formed by the sheer force of waves alone. Over time, the pressure of the waves in the North Sea have sculpted this popular landmark into its unique bow-shaped formation, which makes for a great photo opportunity. Head to Portknockie, between Findochty and Cullen, and see this stunning landmark for yourself.

DUFF HOUSE, BANFF

Visit this stunning 18th century historic house for a real trip back in time.

Located in Banff, Duff House boasts a fascinating collection of paintings and furniture that are a real sight to see. Admire the architectural skills of William Adam as you wander around the grounds, explore the stunning landscaped grounds set out with carriage rides, or walk about two miles to the Bridge of Alvah, passing the striking neo-Gothic mausoleum on the way. Nearby, the MacDuff Marine Aquarium on the Moray Firth coast is home to hundreds of local sea creatures, and is a real treat for a family day out.

MUSEUM OF SCOTTISH LIGHTHOUSE

Ever heard of a full-size lighthouse built through the middle of a 16th century castle?

Located on the coast of Fraserburgh, the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses tells the fascinating story of the Northern Lighthouse Board, the engineers who built them and the keepers who looked after them. This unique museum is built right through the middle of a 16th century castle – you’ll have to come and see it to believe it. Share the wonder of this truly exceptional museum, understand the lifestyle and courage of lighthouse keepers, and marvel at the innovative engineering that saved hundreds of lives at sea.

PETERHEAD PRISON

Experience what life was like as an officer serving in Peterhead Prison.

Dedicated to the staff that worked here between 1888 – 2013, Peterhead Prison was once known as the most notorious prison in Scotland, and today you can explore the main halls, silent cell and hear some staff members speak of their experiences working here. Nearby, head to the picturesque Cruden Bay and marvel at this sweeping expanse of pink sands and dunes that stretch for 2.5 kms.

GORDON HIGHLANDERS MUSEUM

Uncover the dramatic story of the Gordon Highlanders, dating back to the Napoleonic Wars.

Follow in the footsteps of serving soldiers and learn about the compelling 200-year story of the Gordon Highlanders through spectacular displays, films and the detailed knowledge of your guide at the Gordon Highlanders Museum. Enjoy delicious tea, cakes, sandwiches and more in the Tea Room, as well as browsing the gift shop for a souvenir. Just over 7 miles away, head to the Royal Aberdeen Golf Course for one of the most testing and spectacular great links courses in Scotland.

DRUM CASTLE, BANCHORY

Explore 700 years of history in one of Scotland’s Oldest Tower Houses.

From the medieval High Hall to modern art exhibitions, Drum Castle has something everyone can enjoy.  Stroll through the grounds and soak up the centuries old atmosphere featuring towering oak trees, magnificent wildlife, and the delicate perfumes of the Garden of Historic Roses. Approximately an 8.5 mile drive away, head to Crathes Castle where you can uncover a labyrinth of history, featuring fine art, portraits, antique furniture and painted ceilings. Slightly further away, the Grampian Transport Museum boasts a great day out and is the perfect way to learn all about the areas’ transport history.

THE LECHT 2090

Head to one of Scotland’s top ski resorts situated 2,090 ft above sea level.

Situated between Cockbridge and Tomintoul, the Lecht 2090 is one of the most popular spots in Scotland for surfing the slopes during winter. While seasoned snowsports fans can hit the slopes and test their skills on the jumps, rails and boxes in the fun-park, beginners can hire equipment and get to grips with the sports at the ski school. The Lecht also turns into a haven for walkers and mountain bikers in the summer months too.

GLENLIVET DISTILLERY, BALLINDALLOCH

Delve into the intriguing mysteries of distilling and sample a dram or two along the way.

Located on the north-west outskirts of the Cairngorms National Park, Glenlivet Distillery has a history entwined with drama and turmoil. Within every bottle of delicious whisky produced, you can taste the spirit and character that is abundant in the landscape around you. Venture on a distillery tour and prepare to be introduced into the finely-crafted process of whisky-making – which includes seeing racked casks of slowly-maturing malts, tasting a sample dram or two, and much more. Tip – Make sure you have a designated driver when visiting distilleries.

BALLINDALLOCH CASTLE, MORAY SPEYSIDE

Visit one of the most romantic and renowned castles in Scotland.

Located in the heart of Speyside, Ballindalloch Castle is also known as ‘The Pearl of the North’ and once you’re here it’s easy to see why! Explore the fine collection of 17th century Spanish paintings, one of the finest house libraries in Scotland, the grand dining room with a magnificent fireplace, the vaulted hall and more. There are also excellent fishing opportunities as the Rivers Spey and Avon run through the estate. Or head to the castle shop to take home some homemade Scottish crafts and goods with you.

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