Sunday, 29 May 2016

Spirit of Speyside Festival 2016

After an eventful three week trip to Scotland (week one, two and three for the lazies), that we specifically planned around the Spirit of Speyside festival, annually held in the last week of April. Information about this festival is - except for the info on their website, hard to find sometimes, and for first timers it might be hard to get an idea about what to expect, and what not to expect.

I want to go there, but where do I start?
Well, at the beginning would be the easy answer, and in this case that means; have a look at the Spirit of Speyside website. There you will find the definite dates of next year’s event (as said, normally this would be the last week of April), and the possibility to register as a friend. Write down the dates and start browsing the internet for accommodation in the area - sooner is better. Except for the whisky distilleries, there is not much tourism in the area, and hotels and inns can be counted on one hand and the few rooms available might be gone a year in advance already. More luck could be found if you would look for a self-catering cottage with a group of people, which will cut your costs dramatically. Even better price-wise, might be to look for a camping or family park in the area, but we have not looked at this ourselves. Further away from the centre of the festival (Dufftown, Aberlour, Craigellachie) means better availability and lower prices in cottages, inns and hotels. Our last trip included about half an hour to most events, which was very acceptable.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Epic Scotland Road Trip 2016 Diary (part three of three)

Springtime songs performed by the birds in front of our sleeping room window, a distant sheep baaahs a good morning to the world while the early morning sun is chasing the mist away from the fields, creating pearls of morning dew on the sprouting barley. There are worse places and moments to wake up, as in the Kingdom of Fife, mid spring 2016.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Epic Scotland Road Trip 2016 Diary (part two of three)

The first week of our 2016 trip to Scotland was a huge success. We met new people, shared a house with close (and new) friends, popped corks with complete strangers and drove around the Speyside region as if we were home. In short; we had a blast.

On we go...

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Epic Scotland Road Trip 2016 Diary (part one of three)

Monday, April 25th 2016
As you might have read, we started our trip fresh off the boat at the Lakes Distillery in Cumbria, in the Northern region of England, only just a few kilometres South of Scotland. We drove up to Wishaw to meet up with the #whiskyfabric in the Artisan. Derek and Fiona had put something fantastic together from our idea of a relaxed and romantic dinner for two, that was hijacked by Eric and Laura and ended up in meeting with around 30 friends we knew from the interwoven online communities. A lot of food was ingested, accompanied by many drinks, both from the bar, as well as the BYO table that was set up for the meeting. Good times.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Victorian Dairy farm turns into Contemporary distillery

Day one of our trips to Scotland started as usual, with us getting on the boat from IJmuiden to Newcastle. A rather rough night at sea but somehow we got some sleep and arrived semi on time at the harbour in Newcastle.

Quickly off the boat, we headed West onto the boring A69. At the Brampton bypass we decided to have our GPS guide us and took the A689, leading us through Carlisle, enjoying great vistas and luscious sceneries while driving.

One could also be more adventurous and decide to avoid the main roads, abandon all hope and take a spaghetty of single lane roads through the “prettiest area of England”, or be even less adventurous as we were and take the (slightly longer) M5 and A66 route from Carlisle. Eventually one should be able to get to the target of this trip’s first stop at the Lakes distillery, which is well indicated and easy to find once you reach the general area.