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The beautiful village of Aberlour which lies along the south-east bank of the River Spey is a true hidden gem. This guide takes a look at fun, exciting things to do in Aberlour.
The town is an excellent base for adrenaline junkies that want to explore the countryside here and whisky lovers that want to sample some of Scotland’s best during their trip.
‘Charlestown of Aberlour’ as it is known by its locals is famous for many things and visitors from all over the world will travel here to enjoy famous tourist attractions like the Aberlour Distillery. The Burn of Aberlour connects to the River Spey near here – this is the seventh longest river in the United Kingdom.
If you are planning a visit to this village, learn more about it in our guide of things to do in Aberlour.
Things to do in Aberlour
There are many things to do in Aberlour, whether you are visiting with our without kids as there is a great selection of bars and restaurants in and around this area as well as shops that are owned and run by independent retailers.
Many tourists come to this part of Speyside to discover many of the outdoor and fishing experiences that are available.
The village would also make an excellent base if you are travelling to tourist attractions such as the River Spey, Ben Rinnes and the Cairngorms.
Rated five stars by the Scottish Tourist Board, the Aberlour Distillery is one of the best things to do in Aberlour.
Aberlour Distillery lies in the heart of Speyside – it one of the village’s most popular tourist attractions. Set in the background of here is miles of untouched Highland scenery and on a clear day, you may even spot Ben Rinnes.
Nearby to here is where Lour burn joins the River Spey. This soft spring water is perfect for making Aberlour whisky and the distillers here draw from nearby natural springs.
Visitors to Aberlour Distillery can sample the goods made here first hand during a tutored sampling and tour of the grounds.
You will taste six of the most acclaimed Aberlour whiskies during your visit and can purchase a bottle of the distiller’s exclusive cask strength Aberlour whisky at the end if you wish to treat yourself!
Tours at Aberlour Distilleries last up to 1.5 hours and can be booked for a maximum of 16 guests. It costs £15 per person (for over 18s only) and can be pre-booked online in advance – this is recommended due to the popularity of this tourist attraction in Aberlour.
Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival
Another choice for whisky fans is the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival. The festival has been running for over twenty years and occurs during the late spring months.
Speyside is the biggest whisky producing region in Scotland. The annual celebration which is dedicated to Scotland’s national drink is one of the largest festivals of its kind as it hosts over 500 whisky-inspired events in less than a week!
During the festival, events take place throughout Speyside and pilgrims from all over the world to join in on the festivities.
Speyside Gin experience
If whisky isn’t your drink of choice and you would rather a Speyside G&T, the region also hosts the Speyside Gin Experience which celebrates Speyside’s finest gins.
The event is hosted in July and several venues across the region take part. One of the main venues for this celebration is Gordon Castle and Walled Garden in Fochabers which is just over twenty minutes away from Aberlour.
Once visitors have learned a little about Speyside gins, guests can enjoy this scenic venue in the sunshine with a refreshing gin and tonic in hand. There are also paired dishes available during this unique experience.
This experience costs just £15 and you will be given the opportunity to try six samples of gin.
Speyside Cooperage is the only working cooperage in the UK where visitors can experience the art of coopering.
But what actually is coopering? Coopering is the art of making wooden casks, barrels, vats, buckets, tubs, troughs and other similar containers from timber.
Speyside Cooperage specialises in American Oak casks. Visitors can watch craftsmen using traditional methods and tools to make casks used in whiskey making.
Every year this cooperage makes and repairs nearly 150,000 casks. These casks are used by the famous Speyside whiskey distilleries and distilleries around the world.
Many are drawn to Aberlour because of the village’s proximity to the River Spey which is famous for its salmon population.
According to the Spey Fishery Board, the river “has been designated a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) as it supports one of the largest salmon populations in Scotland.” The fishing season in Aberlour runs from April 1st through to Sept 30th.
Many also come here to experience some of Scotland best water sports activities.
With Rothiemurchus, a local tour provider, you can try out River Spey Paddle Boarding! This unique is great for families that want some family bonding time during their time in Aberlour as it is suitable for ages 8+.
There is no better way to explore this area than in the river itself and once you get the hang of it can be lots of fun!
During a paddleboarding lesson, the guide will cover safe launch, landing and self-rescue techniques as well as paddling, spinning and board control.
As the river is sheltered from the wind it is easy to learn here and as the tour provider only takes six learners at one time, you are guaranteed a high-quality experience.
Aberlour sits at the northeastern gateway of Scotland’s largest national park – the Cairngorms.
This park and mountain range in the eastern Highlands is twice the size of the Lake District National Park. Around 1.8 million people visit the National Park every year – from destinations far and wide!
Visitors to the site can enjoy lochs, woodland trails and a whole spectrum wondrous wildlife, however, the park’s main attraction is its 55 Munros. After you have tackled one of the hills here you can join the ‘Munro Bagger’ club!
If you are looking for hillwalking routes near Aberlour, but not up for one of the Cairngorm Munros, check out Ben Rinnes in Banffshire. This ‘Ben’ is the highest freestanding mountain in this part of Scotland, at 2733ft.
This popular climb is the dominating summit of Moray and many travels from Aberlour to complete this challenging hill walk during the summer months.
As expected, the views at the top of this two-hour climb are extensive, those that take on the summit are spoilt with views of northeast Scotland.
View a detailed route plan on Walkhighlands here.