Festival combines great drams and the great outdoors
A RANGE of whisky-themed outdoor activities will take place as part of this year's Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival.
Event providers have pulled out all the stops to ensure the festival, which takes place from May 1 to 6, provides something for everyone.
From golf outings and geocaching to canoe trips and trail runs, visitors can spend every day surrounded by scenery, learning about history, heritage and how geography influences Speyside’s drams.
Festival chairman James Campbell said: "With over 660 events on the festival programme, this year is the biggest on record.
"It is also the most varied programme that I have ever seen, with some very imaginative and innovative activities planned.
"If anyone thought that the only thing to do at a whisky festival was to enjoy a dram or visit a distillery, this year's programme completely dispels that perception.
"The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is very much about having fun while creating great memories – and these events will certainly deliver.”
One of the more unusual events is Secrets of Spynie on May 4 which combines walking and canoeing.
Visitors can also enjoy a dram against the backdrop of one of Speyside’s most photographed attractions – Craigellachie Bridge. John Dewar & Sons, which operates nearby Craigellachie Distillery, will be hosting Scottish Aperitivo hour at the iconic landmark on May 4 and 5 at 6pm.
Complimentary drams of Craigellachie and Aultmore single malt whisky will be served at the free event, which is designed to get people to stop, think and enjoy a dram in beautiful countryside.
Dog lovers will revel in the hunt to find Rebel, the missing Murray McDavid dog. This treasure hunt with a difference takes place on May 5 and will task visitors with finding 10 wee ‘Westies’ that have wandered off into the Speyside countryside.
The annual festival, which takes place in venues across the Moray/Speyside area, is designed to appeal to people of all levels of interest in whisky, from the connoisseurs who have a deep-rooted passion for Scotland’s national drink to those who have never tasted it before. While many events are ticketed, some are free. Visit www.spiritofspeyside.com for information and tickets.