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Spirit of Speyside 2018

My husband and I will be traveling to Scotland for the first time in May. Our time in Rothes coincides with the Spirit of Speyside Festival (4 May - 5 May). I am looking for recommendations on how best to experience the Festival. We will have a car, but will want to enjoy the tastings associated with various distillery tours. Is there transportation for festival goers to and from various events (taxi service, public transportation, and/or tour buses)? Are there events that are better suited for novice whisky drinkers who also happen to be visiting from the US? Thank you for your recommendations to help make our Festival experience better!


  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    Hey @Lori_m_endsley, I find it a bit of good fortune that you'll be visiting Speyside during the festival. Step 1 for you should be making sure you buy the tickets to the events you are interested in (they are very popular).

    Rothes as a base is great as it is on the core public transport link for the entire area ie the hourly bus 36 that connects Elgin - Rothes - Craigellachie - Aberlour - Dufftown. Unfortunately not too many distilleries are in "stumbling distance" (a term I've coined after going on a few tastings by bus) of the bus route. Aberlour, Glenfiddich, Craigellachie, Balvenie and maybe a couple more lie exactly on the route. Additionally, standing in the rain for an hourly bus which may be running late is not fun.

    My recommendation would be to hire a driver for the day to knock off a few tastings. @YourScotlandTour (also on Facebook) is my personal recommendation, he knows Scotland and most definitely knows his whisky (I bow down to his whisky knowledge). Else, the festival page has a list of taxi numbers handy, talk to them if they can give you a hire for a few hours.

    My experiences of seeing Speyside and drinking whisky solely by public transport can be read here, here and here (15 mins read time total). It is a beautiful area of Scotland that doesn't get the love it should IMO. Feel free to ask any follow up questions.
    I'm Anirudh, an Indian travel blogger who has explored a lot of Scotland by public transport. My blog. Find me on Facebook | Instagram

    Best of Scotland in 1 week itinerary (fully by public transport)

    My Scotland travels (includes EdinburghSkye, HarrisMullArranOrkneyLoch Lomond, Islay, Oban, DunoonSpeyside)

  • YourScotlandTourYourScotlandTour Member ✭✭✭
    Hi @Horizons thank you for the mention :-) 

    @Lori_m_endsley please do drop me a line if I can be of assistance :-)
    Bespoke tours.
    Whisky, Castles and Food a speciality.
  • Hi @Horizons, Thank you for the insight. I'll keep your recommendation about hiring a driver (@YourScotlandTour) or taxi in mind as we buy our tickets. The festival itinerary will be posted in early February. 

    Thanks again! 

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