Eurotrip Day 7: Scotch Across the Highlands

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This post is part of our Eurotrip Series.  You can find the rest of the series here.

Eurotrip Day 7 was a very relaxed Easter Sunday.  We started our day with a church service at the Inverness Methodist Church.  The congregation was small, and they were SO excited to have visitors from the USA.  The rest of the day was spent on a leisurely afternoon drive through the middle of the Highlands.  We stopped at Tomatin and Dalwhinnie distilleries.  Our drive ended in Dundee, where we stayed at an old manor house that had been converted to a Hilton property.  Read on to learn more about our exploration of the Scottish Highlands.

  • Adventures – Write-ups of the activities we enjoyed during our visit.
  • Hotel Spotlight – Where we stayed and our review of the accommodations.

Adventures

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Church

If you spend a Sunday in Inverness, you have plenty of churches to choose from, as you can see in this picture!

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Easter Sunday along the River Ness in Inverness, Scotland.

Tomatin

Tomatin Distillery was not on our radar at all while planning our Scotland itinerary.  We happened upon it after seeing a sign along the road.  Much to our surprise, they were open on Easter!  Hooray!  We just missed the tour, but instead, the lovely lady in the visitor center/gift shop area gave us our own semi-private tasting.  We got sips of a few different Tomatin offerings, including the smoky Cù Bòcan and a 26-year-old scotch directly from the barrel!

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Lunch in Aviemore

We stopped for lunch in the tourist-friendly town of Aviemore.  In the winter months, this is a bustling ski resort town.  During the off-season, this is a great jumping off point to explore Cairngorms National Park.  On our way into town, we came across The Winking Owl.  This place had a great food selection and an extensive list of beers, wines, and liqueurs.  We opted for a tasting flight of local brews from Cairngorm Brewery.  What a pleasant surprise for these beer lovers!

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Cairngorms National Park

Snow Capped Mountains

The views through this area were breathtaking.  We stopped along the road SO many times to takes pictures and admire the scenery.  Although we just drove through in an afternoon, you could spend a whole week exploring all the recreational activities throughout this Cairngorms National Park.

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Dalwhinnie

At Dalwhinnie Distillery, we took the full 45-minute tour that included a sample of 15 year-old single malt whisky and chocolate pairing.  We also got to keep our complimentary Dalwhinnie whisky sample glass!  The quality of the tour and tasting was well worth the £10 cost per person.  We were able to walk right in and immediately get on the next tour.  If you are not able to wait for a tour spot, or just don’t have time to take the full tour, there are tasting-only options available in the tasting room.


Hotel Spotlight

Doubletree Dundee Manor House – 20,000 HHonors Points

When we drove into the parking lot, the Doubletree Dundee Manor House was not initially as impressive as the pictures we had seen.  The hotel website primarily shows pictures of the actual Manor House.  In real life, the Manor House only consists of a few of the larger guest suites.  The regular rooms are all in an adjacent, two-story, regular-looking hotel.

Luckily, we were upgraded to a King Superior Suite in the Manor House!  The room was fantastic, fully modernized, and it overlooked the maze garden.  If you get a chance to stay in the manor house, this is an absolute steal for 20,000 HHonors points!  After settling in, we explored the beautiful grounds until it started to rain.  Our night ended with dinner and wine at The Maze – the hotel’s onsite restaurant.  Cheers to the night manager for the complementary pour of Lagavulin 16!


Conclusion

Day 7 is one that stands out because of the sheer relaxation and beauty we experienced that day.  That double rainbow over the mountains (look again at the top image) will forever be etched in our memories of Scotland.  Not to mention, we fully achieved our Eurotrip bucket list item of sipping scotch in the Highlands of Scotland!

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