The historic town of Grantown on Spey is a thriving bustling High Street surrounded by a plethora of plays to stay from a bunk house, caravan site, self catering sleeping from 2 to 22 and beyond, plus a large selection of B&Bs not to mention the hotels too, so, what do you do when you get here?
I could go on with the sales pitch about Grantown being the heart of the Cairngorms and you can walk, hike, mountain climb, ski, play golf, go fishing, jump on your bike and explore the trails in the woods, nature watching, bird watching… the list is pretty much endless, but then you’ll see that with all blog posts about the Cairngorms.
So, here are my five things to do in and around Grantown on Spey, therefore all you need now is a lovely self catering studio apartment in Grantown to stay. As a resident, these are the things I want to do at the weekend and are the first things I recommend to guests when they check in at our studio apartment on the High Street.
1. Anagach Woods
Anagach Woods is a community owned woodland that is so out of this world I am in them virtually every day of the year. From a short 1km trail right up to an 11.5km trail, there are sign posts to guide you or you can just go off piste and follow your feet. A bird watchers paradise so I’m told, although I’m no twitcher to be honest but I love the noises the minute you step into the trees. No matter the weather these woods are fabulous.
2. Grantown Museum
A few years ago a change in management, some funding and a lot of hard work later and we now have a brilliant local museum. Grantown Museum is worth every penny of the quite frankly ridiculously small entry fee. They host many exhibitions, they have a lovely shop on site as well and throughout the year they host coffee mornings, events, talks and craft evenings. A great asset to Grantown.
3. The High Street
Our High Streets are sadly dying and Grantown unfortunately has been hit with the Amazon stick too, however, unlike other towns in the surrounding areas there are still a great mix of shops and only one charity shop which by the way is excellent for a browse.
We have a couple of bakeries, a great butcher, a bustling Post Office, a greengrocer selling the best dirty carrots for miles around, several independent gift shops, a newsagent, a hardware shop, clothes shops, fishing tackle, bike hire and a small but valuable Coop. We still get coach parties descending on the town during the Summer months as this is a region that is very much a destination even in these uncertain economic times.
4. The River Spey
A fisher I am not, however, I am very aware of the draw of the Spey for fishers throughout the season. I am drawn to the river no matter what time of the year because it’s just so pretty.
You can walk by the riverbank the 4 winding miles out to Cromdale, you can just go and see our two bridges, one old one new but both pretty special. In the height of the summer you can fight the locals for the best spot to paddle or wild swim in. No matter what you do, make sure you find the river when visiting Grantown.
Leave the town heading north and within 5 minutes drive you are in the glorious moorland of the Dava. Turn off left and you will go down to Lochindorb with it’s imposing (but pretty bland) castle ruin in the middle of the Loch.
I’m no historian and I’m sure I’ll get in trouble for saying it’s not the prettiest castle known to man, but Lochindorb itself is beautiful. You can be out there entirely on your own sometimes and it is quite haunting and again a great place for a wild swim but beware the midge!
Katie’s Final Say on Grantown on Spey
So there you have it, my favourite five. I have to say though, do explore further, my personal favourite place on this earth is Findhorn, not the hippy dippy foundation (although the shop is great), not the posh yacht set, not even the pubs serving fresh seafood, but the beach, the stones, the sand, the seals basking in the sun or the view to the Culbin forest.
On your way up or down to Findhorn also make sure you stop off at Logie Steading. A great shopping experience with independent craft shops, an amazing second hand book store and a cafe serving cake… what more can I say?
Grantown on Spey has for too long, in my opinion, dined out on the fact that Queen Victoria stayed here. We’re a century later, we have a vibrant community, a mix of locals and incommers and a thriving tourist season which goes throughout the year thanks to being between Cairngorm and the Lecht. Yes it’s a quaint Highland town, but there are also things for the adrenaline junky to partake in and the quiet bird watching types too.
Thank you to the owners of The Snug Apartment for this wonderful post. Check out their lovely self catering accommodation in the heart of Grantown-on-Spey and a perfect base to explore.