We are now on the whisky trail proper and as we wind our way along the Spey from Grantown to Aberlour, we pass distillery after distillery – it seems like every turning is to a distillery: Cragganmore, Tamdhu, Knockando, Dalmunach, Dailuaine and finally Aberlour itself.
Our stop for the night was intended to be a lovely campsite on the edge of Aberlour, but the campsite neglected to mention the height limited bridge just before the entrance to the campsite. Seriously, they didn’t bother to note this anywhere on the website. Argh!
So we parked in town and then found a carpark down by the river that allows overnight parking. So in the end, it worked out great – a freebie and a stay by the river, perfect.
No distillery tours were available at Aberlour, but we were allowed to wander around the outside of the distillery buildings which was a close second!
We also paid a visit to the Walker shortbread factory, where a few kilos of xmas presents were procured. Plus some factory rejects for the mothership!
A big vat of chilli which will last a couple of days and TV rather than a movie in the van. Tomorrow it’s back through Grantown on Spey and down to Blair Atholl and Pitlochry.
The campsite is about 5km outside Oban alongside the Sound of Kerrera. As we travelled towards the site from Oban town we were apprehensive because the road got narrower and narrower, but it was all fine, there were passing spaces every couple of hundred meters and there is nothing down the road except for the campsite and a few waterside businesses and private dwellings. The campsite is set in terraces up the side of the valley. There are hardstanding pitches, grass pitches and large fields for groups. We helped Richard and Lorraine set up their awning and set up the bongo, then relaxed with quite a few beers.
The next day and it was a brief taxi ride into Oban, and, obviously, a distillery tour. Kyle was our guide and for the next hour was a brilliant orator, telling us not only the Oban distillery history, but fitting in a lot of Scottish history and language too! Our best distillery tour – and there have been a few. The distillery is pretty much as old as the town itself and has been in the Diageo group since the day the company was formed. We found it interesting that they fit in the mammoth plants like the Caol Ila distillery and still keep the small distilleries like Oban alive.
Our spiritual base for the day was the Oban Inn overlooking the harbour and ferry terminal. We managed a wander around the town and a walk up the steep hill to McCaigs Tower overlooking the town.
Toby visited the ferry terminal for some pictures of ferries and we also insisted on a quality check of the Wetherspoons. Our ‘tea’ was cod and chips in the local ‘fashy’ and a taxi ride back to the campsite
Next day we said goodbye to Richard and Lorraine, who have gone back South because of commitments, whatever that means 😉 We have a reminder of them – they bought us a (very expensive) bottle of Oban Distillers Edition and we also have some of the running club camping gear to deliver back to them in a few days! It seems they took the weather back with them, the fine weather has ended now and we have rain, rain and more rain.
We repositioned the van to try and get some Internet and then spent the rest of the day looking at the loch and the rain through the windows and getting some planning done for the next part of our brief Scottish adventure. A fantastic three days at Oban Caravan and Camping Park.
As we prepared to pack up (which for the mothership just means to remove the electric cable!) and type up this post, Facebook reminded us that one year ago we set off across the channel for the big trip *sniffle*