Welcome to Grantown on Spey Scotland
in the heart of the Scottish Highlands Grantown is the ideal location
for a holiday. The area offers fishing on the River
Spey, walking in the surrounding hills and woodland, golfing on many courses
in the area, sailing, horse riding, skiing the list goes on and on. You
will find Grantown an ideal base for touring The Scottish Highlands.
With fishing on the majestic River Spey all summer and skiing on the Cairngorms
both at Aviemore and the Lecht ski centres all winter, there's lots for
the thrill seeker and novice alike. For those who want to get away from
the hustle and bustle, a leisurely walk after dinner is a must on a hot
summer's night. With marked walks through Caledonian forest from the heart
of Grantown to the banks of the river Spey, you can find wildlife and
wonderful scenery within a five minute walk. On the other hand with a
wide choice of restaurants, bars and hotels many with live entertainment
playing throughout the season you may find yourself having a "highland
With everything in the area from Whisky to walking you will
find something to do.
Grantown-on-Spey makes a good base (and alternative to Aviemore) for
exploring the Strathspey area. People come to ski and snowboard (in winter),
climb, walk and watch wildlife in general enjoying the great outdoors.
The town is close to the heart of distillery country, eight of which you
can visit on the a 70-mile Speyside Whisky Trail, ranging from big business
productions like Glenfiddich to small, family-run distilleries that run
personalised tours and tutored tasting sessions.
Accommodation in and around Grantown on Spey
Price Guide - per person based on sharing room:
under $40 - $41
- 70 - more than
Getting To Grantown-on-Spey
North by the A9 to Aviemore then follow the A95 for 12 miles. South From
Inverness to Carrbridge, and follow the signs for 10 miles. From the east
The A95 runs straight into town you can join it at Crainellachie, from
Elgin, Keith or Dufftown. The road in from Forres and Nairn over the Dava
Moor is one of the most picturesque wilderness routes I know but for variety
travelling from Royal Deeside through the Lecht Ski Centre and Tomintoul
exposes you to some of the best views in the eastern Highlands.
The main line from Glasgow and Edinburgh to Inverness stops at Aviemore
and Carrbridge and with a bus service connecting to Grantown-on-Spey this
may be the least stressing way to start your visit. Keep an eye on the
News page for information on the Steam Rail line between Aviemore and
Grantown. You could disembark the Aberdeen Inverness line at Forres or
Nairn but without buses this would involve a 30 to 40 minute Taxi run.
Inverness airport is only 27 miles from Grantown-on-Spey and has regular
links to many UK cities and some service to the continent, with a link
bus to Inverness and a regular service from Inverness to Grantown-on-Spey.
The key activities in Grantown-on-Spey revolve around
the River Spey, the ancient Caledonian forest surrounding the town, the
Cairngorm mountain range to the south or the superb Golf courses in the
area. Whatever your interests I'm sure Grantown-on-Spey has something
to offer you.
Salmon Fishing on the river Spey has been popular for many years. The
Spey is one of Scotland's foremost Salmon rivers, with the Grantown Association
having rights to seven miles of the Spey and twelve miles of the river
Dulnain you will be able to find a a stretch of water to suite your style.
With walks mapped out through this historic Scots Pine woodland you will
find wildlife plentiful. The woods are filled with Roe Deer and Capercaillie.
Badenoch and Strathspey is one of the last strongholds of the Red Squirrel.
With the Funicular railway now ferrying you to the top of Cairngorm you
have no excuse not to enjoy the mountain to the full, be it walking, climbing
Only 15 miles down the valley Ballindalloch Castle, a magnificent 16th
century castle - home to the Macpherson-Grant family since 1546. Enjoy
Audio - Visual presentations, River Walks, The oldest herd of Aberdeen-Angus
or have tea with Clare Macpherson-Grant Russell, Laird of Ballindalloch.
a true Monarch of the Glen.
Rothiemurchus Highland Estate:
Another working estate this time near Aviemore. With walks, cycle tracks,
clay pigeon shooting, off road driving and water sports you might want
to spend more than a day.
Strathspey Steam Railway:
Take a journey back in time through beautiful Strathspey and experience
the magic of Steam. Currently running between Aviemore and Boat of Garten
with the Grantown-on-Spey link well underway.
Grantown Museum & Heritage Trust:
The Museum tells the story of Grantown-on-Spey, a fine example of an 18th
century planned town. The founding of the town is well documented and
the history of the people and buildings are brought to life in the exhibitions
with both modern and traditional displays and by an audio visual presentation.
A little History of Grantown on Spey
Grantown-on-Spey as we know it is a relatively new town the plans
for which where laid down around 1765 by Sir James Grant, building mills
and factories, Hospital and Orphanage. At a time when The Clan Grant was
established as one of the foremost Highland Clans.
There has been much debate about the origins of the Clan over the years,
but the recent discovery of the Cromdal Texts has revealed the origins
in fascinating detail.
The Viking leader Earl Haakon of Trondelag, Lord High Protector of Norway,
referred by some even today as King Haakon II, earned the name Haakon
the Great after his legendary exploits and military strategy. He ruled
Norway between 970 and 995, and it is claimed he acquired the motto 'Stand
Fast' after having defended himself in an ambush - tradition has it he
was armed with a tree.
His son, Hemming, was converted to Christianity and with his wife Tora,
was exiled from Norway and settled in Dub Linh, the Viking settlement
we know today as Dublin. Hemming and Tora had six children, two daughters
and four sons. The daughters, Gurrie and Astred, married and returned
to Norway, where they built two churches 'within a fathom of each other'
at Grandtsogn (Grant's Parish) near Christiana, now Oslo. The four sons
went to Scotland in the early part of the eleventh century, and Allan,
alias Andlaw, was the progenitor of the Clan. His descendant Allan became
Sheriff of Inverness, but there is then a gap in known history until the
first Grant mentioned in official Scottish records - Gregor, who became
Sheriff of Inverness in 1214. He had two sons, Lawrence and Robert.
In the 13th century, the powerful clan which spread over Strathspey and
the Grampian mountains into Aberdeenshire.
Sir Lawrence, together with his brother Robert, were signatories to an
agreement dated in September 1258 between the Bishop of Moray and John
Bisset of Lovat. The late thirteenth century was therefore an enormously
important time, as Grants expanded their lands and influence throughout
the region and formed alliances with powerful and wealthy families.
Under Sir Ian, the son of Lawrence, the Grants supported William Wallace
and were eventually to pay dearly. Many were taken prisoner at the Battle
of Dunbar in 1296, and their fate remains unknown to this day. The hated
King Edward forced the submission of many Scottish Barons, whose names
were written on four large rolls of parchment - the infamous 'Ragman Rolls'.
Rudolph de Grant was dismissed, but his brother John was carried to London,
and only released when he undertook to serve King Edward in France, with
John Comyn acting as guarantor.
Thus when Robert the Bruce became King in 1306, the Grants numbered amongst
his supporters and flourished in Strathspey - referred to even then as
'the Country of the Grants'. They were soon to acquire the power and position
of Highland Chiefs, founding in turn the septs of Allan, through Sir Allan
Grant of Auchernick, and Thomas, through his brother. The Gilroy, MacGilroy,
Pratt and Suttie families are regarded as septs (sub-branches) of Grant.
From then on, the story of the Grants is one of expansion, and they soon
became one of the most powerful and influential Scottish families, founding
estates as far apart as Perthshire and Banffshire, and many proud families
and Clans whose roots are traceable directly to the Grants.
When the Civil War began, the Grants, led by James, the sixteenth Chief,
rallied to the Royalist cause and raised Charles' standard in the Highlands.
So from treachery to a valiant cause - back to yet another dark chapter
in the Clan's history - the slaughter of the Farquharsons. The Farquharsons
killed a Gordon on Deeside, and Huntly raised his clan, and sought the
support of the the Laird of Grant. They slaughtered the Farquharsons,
almost wiping the Clan from the face of the earth altogether. Some time
later, so the story goes, the Laird was dining with Huntly, who offered
to show his guest a rare spectacle. They went to a balcony, and saw a
mob of starving children fighting over scraps of food in the yard below.
They were the children of the Farquharsons, captured in the previous year.
The Laird could not bear this sight, and persuaded Huntly to place them
in his care. Thus the children were taken to Speyside and raised amongst
the Grants. To this day, the Farquharsons are known unkindly as 'The Children
of the Trough'.
The Grants of Freuchie later supported William of Orange and fought against
the Jacobites at the Haughs of Cromdale, joining Colonel Livingstone with
a force of 600 men - fighting against the Grants of Glenmoriston who supported
the Jacobite cause and who had fought at Killiecrankie. In 1745 there
were 800 Freuchie Clansmen-at-arms on the side of the Government, although
they did not, or would not, fight against 'Bonnie' Prince Charles. The
Grants of Glenmoriston, on the other hand, were active in their support
of Charles, and raised the Clan to fight at Prestonpans, where they are
credited with winning the day due to their welcome reinforcement.
Then came Culloden, and the Jacobite cause was lost.
The Grants of Glenmoriston suffered heavily, pursued as fugitives and
outlaws. The Laird of Grant (Fruechie) persuaded seventy Glenmoriston
Grants to return to Inverness and surrender their arms, on the promise
of freedom. There they were captured, and sent to the colonies as slaves.
Grant of Glenmoriston himself had his house burned and his lands destroyed
by the Duke of Cumberland - the 'Butcher Duke'. His name was among those
on the first Bill of Punishment, but was later removed and the Chief had
his estates returned.
Prince Charles, defeated and hunted, was given shelter in Grant country,
by the famous 'Seven Men of Glenmoriston', one of whom was 'Black' Peter
Grant. Despite having seen everything they own destroyed in the cause
of the Prince, and despite rewards which were beyond the dreams of avarice,
the seven men of Glenmoriston remained loyal and have earned.