North East 250
After the runaway success of the North Coast 500 it was perhaps only a matter of time before other areas of the country developed their own versions. The newest driving loop, launched this month, is the North East 250. Rather than just a copy of its more famous northern counterpart, it is very much a distinctive and self-contained route that complements the North Coast 500 rather than competing with it. This is the route for people who don’t want to spend their entire holiday driving, for people who want to take a slow week ambling round taking in the scenery and stopping to enjoy the varied attractions that are all within easy reach. Welcome to the North East.
Whisky & Ice
The North East is known as the Larder of Scotland and throughout the area you can sample the best local produce from the farms that dominate large parts of the landscape. It is also Whisky Country, home to the official Malt Whisky Trail and the most famous distilleries in the world. Glenlivet, Strathisla and Cardhu are just three of the many that offer tours, tastings and shopping.
When the temperatures dip below zero then this is the best place in the country to head for some winter sports fun. The Lecht and Glenshee are both easily accessible and provide the most reliable conditions in Scotland whether its sledging, snowboarding or back country touring that interests you. Newseat is a great spot to base yourself as it sits right in the centre of Aberdeenshire and for those interested in cross country skiing it’s just a few miles to the Nordic Ski Centre at Clashindarroch.
Mountains & Sea
Inver lodge sits right on the route between Ballater and Braemar and is the perfect location to enjoy the mountains of the Cairngorms. There are dozens of Munros within easy reach, easily enough to fill up your holiday. There are plenty of mountains where you could almost guarantee solitude if that is what you seek, but one of the joys of hillwalking in Scotland is the social aspect. The lodge sleeps 23 and has a massive communal area with its own bar where everyone can get together after a long day outside.
Another attraction of the north east is the compact nature. From having the mountains at your doorstep at Inver Lodge you could easily make a day trip to the Banff coast to take in some of the most underrated beaches in Scotland. Local hero and the modern remake of Whisky Galore were both filmed here, and the tiny fishing villages along the coast really do feel suspended in time. Fresh seafood and an authentic Cullen Skink should not be missed.
Golf & Gathering
You could play a round of golf at a different top class course every day of your holiday and still have plenty to return for. It is easy to see why Donald Trump chose the coastline here to build his multi-million pound course as the scenery and dunes truly embody the spirit of links golf. Alternatively, there are dozens of equally attractive, less controversial, alternatives to suit all handicaps.
One of the classic rounds in the area is at Braemar Golf Club, which is known as the highest course in the country. Braemar is also the home of the annual Gathering, probably the most famous highland games in the world. Typically patronised by royalty, this is a massive event that sees the entire village involved in what is undoubtedly the social event of the year. Drumrunie sits inside the village but still has spectacular views over the mountains, call and book now to ensure your dates for next year.
Castles & Culture
Aberdeen has always been the vibrant cultural centre of the north east, but since the downturn in the oil industry the city has attempted to re-invent itself as an artistic hub. This means there has been an explosion of music, performance, galleries and museums. From street art to poetry, lectures and exhibitions, anyone driving through as part of the North East 250 will find something to entice them to stay a little longer. The city is convenient to get around in a day and with the new bypass opening soon driving in and out will be a breeze.
The North East is overflowing with reminders of its turbulent history. Braemar, Ballindalloch and Balmoral castles are just three of the stunning castles you can visit on this route, all three are in fantastic condition and offer guided tours, exhibitions and activities for children. For those that would prefer to explore an atmospheric ruin then Drumin Castle is just a short walk from the comforts of Shenval Farmhouse.
Call LHH now to book your perfect property and use it as the ideal jumping off point for exploring all this and so much more.