Tomintoul to Archiestown (24 miles)

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The route from Tomintoul to Archiestown is entirely in Moray. It is 23.8 miles long, has climbing of 1,575 feet and has been given a rating of 7. This is quite a tough ride with constant lumps and bumps. There is little to no respite and it could have been rated an 8.

Tomintoul, meaning Hillock of the Barn, sits at 1,132 feet above sea level. It is in Moray and the Cairngorms National Park, as well as being on the Malt Whisky Trail. It is home to the Whisky Castle, one of the best whisky shops in Scotland. Alongside tourism and whisky, the other major industry is farming.

You initially head north west out of Tomintoul. The first few miles are consistently rolling with a few nasty (though short) hills, and you reach the high point of 1,158 feet at mile 3.2. From mile 3.9 you start heading downhill and continue to do so until mile 17. But again, there are numerous spikes so this will not feel easy. You have a small climb from mile 17 to 18.5, then a descent, and then you ascend from mile 20.9 all the way to Archiestown, coming in from the west and finishing in the village centre.

There are so many sights on this route that it is simply not possible to mention them all. You mainly follow the Speyside Way and you are on the Malt Whisky Trail too. You leave the Cairngorm National Park at mile 10.4 where you pass the ruins of Drumin Castle. At mile 14.8 you cross the River Avon and you could visit Ballindalloch Castle and Gardens. This is a superb example of the Scottish Baronial style and the home of the Macpherson Grant family. And you cross the River Spey and mile 17.1. But whisky dominates this route. The distilleries in the area produce some of the best whisky in the world (in our opinion) and include Tomintoul (mile 6); Glenlivet (mile 9.2); Craggenmore (mile 14.8); and Cardhu, Tamdhu and Knockando (all around mile 17.1). These are just the distilleries you pass close to – there are many more in the near vicinity.

Archiestown is a small village that was built in 1760 and named after Sir Archibald Grant of Monymusk. It is a planned village with a grid-street system and a village square. Originally intended as a weaving centre, whisky came to dominate the town from the early 19th century when its production was legalised under the Excise Act of 1823. Archiestown is a small place to it would wise to carry extra provisions.


By clicking on the ‘play’ symbol on the graphic below you can see route map. The elevation profile of the ride can be seen via the Hills tab with files for use with a GPS device also available for download. If you take any photos of the route that you’d like to share, please submit to neil@velodays.com

Route map for Tomintoul To Archiestown by Neil Innes on plotaroute.com