Grantown-on-Spey was founded in 1765 by Sir James Grant, the local laird,
who, due to his good deeds to the local people became known as the "Good
Sir James".Today, the town has plenty to offer
for visitors and residents in all seasons. In Winter it is handy for ski-ing and climbing in the nearby Cairngorm Mountains. In
Spring the arrival of fresh leaves on the trees is striking. Many birds
return from migration, and the forests become alive with bird-song. Salmon
move in the River Spey, and the anglers get hopeful. In the Summer many
people enjoy the countryside and adjacent woods which surround the town. The
hills all around turn purple as the heather blooms in late summer. Autumn
brings the russet and gold of the beech woodlands. At all times of the year
the specialist local shops, restaurants and pubs and sporting facilities of
all kinds in and around the town give easy and pleasant distractions. There
are many tours that can be enjoyed, taking in historic buildings and scenic
areas, and the seaside is very close on the Moray Firth.
Few areas in Scotland provide the
year round tourist attractions and sporting opportunities that can be found
in Grantown-on-Spey, the Spey Valley and Cairngorm area. Most of the
attractions mentioned below are in the immediate area of Grantown-on-Spey but
don't forget that we are perfectly situated to visit the Moray Coast, The
Black Isle and Royal Deeside.
War Memorial above and Grantown
Grantown-on-Spey has a golf
club, heritage centre, swimming pool, tennis courts ( 8 clay courts of the
Grantown-on-Spey Lawn Tennis Club that are open to visitors ), curling rinks,
and a fine selection of shops for both the tourist and sports person alike.
There is also the award winning Craggan Mill
Restaurant, Craft shop and Art Gallery. The extensive woods behind Kinross
House were once part of the Old Caledonian Pine Woods. Sadly these beautiful
natural woodlands are a fraction of their original size as they covered most
of the Highlands several hundred years ago. Within these woods, however, you
can still find a variety of pines, as well as indigenous juniper, willow,
rowan and also aspen, hazel, birch, alder and gean.
This rich variety of plant life accommodates an equally wide variety of birds
Steam Railway operates from the beginning of April to the end of
October and also in December and January. It will soon be running from Aviemore to Grantown-on-Spey.
Luncheon, a full bar service and Morning Coffee or Afternoon Tea with
pancakes, honey and cakes is available in summer, while in winter there are
"Mince Pie Specials" and "The Hogmanay Special" which
straddles midnight and therefore is the very first train to run in the new year.
There is also an "Enthusiast Day" where Steam, Diesel and Diesel
Multiple-Unit trains run for the standard fare and the "Saturday Service
by Diesel Railcar" where you can sit behind the driver and see the track
The award winning Speyside Heather Centre
is only a few miles from Grantown-on-Spey. 300 varieties of heather can be
seen growing in the Garden Information Trail, the Heather Garden or in the
Plant Sales section. There is also Scotland's only Heather Heritage Visitors
Centre where translations are available together with a craft shop, designer
knitwear boutique, produce shop, and don't forget the Clootie
Dumpling Restaurant or to take a bottle or two of heather wine away with you.
The centre is open all year.
The first Sunday in September sees Motor Mania day being held. The
Motor Mania day is a vintage car and motorbike parade and display with lots
of stalls, games etc for all the family in the town square.