There is a local saying – Where Rome was built on seven hills, Dufftown was built on seven stills. With the crisp, clear waters of both the River Fiddich and Dullan Water feeding a number of world-famous distilleries, it’s no surprise that this town, with a population of just over 1600, claims the title of ‘Malt Whisky Capital of the World’.
But Dufftown offers far more than really (really!) good whisky; it’s the perfect place to discover more the Scotland’s rich heritage and stunning natural beauty.
Walks, Whisky and Wellness
For fans of the outdoors, Dufftown is the perfect base. Nestled in the rolling Convals, with breath-taking views of the landscape from every point of the compass, Dufftown offers a range of walks for all levels of fitness and mobility. Meet at the Dufftown Clocktower – once used as the local prison – in the town square, to head off through Meg’s Wood for an easy family walk, or explore Balvenie Castle, a stone’s throw from the famous Glenfiddich distillery, with an easy wander that, if you’re lucky, will also introduce you to the friendly local herd of heilan coos who are always happy to pose for a photo!
The area around the Church of Mortlach is a perfect spot to set off on a family hunt for the fabled creatures of local folklore. If you’re very quiet, you might see the giants that live in this part of the area. If the giants are hiding, you might to discover evidence of their presence at the Giant’s Seat and the Giant’s Cradle. You could also meet a unicorn (which is Scotland’s national animal) on your way to the Fairy Village that lies further along the trail. After all that walking you can sit down and eat your lunch at the Fairy Village and soak in the peace and calm of the area before making your way back. To return to Dufftown you can either walk back the way you came or continue along the path that will return you to Dufftown on a slightly longer, 20-minute loop.
Those looking for a bigger challenge can tackle Ben Rinnes, the highest mountain in Moray and located to the west of the town. A gentle well-trodden path makes it accessible to even the newest hill walkers and the stunning, panoramic views from the top are the perfect reward for your efforts. If you’re looking for a day-trek without as much incline, the Isla Way has you covered. The 13-mile, five-hour, one-way trail links Dufftown and Keith and is perfect for families, dog walkers and those who prefer a flatter surface. There is also a hill walk called The Suie which will take you past Glenfiddich lodge, an old historic hunting lodge, giving you a deeper sense of the local heritage and culture that’s seamlessly linked with nature.
For a quintessential slice of Scottish life, combine your walk with a round of golf at the 18-hole Dufftown Golf Club, with kit available for hire if you didn’t bring your own.
Nature enthusiasts, walkers, and adventurers love Dufftown.
For those looking for a day-trek, the Isla Way has you covered. The 13-mile, five-hour, one-way trail links Dufftown and Keith.
Accommodation in Dufftown
If you want to experience the warmth of Scottish hospitality, you have come to the right place. Dufftown and surrounding area have some of the best B&Bs and self-catering cottages of all of Moray, as well as a range of modern camping and glamping facilities. Our hosts are able to guide you to the must-see destinations of the area and can share more information about the historical sites and natural walks to visit.
There’s a huge amount to explore in and around Dufftown and the town provides an excellent base to explore further into the region. Inverness, The Cairngorms Mountain National Park, and the coast are within easy reach, allowing you to build the perfect holiday.
History and Heritage
For those who are curious to learn more about the local history, the Church of Mortlach is built on one of the first sites of Christian communities in Scotland. In the church and surrounding grounds, you can also discover the enigmatic Pictish symbol stones, dating from around the 8th Century, alongside the final resting places of famous names in Scottish whisky lore.
The ruin of Balvenie Castle stands overlooking Glenfiddich distillery. This 12th Century castle was built by the Black Comyns family and was once attacked in 1308 by Robert the Bruce in a clan feud. In 1720 it was abandoned, however, locals tell tales of the ghost of a Green Lady that still lives in the castle today.
Just 10 minutes’ drive outside Dufftown lies another site to visit on your castle-hunt: the ruins of Auchindoun Castle. Its wild and remote position is one of the many attractions of this fascinating site, which has been the subject of songs, speculation and bloodshed over the years since its construction.
A Scotch Whisky Immersion
The area of Dufftown is steeped in whisky heritage. Today, the town is home to six operational whisky distilleries and plays host to an unmissable annual whisky festival. The Glenfiddich Visitor Centre is one of the most prominent distilleries and welcomes the visitors with a new impressive stillhouse, fabulous restaurant and behind-the-scenes tour. Many distilleries offer tours and tastings but if you’re looking for a broad array of choice in one spot, with expert advice, you can’t do better than The Whisky Shop Dufftown.
Welcome to Dufftown – Inviting visitors to participate in a wide range of traditional Scottish activities in the town.
DDCA – Dufftown and District Community Association.
Visit Dufftown – Directory of businesses in Dufftown.
My Voyage Scotland – Things to Do in Dufftown.