The Tomintoul and Glenlivet area has long been attractive to those seeking the unspoilt serenity of the area and the opportunities for active and adventurous pursuits.
Now the subject of a re-generation process, Tomintoul finds itself part of the Cairngorms National park with all the activities available therein while still retaining the quiet and peaceful atmosphere of our hills and glens.
Lying on the north side of the park, Tomintoul makes Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire and the Moray coast well with reach for pursuits such as golf and sea fishing amongst many others.
Pony trekking and trail riding are available in the village, see www.highlandhooves.co.uk and the Craggan Outdoor Centre just outside Grantown provides a wide variety of outdoor pursuits from rock climbing to bush craft and archery. They also have clay pigeon shooting as does the Dell farm, Glenlivet Tel. 01807 590227.Tomintoul boasts its own outdoor bowling green – details in the Post Office. Moray Leisure Centre in Elgin has a swimming pool, fitness centre and ice rink – see www.mlc-elgin.co.uk.
Land Rover safaris and wildlife viewing in Glenlivet can be organised at www.glenlivet-wildlife.co.uk.
The hills and forests of the Glenlivet Estate are criss-crossed by miles of paths and tracks suitable for mountain biking – many with dramatic views of the Ladder and Cromdale hills and the Cairngorms high tops. For information visit www.glenlivetestate.co.uk. Maps are available locally. From the North end of the village you can access the Speyside Way to explore further afield.
The new Glenlivet Mountain Bike Trails are open for business! Two purpose built trails ‘Blue’ 9km and ‘Red’ 22km- there are toilets, cafe and other facilities on site just outside Tomintoul. Again see the Crown Estate website for more information on opening times etc.
Downhill mountain bike tracks are available at Wolftrax at Laggan and bike hire can be found in Grantown and at Boat of Garten see www.cairngormbikeandhike.co.uk. Glencairn has a lockable shed for bike storage.
The Glenlivet Estate office at the South end of the village has information on a wide range of local walks some of which are within the village itself- over a hundred miles of waymarked trails, paths and forest roads are also shown on the local map of the Estate and these are very varied in length to suit all ages and capabilities. Many of the trails are suitable for taking a dog.Tomintoul Walking Festival is held in September – www.tgwf.co.uk- which has different walks organised throughout the week. Walk Highlands -www.walkhighlands.co.uk is a very good website with a lot of information on walking routes in this area.
Salmon, sea and brown trout fishing are available on the local stretch of the River Avon (permits available in the Post Office) and there is free brown trout fishing on the Conglass Water and many other burns nearby. Information on two other local stretches of the A’an can be seen at www.riveravonfishingassociation.weebly.com- very good fishing.The River Livet also has good fishing and there are several lochs in the locale for brown trout fishing. Fishing ponds are available at Inverlochy Farm 01807 580243. Lochindorb (about an hour away) has free bank fishing for good fighting small brownies and boats are available.
Sea fishing is available on the Moray Coast – several Moray based websites give details of boat trips from for example Macduff and you can fish from the pier at Hopeman and Burghead – respect local safety rules.
Sailing, windsurfing and kayaking equipment and instruction are available at both Loch Morlich at Glenmore and Loch Insh in Speyside. See www.fullonadventure.co.uk based in Aviemore for white water rafting.
The Crown Estate Office is your first stop for information on what is happening locally in the countryside with guided walks and events throughout the year – see the Estate website for availability. At Balcorach, Glenlivet (01479 861228), you can see Reindeer and other farm animals. There is a small play park in the village main street and the adventure playground at the South end of the village is worth a visit.Treezone at Rothiemurchus and Landmark in Carrbridge offer tremendous adventure based fun in the forests there.
For historical interest there is the Museum in Tomintoul which hosts many local artefacts and the Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore displays are well worth a visit on a wet day!
If your children are train fans the Strathspey Steam railway does a 20 mile round trip from Aviemore to near Nethybridge and you can have a meal on the train while you are steaming along.
The Cairngorm and Glenshee Ski areas are about an hour away to the West and East respectively and for cross country there is a centre near Huntly again about an hour away although when there is good snow cover the local tracks and trails offer great Nordic skiing.Ski hire and instruction is available at the Lecht ski centre.
There are many artist living and working in the local area and of course further afield. Locally Tomintoul Art Gallery displays work by local artist Jane Lannagan tel. 01807 580458 along with work by other artists.For more detailed information North East Open Studios and Creative Cairngorms are excellent sources of information.