Smitten by Scotland since childhood, travel writer Rebecca Gibson moved to Moray and started exploring her new home region on foot to produce this new title in Bradt's award-winning series of Slow travel guides to UK regions. Walkers, cyclists, wildlife lovers, families, history and folklore enthusiasts, and foodies are all catered for, with coverage of a wide range of attractions. As the only comprehensive guidebook to North East Scotland in print, it also contains all the practical information you could need to plan and enjoy time in this thrillingly diverse yet largely under-explored part of Britain.
This region of mountains and coasts, ancient Caledonian pine forests and salmon-rich rivers harbours much to enthral and surprise. Long famous among hillwalkers, mountaineers and nature lovers, the Cairngorms is the UK's largest National Park and holds five of its six tallest summits - but also abounds in fairy folklore. Balmoral Estate has been a royal residence since Queen Victoria's reign, while Aberdeenshire - with its unique language, Doric - has Scotland's highest density of castles and numerous Pictish stone circles among an astounding 30,000 sites of historical and archaeological interest.
Between Inverness and Aberdeen lies the less-familiar region of Moray, which hosts the world's most northerly population of bottle-nosed dolphins, Scotland's oldest independent museum, and Forres, where Shakespeare's Macbeth met the three witches. Here the Scots language and culture are celebrated through gatherings such as fire festivals. This guidebook's Slow approach to travel fits with a growing ethos of sustainability in this part of Scotland, from Findhorn Ecovillage to a celebration of locally sourced, artisan and organic food alongside the well-known products of whisky, Aberdeen Angus beef and River Dee salmon.
Key heritage attractions are described in intimate detail - but so too are opportunities to see some of Scotland's most special wildlife, from pinewood-dwelling crested tits to high-altitude specialists like ptarmigan. Whether you are keen to visit castles or indulge in whisky-tastings amid Britain's highest concentration of distilleries, to hike among Cairngorm's remote mountains or to stride boldly along miles upon miles of coastline, discover North East Scotland with Bradt's unique Slow guide.