The former 'capital' of the Cairngorms
This lovely historic town is right in the heart of the Cairngorms and surrounded by rich scenery and, as indicated by the name, sits right on the River Spey.
There are a great mix of independent shops selling everything from gifts, curios, antiques, crafts, clothing, furniture and much more in a lovely spacious town centre.
Grantown is a planned town formed in the late 18th century. As a result it is a neatly laid out high street with great examples of Georgian and Victorian architecture. It is said to be one of the finest and best preserved of all the Georgian planned settlements in Scotland.
Grantown was once the largest and most vibrant town in the Strathspey area, but Aviemore has overtaken it since being developed as a year-round resort, with its proximity to the A9 and skiing facilities.
History of Grantown
Grantown is closely associated with Moray, partly because it was once inside the county boundary until it changed. It’s also linked by the Dava Way, and formerly the railway line between it and Forres. It’s also the nearest town when heading south on the A940 over the Dava Moor.
If you want to learn more about local history then take the short stroll from the town centre to the Grantown Museum and Heritage Trust (seasonal). Admission is £4 for adults and free for children and members. It’s accessible by wheelchair.
Those that are feeling peckish there is a good choice of places to eat including bakeries, restaurants, cafes and bars spread throughout the town.
Grantown is conveniently located for the Speyside Malt Whisky trail, and a new distillery is being built on the outskirts, which will open in 2022.
The drive into Grantown is spectacular whichever direction you come from, over the Dava Moor from the north, through the Speyside Glen from Aviemore or over the Snow Road from Tomintoul, you’ll be rewarded with the full beauty of Scottish scenery.
Events in Grantown
Grantown holds several reasonably large events throughout the year. These are well-attended and draw crowds from afar. The town’s proximity to the A9 makes it easily accessible for visitors from the south and north as well as locally from inside the Cairngorms National Park.
Some of the events recently held include (dates approximate):
- Thunder in the Glens – a massive Harley Davidson rally (26-29 Aug)
- Motor mania – a celebration of vehicles (tbc)
- Grantown Show – traditional Scottish show day (11 Aug)
- Cairngorm Farmers Market – showcase of locally-produced food and drink (First Sunday of every month except June (12 June), also at Thunder in the Glens on Sat 27 Aug)
- Truck In 2 Grantown – Trucks and lorries and all things commercial (May)
The River Spey is within walking distance and one of Scotland’s big four salmon rivers attracting people all over the world. Anglers are often seen in thigh high waders standing far out in the current.
There are some lovely walks nearby, including the Speyside Way. A popular choice locally is the Anagach Woods which is community-owned. This also takes you on a section of the Spey riverbank.
The walk starts at the square, although you may be able to drive a little closer to the start.
On the east side opposite the Co-op , turn into Forrest Road, Look out for the sign The Speyside Way, River Spey and Anagach Woods. Once on the walk, look for the Scots pines and you may spot a rare Capercaille, usually described as looking a bit like turkeys!
Look out also for red squirrels especially on the feeders. Dogs must be kept under control and always stick to the main paths. The Anagach walk takes roughly three hours to complete.
There is also a purpose-built cycle track.
Further informationW: https://grantownonline.com/
Travel itinerary plannerRather than give you a fixed trip itinerary, here you’ll find details of nearby attractions and links (tags) to help you find activities similar to those at this location. Use this information to help you plan your stay without missing a thing.
- Distance from Forres: 22 miles
- Postcode: PH26 3EF
- What3words: tightest.cunning.inclined
- What’s nearby: Aviemore, Loch Morlich, Rothiemurchus Estate, cairngorm mountain ski resort
- Tags: Waymarked walks, birdwatching, cycling, golf, history, mountain biking, nature, shopping (all areas)