On those cold wintry days when the rain is lashing against the window, you don’t need to hibernate at home – there are plenty of interesting things to do indoors in the Greater Speyside area. Whether you’re a local or on holiday, here are some ideas for escaping wintry showers and staying warm on chilly days.
A Swim Lunch
The Golf View Hotel in Nairn overlooks beautiful Nairn Beach and offers sweeping views of the Moray Firth. Their ‘dip and dine‘ package, £15, allows you to use the lovely swimming pool, as well as facilities such as the steam room, jacuzzi and steam room, followed by a light lunch in the conservatory restaurant. What better way to warm up a dreich (Scottish word for cold, wet) day than sitting in the outdoor jacuzzi, looking out at the Moray Firth?
The Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness and the Macdonald Aviemore Resort also offer Swim Lunch packages, perfect for family fun on a rainy winter’s day. A swim and a two course lunch at the Kingsmills Hotel costs £17 for adults and £9.50 for children, and over in Aviemore the Swim Lunch at the Macdonald Resort costs £15 for adults and £10 for children.
A Whisky Tour
Glenfiddich Distillery not only offers a free distillery tour but also has a Visitor’s Centre and a fantastic restaurant in which you could while away a rainy afternoon. The distillery is open weekdays throughout winter, 9.30am to 4.30pm (closed from 21st December to 1st January) and there are three tours from which to choose, including the free Classic Tour.
The Malt Barn Restaurant, with its roaring log fire, is an ideal place to enjoy a hot chocolate and home-baking or lunch after your tour, or you can enjoy warming drams of whisky in its bar.
An Art Gallery
The beautiful 18th century Duff House in Banff is another great place to head on a bleak midwinter’s day. Designed by the Scottish architect William Adam, the grand country house is now an art gallery, with a number of events and exhibitions throughout the year. Over the winter months (until 31st March) Duff House is open Thursday to Sunday, 11am to 4pm.
As well as the permanent collections on display, you can also currently enjoy an exhibition by Ruth Nicol entitled ‘Three Rivers Meet‘, until 2nd January 2015, which portrays the landscapes of seven Scottish poets. There is a series of winter talks held every Thursday at 2pm in the Long Gallery, which costs £4.40, including a special Valentine’s talk on 12th February 2015 by Rachel Kennedy.
After exploring the house and its collections head to its tearoom for a light lunch or refreshment.
The Moray Arts Centre in Findhorn, closed on Mondays, also houses an interesting gallery of work by local artists, as well as international exhibitions. For a tea or coffee afterwards, head to the nearby Blue Angel Cafe – the cafe serves local and organic food and drink, and has an exhibition of local art work adorning the walls.