Two weeks from now, I’ll be on a flight headed for Scotland. While you all know about my plans to WWOOF while I’m there, that’s only part of the story. WWOOFing gives me a chance to stay in one place and get to know the local culture in Moray, but let’s face it—I’m also gonna be a tourist!
When I was in junior high, I was addicted to the Stonewycke series, which is probably what fanned the flame of the then-dormant love of Scotland in my adolescent little heart. Stonewycke itself is fictional, but a map in the first book showed it approximately where the arrow’s pointing in this Google map of Moray:
Despite this being my fourth visit to Scotland, it’ll be my first to take in the area whose fictionalized soil started this whole obsession. If only I had a horse to ride through the moors! And any horseback riding skills at all!
But What’s There to Do?
I know I’ve made it sound like all I plan to do is volunteer on this farm, but primarily, I’m going to be soaking in this area as a tourist. Yes, I’ll be caring for sheep and working in the gardens, but in the many hours and weekends free, there’s plenty to keep my nerddom entertained. I don’t like planning out my trips too much before I go somewhere, so this list is about as planned-out as I get. I think it’ll do. 🙂
The Moray-Speyside Tourism website has a list of distilleries in the county, proving why Visit Scotland calls this part of the country its Malt Whiskey Trail. My favorite Scotch is Macallan 10, so you can bet I’ll be dropping by to see where it’s made. (If also unable to afford to buy anything there.) Besides, why wouldn’t I try to visit distilleries if I get to ride the charming Keith & Dufftown Railway?
Spinning and Textiles
Have I mentioned I like to knit? Or that I’m interested in how textiles are made? This is why I don’t get many dates (#im97). From the Moray Textile Project, to Ewe Can Too, to Three Bags Wool, Moray-Speyside has me all taken care of. Plus, one of the benefits of spending time with a local family is that they’ll be able to share the hidden gems I wouldn’t otherwise know about!
Just like with spinning and textiles, staying local will hopefully connect me with some Gaelic-speakers in the area. It’s not the main focus of my visit, but any time I’m in Scotland, I’ve got my ear out for Gaelic.
Moray is home to Balmoral Castle. I’ll just leave it at that.
I hate running. But walking? I could do it all day. In fact, I have done it all day, for several days at a time. Moray-Speyside has some great nature walks, none of which I’ll be taking from start to finish, but all of which I hope to spend a little time on. I mean, who wouldn’t want to spend as much time as they could on a trail like this?