It’s hard not to be inspired by your surroundings as you traverse The Malt Whisky Trail, and you’re certainly not alone. Moray Speyside’s rich cultural tapestry has been woven over the centuries, and it was left a diverse legacy which is not to be missed. From thumping traditional music to a thriving visual arts scene, Scottish culture comes to the fore along The Malt Whisky Trail.
Music, dance, and theatre
There are a myriad of venues to enjoy the full gamut of Scotland’s music scene along The Malt Whisky Trail. In Findhorn, near the Benromach distillery, the Universal Hall plays host to large musical concerts, as well as set-piece events like the renowned ‘Rise’ festival of contemporary dance.
In Elgin, near the Glen Moray distillery, The Drouthy Cobbler is a venue for an array of traditional music acts, small theatre productions, as well as hugely popular monthly comedy club which attracts some of the biggest names on the Scottish circuit.
Further south in Speyside, the villages of Dufftown, Rothes, and Aberlour regularly host local ceilidhs (traditional Scottish dances and community gatherings), which offer an authentic insight into a centuries’ old way to party.
Discover local art
It’s no surprise that the landscape of The Malt Whisky Trail has compelled countless artists to respond to the beauty of the countryside and its people.
On the road from the Cardhu distillery to Forres lies Logie Steading, a collection of independent shops, craft showrooms, and small art galleries featuring fantastic local creations.
Further north, in Findhorn, is the Moray Art Centre. The unique, modern building hosts art classes, artists’ studios, and a rotating programme of contemporary exhibitions.
Further south, the gallery at Aberlour is a favourite spot for fantastic local art inspired by the landscape of the River Spey.
Meet the real Macbeth
The Malt Whisky Trail is home to one of the first towns mentioned in Shakespeare’s Macbeth – the historic town of Forres at the top of The Trail. Here there are the remains of a large hill-fort on Cluny Hill in Grant Park, widely thought to be one of the real King Macbeth’s fortifications. Nearby Sueno’s Stone is the tallest carved stone monument in Scotland from the Pictish period, and it would have stood here when Macbeth ruled Moray. Perhaps Macbeth and his war band gathered at this point before going to Pitgaveny to confront King Duncan.