How to embrace the outdoors during a period of social distancing 

During the current situation of social distancing and working from home, getting outdoors where possible to embrace the summer weather can do your wellbeing the world of good. And with the increased easing of lockdown, the need to get outside is growing.

Luckily, the Speyside region offers plenty of open, green spaces where you can get outside to enjoy the sunshine and some exercise. Although these are public spaces, they should allow enough room for sensible social distancing so that you can enjoy the fresh air without putting yourself and loved ones at risk.

First up is Brodie Castle Gardens. The National Trust, as part of their bid to allow people access to the outdoors, have opened their gardens and parklands free to the general public amid the coronavirus outbreak. Enjoy the lush, spacious gardens as well as the infamous blooming daffodils that signal spring is officially here – hurrah!

Next on our list is Gordon Castle’s beautiful Walled Garden. Eight acres in size, this gem is hidden along the Moray coast. Its myriad of herbs, cut flowers and fruit and vegetables contained within its ancient walls means this garden captures spring coming to life.

Moving towards the sea we come to the Moray Coastal Trail. The walk from Hopeman to Lossiemouth is particularly beautiful where wildlife and spectacular views can be spotted. It offers a breath of fresh air and is the perfect place to get a bit of exercise. 

Another walk, and one that is easily accessible, is the Speyside Way, a pathway that runs from Buckie to Aviemore. A perfect path to follow is the five kilometer walk from Aberlour to Craigellachie. The path runs adjacent to the Spey River where you can view the iconic Telford Bridge and regularly spot salmon jumping from the river. 

Finally, a great spot to enjoy some outdoor space is Packhorse Bridge. This truly picturesque structure spans the Livet at Bridgend of the Glenlivet estate. Only two arches of the bridge have survived – the third was ripped away by floodwater during the great “Muckle Spate” of 1829. No-one knows exactly how old the bridge is, but it’s likely to have been built at the same time as nearby Blairfindy Castle during the 16th Century. Why not enjoy the changing seasons whilst adding a bit of history into the mix?

So, with the safety of yourself and others first, we hope you enjoy exploring the outdoors along The Malt Whisky Trail this summer. Slainte!