5 Days Of Food, Drink And Culture On The SnowRoads

With five days on the SnowRoads, you can experience all the food, drink, and cultural highlights the Highlands has to offer, from the farming estates of Royal Deeside to the whisky stills of Speyside. 

The places you’ll discover along the SnowRoads are home to numerous industries that have shaped the cultural and physical landscape. Cattle farming, for one, gave rise to the Cateran Trail, a walking route once used to move farm animals to new grazing spots during the Middle Ages. Walk the trail today, however, and you’ll find droves of artists, cooks, makers, designers, and more, taking daily inspiration from the surrounding scenery, nature, and history. 

Many of the villages and towns along the SnowRoads hold fascinating stories you can learn about at various events, exhibitions, and markets year-round. We’ve highlighted some of them in this blog, along with places to refuel, so you can restore your energy levels with delectable Highland produce. Ready to start exploring?


The southern entrance to the SnowRoads is famed as the biggest berry-producing region in Scotland. Various farm shops sell local produce freshly picked from the fields. 

Sample them for yourself at Blairgowrie’s local market in Wellmeadow, the town centre’s green space, which occurs every Saturday between April and September. Nearby, Alyth Craft Tourism offers a chance to learn about local crafts, such as willow weaving, pottery and much more. 

En route to Braemar, make sure to stop off at Persie Distillery for a tour and to taste their range of delightful gins.   

The Blairgowrie community / farmers market.

Braemar Chocolate Shop Delights


Drop into the Braemar to explore local shops, or visit Lamont Sporrans to find out if your family has its own unique Scottish tartan fabric.

In the centre of the village is St Margaret’s, an A-listed building of historic and architectural importance. Since 2015, the Community Trust has been busy restoring the building to house a full programme of concerts, performances, and exhibitions alongside a permanent heritage display. Close by, you’ll also find the Braemar Highland Games Centre, home of the world’s most prestigious Highland Games. Featuring athletics, Scottish dancing, food, and more, this annual event typically has royals in attendance.

Fuel up with delicious pastries, baked goods or a light lunch (or all three!) from Hazelnut Pâtisserie or indulge in some award winning chocolates from the Braemar Chocolate Shop. Or you might want to treat your taste buds to a five-star dining experience at The Fife Arms, a boutique hotel celebrating Scottish culture. Guests and non-guests alike can also book various unique experiences, such as tartan designing, pony picnics, foraging, wild swimming, guided hikes, and more. 


As you travel to Ballater, you might even catch the royal wave as you pass cars along the route. It’s not uncommon to see members of the royal family, who reside at Balmoral Castle between August and September, out and about. 

Luckily, if your luck’s not in, you can get your regal fix elsewhere. Head to Balmoral Castle café, and the Royal Lochnagar distillery, which gets its name from the local mountain that gained royal status following a visit from Queen Victoria in 1848. Here, you can discover how Scottish whisky is made and enjoy a dram of a 12-year-old single Highland malt at the end of the tour.

Image: Fish Shop Ballater

In the heart of the town, you’ll also find the Fish Shop Restaurant and Fishmongers – which serves the freshest locally caught seafood – as well as the inviting Balmoral Arms Hotel to catch a few winks.

The Whisky Castle in Tomintoul


Numerous locally owned shops and attractions are located in the picturesque village of Tomintoul. The Whisky Castle, sells a host of favourite whiskies and conducts tasting sessions, too!

Just a stone’s throw away, you’ll find many of the region’s world-famous distilleries, including The Glenlivet, which sits on the Malt Whisky Trail. 

Afterwards, head to the newly refurbished Tomintoul & Glenlivet Discovery Centre to learn about the local agriculture industry.


Just before you enter Grantown, be sure to call into Balmenach Distillery in Cromdale – home of Caorunn Gin, a carefully handcrafted, small-batch gin produced in the Cairngorms. Caorunn, the Gaelic word for rowan berry, forms the soul of the gin. Tours happen twice daily but book ahead to avoid disappointment. 

Home of Caorunn Gin

Between Wednesday and Sunday, visit KJ’s Bothy Bakery to grab a cinnamon bun and other mouthwatering baked goods from world-renowned Kiwi chef and baker Kirsten Gilmour. 

In Grantown’s centre, Spey Bank Studio offers a ceramic painting studio and The Pagoda hosts a range of community events. 

After your epic adventures, check into the Grant Arms Hotel, located in the town centre, for an evening of relaxation among hearty highland decor.

Throughout the route, take a moment’s pause at the three art installations you’ll find along the way. Admire the artistry at Still, the Watchers, and Connecting Contours, and don’t forget to snap a few shots of the awe-inspiring mountain views offered at all three locations!

Uncover wild landscapes, historic tales, grand days out and more.

#VisitCairngorms to join locals and visitors on their own journey of discovery!

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