A tranquil highland retreat on the Speyside Way
Ballin Dhu at Cragganmore is a cosy and peaceful highland escape nestled on the banks of the River Spey and sitting directly on the Speyside Way walking route. Since opening its doors in autumn 2021, the lodge has rapidly become a favourite for family vacations, romantic getaways, friends enjoying outdoor activities and many other special occasions. The property and its surroundings are beautiful in any season, whether it's watching spring burst back to life, during the warmer summer months, amidst autumn colours, or on a clear frosty winter's day with the snow-covered Ben Rinnes mountain overlooking the valley. Whatever the time of year you will find Ballin Dhu provides comfortable and characterful accommodation for up to 6 guests.
Within the lodge guests can unwind in the open plan downstairs in front of the modern wood-burning stove. The space is thoughtfully decorated to reflect the railway and whisky heritage of the area; Ballin Dhu sits on a former railway siding where barley was offloaded prior to being carted by horse up the hill to Cragganmore Distillery.
Upstairs is all about a good night's sleep after your day's activities. There is a super king size bedroom complete with ensuite bathroom, plus a double bedroom. There is further sleeping accommodation in the twin bedroom on the ground floor. All rooms have good quality beds and bedding to help make your stay as restful as possible.
There is central heating throughout, a well-equipped kitchen, free wifi, television in every room, and ample amenities to cater for all of your holiday needs. You can even ask amazon echo to turn up the heating, play your music via bluetooth, or for a local weather forecast. Please contact me if you think you require something that doesn't appear on the amenities list, and I'll do all I can to try to accommodate your request.
The property sits within its own garden grounds, including a driveway for up to 3 cars. If al fresco cooking is your thing, there's a family-sized charcoal BBQ and outdoor seating area. The garden is fully fenced, making it ideal for children and dogs. Pets are welcome by arrangement, and there is plenty opportunity for beautiful riverside walks on the doorstep. The gate at the bottom of the garden opens straight onto the Speyside Way and guests can turn right towards Aberlour or left towards Grantown-on-Spey on foot or bicycle. Take time to look around and you stand a good chance of spotting plenty of local wildlife, including red squirrels, otters, jumping salmon, deer, hares and rabbits, and many species of birds and birds of prey.
The large covered porch, complete with bistro set and a swing chair is perfect for relaxing with views down to the River Spey and along to the the old 1863 railway bridge, now a foot bridge. There is also a covered balcony upstairs off the master bedroom where the outlook can be enjoyed in privacy with comfortable seating for two.
Out and About
The immediate area is great for walking, running, cycling, canoeing and fishing. Venturing slightly further afield you're within easy reach of the Highland Capital Inverness, The Lecht and Aviemore for winter sports and the reindeer on Cairngorm Mountain, Glenlivet Estate for mountain bike trails, or the wildlife and unique habitat of Abernethy forest (a base for BBC's Springwatch). There are quality golf courses dotted throughout Speyside and all along the Moray coast. If whisky is your thing, then you're at the heart of the Speyside malt whisky trail, with many distilleries and visitor centres. Ballin Dhu is also on the doorstep of the North East 250 route, described as 'The ultimate road trip to the heart of Scotland'.
I have spent many a happy time at Ballin Dhu, and I hope you do too!
Your host, Lorna