There are several top quality golf courses within an easy drive of the village.
Try the hilly and challenging 18 hole course at Dufftown or the nearby 9 hole at Rothes.
A short distance further and you will find the championship Elgin Golf Club. The picturesque Ballindalloch Castle Golf Course is just a few miles to the south on the Grantown road.
The Forestry Commission have recently opened Moray Monster Trails, 30km of fun-packed single track mountain bike routes for every one from beginners through to experts. The routes on nearby Ben Aigan include sustained Red and Black grade routes with a big hill feel. The routes are accessed from the car park off the A95 near Mulben, where a leaflet about the Monster Trails and other Forestry Commission events and amenities can be picked up. Further information is available from: www.moraymountainbikeclub.co.uk
The swimming pool at Speyside High School/Community Centre is available for locals and visitors to use, and has sessions for women only and play sessions for children in the School Holidays. Carpet Bowls and Badminton are also available at the Centre. Telephone 01340 871 641 to make bookings and check opening times.
The nearby Glenlivet Crown Estate is host to a wide range of outdoor pursuits. Clay Pigeon Shooting, Skiing, Horse Riding and a Reindeer Safari are all available at different times of the year. A free leaflet gives more information about the estate, the website can be found at: www.glenlivetestate.co.uk or the Ranger Service can be contacted on 01807 580 283.
The Speyside Way
The Speyside Way links Buckie (on the Moray coast) with Aviemore, a total distance of 80 miles. You don’t have to walk the full 80 miles to enjoy the Speyside Way as car parks and bus stops at many points along the route give access to shorter walks.
The Speyside Way Visitor Centre, located in an extension to the old railway station in Aberlour, makes the Speyside Way come alive for visitors of all ages and nationalities. A view from a helicopter flying the length of the Spey is amongst the range of films you can enjoy. There is also a large 3D model of the Speyside area, to help you get your bearings. For younger visitors there are hands on displays and information and more importantly, swings and a slide in the park outside! The touch screen link to local weather forecasts is essential for planning your day.
The Visitor Centre is behind the Church in the Square and is open from May to October, seven days a week. There is a car park nearby, at the Victoria Bridge. The latest information on Visitor Centre opening times, etc., can be found on www.speysideway.org or telephone 01340 881266.
Public Toilets are located at the rear of the Speyside Way Visitor Centre and in the car park by the Fiddich river in Craigellachie, both with RADAR key wheelchair accessible toilet.
Aberlour is surrounded by paths, ranging from gentle strolls along the old railway line to more strenuous climbs up Ben Rinnes and Ben Aigen. Many are accessible for wheelchairs and children’s buggies – up to date information on this is available from the Speyside Way Rangers. Wild flowers, mosses and beautiful silvery green lichens grow along the paths in profusion, and the dark trunks of the trees and hedgerows near the distilleries are a striking demonstration of the high alcohol content of the atmosphere – breathe deeply!
Linn of Ruthrie (Known locally as the Linn Falls) (4.5km/2 miles round trip)
Start from the car park by the Victoria Bridge. Walk from the information board towards the small bridge over the Lour Burn. Take the path on the left just before the bridge and walk upstream, past the old pack horse bridge. Carefully cross the A95 and continue upstream. The Aberlour Distillery can be seen on the opposite side of the burn. Above the Linn (Falls) continue up the path, taking the branch to the left at the fork and, after a rest on the bench, choose between the signposted route to the right which takes you on to Glenallachie and the path to the left which takes you back to Aberlour via Chapel Terrace, down to Queen’s Road and into the Square.
Aberlour to Dufftown
(4 miles/7km, round trip via Craigellachie 11 miles/18km). From the Square walk up Queen’s Road, up Chapel Brae, left into Allachie Drive where the right of way is signposted. Return the same route or by the Speyside Way via Craigellachie. There is also a bus (336 Stagecoach Bluebird) from Dufftown to Aberlour. Strong footwear is recommended. A short section at the Dufftown end can be muddy.
Glenallachie Circuit (3miles/4.5km)
This walk is mainly along quiet roads and has fine views on both legs of the route. Follow the Dufftown Walk as far as Allachie Drive then uphill along the road past Fairy Knowe, then a short section of track adjacent to Birkenbush Farm. Turn right on reaching the farm approach and join a minor road leading to the road junction opposite the Glenallachie Distillery. Take the right hand road back to Aberlour. This road (Ruthrie Road) joins the A95 just above Aberlour Distillery.
Ben Rinnes is Moray’s most distinctive Corbett (a peak between 2,500ft and 3,000ft.). A fairly strenuous walk along the path up the Ben rewards you with views across Speyside and, on a clear day, to the Moray coast. From Aberlour head south on A95 then left to Edinvillie and on towards the B9009 Dufftown to Glenlivet road. There is parking in a lay-by on the right, 400 yards from the B9009 junction. The Ben is then accessed via a gateway where there are leaflets and a donation box for the Friends of Ben Rinnes.
Archiestown (2 miles/3km one way)
This walk can be done uphill, starting in the Victoria Bridge car park in Aberlour and ending in Archiestown or in a more relaxed way if started in Archiestown. Buses run between Aberlour and Archiestown for the return journey. Cross the Spey by the Victoria Bridge (built in 1902) and take the track uphill to the left. At Laundry Cottage follow the road uphill to the right. At the T junction at the top of the hill take the left turn, signposted to Archiestown. Follow the route up to the B9102 road and on into Archiestown. Once in Archiestown there are a number of signposted walks starting from the village car park.
A shorter, circular, scenic route can be made by crossing the Victoria Bridge from Aberlour and walking up the road to the right, past the stone sign to Lower Wester Elchies, carrying on up hill to the crossroads, taking the left, then left again signposted down to Aberlour, arriving back at the bridge.
Walks from Archiestown
Archiestown Village Walk (1.5km) With your back to the main street, turn right out of the car park and walk along North Lane, then left up the path, signposted “Village Walk”. Follow the path to the bench at the viewpoint, looking towards the Conval hills, Ben Rinnes and Craig an Tarmachain on the Cromdale Hills. Carry on along the path, turn left towards the village square then back along either the High Street or North Lane to the car park.
Short Forest Circular Walk (3km) (purple route) This route leaves the “Village Walk” at the top of the hill, through a gate into the wood. The route is clear to follow, crossing straight over a forestry road at one point – look for the route marker on the opposite side of the road. The path then comes out onto another forestry road. Turn left onto this road, then right onto the road you crossed earlier. The route can be completed by turning left immediately after the house and retracing your steps on the Village Walk or by following the Village Walk straight on into the village square and back along the High Street.
Red Circular Walk (3.5km) (Part is on a road, with no footpath so may not be suitable for dogs, children). Follow the short Forest Circular Walk as far as the point where it crosses the forestry road then follow the red markers. The walk ends in Archiestown.
Cairn Cattoch Walk (6-9km) (Yellow Route). This route follows forest roads all the way except for a short section of heather at the summit.
The blend of the river valley, woodland and moorland habitats in the Aberlour area provides a home for many species of birds and animals.
Around 60 species of birds breed in the area, and a further 40 or so species can be seen at different times of the year. Look or listen for grasshopper warblers, long-eared owls and hen harriers. Many animals live here too, including rare species such as the wild cat and pine marten. Moorlands, conifer plantations and broad leaved woodlands provide a habitat for more common species such as roe and red deer, badger, fox, bats and red squirrel. The whole length of the River Spey is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest on account of its populations of Atlantic salmon, sea lamprey, otter and fresh water pearl mussels.