The Glenlivet Estate lies off the infamous ‘Tomintoul’ road between Braemar and Grantown-on-Spey – Infamous for being the road in Scotland most often closed due to snow.
From the village of Tomintoul itself you head North East up either the B9008 or the B9136 towards the village of Glenlivet. This is the upper Spey valley – a world of fertile valleys, upland heather moor and whisky distilleries, lots and lots of whisky distilleries (about 15 just within this small area).
There are also bike trails on the Glenlivet Estate. Apparently they are building some singletrack mountain bike trails there but for now it’s just waymarked loops on estate roads with small touches of singletrack path – the riding is not very exciting but it’s the best way of exploring the landscape (as the paths would be really dull to walk). We choose a 20km route which had a bit of climbing and the highest % of off-road.
Mid-way though the ride there was a ‘spur’ marked to the ‘Scalan Seminary’. We had no idea what that was but the weather was good and the riding easy so we went to explore.
It was the strangest place. Totally off the road network, surrounded by grazing sheep, and not a person to be found, but a sign saying ‘Scalan College 1716-1799’ and ‘open’. We looked inside and found a whole little exhibition about the place with leaflets for sale… in the absolute middle of nowhere. You can read all about it here, it’s a fascinating place with an amazing history – what a hidden gem!