Things to see & do in Tomintoul
Tomintoul, located on the Crown Estate of Glenlivet, was planned and built in 1776 by the 4th Duke of Gordon. The Duke's plan can still be seen today in the wide main street and central square but the flax and linen industry which was intended to support the inhabitants never succeeded, perhaps not surprising as Tomintoul lies at a height of 1170 ft. (356m) and is the highest village in the Highlands of Scotland. Located centrally in the Cairngorms National Park, Tomintoul now proudly claims to be the North East gateway to the Park.
The Glenlivet Estate consists of the lower valley of the River Avon (pronounced A'an locally) together with its main tributary, the Livet, which rises to the East in the Ladder Hills. The area is high (for the UK!) and winter snows can last late into the spring, but the high Cairngorms to the South West intercept much of the rain and the area is in fact one of the drier areas of Scotland. This is farming country, principally sheep and beef cattle, but the area is better known for the most successful industry - whisky distilling. The secluded hills provided many secure sites for producing illicit spirit, while the tracks provided quiet routes out of the Glen for a product whose quality drew a steady, if illegal, demand. When distilling was legalised in 1823, George Smith a local farmer, obtained the first licence to set up a distillery on his farm near Minmore. Today the successor of his original distillery has the sole right to call its product "The Glenlivet" and the reputation of whisky produced in the glen extends world-wide.
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