On the whisky trail: a weekend of wee drams in Moray Speyside, Scotland

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The region between the Cairngorms and the Moray Firth is rightly famous for its whisky, but that is just one of its many charms

The world outside my sleeper-train compartment was black and white: trees with feather-like branches silhouetted against snowy fields; the grey stretch of the A9 and then the sleek steel of a river; white candy-floss clouds against an ever paler sky.

By the time I was in my hire car, driving east from Inverness, colour was slowly returning to the landscape, though the hills beneath the milky sun were still cloaked in snow. I was heading for Moray Speyside, edged by the Cairngorms in the south and the wide Moray Firth in the north. Over the course of my weekend, the water of the latter dipped in and out of view, while the mountains remained tantalisingly distant.

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