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The local area guide to living in Dalwhinnie
Dalwhinnie is located at the top of Loch Ericht at an altitude of 351m, making it one of the highest villages in Scotland. It has existed since 1700, centred around an inn that facilitated those on the way to the market in Crief. The name Dalwhinnie means 'meeting place' in Gaelic, and refers to the ancient routes of cattle drovers in the mountains. The village is surrounded by some of the most breathtaking mountainous scenery in all of Scotland, and is the ideal setting for some hiking or hillwalking. Ben Alder, a highland enclosed by cliffs and steep slopes, is not too far off, and is a beautiful stroll away from the village. As you can imagine, Dalwhinnie has llively wildlife and venturing along the countryside you can be sure to stumble upon such animals as mountain hares, osprey, red deer, grouse and ptarmigan. With an average annual temperature of 6.6 centigrade, Dalwhinnie is among the freshest of villages in the UK.
The Dalwhinnie Distillery can be found in the village, where the famous Dalwhinnie Single Malt Scotch has hailed from since 1897. At over 1,154 ft over sea level, it is the highest distillery in all of Scotland, and overlooks the flat base of Glentruim. It also has a visitor centre that provides tours all year long, where you get to check out the spirit safe, the bonded warehouse, a map of Highland history and get a general insight into how the malt whisky is distilled. At the end of the tour, visitors are given delicious samples, paired with a specially selected chocolate that complements the liquor.
Information about the local residents
In 1981, it was reported that Dalwhinnie had a population of 119, but now it is home to just 80 residents. The main source of employment is at the distillery and at the railway station. The village itself is quite dispersed demographically, with houses placed conveniently near the railway station, as well as at the junction of the old road. One of the main reasons people decide to live in this scenic village is to experience a truly serene environment, with an incredible countryside like no other. It also has its own village hall.
The one and only school that existed in the village, the Dalwhinnie Primary School, was unfortunately disbanded in 2012, ending a 134 year history. The reason it had to close was because there were only 3 pupils registered at the school, and their parents decided to send them to Newtonmore Primary School instead so that they could integrate with more children. Newtonmore Primary School is only around 10 miles up the road (roughly an 18 minute journey) from Dalwhinnie, so it isn't a far distance to travel. The school offers a wide educational program taught in both English and Gaelic.
Dalwhinnie has its own railway station, with the Inverness and Perth service passing through often. The railway station remains one of the focal points of the village, despite the fragmented structure of the area. The A9 passes through Dalwhinnie and is over an hours drive away from Inverness, and around 2 hours away from both Falkirk and Edinburgh.
The petrol station in the village also serves as a cafe, a shop and a post office but otherwise, the closest supermarkets to Dalwhinnie can be found in Newtonmore where you will find a Co-Op, or in Kingussie where there is a Costcutter. Groceries and all essential needs can be purchased in both, while there are a couple of takeaways in Kingussie, including a traditional fish and chip shop. There is also a hotel in the village that offers bed & breakfast accommodation."
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