Epic Oldmeldrum Facts
Oldmeldrum also known as Meldrum translates in Gaelic to ‘Meal-drum’ and this is how many of the locals still pronounce it. It means ‘a ridge’ which seems legitimate seeing as it overlooks the rolling countryside of Aberdeenshire.
Oldmeldrum is a charming little village, 5 miles from Inverurie. My partner advocates for all things Meldrum and many of his family live there, this is how I became a regular visitor. Meldrum is stuck in history but in the most charming way. There are heaps of interesting facts about Oldmeldrum that many of the locals don’t even know. It is rather steeped in culture is Meldrum.
Battle of Barra (Battle of Inverurie) Barra Hill
This was the battle between Robert the Bruce and John Comyn, 3rd Earl of Buchan which took place at Barra Hill in May 1308. The battle is known primarily for being part of the Wars of Scottish Independence; however it was more like a brief civil war. But definitely a little more blood thirsty than the current SNP are at Westminster.
Supposedly King Robert the Bruce wasn’t very well, some speculate it was leprosy. Because of this, his crew were carrying him from A to B because they didn’t have Rainbow City Taxis back then. Bruce’s troops had set up camp in Inverurie.
John Comyn and his boys were settling down in Oldmeldrum. Comyns front force took Bruces camp by total surprise when they marched into Inverurie and cut some of Bruces men down.
Big Rob wasn’t having any of this and so he prepared a counter attack. The counter attack was on Comyns Main Force between Barra Hill and the marshes at Lochter. Comyns guys thought Bruce was too ill to fight, and were taken by completely surprise, and in turn, taken down. Comyn was chased over to Fyvie by Bruces boys but managed to escape to England but died the same year.
Pretty cool huh? You can actually visit Barra Hill although I would advise steering clear at lambing season. He may not be Robert the Bruce but I can imagine the farmer would have you for breakfast. It is uphill all the way, I guess the clue is in the question. Therefore make sure you wear proper shoes and thick trews, unless you want nettle rash.
For directions and further information, check out this link at WalkHighlands:
Lochter Activity Centre
Lochter Opening Times
Monday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Lochter is an epic activity centre on the outskirts of Oldmeldrum. Not only is there the infamous Lochter trout fishery but they also boast a wide range of activities and more recently, weddings! You can even get married on a go kart and I made that part up.
There are a whole host of activities at Lochter. If you are interested in clay pigeon shooting, go karting or even blindfolded off road driving (yes that is a thing) then Lochter is your place. Check out the link below for a full list of activities including prices and package deals.
Lochter Fishery offers rainbow and brown head trout in 3 lochs over 14 acres and 2 bait fishing ponds. One of the lochs is actually in the shape of a leaping trout. If that isn’t dedication then nothing is. They rear all of their fish and keep a close eye on the water conditions. They offer beginner lessons on fly fishing. And I’m totally the target market as I know nothing about fishing for flies.
Lochter New Year
Lochter activity centre also boasts a fabulous Hogmanay party. Enjoy a tasty 3 course meal, sparkling wine and cheese and biscuits at midnight. There is also entertainment all through the night. The party runs from 6.30pm right through till 2.00am. Why not dance your shoes off with a Lochter New Year?
Glen Garioch Distillery
The Glen Garioch distillery in Oldmeldrum was founded in 1797 and is one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland. Glen Garioch takes its name from The Valley of Garioch as it sits right in the valley. This area produces some of the best granary in Scotland therefore it was an obvious choice for a distillery. Us Scots like to make good use of the local crops… The distillery looks very impressive from the outside and it has a very haunting, historical feel to it. The Oldmeldrum distillery brings visitors from all over the world and is of course very popular with the locals.
Aye 2.0’s favourite whisky is the Glen Garioch Founders Reserve as he is a patriot of Oldmeldrum, talk about expensive taste.
If you are looking to check out the best and only Oldmeldrum distillery and perhaps to try the Glen Garioch Founders Reserve then please check out the Glen Garioch website which will provide you with further details.
Meldrum Fish Bar e.g. The Chipper
Opening Times: Monday – Sunday 4.30 – 10pm
Telephone Number: 01651 873063
If you spend even half a day exploring in Oldmeldrum, you will probably need to get yourself some good grub. Meldrum Fish Bar is a cracking wee chippy with reasonable prices and huge portions. In fact, my partners dad often complains that you get ‘too many chips,’ One thing I have never complained about is having too much food.
Good old Meldrum Sports. Meldrum Sports first took place in 1930 and has run every year since. It doesn’t matter about the questionable Oldmeldrum weather even if this results in a complete wash out. This is community spirit at its finest.
Meldrum Sports is very similar to a Highland games. Along with numerous sports competitions, there are lots of stands to cater for the whole family. I will be seeing you wherever there is food. This is a great place to take children to keep them occupied during the Summer holidays. If you happen to be touring Aberdeenshire during the time of the Sports, it is definitely worth a look in. If not for the talented Highland Dancers then for the booze-up afterwards.
Morris’s Hotel (Jocks)
Telephone: 01651 872251
Morris’s Hotel or Jocks is the oldest inhabited building on record in OldMeldrum, built as a Monastery in 1673. It homed a prior Lord Provost, however it is maybe better known for housing guests such as Willie Kemp and George Morris. Both of which were well known traditional, singers. Morris’s Hotel is a lovely little restaurant which serves very warming, tasty meals at very reasonable prices.
Jocks Traditional Pub
Jocks is a bonnie wee bothy style bar and is very cosy and traditional. The staff are more than willing to provide you with a warming dram or a hefty pint or 6. Trust me, I have succumbed to this treatment more than once. There are many, autographed pictures on the walls in Jocks. Are you looking for a traditional Scottish booze in? If so, then Jocks is your place.
The Redgarth Hotel & Restaurant
Telephone: 01651 872353
The Redgarth is a classic house, built in 1928 by a local baker and is now a hotel, restaurant and bar in Oldmeldrum. The Redgarth restaurant is a traditional, elegant little place to visit if you are looking for a romantic meal or if you are celebrating a special occasion. It is one of the more expensive options in Oldmeldrum but you really do get what you pay for. Their menu changes regularly but always fits in well with the beautiful Scottish surroundings and the customer service is second to none. If you are travelling and are looking for somewhere traditional, surrounded by impeccable scenery and utter comfort then the Redgarth is your place.
Oldmeldrum Golf Club
Contact telephone: 01651 872648
There are some brilliant views at Oldmeldrum Golf Club regardless of what time of the year you would like to visit. The famous and back breaking Bennachie sits in the distance, why not aim for the top? Just don’t tell anyone I advised this. There is quite a well known stone on the 14th fairway of the course, apparently the Earl of Buchan (remember him?) lay here groaning after his defeat by Robert the Bruce.
Oldmeldrum may be small but it has balls. Golf balls. Oldmeldrum Golf Club is a historic club, believed to have hosted for over 125 years. This is not just a members on line club, visitors are welcome but it would be worth phoning or visiting their website to book in advance. If you are looking to contact the club, I have included the phone number and a link to their booking site above.
Meldrum House, Country Hotel and Golf Course
Contact telephone: 01651 872294
Meldrum House is a 13th century baronial mansion and estate which boasts a wonderful golf course, 2 Red Rosette Restaurant and traditional cave bar. The hotel has 51 rooms which include The Manor House, The converted Stables and The New Wing which is a new addition to Meldrum House. All of the rooms were designed with a Scottish flare in mind and enjoy decadent, luxurious bathrooms.
Meldrum House is not only a lovely place to rest your head, it is a must-see for the enthusiastic golfer. Meldrum House Golf course is a scenic and perfectly manicured 18 hole course including beautiful water features and bunkers. This is a private member only course however there are packages available for those who wish to play the course and stay in the hotel. Please see the link below,
The hotel has become very well known locally for their wedding packages and it is not hard to see why. The recent addition of the ballroom in the New Wing has become a prime location for larger, more lavish weddings of up to 200 guests. However, Meldrum House can also provide for smaller, cosier weddings in The Stables. As a bride to be, I have checked out the menu and I salivated more than is necessary.