TRAVEL, GIN AND PADDLE BOARDS

West Country company pioneering new type of getaway...

CHIN chin! A pioneering West Country company is standing up to be counted with a new type of holiday getaway.

The Stand Up Paddle Board company and a bespoke Scottish gin producer have joined forces to offer adventure travellers a unique type of Highlands trip – a gin and stand-up paddle boarding micro-adventure.

Devon-based SUP company Red Paddle Co, pioneers in the world of high-quality inflatable boards, have teamed up with Scotland-based gin producer Daffy’s – meaning anyone looking for a quick active, outdoorsy getaway who also has a taste for gin can combine the two.

Daffy’s Strathmashie Distillery, in the grounds of Strathmashie House (Daffy’s husband and wife team, Chris Molyneaux and Mignonne Khazaka, split their time between here and Edinburgh), nestles in the heart of Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands.

Curtained by craggy hills, wild meadows and forests, the region is naturally teeming with lochs and rivers, so makes the perfect base for a spot of SUP, as stand-up paddling’s known.

Visitors take to the nearby Spey River, armed with Red Paddle Co boards and kit, along with local guide Barry Wallace of Wilderness SUP.

Paddlers who opt for the foraging tour will be gathering some of the wild botanicals used in Daffy’s Gin.

Red Paddle Co’s bespoke, lightweight pumps are designed to make inflating the boards as speedy and energy-conserving as possible, while the hardy boards are practically unbreakable on craggy Scottish rocks.

Apart from Lebanese mint, Daffy’s is very much a homegrown concoction, with the region’s bounty of wild herbs and flowers.

The gin is distilled in an ancient copper pot still, and people who book the breaks are shown around the distillery.

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.