Speyside Centre started as Skye Landscapes in 1972 when David, Betty and their two young sons Craig and Iain came north after David decided to leave his job as a landscape drawing officer for Glasgow City Council and set up his own business after falling in love with the area during numerous visits.
They lived in a caravan for three years and David carried out some landscape work until he was able to buy the Skye of Curr plot where he set up shop with Betty. At the time Iain was only two years old and Craig had almost turned four.
David had a passion for Scotlands famous heather plants and propagated them on site for sale while Betty set up a small Tearoom, one table and two benches, probably the smallest tearoom in Scotland! Visitors started to ask for other plant material so the leap was taken to create a small plant centre, which expanded to become ‘The Speyside Heather Centre’.
Over the years the family gradually added to and improved the facilities to make the Centre more interesting, extending the catering facilities, specialising in Scotlands traditional pudding, Clootie Dumpling, made to ‘Big Al’ , Bettys Fathers own recipe, as well as adding a unique ‘Heather Exhibition’ showcasing the diverse uses of this iconic plant throughout history and eventually attracted 80,000 visitors per year.
The Centre was devastated by a fire on the 29th of April 2016.
Since then the family have battled many obstacles to reinstate a Centre they hoped would be worth visiting again and in the Spring of 2020 the doors of the new Centre opened, albeit for six hours until news of the lockdown due to Covid 19 filtered through.
Thankfully we were able to open our doors again very recently and the Story continues 😊 …………