Scotland is synonymous with two cereal crops: oats and barley. Oats have long formed a critical part of the Scots’ diet, and porridge and oatcakes are still hugely popular; barley, is critical for distilling and is also used to feed animals. Wheat is widely grown as well and usually milled for flour.

Most cereal production takes place on the rich, flat lands of Scotland’s east coast, where the soil is more likely to drain after heavy rain and crops can be harvested more easily.

Byres Farm, Moray


Byres is a mixed arable and livestock farm on the banks of one of Scotland’s finest salmon rivers, the Spey.

It is here that the Smiths grow malting barley specially for the Glenlivet Distillery, and they welcome visitors to see where the Scotch whisky story begins: in the field. Byres Farm whisky tours take visitors to see the barley crop, hear how it is grown, see the machinery used to sow and harvest it and, most importantly, taste it! The tour works very well ahead of any planned distillery visits. 

General farm tours take guests further into the farm to meet the livestock as well. The farm caters for adult-only, family and specialised tours for children (with farm activities and crafts). Self-guided walks are also available. 

Byres Farm