A NEW whisky festival is to be launched to help celebrate the established Highland Whisky Trail.

The Highland Whisky Festival is a celebration of the region’s finest distilleries on the North Coast 500 route.

Each of the eight distilleries along the the established Highland Whisky Trail will host an open day with exclusive events and tastings.

It comes after the Highlands and Islands were named as one of Lonely Planet’s top 10 Best in Travel destinations for 2019. The travel guide described the region as “one of the wildest, least inhabited and most scenic parts of Europe” and “one of the last corners of Europe where you can discover genuine solitude”, placing it in fifth place on their list.

The Highland Whisky Festival will be held between the 10 and 17 May, with the Balblair, Clynelish, Glenmorangie, Old Pulteney, The Dalmore, The Singleton of Glen Ord, Tomatin and Wolfburn distilleries offering a series of exclusive tastings, tours and events.