Walk The Speyside Way, Dava Way and Moray Coast Trail - a Cicerone guide

Cover of The Speyside Way
Available as eBook
12 Nov 2010
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.4cm
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The Speyside Way

by Alan Castle
Book published by Cicerone Press

The Speyside Way long-distance trail runs for 66 miles beside the river Spey from Aviemore to Buckie on the Moray coast. The connecting Dava Way and Moray Coast Trail are also described, and can be walked in their own right or linked to create a longer walk. Includes information for mountain bikers who can tackle most of the routes described.

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The River Spey, famed both for its salmon and for its distilleries, flows almost a hundred miles, from the Monadhliath Mountains, past the Cairngorms to the Moray Firth.

The Speyside Way official long-distance trail, offers easy walking on good paths and along disused railway lines. It runs for 66 miles from Aviemore to the old port of Buckie on the Moray coast, together with a 20-mile extension back to Newtonmore it makes a perfect easy week’s walk. Experienced walkers will also be able to reach the source of the river to follow it all the way downstream on various good routes.

This guidebook also describes routes to the source of the Spey and linking routes to other official trails – the Dava Way and the Moray Coast Trail.

Many sections of the three trails are also suitable for mountain bikes and information for cyclists is also included.

  • full descriptions of the three long distance trails in the Moray region: the Speyside Way, Dava Way and Moray Coast Trail, as well as a combination of the 3 - the Moray Way
  • extra information for mountain bikers, who can tackle most of the routes described
  • background information about the many world-renowned whisky distilleries passed along the way
  • Seasons
    The Speyside Way is suitable in all seasons, apart from Prologue which is unsafe in winter except for experienced backpackers; late spring and early autumn particularly good; limited facilities in winter for most locations visited
  • Centres
    Newtonmore, Kingussie, Aviemore, Grantown-on-Spey, Aberlour, Craigellachie, Fochabers, Tomintoul, Dufftown, Forres, Findhorn, Burghead, Lossiemouth, Findochty, Cullen. Also Spean Bridge, Roy Bridge, Fort Augustus
  • Difficulty
    generally easy and well waymarked trails suitable for walkers of most abilities; Prologue routes are recommended for experienced and well equipped walkers only as they are not waymarked and include trackless routes over remote country
  • Must See
    The Speyside Way, Dava Way, Moray Coast Trail and Moray Way plus wilderness trails to source of Spey; numerous whisky distilleries, disused railway tracks and heritage railways, broad strath of Speyside, scenic coastal fishing settlements and abundant wildlife


November 2010

The author thanks Norman Thompson, Chairman of the Moray Way Association, for the following updates:

pg. 2, 124 & 220: Tamdhu distillery has been mothballed by its present owners, the Edrington Group and the distillery is to be sold.

pg.13 & 188: The British Government announced in October 2010 the impending closure of RAF Kinloss.

pg. 30, 33, 45, 124 & 217: The Speyside Way Ranger Service has been renamed the Moray Council Countryside Service, and covers all of the Moray Way.

pg. 40 & 219: The scale of the Walkers’ map of the Moray Way is 1:80,000, not 1:70,000 as stated in the guidebook.

pg. 168 & 178: ‘Squirrel Neck Bridge’ should read “Squirrelneuk Bridge”.



The official trails of Speyside and Moray           
The routes in this guide
The River Spey           
When to walk
Which direction to walk
Suggested longer routes           
Suggested day walks
Mountainbiking and horse riding           
Getting there           
Public transport
Campsites and wild camping           
Tourist information
What to take           
Navigation and waymarking           
Walking in Scotland           
Using this guide           

THE SPEYSIDE WAY – Source to sea           

Roybridge, Spean Bridge or Fort Augustus to Newtonmore

The Badenoch Way and links
Newtonmore to Aviemore

The Speyside Way
Stage 1  Aviemore to Boat of Garten
Stage 2  Boat of Garten to Nethy Bridge
Stage 3  Nethy Bridge to Grantown-on-Spey
Stage 4  Grantown-on-Spey to Cromdale
Stage 5  Cromdale to Ballindalloch station
Stage 6  Ballindalloch station to Aberlour
Stage 7  Aberlour to Craigellachie
Stage 8  Craigellachie to Fochabers
Stage 9  Fochabers to Spey Bay
Stage 10  Spey Bay to Buckie

Tomintoul Spur

Dufftown Loop


Grantown-on-Spey to Forres


Forres to Cullen


Appendix A  Route summary table
Appendix B  Useful contacts
Appendix C  Further reading           
Appendix D  Whisky production and Speyside distilleries


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