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Guidebook to Scotland's Speyside Way, a 66 mile walk which follows the River Spey from Aviemore to Buckie. Divided into 10 stages, which range from 2 to 11 miles, the Speyside Way can be linked to the Dava Way and Moray Coast Trail, which are also described. Includes information on accommodation and a separate booklet of 1:25,000 maps.
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This guidebook describes the Speyside Way, one of Scotland's Great Trails that follows the River Spey for 66 mile (106km) through northern Scotland from Aviemore to the old port of Buckie on the Moray coast. Featuring easy walking on good paths and along disused railway lines, the route can be comfortably completed in a week and is presented in 10 stages of between 2 and 13 miles (3-21km).
The guide also details the recently opened 6½-mile (10.5km) extension to the Speyside Way between Kincraig and Aviemore as well as two alternatives to the main route and routes to the source of the Spey. Also featured are three other trails in the same region which can be combined with the Speyside Way to form a longer trek: the 25 mile (40km) Dava Way, 47 mile (76km) Moray Coast Trail and 12½ mile (20km) Badenoch Way.
Alongside detailed route description, the guide includes background information, local points of interest (including a list of distilleries!), tips on transport and accommodation and recommendations for mountain-bikers and riders, who can follow stretches of the route. A handy booklet containing all the OS 1:25,000 Explorer mapping needed to complete the Speyside Way is located in the back cover sleeve.
The Spey is Scotland's third longest river, famed for its salmon and its distilleries. Rising in the Monadhliath Mountains, it flows through remote glens to the Highland resort of Aviemore, surrounded by the wild Cairngorms. From there, the Speyside Way follows the river's course through the countryside, forests and small towns of Strathspey and Moray to reach its mouth on the Moray Firth and the unique shingle systems at Spey Bay.
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|The official trails of Speyside and Moray|
|The routes in this guidebook|
|The River Spey|
|When to walk|
|Which direction to walk|
|Suggested longer routes|
|Suggested day walks|
|Mountain biking and horse riding|
|Campsites and wild camping|
|What to take|
|Navigation and waymarking|
|Walking in Scotland|
|Using this guide|
|THE SPEYSIDE WAY – SOURCE TO SEA|
|BADENOCH WAY AND LINKS|
|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|
|MORAY COAST TRAIL|
|APPENDIX A Route summary table|
|APPENDIX B Useful contacts|
|APPENDIX C Further reading|
|APPENDIX D Whisky production and Speyside distilleries|
This guidebook contains Ordnance Survey mapping of the entire Speyside Way, the Dava Way, the Moray Coast Trail and the other described trails, with the route of each clearly overlaid. Provided no serious navigational errors are made en route, or long detours from the Way are envisaged, then this is the only mapping that is required to walk the trails. However, many walkers will want to carry some general maps of the area in order to identify interesting landscape features along the way and to locate off-route places of interest. They will also be useful if you have to divert from the line of the trail to secure a night's accommodation.
For the Speyside Way the best strip map (showing at least a mile either side of the route) is the excellent one published by Footprint (see Appendix C). The route of the Speyside Way from Aviemore to Buckie, as well as the spur from Tomintoul, the Dufftown routes and the Badenoch Way, are all included on one sheet at a scale of 1:45,000. An alternative strip map is published by Harvey Maps at a scale of 1:40,000. This is a metric map printed on tough waterproof material and is GPS compatible (but does not mark the Dufftown routes or the Badenoch Way). This map, updated in 2015, includes the recently opened extension from Kincraig to Aviemore.
If more area either side of the trail is required, then the relevant OS maps are the ones to acquire, either at 1:50,000 scale (the Landranger series) or at 1:25,000 scale (Explorer maps).
For those who wish to follow an unofficial route from the source of the Spey to the official start of the Speyside Way at Aviemore, additional maps will be required, either Landranger 34 (Fort Augustus) and 35 (Kingussie & Monadhliath Mountains) (the latter map also covers the Badenoch Way), or Explorer maps 401 (Loch Laggan & Creag Meagaidh) and 402 (Badenoch & Upper Strathspey), and possibly, depending on exact route, Explorer sheet 400 (Loch Lochy & Glen Roy).
Landranger maps 36 (Grantown & Aviemore) and 27 (Nairn & Forres) are required to cover the entire length of the Dava Way, but all but the first mile of the route from Grantown-on-Spey is covered by sheet 27. The corresponding Explorer maps for the Dava Way are sheets 419 (Grantown-on-Spey & Hills of Cromdale) and 423 (Elgin, Forres & Lossiemouth). (An appreciable length of the Way is also shown on Explorer sheet 418 (Lochindorb, Grantown-on-Spey & Carrbridge), although there is no part of it that is not also covered by sheet 419.)
The Moray Coast Trail laps over three Landranger maps, 27 (Nairn & Forres), 28 (Elgin & Dufftown) and 29 (Banff & Huntly). Over three quarters of the trail is covered by Sheet 28, which overlaps Sheet 29, such that the latter is only necessary for the last ½ mile into Cullen at the eastern end of the route. The Explorer alternatives are 423 (Elgin, Forres & Lossiemouth), 424 (Buckie & Keith) and 425 (Huntly & Cullen).
The Moray Way requires either Landranger maps 36 (Grantown & Aviemore), 27 (Nairn & Forres) and 28 (Elgin & Dufftown) or Explorer maps 419 (Grantown-on-Spey & Hills of Cromdale), 423 (Elgin, Forres & Lossiemouth) and 424 (Buckie & Keith). The Moray Way Association has produced a comprehensive map at 1:80,000 scale that covers the entire Moray Way in significant detail (see Appendix C).