Scotland's Great Trails

The Dava Way

The Dava Way stretches over 38 kilometres from Grantown-on-Spey in the Cairngorms National Park to the fine country town of Forres in the county of Moray. Mostly following the line of the old Highland Railway Line, it provides traffic-free walking and has a fine gradation of scenery from the Spey at Grantown, through the bleak and empty moorlands around Dava and on into a long descent through the more fertile and pastoral landscapes of Moray around Forres.

The route also provides a key link between two other Long Distance walks. At Grantown it connects with the Speyside Way, whilst Forres is the start of the Moray Coast Trail. As the Moray Coast Trail also meets the Speyside Way at Spey Bay, the three routes together provide the opportunity to make a fine circular route - known as the Moray Way.

Stage descriptions Length Time
Grantown on Spey to Dava 13.5km 3.5 - 4 hours
Dava to Dunphail 10.5km 2.5 - 3 hours
Dunphail to Forres 14.25km 3.5 - 4 hours


The Way follows the route of the old railway for almost the complete distance and so provide very gentle gradients, though the surface can be a little muddy in places. The main challenge for many walkers is that there is only accommodation available at the start and end of the route, though road access is possible at the end of each of the stages as described and there is a school bus service between Forres and Dunphail. This means that some walkers may attempt to walk the whole way in a single day.


Grantown on Spey is a small town in the Cairngorms National Park. It offers a wide choice of hotels and B&Bs, with a large campsite on the northwestern fringe. There is also hostel accommdoation.

Forres is an attractive stone-built town in Moray, likewise with a range of bed and breakfast accommodation and hotels. The nearest campsites are at Brodie and Kinloss.

There is no accommodation available between these two towns, though it is possible to wild camp if care is taken with choosing a site and no trace is left behind.


Grantown on Spey is linked by bus to Aviemore and Inverness, whilst Forres has a rail station as well as a bus to Inverness.

There is no public transport between Grantown and Forres without going via Inverness.

Along the way, the only bus service is the school bus (open to the public) that links Grantown with Dunphail and the church below the Divie Viaduct. Otherwise there are several taxi firms that could be used. If staying in a bed and breakfast at either Forres or Grantown, it may be worth asking if the proprietors would be happy to pick you up and drop you off again in the morning part way along the route - this means you could stay for two nights.

Timetables can be found on Traveline Scotland.

The following users have walked the Dava Way:

Paul Webster  helenw  JimGibson  mountains4me  StuPark  jondale  overthecrowroad  Clamberer  rucsacs  Paderlan  prophetofdom  lipsty  walks in trainers  auzbauz  chestnuttroll  mojomcl  cobblergreen  late starter  craiglui  zhickman  pj867  Dan Scheer  ledgie  gyles  ColinD  Zander402  Gordie12  WayneGault  gavsmith2511  olgit  mixmasterbobo  bongo2104  Ted 0075  PaulB37  JHL3  varisian  hannd  marine19lin  sabrinamaguire  razzah  deansd1234  ANNIEMAC  annewil  Brudii  godfreym  robray  MairiKK  jonbacks  katpaton 

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User reports from the Dava Way

Title Author Likes
The Dava Way - Ghost Train Walk Gordie12 5
Spring is sprung varisian 0

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Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information is provided free of charge; it is each walker's responsibility to check it and navigate using a map and compass.