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Scotland's Great Trails

The Moray Coast Trail

Moray has a stunning coastline with something of everything - wide sandy beaches, some dramatic cliffs, coastal formations and attractive fishing villages. As might be expected, it makes for an excellent walking route - the Moray Coastal Trail. Beginning inland at the fine country town of Forres, it soon hits the coastline at Findhorn, famed for its eco-community. From here the coastal walking begins across the forested back of the vast Burghead Bay.

The section from Burghead to Lossiemouth has some superb clifftop walking with great seaviews. Further on is Spey Bay, renowned for its dolphins, the ship-building heritage of Buckie and finally a string of picturesque former fishing villages leads on to Cullen, just over 72km from the start.

Stage descriptions Length Time
Forres to Burghead 20.5km 4 - 5 hours
Burghead to Lossiemouth 14.5km 3.5 - 4.5 hours
Lossiemouth to Buckie 25.25km 5 - 6 hours
Buckie to Cullen 12km 2.5 - 3 hours

The Moray Coast Trail connects with the Speyside Way at Spey Bay, and with the Dava Way at Forres; with these two routes it is possible to walk a circuit (known as the 'Moray Way').

THE CHALLENGE

The walk in intermittently waymarked and follows paths, tracks and sandy beaches. The walking itself is straighforward throughout.

ACCOMMODATION AND SERVICES ALONG THE TRAIL

The Moray Coastal Trail offers a range of accommodation throughout its length.

Forres is an attractive stone-built country town with a range of bed and breakfast accommodation and hotels. There is a campsite at Kinloss further along the route, half way to Findhorn. Findhorn also has bed and breakfasts, a hotel and campsites and provides an alternative break of stage. Some walkers choose to start the walk at Findhorn as the route to here from Forres is all along the roadside cyclepath.

After Findhorn, the next stopping point is at Burghead. This is a good sized village with shops and bed and breakfast accommodation. There is also a campsite, which the coastal path actually passes through on the way into the village. Hopeman - a short distance further along the way - provides an alternative stop to Burghead.

Lossiemouth is a small town with a full range of facilities. There are several hotels here as well as bed and breakfasts. Silver Sands Leisure Park at Covesea has facilities for camping.

The next possible stopping point is the tiny village of Spey Bay, where there are two B&Bs and another campsite. Further on is the village of Portgordon - again offering accommodation - before reaching the town of Buckie. Buckie offers a choice of hotels and guest houses, with a campsite at its eastern fringe at Strathlene.

The former fishing villages of Findochty and Portknockie offer opportunities to break the final stage (including campsites), which ends at the very attractive village of Cullen. Again both hotels and bed and breakfasts and a campsite are available. There is also an independent hostel here.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Forres at the start of the route has a rail station, but Cullen at the end has only a bus service to link to Buckie. Buckie in turn has a bus to Elgin is the nearest rail station for Cullen.

Along the way, local buses serve all the villages linked by the trail. Findhorn has a bus to Forres, whilst Burghead, Hopeman, Lossiemouth, Spey Bay, Portgordon and Buckie are all served by buses from Elgin.

Timetables for all the routes can be found on Traveline Scotland.

The following users have walked the Moray Coast Trail:

Paul Webster  helenw  JimGibson  mountains4me  Clamberer  rucsacs  Paderlan  auzbauz  chestnuttroll  BlackPanther  mojomcl  northfacedave  cobblergreen  warrior  craiglui  zhickman  Sweatypaps  brodiedog13  frosty  ledgie  Fiona shannon  Catastrophe  smarijsse  jbesser  JHL3  varisian  hannd  marine19lin  sabrinamaguire  Freebs  cwrjnr 

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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.