walkhighlands

Scotland's Great Trails

The Speyside Way

Starting at Buckie on the Moray coastline, The Speyside Way follows the course of the mighty River Spey up to Aviemore in the Cairngorms. There is also an offshoot that makes a hilly route from Ballindalloch to Tomintoul. A future extension is planned to continue the route by joining to the Badenoch Way.

The whole route runs through a fine progression of scenery, from the coastline of Spey Bay, up through the birchwoods and pastures of the lower Spey with views of the moors slowly replaced by the mountains. Along the way walkers pass through a series of attractive villages and some of the many whisky distilleries for which Speyside is so famous.

Stage descriptions Length Time
Buckie to Fochabers 17.5km 4 - 4.5 hours
Fochabers to Craigellachie 20km 4 - 5 hours
Craigellachie to Ballindalloch 19.5km 4 - 5 hours
Ballindalloch to Grantown-on-Spey 23.25km 5 - 6 hours
Grantown-on-Spey to Boat of Garten 17.5km 4 - 4.5 hours
Boat of Garten to Aviemore 9km 2 - 2.5 hours
Tomintoul Spur: Cragganmore to Tomintoul 25km 5 - 6 hours

The Speyside Way connects to the Moray Coast Trail at Buckie, and with the Dava Way at Grantown-on-Spey; with these two routes it is possible to walk a circuit (known as the 'Moray Way'). From Aviemore, the route also links to Fort William via the unofficial East Highland Way.

THE CHALLENGE

The route is well waymarked throughout, following clear paths and tracks. The toughest section on the main route is between Ballindalloch and Grantown where the route leaves the Spey to plot a hillier course amongst the woods and forests on the south side of the valley. The Tomintoul Spur provides another contrast, climbing up through the wild moors above Glenlivet to reach one of the highest villages in Scotland.

ROUTE PHOTO GALLERY

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BAGGAGE TRANSFERS AND WALKING PACKAGES

Click to find organised Speyside Way walking holiday packages and baggage transfer providers.


ACCOMMODATION AND SERVICES ALONG THE WAY

The Speyside Way offers a range of accommodation throughout its length.

Buckie has offers both bed and breakfast accommodation and hotels, and independent hostels, as does nearby Elgin which has a train station. There is also a range of shops, and a campsite at Strathlene just east of the town. There is a further B&B available at Spey Bay on the route.

Fochabers also offers a choice of bed and breakfasts and hotels. There are also shops, and a campsite at Burnside on the eastern edge of the village.

Craigellachie is a smaller village but does also offer both hotel and B&B accommodation.

Further along the way Aberlour makes an alternative break of stage; this is a larger village with a wider choice of hotels and guest houses. There is a campsite at Aberlour Gardens, which is between Aberlour and Craigellachie.

Ballindalloch (marked Cragganmore on OS maps) is a hamlet with few services. There is however a couple of B&Bs here, and a hotel nearby. There is informal camping by the way at Ballindalloch but note that there are no showers / facilities - just a seasonal toilet.

Another alternative break is stage is available at Cromdale; it has no shop but there is a hotel/pub and B&B here.

Grantown on Spey is a small town with excellent services. Grantown has a wide choice of hotels and B&Bs, with a large campsite on the northwestern fringe. There is also hostel accommdoation.

Nethy Bridge provides another possible break of stage. The village has two hotels, bed and breakfasts, a shop and an independent hostel with campsite.

Boat of Garten is the next village, again with a shop, guest houses and hotel. There is a campsite in the village, and another on the route before Boat of Garten is reached.

Aviemore is a busy and popular resort with a large range of bed and breakfasts, hotels and a choice of hostels as well as camping.

Tomintoul has hotel and bed and breakfast accommodation. It also has a shop for basic supplies - and several places to eat.

BOOKS AND MAPS

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Aviemore has excellent public transport links with both a rail station and long distance buses. Buckie at the start of the way does not have a railway, the nearest station being at Elgin, to which it is linked by bus.

Public transport between the stages is more patchy. Fochabers has a service to Buckie (and Elgin). Craigellachie also has a bus from Elgin and Rothes, but no direct link with Fochabers. The next section of the way has poor public transport, with Ballindalloch having only an infrequent services which run between Aberlour and Grantown. Once at Grantown services improve once more and the remaining villages are all linked by buses.

If tackling the Tomintoul spur, it is best to see if your accommodation provider in the village will return you to Ballindalloch to rejoin the main route of the Speyside Way.

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

Users' walk reports for the Great Glen Way

There are 185 Walkhighlanders who have completed the Speyside Way. To record if you have completed the route, you must register and be logged in. Our users have contributed 10 public walk reports for the route. These are ordered below with the most popular ones first.

Title AuthorDate walked Likes
  23/05/2012  10
  01/07/2012  5
  31/03/2013  4
  04/09/2013  3
  08/12/2009  2
  11/05/2015  1
  01/11/2012  1
  02/06/2011  1
  15/06/2014  0
  02/06/2011  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.