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Heading Home on the Speyside Way

Heading Home on the Speyside Way

Postby markthespark » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:27 pm

Route description: Speyside Way

Date walked: 01/07/2012

Time taken: 5 days

Distance: 106 km

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We decided to walk the Speyside Way from Aviemore North, as I'm originally from the Buckie area. We reckoned to get the longer legs of the walk over and done with at the start.

Day One.
Set off from Aviemore in constant drizzle, but it's an easy walk along good pathways to Boat of Garten.

Me at Boat of Garten Steam Railway Station

Onwards to Nethybridge, again, good paths but glad of the gaiters, because of damp underfoot. Lunch at the bar at the Nethybridge Hotel, Hotel manager didn't look too impressed as we went to front door, and we were re-directed to bar, where the pint and soup and sandwiches were well worth it...

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Annemarie on the Nethy Bridge

Set off for Grantown on Spey, 6 miles to go and weather had brightened up. Pretty steady walking along the way, but we both were getting a little foot weary by the time we reached our B&B.

Day 2.
On our way by the back of 9 a.m., heading for Cromdale, along good paths and tracks through the Anagach wood till you cross the Spey at the Cromdale Church.

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Casting at Cromdale

Then down on to the old railway line and across the Burn of Cromdale

Are you sure.jpg
Are you sure???

Followed the way through the Tom An Uird woods ( saw a Pine Martin but was too slow with the camera)
and past the Mains of Dalvey farm, where we stopped for lunch overlooking them from the hillside.
From here till you reach the Woods of Knockfrink, the underfoot conditions were very boggy, with numerous chain gates to pass through, so come the end of the day, it feels as though you have travelled further than is stated on the information sheets.

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Looking towards Spey at Mains of Dalvey from edge of Knockfrink Woods

Again, we were feeling leg weary by the time we crossed the A95 for the last few miles down to Ballindalloch Station and were glad that it was downhill to the Spey side and along the old railway line again.

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Red Squirels at B&B at Ballindalloch

Day 3
Due to the fact that there was a delay in the re-opening of the Ballindalloch viaduct, we used the Moray council taxi service and rejoined the way at Blacksboat. This was the easiest of walking days as you followed the old railway line for the majority of the way.

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Me on the Carron Bridge

Made it to Aberlour for Midday and had lunch at the "Mash Tun" then onwards the easy 2 miles to Craigellachie. Easy days walk made better in sunshine.....

Annemarie Below Old Spey Bridge At Craigellachie.jpg
Annemarie below Old Spey Bridge at Craigellachie

Spent a night in the local hostelries and even headed down to the "Fiddichside Inn" where "Old Joe" still works away behind the bar.
"Couthie" is a great disciption of this establishment, and you can enjoy a dram on the banks of the river, if you can run the gauntlet of the midgies.

Day 4
After a great sleep ( whisky induced) and a hearty breakfast (superb B&B at the SPEYBANK) we headed off towards Fochabers following the B class road that skirts the Tam Hill, then onto Forestry Commission tracks around the shoulder of Ben Aigen and down towards Boat o' Brig.
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Boat o' Brig

From Boat o' Brig to Fochabers, it's a road walk again ( not my favourite) but the weather was good.

Day 5
Left Fochabers in fine sunshine, knowing that it was an easy day down to Spey Bay then onto Buckie
Easy Last Shift From Fochabers to Buckie.jpg
Me in sunshine in the Warren Wood

Made Spey Bay by 11a.m. then decided to push onto Buckie
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Annemarie At Spey Bay

Was through Portgordon by midday and managed to catch a photo of a group of seals basking on rocks near to shore
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Say Cheese !!!

Plodded on to the edge of Buckie, almost there....
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Almost at finish line !!!

Then along to the Buckpool Harbour, which in some maps that haven't been updated, still show the end of the Speyside Way, but which is now another 1/2 mile further along, into the centre of Buckie.
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Finishing Line.... Yehaa

Really enjoyed the 5 day walk, brilliant company obviously, and looking forward to our next long distance adventure together :D :D :D
Celebration Time.jpg
Celebration time....
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Joined: May 13, 2012
Location: Linlithgow

Re: Heading Home on the Speyside Way

Postby LeithySuburbs » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:39 pm

Really nicely written and photographed report of a route I'm keen to do :D .
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Re: Heading Home on the Speyside Way

Postby walk aboot » Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:01 am

Great trip report, love the squirrels and seals photos :D .

A walk I've got my eye on doing too, so thanks for posting :)
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Re: Heading Home on the Speyside Way

Postby Gordie12 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:06 pm


I did the Speyside Way during the really hot spell in May and like you I went from Aviemore to Buckie ('O' Level Geography taught me rivers run down to the sea!). The only difference was I went from Ballindalloch over to Tomintoul and the next day I did the reverse (two brilliant days). I also did the Dufftown loop from Craigellachie but that was the least interesting day of the week.

Your photos brought back memories of a great week!!


PS only downside - all those bloomin gates from Cromdale to Ballindalloch!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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