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 Done
Grantown on Spey to Dava 13.5km 3½-4 hours
Dava to Dunphail 10.5km 2½-3 hours
Dunphail to Forres 14.25km 3½-4 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 a bed and breakfast close to the route at Dava - see (B&Bs). There is no other accommodation elsewhere although 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.


Users' walk reports for the Dava Way

There are 310 Walkhighlanders who have completed the Dava Way. To record if you have completed the route, you must register and be logged in. Our users have contributed 8 public walk reports for the route. These are ordered below with the most popular ones first.

Title AuthorDate walked Likes
The Dava Way (the long, long route)  andrewl7642 13/05/2015  13
Dava Way over 2 days, done in both directions  gld73 09/12/2020  7
Dava Way in one day  Sman1957 08/06/2022  5
Pitlochry to Forres, via the Cairngorms and Dava Way  Bearded Wanderer 22/06/2017  5
A Toast to the Dava Way  davidbrownie 31/03/2016  5
The Dava Way - Ghost Train Walk  Gordie12 22/06/2013  5
Dava in a day.  jimwit1 25/03/2017  1
Spring is sprung  varisian 10/04/2013  0

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Walking can be dangerous and all walkers must take personal responsibility for their own safety. You should always carry a backup means of navigation and not rely on a single phone, app or map. Walkhighlands strives to provide accurate information but cannot accept responsibility for changes, errors or omissions.