The Speyside Way

Starting at Buckie on the Moray coastline, The Speyside Way follows the course of the mighty River Spey up to Aviemore and on to Newtonmore in the Cairngorms. There is also an offshoot that makes a hilly route from Ballindalloch to Tomintoul.

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 Done
Buckie to Fochabers 17.5km 4-4½ 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 to Boat of Garten 17.5km 4-4½ hours
Boat of Garten to Aviemore 9km 2-2½ hours
Aviemore to Kincraig 10.5km 2½ hours
Kincraig to Newtonmore 21km 4-5½ 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 Kincraig, the route also links to Fort William via the unofficial East Highland Way.


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.


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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.

The campite at Dalraddy - just off route but easily accessed - has a small shop in season.

Kincraig has bed and breakfast and hotel accommodation and a great cafe, but no shop.

Newtonmore and Kingussie are a pair of small towns, with all types of accommodation - bed and breakfast, hotels, hostels - as well as a range of shops.

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


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Aviemore has excellent public transport links with both a rail station and long distance buses; Kincraig is linked to it by bus. 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 Speyside Way

There are 569 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 14 public walk reports for the route. These are ordered below with the most popular ones first.

Title AuthorDate walked Likes
Speyside Way - With Add On's  Gordie12 23/05/2012  15
Spontaneous (and sodden) Speyside Way  samuelmacnab 07/10/2020  8
The Speyside Way, northbound from Kincraig  LaurenAlexandraAgain 19/05/2019  6
Heading Home on the Speyside Way  markthespark 01/07/2012  6
Speyside Way in 5 days (Sept 2013)  andrewl7642 04/09/2013  5
Speyside Way Easter 2013  walk aboot 31/03/2013  4
Speyside Way - Not amazing  Robweir27 26/07/2023  3
Ballindalloch to Tomintoul (Speyside Way Spur)  sid0995 08/12/2009  3
Speyside Way in 4.5 days May 2015  shug2515 11/05/2015  2
Post-exam freedom - The Speyside Way  jenniferc6 02/06/2011  2
Cairngorm attack from sea level  Klemens1410 05/09/2018  1
Speyside Way - South to North - 6 days  Kenneth R Sharp 15/06/2014  1
Ballindallach to Grantown  rainbowwalk 01/11/2012  1
speyside challenge  peterd 02/06/2011  0

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