Starting at Buckie on the Moray coastline, The Speyside Way follows the course of the mighty River Spey up to Aviemore and on to Kincraig in the Cairngorms. There is also an offshoot that makes a hilly route from Ballindalloch to Tomintoul. A further future extension is planned to continue the route from Kincraig on to Newtonmore in Badenoch.
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.
|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 to Boat of Garten||17.5km||4-4.5 hours|
|Boat of Garten to Aviemore||9km||2-2.5 hours|
|Aviemore to Kincraig||10.5km||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 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.
Click to find organised Speyside Way walking holiday packages and baggage transfer providers.
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.
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.
Kincraig has bed and breakfast and hotel accommodation, plus a shop.
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.
There are 328 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 11 public walk reports for the route. These are ordered below with the most popular ones first.
|Speyside Way - With Add On's||Gordie12||23/05/2012||15|
|Speyside Way in 5 days (Sept 2013)||andrewl7642||04/09/2013||5|
|Heading Home on the Speyside Way||markthespark||01/07/2012||5|
|Speyside Way Easter 2013||walk aboot||31/03/2013||4|
|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|
|Ballindallach to Grantown||rainbowwalk||01/11/2012||1|
|Cairngorm attack from sea level||Klemens1410||05/09/2018||0|
|Speyside Way - South to North - 6 days||Kenneth R Sharp||15/06/2014||0|