What is the Speyside Way?

The Speyside Way, one of Scotland’s Great Trails, spans 106km (66 miles) following the River Spey from Aviemore in the Cairngorms National Park to Buckie on the Moray Firth. (Although most guides describe the route from east to west, I found walking it west to east worked better with the rain/wind behind me.)

Here’s a short 3 minute video I made of the trail:

Speyside Way - whole track - profile
Speyside Way – whole track

The River Spey is most known for salmon fishing and its Speyside whisky distilleries, of which the trails passes quite a few…! The terrain was a mix of cycle tracks, farmland (often with a ridiculous amount of squeeze gates!), a disused railway track and riverside paths. The waymarks were often quite sparse in sections (especially compared to the Great Glen Way and West Highland Way which never really left you wondering if you were still on the trail or not). In addition to my map, because I didn’t have the track on my GPS, I referred to the online track from the Walk Highlands website a couple of times to make sure I was going the right way.

Map – I used the ‘Footprint Speyside Way‘ map which I bought from the Aviemore Tourist Office.

Handy websites about the Speyside Way include:

The Footprint map divided the route into the following 6 stages:

  1. Aviemore ⇔ Boat of Garten, 10km
  2. Boat of Garten ⇔ Cromdale, 23km
  3. Cromdale ⇔ Knockando, 25km
  4. Knockando ⇔ Craigellachie, 11km
  5. Craigellachie ⇔ Fochabers, 21km
  6. Fochabers ⇔ Buckie, 16km

This would make for a relaxing 6-day walk, staying in B&B accommodation, but as I was carrying a tent and feeling fit having just finished the West Highland Way and Great Glen Way, I walked it in the following stages:

1. Aviemore ⇔ Cromdale, 31.6km

2. Cromdale ⇔ Aberlour, 34.5km

Day off for whisky tasting and Aberlour ⇔ Dufftown ⇔ Craigellachie ⇔ Aberlour loop walk, 18.9km

3. Aberlour ⇔ Fochabers, 23.8km

4. Fochabers ⇔ Buckie, 17.3km

I didn’t blog while walking as I was trying to get away and relax so what follows are a collection of photos with some notes from each day.

Happy Trails!

Lupins and Old Spey Bridge, Grantown on Spey
Lupins and Old Spey Bridge, Grantown on Spey

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