On this 9-day self-guided Speyside Way walking holiday in Scotland, you will walk from the North Sea to the Cairngorm Mountains. The Speyside Way takes you from the open coast, through farm and forest, towards the wilderness of North East Scotland. You will walk along the River Spey, providing crystal clear water for the famous Speyside whisky distilleries. Each part of the walk has its own distinct wildlife and points of interest, and it perfectly suits walkers who want to build up gradually from gentle walking to more strenuous climbs. And, of course, along the way, you will have plenty of opportunities for tasting some of Scotland’s finest whiskies.
- Cairngorm Mountains
- River Spey
- Glenfiddich Distillery
- Glenlivet Distillery
- Ballindalloch Castle
Click to view map
Day 1: Arrive Buckie
Arrive in Buckie. Buckie is a charming coastal town nestled along the north-eastern coast of Scotland, renowned for its breath-taking natural beauty and vibrant maritime culture. Situated within the Moray region, Buckie boasts stunning views of the Moray Firth and is surrounded by picturesque countryside.
- Accommodation: Struan House B&B
Day 2: Buckie to Fochabers | 17.5km
The initial leg of the Speyside Way offers a diverse experience, beginning with a scenic stroll past the historic Buckpool harbour and along the picturesque coastline leading to Portgordon. This is followed by a tranquil passage along an old railway line and through wooded areas, culminating in reaching the stunning estuary of the River Spey. Continuing inland, the route meanders through charming woodlands, open fields, and alongside Scotland’s lively river, providing captivating views along the way. Your journey concludes in the quaint town of Fochabers, completing a fulfilling exploration of this dynamic region.
- Walking for the day: 4-5h, 17.5km ↑65m
- Accommodation: Grant Arms
Day 3: Fochabers to Craigellachie | 21km
Following breakfast, relish in leisurely walks through farmland and woodland, as this segment of the Speyside Way predominantly follows tarmac paths throughout the day. Beyond Boat o’ Brig, anticipate a more challenging ascent through forestry terrain, offering a rigorous yet rewarding experience. Afterward, a gradual descent awaits before the path transitions back to lanes, guiding you towards the picturesque destination of Craigellachie.
- Walking for the day: 4-5h, 20km ↑490m
- Accommodation: Bridge View B&B
Day 4: Dufftown to Craigellachie | 11km
A brief transfer brings you to Dufftown, allowing ample time for a visit to the renowned Glenfiddich Distillery. Distinguished as the sole distillery in Scotland to utilise a single source of water across the entirety of its whisky-making procedures, Glenfiddich offers a unique insight into the craft. Following your distillery exploration, enjoy a tranquil stroll predominantly through woodland, tracing the serene banks of the River Fiddich.
- Walking for the day: 3h, 11km
- Accommodation: Bridge View B&B
Day 5: Craigellachie to Ballindalloch | 19km
This uncomplicated portion of the Speyside Way primarily tracks the path of the former railway line. Along the way, you’ll have the chance to pause and explore the charming town of Aberlour, known for its delightful deli offerings. Continuing along the railway route, you’ll pass by a series of distilleries, each contributing to the region’s rich whisky heritage, before reaching the conclusion of this leg at Ballindalloch.
- Walking for the day: 4-5h, 19km ↑48m
- Accommodation: Woodville B&B
Day 6: Ballindalloch to Grantown-on-Spey | 23km
Get ready for the most demanding leg of your journey, navigating paths and trails through woodlands and fields with numerous ascents and descents along the route. You’ll traverse through magnificent birch woodlands, open pastures offering vistas of the heather-clad hills, and the enchanting native Scots pines of Anagach Woods. This section promises a challenging yet rewarding experience amidst the natural splendour of the surroundings.
- Walking for the day: 5-6h, 23km ↑502m
- Accommodation: Kinross House B&B
Day 7: Grantown-on-Spey to Boat of Garten | 17km
A relaxed day awaits as you journey along the former railway line, leading you to Nethy Bridge where a convenient shop awaits. Continuing through nature reserve woodlands, your path guides you to Boat of Garten. Along the way, you have the option to take a detour to visit the Osprey Centre at Loch Garten, adding an extra layer of exploration to your adventure.
- Walking for the day: 4-5h, 17km ↑88m
- Accommodation: The Boat House Guesthouse
Day 8: Boat of Garten to Aviemore | 9.5km
Conclude your journey with a brief but diverse day, traversing through a blend of pine and birch woodlands, open moors, and finally arriving at the vibrant town of Aviemore. This leg can effortlessly be completed as a day hike, and for added charm, consider combining it with a scenic trip aboard the Strathspey Railway’s steam train.
- Walking for the day: 2-3h, 9.5km ↑51m
- Accommodation: The Ravenscraig Guesthouse
Day 9: Departure
Departure or extra nights upon request.
What to expect
Accommodation on this tour includes a mix of small, locally-owned hotels, B&Bs and traditional guesthouses. They have been carefully selected based on a variety of criteria including their proximity to the Speyside Way, warm hospitality, fine local food or commitment to responsible tourism. All rooms have en-suite or private bathrooms.
Click to view our default accommodations for this trip
- Bridge View B&B
- Struan House B&B
- Grant Arms
- Woodville B&B
- Kinross House B&B
- The Boat House Guesthouse
- The Ravenscraig Guesthouse
*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a property of equal standard. We will provide full accommodation details upon booking confirmation.
Breakfast is included on all days. When no restaurant location is available on the route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. You can have dinner at the guesthouse you are staying at or at the village pubs and restaurants.
Difficulty and terrain
In the beginning – coastal path with some pavement sections, then tracks and paths through woods and fields. Some sections can flood, resulting in temporary diversions; short sections can be wet. Minor roads, some tracks and a fair amount of ascent and descent and some boggy sections to be expected (read more about difficulty grades). We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime.
When to go
This trip is available to commence every day from 1 April till 30 September. The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season. For detailed info, see our blog on the Best time to go to Scotland.
Click to view travel options and route planner
- Arrival: Good bus connections from Inverness and Aberdeen to Buckie. Please visit Stagecoach North Scotland for more information.
- Departure: Train is the fastest option from Aviemore to Inverness or Aberdeen.
- Inverness Airport offers a range of daily flights to and from several key destinations including London (Heathrow, Gatwick & Luton), Amsterdam (Schiphol), Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham, Dublin, Belfast City, Stornoway (Isle of Lewis), Kirkwall (Orkney) and Sumburgh (Shetland).
- From Aberdeen Airport you can fly to and from many key destinations including Heathrow, Dublin, Luton, Belfast City, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Amsterdam and Geneva.
- Pre-booked accommodation as per the itinerary on 8 nights in B&B’s, small hotels and guesthouses
- Full breakfast each morning
- Door-to-door luggage transfers on all walking days – 1 piece per person up to 20k
- Transfer from Craigellachie to Dufftown
- Access to your digital pre-departure information (your accommodation list, GPS map of the route, baggage transfer information, itineraries, route information of cafes, restaurants, local bus timetables, etc.)
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses
- Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
- Any items not specifically mentioned as included in the programme
Options, extras and supplements
- If you’re travelling in a group, a supplement applies to group members who would like to have a room of their own.
- This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
- Extra nights available upon request