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The Speyside Way  The Natural Adventure Company 51

Speyside Way

Overview

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.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Buckie

Individual arrival at Buckie. There are some good bus connections from Inverness and Aberdeen to this busy fishing town. On the following day, your adventure will start from Cluny Square in the centre of Buckie. 

Day 2: Buckie to Fochabers | 17.5 km

The first stage of the Speyside Way is varied, with a walk past old Buckpool harbour and along the coastline to Portgordon followed by an old railway line and woodland stretch to reach the beautiful mouth of the Spey. The route then heads inland on tracks through woods and fields and alongside Scotland’s most dynamic river. Your walk ends in the small town of Fochabers.

  • Walking for the day: 4-5 hours, 17.5 km ↑65 m
  • Accommodation: Grant Arms

Day 3: Fochabers to Craigellachie | 21 km

After breakfast, enjoy your farmland and woodland walks – this part of the Speyside Way is on tarmac for much of the day. After Boat o’ Brig there is a more strenuous section up through the forestry before a descent and more lanes lead to Craigellachie.

  • Walking for the day: 4-5 hours, 20 km ↑490 m
  • Accommodation: Bridge View B&B

Day 4: Dufftown to Craigellachie | 11 km

Short transfer to Dufftown, with time for a visit to Glenfiddich Distillery, the only distillery in Scotland to use a single source of water throughout the entire whisky-making process. Then, a gentle walk, mainly in woodland, along the side of the River Fiddich.

Day 5: Craigellachie to Ballindalloch | 19 km

This straightforward section of the Speyside Way mostly follows the bed of the old railway line. There is the opportunity to stop off in the picturesque little town of Aberlour with its superb deli before continuing along the railway past a succession of distilleries to end at Ballindalloch.

  • Walking for the day: 4-5 hours, 19 km ↑48 m
  • Accommodation: Woodville B&B

Day 6: Ballndalloch to Grantown | 23 km

Prepare for the most strenuous section of your adventure, following paths and tracks through woods and fields with plenty of ups and downs along the way. There are fine birch woodlands, pastures with views of the heathery hills around, and the beautiful native Scots pines of Anagach Woods.

Day 7: Grantown to Boat of Garten | 17 km

An easy-going day is ahead of you, following the old railway line as far as Nethy Bridge, where there is a shop, and then nature reserve woodland to Boat of Garten. It is possible to detour to visit the Osprey Centre at Loch Garten from the route.

Day 8: Boat of Garten to Aviemore | 9.5 km

A short day to finish, in a mix of pine and birch woodland the open moor, and the bright lights of Aviemore. It can easily be done as a day walk combined with a trip on the steam train of the Strathspey Railway.

Day 9: Departure

Departure or extra nights upon request.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Nice guesthouses and B&Bs, all offering comfortable double or twin private en-suite rooms. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Click to view our default accommodations for this trip

*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.

Meals

Accommodation is on a bed & breakfast basis. Evening meals and packed lunches for the onward journey are available throughout, however, please note that they are not included in the holiday package.

Difficulty & 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.

Getting there

Some funny but useful travel advice about Scotland is available here 😊

Click to view travel options and route planner

By plane

Recommended airports: Aberdeen & Inverness.

By train or bus
  • 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.

Inclusions

Included

  • Pre-booked accommodation as per the itinerary on 8 nights in B&B’s, small hotels and guesthouses
  • Full breakfast each morning
  • Luggage transfer when changing hotels (one piece of luggage per person, max 20 kg)
  • Transfer from Craigellachie to Dufftown
  • Daily Itineraries, Maps & Guidebooks (one set per booking)
  • Info on transport and local services
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • 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 & supplements

  • Single room supplement for members of a group
  • 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

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