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Speyside Way

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Although not yet complete (an extension to Newtonmore is yet to be finished), the Speyside Way offers a continuous 66 miles of glorious walking. It runs from the Moray coast, to the east of Inverness in the north, southwards along the valley of the River Spey to the ski and mountain resort of Aviemore on the edge of the Cairngorm massif in the Grampians.

Speyside Way

Additionally, a fifteen-mile-long spur extends from the whisky distillery, part way along the trail at Cragganmore, to the village of Tomintoul, which lies nestled in the hills on Strath Avon. As a result of following the river, and for long sections, the track bed of the old Strath Spey railway line, the majority of the route is fairly level. There are a few climbs between Ballindalloch and Grantown, and certainly, the Tomintoul spur is arduous, but for the most part this is an easy walk offering pleasant scenery with no great hardship. Apart from the stunning scenery, the defining feature of this trail is its association with the whisky industry. Distilleries are dotted all along the route and most offer tastings and tours. A large portion of the trail follows the disused railway that was built to support the whisky trade.

Beginning in the coastal town of Buckie the trail heads straight for the mouth of the River Spey before turning south through pasture and woodland along the flood plain. At Fochabers, a short section of quiet country road hugs the edge of the Ordiequish forest and then the shoulder of Ben Aigan until it arrives at Craigellachie. Here a diversion along the old railway line to the many distilleries at Dufftown is well worthwhile.

The railway here was also built specifically for the whisky industry but has long since been superseded by road transport. Returning to Craigellachie the railway continues along the banks of the Spey passing more distilleries at Carron, Knockando and Cragganmore. It's from here that the Tomintoul spur heads over the hills, passing the distillery at Glenlivet and the splendid views from the summit of Carn Daimh at almost 600m in elevation. In Tomintoul don't fail to miss the amazing Whisky Castle shop with its astonishing selection of malts.

Back on the Spey, the track bed is soon left behind as the path climbs the slopes of Knock Frink, but a descent through Tom an Uird Wood brings us briefly back to the river before a crossing is made to visit the town of Grantown on Spey. Then it's back over the river and through more pastureland to Nethy Bridge and the start of the steam powered Strathspey Railway at Boat of Garten. The trail follows the railway closely from here all the way to the finish of the trail at the town of Aviemore. Here are all the amenities you'll need to recover from your walk, or for those with energy left to spare, there is plenty of opportunity to get involved with all sorts of outdoor sports, whatever the time of year.  

 


 


 


 

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