The Speyside Way - Walking The Whisky Way
The Speyside Way offers the chance to experience so much of what Scotland has to offer visitors. The route takes you through all types of countryside from the open coastlands, through farm and forest in the Spey valley (which, with its tributaries, provides the clear water for making whisky), and over high mountain passes towards the wilderness of the Cairngorm Mountains. 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. Some of the points on the route are some distance from the best farmhouse or bed and breakfast accommodation, so we arrange for you to be collected and dropped off on the route. Staying with local families in their homes is all part of the experience, and you will always receive the warmest of welcomes. There is the chance to visit distilleries which produce the famous Speyside malt whisky. As an added bonus, the holiday includes a free visit to the famous Glenfiddich Distillery.
Day 1: Arrive and explore the town of Buckie. Buckie lies either side of the the mouth of the Burn of Buckie where it flows into the Moray Firth. It was formed by the growing together of a series of once separate fishing villages. Overnight Buckie.
Buckie to Fochabers 10 miles The first day's walk is a mixture of coastal and gentle river walking to Fochabers, on the east side of the River Spey. This is the nearest point to the sea. Overnight Forchabers.
Day 3:Fochabers to Craigellachie 13 miles Riverside and forest walking with some uphill stretches to Craigellachie which llies at the heart of Speyside. This is the place where the two rivers, the Spey and the Fiddich, most closely associated with Scotch Whisky business meet.. Overnight Craigellachie.
Day 4:Dufftown to Craigellachie7 miles Transfer to Dufftown, with time for a visit to Glenfiddich Distillery. Then, a gentle walk, mainly in woodland, along the side of the River Fiddich.
Day 5: Craigellachie to Ballindalloch 12 miles The walk today is a quiet quiet riverside walk along a disused railway passing several distilleries along the way. Overnight Ballindalloch.
Day 6:Ballindalloch to Grantown 13 miles Walk along some rougher tracks and forest tracks to Grantown for overnight.
Day 7:Grantown to Boat of Garten 11 miles Walk in the Abernethy Forest RSPB Reserve on the shores of Loch Garten, just to the east of the Spey to Boat of Garten - "The Osprey Village". After being driven to near extinction, a pair of Ospreys reappeared at Loch Garten in 1954 and there have been ospreys breeding here ever since. Overnight Boat of Garten.
Day 8:Boat of Garden to Aviemore 14 miles Walk along heather moor through birch and pine woodland to Aviemore, made famous with the advent of the Railway it is now the major ski resort of Scotland. Overnight Aviemore.
Day 9: End of trip after breakfast.
Recommended extra walks:
Ballindalloch to Tomintoul (16 miles - 1 or 2 days): Over the top of Cairn Daimh (570m) to the highest village in the Highlands. From Tomintoul, we transfer you back to Ballindalloch to continue your walk on the main route (see day 5 above). Or you can walk on direct to Nethybridge - see below. The two day option includes an intermediate stop at Glenlivet (with transfer to Ballindalloch).
Tomintoul to Nethy Bridge (12 miles): A mainly downhill walk in a remote pass over high ground
Nethy Bridge to Glenmore (8 miles): A walk through a forested hill pass towards the Cairngorms.
7 day trek, 8 nights £525 per personbased on two people sharing
8 day trek, 9 nights including Tomintoul Spur £590 per person.
The Speyside Way can also be walked as a 7 night option: 6 day trek, 7 nights £450 per person based on 2 people sharing
Accommodation with full Scottish breakfast in guest houses, or B & Bs in rooms usually with private bathroom based on two people sharing. Supplement of £15 per night for single occupancy.
Daily luggage transfers and transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
Maps and route notes for the walk.
Transport to Buckie and from Aviemore, meals and transfers not mentioned in the itinerary
Difficulty Of The Walk
This walk is mainly low level, following the riverside for much of the Way. We can also organise additional walks which take you into the neighbouring hills. The spur from Ballindalloch to Tomintoul, a stiff climb, is part of the official route. Tomintoul to Nethy Bridge is wild and remote for experienced map readers, and Nethy Bridge to Glenmore goes through tracts of original Caledon forest. Don't worry about transport on any of these walks. We will transport you back to your starting point.
This self-guided walking holiday can be operated for 2 or more people.
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We have carefully selected our accommodation from the best bed and breakfast and farmhouse accommodation in each area. Your hosts are local people, who know about the surrounding countryside, and you are guaranteed a warm welcome.
Normally, your room will have en-suite facilities. However, this cannot always be guaranteed, particularly at busy times and in the more remote locations. Please let us know if you require en-suite rooms every night. We can also arrange accommodation in Hotels, usually at an additional cost.
Tell us where you are coming from and we will give you detailed directions.
Telephone national rail enquiry line on 08457 48 49 50 or 1st Scotrail
Bus: Tel. 08705 50 50 50 from within the UK or visit Citylink website
What To Take
It is essential that you are properly equipped and clothed for walking in Scotland, and a compass and know how to use it. Basic advice on safety is contained in the leaflet "Enjoy the Scottish Hills in Safety," available from the Scottish Sports Council, Caledonia House, South Gyle, Edinburgh WH12 9DQ, Scotland, UK or ask us.
Sturdy walking boots and walking socks (with a change of socks in rucksack), rucksack/day pack, 1 x water bottle with 1 litre capacity, insect repellent, sun block/cream, compass, torch and a first-aid kit. Rain weather clothing highly recommended.
When To Go
April to end of October subject to weather conditions.
We recommend that you take out appropriate holiday insurance covering you against illness, injury, and loss or damage to luggage. This insurance should also cover the possibility of your having to cancel your holiday for whatever reason.