Welcome to the Speyside Way
The Speyside Way is one of four official Long Distance Routes in Scotland (the others are the West Highland Way, the Southern Upland Way and the Great Glen Way). It was first opened in 1981, to run from Spey Bay to Ballindalloch, with a spur to Tomintoul being added in 1990. A northern extension from Spey Bay to Buckie followed in 1999, with the route being further extended from Ballindalloch to Aviemore in April 2000. The route now links the Moray coast with the edge of the Grampian Mountains, generally following the valley of the River Spey. Plans are well advanced to complete the route to Newtonmore, though no date for opening this last section has yet been set.
The Speyside Way is managed by the three Access Authorities along the route – the Moray Council, the Highland Council and the Cairngorms National Park Authority.
The Moray Council Countryside Ranger Service, based in the Visitor Centre in Aberlour (currently closed), covers the northern section of the route (from Buckie to Advie) and can provide information for the whole route.
For an overview of Long Distance Trails in the rest of Britain and Europe, follow these links: Long Distance Walkers Association and Epaths.
Where is the Speyside Way?
The Speyside Way runs from Buckie on the shore of the Moray Firth coast of NE Scotland, south-westwards to Aviemore on the edge of the Cairngorm Mountains, a distance of approximately 65 miles. There is also a 15-mile spur to Tomintoul.
Click here to see a map of the route, and a mileage chart (PDF).
The Speyside Way DVD
The Speyside Way DVD is about 20 minutes long, is available for purchase at the cost of £10 through the Moray Council online shop. It features helicopter and ground footage of the route of the Speyside Way, with a soundtrack from James Alexander and the Fochabers Fiddlers.
To view a small clip of the DVD click here.
Cycling on the Speyside Way
The Speyside Way between Fochabers and Ballindalloch and between Nethybridge and Aviemore is suitable for cycling. Between Boat of Garten and Aviemore, the route is shared with a section of the SUSTRANS millennium cycleway. The ‘off-road’ sections between Ballindalloch and Tomintoul, and between Ballindalloch and Cromdale cannot sustain cycle traffic, and we ask you to avoid them. Between Ballindalloch (Delnapot) and Cromdale, an alternative exists using the B9102. Cyclists are asked at all times to ensure that they use the route in a way which does not cause damage to the track surface, or cause inconvenience or danger to users on foot or horseback. See SOAC advice to cyclists.
Horse riding on the Speyside Way
The Speyside Way between Craigellachie and Ballindalloch (i.e., the old railway line) is suitable for horse riding. Riders must be prepared to negotiate fords in two places, and many low, single rail stiles. Limited parking for horseboxes is available at Craigellachie and Ballindalloch. Large groups of riders should contact the Rangers in advance. See SOAC advice to horse riders.
There are railway stations in Elgin and Aviemore from where connections can be made to the rest of the UK. The Edinburgh/Glasgow bus service passes through Aviemore. Buses also connect Elgin with Aberdeen and Inverness, and from Elgin, there is a regular service to Aberlour, Craigellachie, and Dufftown. South of Aberlour, however, services are much less frequent, and getting to and from Tomintoul by bus requires more perseverance and the help of some local knowledge! There is a local (infrequent) bus service linking Aviemore with Grantown on Spey and Ballindalloch. For more information, see our Public Transport Guide.
Dogs under close control are welcome on most of the route, but because of the likelihood of encountering livestock, we advise you not to take your dog on the section between Ballindalloch and Cromdale. This is for your own safety and that of your dog. Cattle, while ignoring humans themselves, will readily chase their canine companions, and this can be very alarming and dangerous. (If there is no alternative to taking your dog on holiday with you, you can get at a pinch bypass this section by following the B9102 from Delnapot to Cromdale) On all other parts of the route if your dog should foul the path, please take a minute to clear up the mess. See SOAC advice to dog walkers.