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 finally being completed between Ballindalloch and Aviemore in April 2000. There are plans to extend the Way south to Kingussie and Newtonmore. The route now links the Moray coast with the edge of the Grampian Mountains, generally following the valley of the River Spey.
List of Camping available along The Speyside Way The Speyside Way Ranger Service is located in Aberlour and is responsible for guidance along the route.
Guide to Public Transport along the Speyside Way There are railway stations in Elgin and Aviemore from where connections can be made to the rest of the United Kingdom. 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 bus service linking Aviemore with Grantown on Spey and Ballindalloch.
Section 1: Aviemore to Boat of Garten, 6 Miles
The beginning of The Speyside Way is the car park located on Grampian Road near the Aviemore police station. On leaving the village, the trail winds through coniferous and birch woodland and across heather, following the line of the restored Strathspey Railway.
Section 2: Boat of Garten to Grantown on Spey, 11 Miles
The trail from Boat of Garten takes you through a nature reserve to Nethy Bridge, then along a closed railway line to Grantown on Spey.
Section 3: Grantown on Spey to Ballindalloch, 13 Miles
This section of the trail winds through forest and sections of closed railway line as you travel through Cromdale to Ballindalloch. Ballindalloch is roughly mid way along the main trail, and it also where the spur south into the Cairngorm Mountains starts on its way to Tomintoul.
Section Spur 1: Ballindalloch to Tomintoul, 15 Miles
This section of the trail feels like you are traveling through a magical landscape where anything is possible over the next rise and is considered the highest part of the whole trail, climbing twice to over 1800 feet. Tomintoul is the the highest village in the Highlands.
Section 4: Ballindalloch to Craigellachie, 12 Miles
The trail continues to follow the track of the closed Strathspey Railway.
Section Spur 2: Craigellachie to Dufftown, 4 Miles
This spur of the main trail leads to Dufftown, a community dedicated heart and soul to whisky making.
Section 5: Craigellachie to Fochabers, 13 Miles
As the trail gets closer to the sea, it travels along small secondary roads, then climbs over the shoulder of Ben Aigen via the Craigellachie Forest. It continues along more small secondary roads to reach Fochabers.
Section 6: Fochabers to Buckie, 10 Miles
On the final push to the coast, the trail continues to follow closed railway tracks alongside the River Spey to the coast, which you reach at Spey Bay. A sharp right turn onto the closed railway line to Portgordon and the final stretch. The end of the walk is at Buckpool Harbour, on the outskirts of Buckie.