The Speyside Way is one of 4 Long Distance Routes in Scotland. The trail follows the River Spey from the sea to Aviemore and the Cairngorms mountains, passing through beautiful scenery and ends in Buckie. The Cairngorms National Park is home to some of the highest mountains in Scotland. Total distance of the route is 65 miles. But there are spurs leading off the main route to Tomintoul and Dufftown, bringing the total distance up to 84 miles (135 kilometres).
The route is clearly marked with a symbol showing a thistle in a hexagon. For the most part the trail follows the banks of the River Spey, passing many of the distilleries that produce Speyside single malts. The final five miles from Spey Bay to Buckie follow the coastline. The route was first opened in 1981 and was completed in 2000.
It is an easier hike than either the West Highland Way or Great Glen Way but no less worthy. Speyside is one of the most special regions of Scotland. Advantage of this route is that you can enjoy a local whisky along the way. The trail is excellent throughout its length, following a good path along the riverside. As well as Scotland's finest whisky distilleries, you pass by old railway stations as much of the route follows former railway lines. The scenery changes each day, from rural through to the mountain landscape of the Cairngorms mountains, and the flora along the route is lovely, f.e. Rose Bay Willow Herb and Scots Pines notable in the colourful landscape.
This trail is recommended for trekkers looking for a quiet and relaxing hiking holiday. Of course also for hikers who enjoy ending the day with a Speyside Malt whisky.
You can divide the route in sections:
1. Aviemore to Boat of Garten - 6 miles - easy
2. Boat of Garten - Nethy Bridge - 5 miles - easy
3. Nethy Bridge - Grantown - 6 miles - easy
4. Grantown - Ballindalloch - 13 miles - challenging
5. Ballindalloch - Craigellachie - 12 miles - easy
6. Craigellachie - Fochabers - 13 miles - moderate
7. Fochabers - Spey Bay - 5 miles - easy
8. Spey Bay - Buckie - 5 miles - easy
An extra section/route will be:
9. Ballindalloch - Tomintoul - 15 miles - challenging
This route rises to 1800 ft twice to very exposed locations and mainly uses rough hill tracks. Some sections are difficult to follow in snow. This is the hardest (and most spectacular) section of the Speyside Way. Each section starts and finishes at a town or village.
For more information see: http://www.moray.org/area/speyway/webpages/Onlineguide/onlineguidetindex...