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Self Guided – Speyside Way

  • Hike the Speyside Way from the sea to the Cairngorms National Park – home to some of the highest mountains in Scotland
  • Enjoy the satisfaction of hiking from point to point each day, covering over 65 miles along the trail
  • Visit some of Scotland’s finest whisky distilleries, many of which are located along the route of the Speyside Way
  • 7 nights’ accommodation on a Bed and Breakfast basis in Guest Houses, Bed and Breakfasts, Small Hotels and Inns along the route, based on two people sharing a twin or double room.
  • Luggage transfer for the duration of the trip, meaning you will only have to carry a day rucksack
  • Taxi transfer from Elgin to Buckie on Day 1
  • Route notes which include a map and full directions to your accommodation
  • The services of the Wilderness Scotland Team prior to & during your trip

Blue Graded Self Guided Holidays 4-6

Our Blue graded walking holidays involve climbing some of Scotland’s best mountains and ridges. The walks are conducted at a good pace and you may be out hiking for 8 or 9 hours a day. The terrain underfoot can be anything from stalker’s paths to rough or boggy ground, boulder fields and mountain tops.

The daily walks will occasionally involve a mountain ascent of over 3000ft / 900m high. To help you decide if you are fit enough for this trip, ask yourself:

Can you comfortably hike for 10+ miles (16+km), climbing mountains and covering a variety of challenging underfoot conditions? How often do you do this?

Accommodation

Our self-guided walking and hiking holidays feature a wide range of accommodation – very much depending on the remoteness of the region. This includes small hotels, guest houses and traditional B+Bs.

Our accommodation partners are carefully chosen according to a number of factors – charming locations, very good facilities and a reputation for providing Highland hospitality. Establishments range from small guesthouses and bed and breakfasts to Inns and country hotels. Many are small, owner-managed establishments where you can be assured of a highly personal service.

Wherever they are available, we will reserve en suite rooms for you. However, these may not be available in the high season, especially if you are booking your holiday at the last minute, so we cannot guarantee that all of your accommodation will be en-suite. We will, however, advise you wherever possible if this is the case.

Single Supplement

As a pair you will be expected to share a twin or double room on this trip. It may be possible to book a single room, provided one is available. Please request this at the time of booking and we will let you know if one is available. If a single room is required the supplement is £160 per person – please see booking form terms and conditions.

Customer Kudos

Every client receives a feedback survey when they return from their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us.

Once completed the review is published on our website just as soon as our database updates. The little touches and details are important to us and where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience.

That's why we read each of our client's reviews and although we don't respond to all of them, if it's glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.

5 star 6

4 star 1

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

by Yvonne Gaudelius 23/06/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Information was easy to find, the website is well organized, and questions were answered promptly.
Trip Comments
We had an excellent time doing the self-guided Speyside Way walk. All of the information we needed was easy to find, the accommodations were great, and the walk was lovely.
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
We were on a self-guided walk and could easily find all of the information we needed.
The Bottom Line
Great experience, both in the lead up to the walk and in the walk. The walk was as described in terms of difficulty and the route was easy to follow. All of the details were taken care of so that we could enjoy the walking!

by Nigel Higson 16/06/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
At one or two points more information about lunch and dinner possibilities would have been helpful. For example, there were few opportunities to buy lunch during the walks, and at Boat of Garten, dinner at a restaurant was an impossibility without a reservation. No problem in our case, but I can imagine people being caught out by this.
Trip Comments
Outstanding weather! While the rest of Europe was knee-deep in rain the route was dry.
Accommodation and Food
Weakest point was Fochabers, but they quality was still acceptable there.
Your Guide
The Bottom Line
Overall verdict: a truly rewarding experience, We are only occasional walkers, and the route provided just the right degree of challenge. People were friendly and helpful everywhere, good food was to be had at nearly every point along the route, and the scenery was magnificent.

by Karen Mosher 27/09/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Info package was complete and comprehensive; could have been more explicit that we needed to make our own arrangements to travel from Inverness to Elgin on Day 1.
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Highlights were acccommodation in Fochabers and Ballindalloch. Lowlights--food in Fochabers and guesthouse in Inverness.
Your Guide
The Bottom Line
We enjoyed our trip; there are lots of other great places to hike, though, and we might look for something with more consistently good food and less mud!

by Diane McPhail 09/09/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Friendly tone of emails, very quick responses
Trip Comments
Excellent notes, great B&B hosts, no problems
Accommodation and Food
Breakfasts all good
Your Guide
Interesting, informative notes
The Bottom Line
We chose WS after a glowing recommendation from a Scottish walker. Great choice, especially for an international guest on the other side of the world.

by Diane McPhail 01/09/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Thanks to Rachel for making absolutely sure we received our package in plenty of time (not all travel companies manage to do this!)
Trip Comments
Great vistas, beautiful forests, friendly locals, delightful B&B hosts.
Accommodation and Food
No problems
Your Guide
The Bottom Line

by Lindsay Adamson 03/11/2013

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
High point was enjoying a great storm at Stoer following by a brilliant day when we climbed Suilven. Just luck but we enjoyed having a great guide.
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
No sure what you mean! I know what GPS is but I'm happy as is. But lets not stop technology.
The Bottom Line
Excellent, great program and of course a superb guide.
Good idea to hand out your brochure at the end even if it was 2013! I know 2014 won't be ready yet.
Consider your brand-why not have some tee shirts available for purchase and other goods available on line. A good brand, which you have, should be exploited.

by Robb Radford 25/06/2013

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
We were fortunate to have good walking weather. Lots of wild life interest in the forest areas.
Accommodation and Food
One exception. Would not recommend Gordon Arms Hotel- Doesn't not match the quality and high standards provided by the other guest houses.
Your Guide
May be useful but not every one has GPS capability. I used printed Ordnance survey maps read along with your notes. The Speyside Way route is well signposted.
The Bottom Line
A very good walk, lots of interest and variety of landscapes. Met lots of friendly people on the route who were sharing the experience.

Trip Details

The Speyside Way covers just over 100 kilometres (65 miles) from the fishing village of Buckie on the Moray coast to the village of Aviemore, in the foothills of the great Cairngorm Mountains.

The Speyside Way trail follows the banks of the River Spey, often along disused railway lines as it makes its way from the sea to the Cairngorms National Park.

The scenery of the Speyside Way is diverse and beautiful. Leaving the coast behind, you pass through rural farmland, open moorland and finally arrive in the mountains. Speyside being the centre for whisky making in Scotland, you pass by many distilleries along the way. You will also find several charming disused railway stations, which are a lovely place to stop for lunch.

The Speyside Way is the easiest of our long distance hiking routes. However, it still presents a good challenge and offers enjoyable walking and hiking through a changing landscape. Although it is not a wilderness trek, the trail itself is fairly quiet so you won’t be sharing it with many other hikers and will often find that you have it to yourself.

On this self-guided trip, we arrange your accommodation each evening and baggage transfer, as well as supplying you with detailed route notes and maps so that you get the most out of this wonderful hiking trail through Speyside.

Upgraded Accommodation: We can also offer you an upgraded accommodation package along the route including the first night at 5 star Rocpool Reserve in Inverness. The additional cost for this brings the total to £1190 per person.

Trip Itinerary – The Speyside Way

Day 1 -Arrive Inverness

Today you’ll make your own way to Inverness where you’ll spend the night at your first guesthouse of your trip.

Day 2 – Buckie to Fochabers

From Inverness, a train journey of less than one hour takes you to Elgin. From here, we arrange for a taxi to meet you and transfer you to Buckie for the start of the Speyside Way trail. Your luggage is transferred ahead to your accommodation. You follow the coastline westwards from Buckie to reach the River Spey at Spey Bay. Turning south, you begin your trek along the river banks, with your first night’s stop being in Fochabers.

Distance 16km

Day 3 – Fochabers to Craigellachie

The Highland scenery opens up as you hike southwards along the Spey. Towards the end of the day you skirt around the base of Ben Aigen before reaching your accommodation at Craigellachie.

Distance 21km

Day 4 – Craigellachie to Ballindalloch

As the river turns eastwards, so does the trail. This is prime whisky country, so try not to get distracted by too many distilleries – but do enjoy a well deserved dram at the end of the day as you’re now more than halfway along the Speyside Way!

Distance 19km

Day 5 – Ballindalloch to Grantown on Spey

The scenery becomes more mountainous today, with the Cromdale hills to the south and the main Cairngorm plateau just a short distance beyond. The trail, however, follows the river banks until it reaches the popular village of Grantown on Spey.

Distance 21km

Day 6 – Grantown on Spey to Boat of Garten

The trail mostly follows an old railway line, with some sections on forest trails too. You are now in the upper Spey Valley and the forests of Scots Pine are home to many species which are fairly common here but rare in other parts of Scotland. Look out for red squirrels!

Distance 18km

Day 7 – Boat of Garten to Aviemore

The final day of hiking is a short one so many hikers choose to extend it slightly by visiting Loch Garten and Loch Mallachie, which are located close to Boat of Garten. These beautiful lochs are great for wildlife, including osprey. These magnificent birds can usually be seen at a nature reserve next to Loch Garten.

Arriving in Aviemore at the end of the trek, you will feel satisfied, invigorated and, perhaps, that it is time to celebrate completing the beautiful Speyside Way long distance walk! Check in to your comfortable accommodation and treat yourself to a special dinner in a local restaurant.

Distance 10km excluding the lochs detour

Day 8 – Depart

A simple train ride takes you back to Inverness in less than 1 hour from Aviemore to complete the journey. Alternatively if you are heading south toward Edinburgh, Glasgow or beyond you can head direct from Aviemore without going back to Inverness.

For a detailed itinerary and trips information please see our PDF Trip Dossier

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Price from: £715

Duration: 7 night(s)

No. of Travellers:   Date:

Location: Cairngorms and Central Highlands

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: 4

7 review(s)

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Trip reviews

Customer Kudos
Great experience, both in the lead up to the walk and in the walk. The walk was as described in terms of difficulty and the route was easy to follow. All of the details were taken care of so that we could enjoy the walking!

Yvonne Gaudelius
23/06/2016

5

Overall verdict: a truly rewarding experience, We are only occasional walkers, and the route provided just the right degree of challenge. People were friendly and helpful everywhere, good food was to be had at nearly every point along the route, and the scenery was magnificent.

Nigel Higson
16/06/2016

5

Rated 4.9 out of 5 based on 7 review(s) of Self Guided – Speyside Way

5 star 6

4 star 1

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

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