UK: +44 (0)1479 420 020
US: 1-866-740-3890
National Geographic - Best Adventure Travel Companies

Wilderness Walking – The Speyside Way

  • Hike 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.
  • 6 nights accommodation in small Highland accommodations on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Most meals during the trip from lunch on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 7 (Meals included indicated as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • The services of an experienced and knowledgeable Wilderness Scotland guide throughout
  • Transfer from Inverness to Buckie on Day 1

Blue Graded Walking Holidays

Blue graded walking holidays are suitable for fit and experienced hikers. We walk at a good pace and you can expect to be out for 6-8 hours a day. You will not always be on a path and the terrain underfoot can be rough and boggy, including boulder fields and mountain tops. Some of the daily walks will involve a mountain ascent of over 3000ft / 900m high. Daily distances will be typically up to 16km but may be longer occasionally. Daily hike details are available in the itinerary.

This is a point to point itinerary where we walk to a new accommodation each day. The accommodation on this trip is graded as Classic and we handpick the best available accommodation along the route, which ranges from small guesthouses, Highland inns, small hotels and bed and breakfast establishments. Our accommodation partners are carefully chosen according to a number of factors – charming locations, very good facilities and a reputation for providing Highland hospitality.

Breakfast is provided each morning, as well as lunch and snacks throughout the trip. Dinner is provided on the first and last night.

Most meals are included in the price of this holiday. Local pubs and restaurants offer a wide choice of local dishes, and by not including the cost of all meals in the holiday price, you will have the opportunity to sample the full range of their delicious menus as you wish.


There is no single person supplement charged to solo travellers, however, you will be required to share a room with another person of the same sex. If you require a single room please request this at the time of booking and we will check availability for you. A single room supplement of £175 is charged if a single room is available – please see booking terms and conditions.

You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide at the fixed seating area in the centre of Inverness Railway Station at 08:30am on Day 1 of your trip. The trip will end on the final morning after breakfast and you can depart from Aviemore when you please.

For advice on getting to and from Scotland please our travel advice page on our website:

Trip Details

The Speyside Way, one of Scotland’s most beautiful long-distance walks, winds its way from the Moray Coast into the heart of the Cairngorms National Park.

The Speyside Way is a long distance hiking trail covering just over 65 miles/100km.

The trail runs from the fishing village of Buckie on the Moray coast to the village of Aviemore, which lies in the foothills of the Cairngorms. Following the banks of the River Spey, this 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.

NOTE: This is our guided Speyside Way walking trip. If you are interested in walking the Speyside Way without a guide, please check out our Self-Guided Speyside Way trip page.


Day 1 – Arrival and hike from Buckie to Fochabers

This morning we meet at the train station in Inverness at 08:30am. After a welcome from your guide we will transfer to coastal village of Buckie which is the start point of our hike.

Setting out on the walk, we follow the coastline westwards enjoying sea views from Buckie to reach the River Spey at Spey Bay. Then turning south we begin the trek along the river banks, with your first night’s stop in Fochabers. Today is an easy day with little ascent – perfect for a warm up for what lies ahead! (L, D)

Distance: 17.5km/11 miles Ascent: 65m

Day 2 – Fochabers to Craigellachie

Today is more challenging with undulating countryside meaning more ascent and descent. We start by following quiet country roads through forested lands overlooking the river.  After passing a bridge at Boat o’ Brig we then get off the road and enter attractive woodland, walking across the lower flanks of Ben Aigan. This is the more challenging section with more ascent, but then it’s all downhill to your accommodation at Craigellachie. (B, L)

Distance: 21km/13 miles Ascent: 490m

Day 3 – Craigellachie to Ballindalloch

Today’s section of the trail is a lovely hike on easy terrain, following the banks of the river with sections along the old railway line, which is now a flat and grassy track – meaning there is very little ascent today! The path winds its way along the meanders of the river valley offering lovely views of the river – keep your eyes peeled for canoeists enjoying the rapids! (B, L)

Distance: 19km/11 miles Ascent: 48m

Day 4 – Ballindalloch to Grantown on Spey

Today will be the most strenuous day of the trip with a longer distance and undulating terrain. The route today is a mixture of paths and some more disused railway, but it can be boggy for short sections. Today you will enter the Cairngorms National Park, with the mountains growing clearer and closer in the distance. Enjoy good views of the heathery hills and old woodlands as you hike today, including the beautiful community owned Anagach Pinewoods as you arrive for tonight’s halt at Grantown-on-Spey. (B, L)

Distance: 24km/15 miles Ascent: 500m

Day 5 – Grantown on Spey to Boat of Garten

You’re now into the national park and today should be a very enjoyable hike, surrounded by gorgeous scenery. You start off following more old railway to the charming village of Nethybridge. After Nethybridge you enter the northern part of Abernethy Forest – a huge nature reserve owned by the RSPB. It’s a great section to look out for wildlife including red squirrels, and with good forest trails until a short section of road takes you over the river Spey once more and the lovely village of Boat of Garten. (B, L)

Distance: 17.5km/11miles Ascent: 90m

Day 6 – Boat of Garten to Aviemore

From Boat of Garten we will first head back out into the Caledonian forest of Abernethy, to take in the picture perfect nature reserve of Loch Garten. Part of the RSPB estate, it’s a famous place to look out for rare birds

Setting out for Aviemore you’ll hike along a good track with glorious views of the mountains. The path goes through lovely birchwoods and open moorland, and you can keep an eye out for the Strathspey Railway steam locomotive going by. Arriving in Aviemore at your final guesthouse you can look forward to a celebration dinner tonight – you’ve done it! (B, L, D)

Distance: 18km/11 miles Ascent: 50m

Day 7 – DEPART

After breakfast this morning you can start your journey homeward.

PLEASE NOTE: Total daily distances are given for each stage but will vary slightly as you also need to walk to your accommodation each day which will add a short distance.

Download Dossier

Location: Cairngorms and Central Highlands

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: 4

Trip Photos

speyside way-1-2speyside way-1-3speyside way-1speyside way-2speyside way-3speyside way-4speyside way-5speyside way-6speyside way-7speyside way-8speyside way-9
View Gallery

Download your trip dossier

All you need to know about your trip, this essential document is a must for all adventures


  • All info in one document
  • Print-friendly PDF format
  • Details of the meeting point
Download Dossier

Meet your guide

Click on a guides name for a full bio.

View guides for all departures