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    Self Guided
    Speyside Way

    21 review(s)

    Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights

    From £950

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    Trip created by Jane Gillies
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    Region: Cairngorms and Central Highlands
    Trip Type: Self Guided
    Accommodation: Classic
    Deposit From: £237.50 £237.50


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

    Download Itinerary

    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.

    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. Hiking through villages, woods and rural riverlands, the path is fairly quiet so you won’t be sharing it with many other hikers and will often find that you have it to yourself.

    Self Guided Walking Holidays – Your Questions Answered

    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 usually add a short distance.

    Extra Nights and Accommodation Upgrades

    You also have the option to choose the following upgrades and extra nights.

    • Upgraded accommodation package – we will reserve the best rooms available along the route including the first night at 5 star Rocpool Reserve – £1,340 per person
    • Add an extra night to your trip – ideal for a rest day or to spend more time for detours such as distillery visits. The additional charge is £75 per person, £120 per person if upgraded accommodation

    Trip Highlights

    • 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.

    Day by Day Itinerary

    Day 1 – Arrive in Inverness

    On the first day of your trip you travel to Inverness and spend the night here, which is included in your trip price. Tomorrow you head to Buckie to start the hike.

    Day 2 – Transfer to Buckie then hike to Fochabers

    From Inverness, you take the train (journey of less than an hour) to Elgin. Here a pre-arranged taxi will meet you and transfer you to Buckie for the start of the walk. Your luggage is transferred ahead to your accommodation from this point. Please note the train is not included in the cost of your trip and will need to be arranged in advance. Setting out on the walk now, you follow the coastline westwards enjoying sea views from Buckie to reach the River Spey at Spey Bay. Then turning south you begin your 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!

    Distance: 17.5km/11 miles Ascent: 65m

    Day 3 – Fochabers to Craigellachie

    Today is more challenging with undulating countryside meaning more ascent and descent. You start by following quiet country roads through forested lands overlooking the river. After passing a bridge at Boat o’ Brig you then get off the road and enter attractive woodland as you walk 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.

    Distance: 21km/13 miles Ascent: 490m

    Day 4 – 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 former railway line, which is now a flat and grassy track – meaning there is very little ascent today! You’re also in prime whisky country now, so you may even like to consider stopping off to visit a distillery today. Aberlour is a good choice! At the very least, you can look forward to a local dram with dinner tonight, wherever you eat.

    Distance: 19km Ascent:/11.5 miles: 48m

    Day 5 – Ballindalloch to Grantown-on-Spey

    Today will be the most strenuous day of the trip with a longer distance and undulating terrain. The path 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.

    Distance: 24km/15 miles Ascent: 500m

    Day 6 – 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.

    Distance: 17.5km/11 miles Ascent: 90m

    Day 7 – Boat of Garten to Aviemore

    The final section of the route to Aviemore is a short and easy hike to finish your Speyside Way adventure – easily done in a morning or afternoon. If you would like to extend the walk to make a full day of it you could first hike back into Abernethy Forest to see Loch Garten and Loch Mallachie – a great place to spot Osprey – before heading back to Boat of Garten. Or, get to Aviemore a bit earlier and maybe take a ride on the steam railway! 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!

    Distance: 10km/6 miles excluding the lochs detour Ascent: 50m

    Day 8 – Depart Aviemore

    After breakfast this morning you can start your journey homeward. If going south to Edinburgh or Glasgow you can head directly from Aviemore on the train or bus. Alternatively if heading for London or elsewhere you can head north to Inverness to catch a connecting flight from Inverness Airport.

    Self Guided
    Speyside Way

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    Price from: £950
    Duration: 8 Days 7 Nights

    Trip Details

    Accommodation Read More

    At each stage of your trek we will arrange accommodation for you to stay that night. The accommodations range from small guesthouses, Highland inns, small hotels and bed and breakfast establishments which will be of a 3 or 4 star standard. Our accommodation partners are carefully chosen according to a number of factors – charming locations, very good facilities and a reputation for providing Highland hospitality. We do not use accommodations we have not personally visited.

    If you choose the upgraded accommodation option we will reserve the best available accommodation option in each location for you. However, in some areas, accommodation is very limited so the choice is restricted. Where this is the case we will book the best quality room available for you. If you wish to choose upgraded accommodation please call us to book – this is not available online.

    Meals Read More

    Accommodation will be reserved on a Bed & Breakfast basis – lunches and evening meals are not included. Local shops sell sandwiches and snacks for the day ahead. Many guest houses will also be able to provide a packed lunch for you if you ask them the night before. In the evenings, meals can be taken in local restaurants, hotels or bars.

    Inclusions Read More
    • 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.

    Photo Gallery

    Speak to an Expert

    Jane Gillies

    Jane works as an Adventure Consultant in the sales team and is renowned for keeping things organised, ship-shape and running like clockwork! Durham born, Jane bagged herself a Scottish husband and has since moved to the Highlands and has spent many hours exploring.

    Ask Jane a Question

    Difficulty Grades Explained

    Blue Graded Self Guided Holidays 4-6

    Self guided Blue graded walking holidays are suitable for fit and experienced hikers. Walking at a good pace you can expect to be out for 6-8 hours a day. You will be following a trail but should understand how to follow a hiking map with at least basic navigation skills. Daily distances will vary – typically up to 20km but may be longer occasionally, or often on the more challenging trips in the grade. Daily hike details are available in the itinerary.

    Trail conditions will vary from well laid and maintained sections of gravel track to rough and rocky sections including muddy and wet areas. Short sections may be on tarmac.

    Trip Reviews

    Rated 4.86 out of 5 based on 21 review(s) of Self Guided – Speyside Way


    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.


    Richard Woods Rogan

    Reviewed on 03/08/2021

    Age: 20 - 30
    Country: UK
    Trip Date: 15/07/2021
    Trips Taken: 1

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line



    Natasha May

    Reviewed on 02/08/2021

    Age: 20 - 30
    Country: United Kingdom
    Trip Date: 15/07/2021
    Trips Taken: 1

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    Had an amazing trip!


    Paul Fiddaman

    Reviewed on 27/07/2021

    Age: 50 - 60
    Trip Date: 10/07/2021
    Trips Taken: 1

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    Excellent throughout. A very personalised service which led to a worry-free week of walking in glorious countryside. We have walked with many companies all over the world but Wilderness Scotland will be our company of choice for the UK from now on.

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