Speyside Way

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Speyside Way
Cgg tomintoul.jpg
A walker on the Tomintoul spur
Length 107 kilometres (66 mi) to Aviemore / 130 kilometres (81 mi) including the spur to Tomintoul
Location Scotland
Established 1981[1]
Designation Scotland's Great Trails
Use Hiking
Elevation change 1,245 metres (4,085 ft) (excluding Tomintoul spur)[2]
Hiking details
Season All year

The Speyside Way (Doric: Strathspey Way;[citation needed] Scottish Gaelic: Slighe Shrath Spe) is a long-distance path that follows the River Spey through the scenery of Banffshire, Morayshire and Inverness-shire in Scotland. The route begins in Aviemore and ends at Buckpool harbour in Buckie, some 107 kilometres (66 mi) away.[note 1][3][4] Some choose to walk the route from Buckie to Aviemore. There is a spur leading off the main route to Tomintoul bringing the total distance up to 130 kilometres (81 mi).[3] In addition, there is a Dufftown loop option, and other less well-known routes (Badenoch Way, Dava Way, and Moray Coast Trail) can be worked in, all affecting the total distance walked. Sections of the route are open to cycling.[citation needed]

The Way is clearly waymarked with a symbol showing a thistle in a hexagon. The route generally follows the valley of the River Spey, passing some of the distilleries that produce Speyside single malts.[3] The final 5 miles (8 km) from Spey Bay to Buckie follow the coastline.

The route was established in 1981,[1] and is managed by three authorities: Highland Council, Moray Council and the Cairngorms National Park Authority.[5] It is listed as one of Scotland's Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage, and links directly to two further Great Trails: the Moray Coast Trail and the Dava Way.[3] About 53,000 people use the path every year, of whom about 3,000 complete the entire route.[6]

Extension to Newtonmore[edit]

An extension of the route from Aviemore to Newtonmore follows most of the route of the former Strathspey Railway, lengthening the total route by 34.8 km (21.6 miles), roughly following the route of the River Spey and utilising part of the Sustrans cycle route. The first part of the extension, to Kincraig, was opened in 2015, and the Cairngorms National Park Authority are continuing work to complete the extension to Newtonmore.[7]

The extension was approved in principle by Scottish Ministers in May 2009 and agreement was reached with all but one landowner - the owner of the Kinrara Estate. The Cairngorms National Park Authority resolved in May 2010 to use the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 to apply for the route to be implemented against landowner's wishes.[8] In 2012, Scotland's first Path Order was granted, forcing the owner of the Kinrara Estate to allow the path to cross his land.[9] In July 2017 the estate erected locked gates, blocking members of the public who have a right to roam, but the issue was resolved by the following month.[10][11]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ As of September 2018, although the section 10.5-kilometere section to Kincraig is now open, both the official website and the Scotland's Great Trails website continue to state the distance with reference to Aviemore as the southern start/finish point.


  1. ^ a b "SNH Commissioned Report 380: Developing the network of longer distance routes" (PDF). Scottish Natural Heritage. 2010. p. 5. Retrieved 2018-08-08.
  2. ^ "Trails". Scotland's Great Trails. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  3. ^ a b c d "Speyside Way". Scotland's Great Trails. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  4. ^ "Online Guide to the Speyside Way Long Distance Route". Speyside Way. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  5. ^ "The Speyside Way". www.speysideway.org. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Scotland's networks of paths and trails: key research findings" (PDF). Scottish Natural Heritage. August 2018. p. 6. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  7. ^ "Latest News: Speyside Way Extension". Speyside Way. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  8. ^ "Owner of 'showgirl' estate forced to accept ramblers under right to roam". The Scotsman. 14 May 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  9. ^ "Ramblers force open first pathway". The Scotsman. 5 June 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  10. ^ Cairns, Craig (22 July 2017). "Kinrara estate blocks right to roam by putting up locked gates on Speyside Way". The National. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  11. ^ Kinrara gates in Cairngorms National Park re-opened.

External links[edit]