Speyside Way

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Speyside Way
Cgg tomintoul.jpg
A walker on the Tomintoul spur
Length 130 km (81 mi)
Location Scotland
Designation Scotland's Great Trails
Trailheads
Use Hiking
Hiking details
Season All year

The Speyside Way (Doric: Strathspey Way; Scottish Gaelic: Slighe Shrath Spe) is one of Scotland's Great Trails that follows the River Spey through some of Banffshire, Morayshire and Inverness-shire's most beautiful scenery. It is one of four Long Distance Routes in Scotland. It begins in Aviemore and ends at Buckpool harbour in Buckie, some 65 miles away. 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 80 miles (130 km). 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.

The Way is clearly marked 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. The final five miles from Spey Bay to Buckie follow the coastline.

An extension of the route from Aviemore to Newtonmore is currently being progressed. This extension would lengthen 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.

A formal proposal has now been submitted and has received approval in principle from Scottish Ministers, but it still looks likely that not all landowners will be in agreement with the designated route. If instructed by the Scottish Ministers, the Cairngorms National Park Authority can implement the route against landowners' wishes under the Countryside (Scotland) Act 1967 and the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003. Negotiations are still underway to attempt to avoid this situation.

The path follows most of the route of the former Strathspey Railway.

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