Speyside Way

Speyside Way

A self-guided walking holiday from Buckie to Newtonmore, following the course of the spectacular River Spey

3 to 11 nights
27-101 miles
Moderate to Moderate / Demanding

From £385 per person

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About the trail

Follow the Speyside Way along the River Spey from the wave-battered coastline up through birchwoods and pastures, with views of heather-clad hills giving way steadily to the rising peaks of the Cairngorm Mountains. The Speyside Way keeps to clear paths and tracks, which are chiefly low-level save for a hillier foray from the riverbank between Ballindalloch and Grantown.

The trail is alive with welcoming villages and a wide variety of wildlife, from ospreys to dolphins, while budding historians will love the Pictish relics, standing stones and ancient castles. Some of Scotland’s most famous distilleries await, too, including Glenfiddich, Machallan, and Cardhu. Overall, the Speyside Way is an approachable, settled route through a wild and beguiling landscape.

We offer multiple holiday options along this trail. If you wish to experience the entire trail, simply select the first option from the list below.

Choose your route

  • Speyside Way and Tomintoul Spur
  • Speyside Way
  • Speyside Way Short Break

About this route

8 to 9 nights
86 miles
Moderate to Moderate / Demanding
1st April to 31st October

From £985 per person

Speyside Way

The full Speyside Way trail journeys from Buckie by the coast to the town of Newtonmore nestled inland. The walk revels in the moorland and mountain backdrops, accompanied by the ever-present rumble of the River Spey itself as it winds through quiet forests and thriving pasture land.

The Speyside Way utilises mostly low-level paths and tracks, and is dotted with an array of welcoming villages, a wide variety of wildlife and a healthy smattering of intriguing historic sites. All of the above comes together to form an impressive walking trail worthy of exploration.

Available tours

Code Tour Duration Difficulty Price per person
SPW1 From Buckie to Newtonmore 8 nights, 7 days walking Moderate / Demanding £985
SPW2 From Buckie to Newtonmore 9 nights, 8 days walking Moderate £1105

Short breaks

Code Tour Duration Difficulty Price per person
SPWSB1 From Craigellachie to Grantown-on-Spey 3 nights, 2 days walking Moderate / Demanding £385

Speyside Way 8 nights, 7 days walking

£NNN per person
  • Itinerary
  • What's included?
  • Extra nights?
  • Tour facts
  • Route profile
  • Travel info
  • Weather
  • Holiday Highlights
Start

Travel to Buckie where your first night's accommodation will be booked

Day 1

Buckie to Fochabers. 10 miles (16km) / 315 ft (96 m) ascent

Day 2

Fochabers to Craigellachie. 13 miles (21km) / 1680 ft (512 m) ascent

Day 3

Craigellachie to Ballindalloch. 12 miles (19km) / 787 ft (240 m) ascent

Day 4

Ballindalloch to Grantown-on-Spey. 14.5 miles (23.5km) / 1522 ft (464 m) ascent

Day 5

Grantown-on-Spey to Boat of Garten(L). 10.5 miles (17km) / 525 ft (160 m) ascent

Day 6

Boat of Garten(L) to Kincraig(T). 12.5 miles (20km) / 144 ft (44 m) ascent

Day 7

Kincraig(T) to Newtonmore. 13 miles (21km) / 463 ft (141 m) ascent

Finish

Depart from Newtonmore after breakfast

Your Itinerary

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this tour. Sometimes there may be a shortage of available accommodation in a preferred location, in which case we will transfer you from the trail to your accommodation and back again at no extra charge. Overnight stops marked with a (T) will always require transfers as standard.

Overnight stops marked with an (L) have very limited accommodation, and therefore more often than not will also require a transfer, particularly on bank holidays and weekends. We will use non-transfer accommodation wherever possible.

The daily mileages quoted are average trail miles only and do not include the distance from the trail to your accommodation. We do not expect you to have to travel more than a mile from the trail to your accommodation in most cases; should your accommodation be further than this, transfers will be provided as standard if practical. A very limited number of stops will require you to travel on foot up to two miles off the trail, however these instances will be clearly communicated to you if applicable.

Further transfers may also be required due to some accommodations having a two-night minimum booking policy, especially at weekends.

Below are the additional costs that may apply depending on your requirements. Dog-friendly tours are subject to a Daily Dog Charge, which will be listed below if applicable. Our standard prices per person are based upon two people sharing a room; if you are on your own, or are part of a group but require a room of your own, then the Solo Traveller or Single Supplements apply respectively:

A note about transfers
Solo Traveller Supplement
£60.00 per person / per night
Single Supplement
£50.00 per person / per night


You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night
Standard
Interactive
© Contours Walking Holidays Speyside Way map
Buckie to Newtonmore
86 miles (138 km)
1st April to 31st October

Holiday highlights

Spotting wild osprey swooping at Loch Garten, among many other beautiful birds.

Experiencing the diverse scenery on the trail, from charming coastline, quaint fishing villages, rural farmland, dense forest and dramatic mountains in the Cairngorms National Park.

Sampling Speyside salmon and whisky as you visit the fishing towns and famous whisky distilleries.

What's included?

  • 8 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms (where available) in selected B&B’s, hotels, inns and guesthouses along the trail, or a short distance away via taxi provided at our expense.
  • Breakfast each day.
  • Door to door luggage transfer.
  • Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook or route notes describing the trail.
  • An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.

Extra Nights & Rest Days

An extra night is a wonderful way to extend your holiday. Consider an extra night in Craigellachie if you would like to visit the Macallan Distillery or the Speyside Cooperage, which makes oak whisky casks, or follow the 4-mile (6.5km) 'Dufftown Spur' to the Glenfiddich Distillery, Balvenie Castle and the delightful little town of Dufftown, the 'Malt Whisky Capital of the World'.

Grantown-on-Spey is a very attractive Georgian town with plenty of shops and an interesting museum.

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night

Tour Facts

Total distance: 86 miles (137.5 km)
Duration: 8 nights, 7 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 10 miles (16 km)
Maximum daily distance: 14.5 miles (23.5 km)
Code: SPW1 Grade: Moderate / Demanding
Season: 1st April - 31st October
Start of holiday: Buckie
End of holiday: Newtonmore

Route Profile

Speyside Way Route Profile

Travel Information

Useful information and travel links that will assist you in your plans to travel to the start of the holiday and back from the end of it are sent to you with your full tour pack. A summary is given below:

By Air - The most convenient major city and international airports are Inverness, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

By Rail - The nearest rail stations to the start of the trail (Buckie) are either Keith (about 13 miles away) or Elgin (about 17 miles away). There is a rail station at the end of the trail (Newtonmore).

By Bus - Bus journeys to Buckie from Keith or Elgin are rather lengthy, so a taxi would be preferable. Various bus services run from Newtonmore.

From London - Trains run from London Kings Cross or Euston stations to Keith or Elgin. From there a taxi will be required to Buckie.

Return To The Start - The easiest way to return to the start of the trail, is to take a train from Newtonmore to Elgin. From there a taxi will be required to Buckie.

Weather Information

To find out more about the weather forecast for your chosen holiday's general location, please see the following websites:

  • MetCheck - This website allows you to look up detailed weather information for specific locations as far as six months in advance.
  • Met Office - This website shows regional area forecasts a few days in advance, with a general UK forecast description of up to 30 days in advance.
  • Mountain Forecast - This website shows what the forecast is like up on specific hills and fells, and offers forecasts a few days in advance.
"On the Lower Slopes of Ben Aigan" by Robert Evans (2022) "On the Lower Slopes of Ben Aigan" by Robert Evans (2022)
"Where the Spey Meets the Sea" by Robert Evans (2022) "Where the Spey Meets the Sea" by Robert Evans (2022)
"Telford's Cast Iron Bridge" by Robert Evans (2022) "Telford's Cast Iron Bridge" by Robert Evans (2022)
"Former Railway Track to Port Gordon" by Robert Evans (2022) "Former Railway Track to Port Gordon" by Robert Evans (2022)
"View from the Slopes of Ben Aigan" by Robert Evans (2022) "View from the Slopes of Ben Aigan" by Robert Evans (2022)
"Old Viaduct, Ballindalloch" by Barbara Milne-Redhead (2019) "Old Viaduct, Ballindalloch" by Barbara Milne-Redhead (2019)
"Cragganmore Old Granary Halt" by Barbara Milne-Redhead (2019) "Cragganmore Old Granary Halt" by Barbara Milne-Redhead (2019)
"Beyond Aberlour on Disused Railway Track" by Barbara Milne-Redhead (2019) "Beyond Aberlour on Disused Railway Track" by Barbara Milne-Redhead (2019)
"Aviemore" by Jan Valvekens (2018) "Aviemore" by Jan Valvekens (2018)
"Trainspotting on the Speyside Way" by David Raynor (2017) "Trainspotting on the Speyside Way" by David Raynor (2017)
"Looking out over the River Spey" by David Raynor (2017) "Looking out over the River Spey" by David Raynor (2017)

Customer reviews from the Speyside Way

“Everything worked as it should (even the weather!) We benefitted from quick responses from the office on several occasions.”
Mr Rasmussen, Denmark
“The experience met the expectations we had after two previous walking holidays with Contours and overall we were very happy with the arrangements.”
Mrs Jokinen, Finland
“We had a great time”
Mrs Lawrie, UK
“A great walk with great hospitality, thank you!”
Mrs Foster, UK
“The lodgings were in general great, and the level of service was great.”
Mr Marshall, USA
“Flawless organisation. Friendly and helpful hosts. Beautiful scenery. Unexpectedly good weather.”
Mr Valvekens, Belgium
“Organisation and care taken by Contours was excellent.”
Mr Markovec, Australia
“Contour arrangements were good and we enjoyed our week. Would be happy to consider Contours again but as we are getting older, will be waiting until next year to consider our walking ability.”
Mrs Burnett, UK
“Weather was warm and sunny which helped make it so enjoyable. Accommodation was ideal and baggage transfers went seamlessly.”
Mr Jarvie, UK
Find your holiday