Speyside Way

Today we completed day 4 of our Speyside Way walk. We have two more days to go and then our walking in Scotland will be over. It is going by quickly.

Like the Great Glen Way, the Speyside Way is an easy six-day, (mostly) flat walk, that will take us to the town of Buckie on the North Sea coast. The average daily distance about 20 km.

After a 45 minute train ride from Inverness to Aviemore last Thursday, and a quick stop at an outdoors store where Roy was finally able to buy replacement tips for his poles, we set off.

The route takes us more or less along the Spey river and often follows old rail lines. Many railways were decommissioned in the early ‘60s, rails removed and stations abandoned. Since then, and I assume with tourism on the rise, some have been converted to walking routes, and some of the old station platforms or buildings have been restored. In some places, such as the line from Aviemore to Boat-of-Garten, the railways have been restored and historic steam trains operate as tourist attractions several times a week.

We are enjoying the walking and feel lucky with the weather—cloudy with sun and only the very occasional shower, most of which only last about 5 minutes. Much better than I had expected in Scotland in April.

Below are some pictures from the last few days.

Endless landscapes full of sheep

An odd grumpy Scottish walker in a kilt
Fishing in the Spey

Scissors gate
Whisky country

Old railroad bridge
Restored railway station
Trail beside the Spey
Very good lunchtime pub stop
Modern distillery
Wild flowers in the forest
Steep steps to street of our B&B!

Finishing the Speyside Way

Busy days!

Yesterday (Tuesday) we finished the Speyside Way walk, took a bus and train to Inverness where we had dinner with friends and spent the night. Today we came by train to Glasgow where we will spend the night. Tomorrow Inge flies to Holland to spend a week with family and friends, and I fly to Bristol. Friday I’ll begin Offa’s Dyke walk in Wales.

The weather for the last two days of the Speyside walk was good, although the mornings were cold. It was 0º yesterday morning when we set off! But it was sunny and quickly warmed.

It is a shock to be back in busy Glasgow after small towns and quiet Inverness, but it feels good to return to the place where we began our walks in Scotland.

Here are a few photos:

Highland cattle and a newborn

The Spey Valley and our first view of the North Sea

Inge the cattle whisperer. She coaxed the herd to come across the field to the fence.

Two boats by the Spey

Pano shot of the Spey flowing into the North Sea

Inge on the beach after dipping her boots in the sea

Buckie—our destinationFinished the walk.

A wee dram of whisky after dinner in Inverness with friends from Vancouver. They had just finished the Great Glen walk.

At last! I found Nessie hiding in a souvenir shop in Glasgow. Little wonder no one sees her swimming in Loch Ness.