Rucksack Readers

Rucksack Readers => Speyside Way, Buckie to Aviemore, Scotland => Topic started by: Buggiba on August 03, 2014, 03:01:35 pm

Title: Speyside Way - October 2014 - Any takers?
Post by: Buggiba on August 03, 2014, 03:01:35 pm
I intend taking on the Speyside Way this October, on my own at present. Living in the West Midlands makes Scotland a long way away, and the Highlands even further :(.
My plan is to travel from home to Aviemore on October 4th 2014 and then set off the following day in the 'wrong' direction. My stops are planned as Grantown-on-Spey, Ballindalloch, Craigellachie (2 nights), Fochabers and then Buckie, before catching the bus back to Inverness and Aviemore. After another overnight I expect to travel home on Saturday 11th October 2014. Now, if I travel by car, I have 3 spare seats. I also own a 16-seater minibus should more than 3 people wish to come along. I am prepared to pick up anywhere along the M6 corridor should anyone fancy an autumn stroll on the 'whisky trail'.
I am a 62-year-old man and intend over-nighting in B+B's or bunkhouses, depending on availability.
Any comments or observations would be most welcome.

Title: Re: Speyside Way - October 2014 - Any takers?
Post by: bsmyth on August 07, 2014, 12:30:59 pm
I did this walk about 6 years ago in the same direction and same stop overs with a friend. We enjoyed it albeit it was June. I am not contacting you with a view to joining you but offer a couple of suggestions.
- when at Craigellachie do you plan to visit the cooperage which has an excellent visitor centre and walk up the old railway to Dufftown? If not I suggest you think about it. You can do both in one day.
- we travelled back to Aviemore from Buckie by what I would call the weekend tourist bus run by a local company. It was very picturesque. It took in Glenlivet and Carrbridge.  If it still runs you would have to travel on the Sat I think. Look at Aberdeenshire Council's web site for info. It may not run after the end of Sept if it is still running. Saves going round by Inverness which is a rather long route.
Good luck

Title: Re: Speyside Way - October 2014 - Any takers?
Post by: Jacquetta on August 19, 2014, 04:58:54 pm
A kind offer, Buggiba, wish I could take it up!

Am interested in the "wrong direction" idea, in that in the UK we have prevailing wind from the south-west, and anyway it's downhill from Aviemore to Buckie!

I suppose the reason it is recommended to go from Buckie to Aviemore is mainly because the early sections are shorter and flatter, but on reflection I'm not sure the prevailing wind and gradient aren't stronger arguments! ???

Title: Re: Speyside Way - October 2014 - Any takers?
Post by: Buggiba on September 21, 2014, 01:56:18 pm
Sadly I have had to shelve this proposed walk due to accommodation logistics. I am, instead, taking on the Settle to Carlisle 97-miler, commencing on October 4th 2014, over 6 days. I will report further upon my return.

Title: Re: Speyside Way - October 2014 - Any takers?
Post by: Jacquetta on September 22, 2014, 04:27:29 am
That sounds interesting. The route more or less follows the line of the famous railway, which makes logistics at lot easier. Last time I checked the only real issue for accommodation was Langwathby (no B&Bs between Temple Sowerby and Armathwaite) so unless you are camping it's better to do two nights elsewhere and use the railway to fill in Langwathby-Armathwaite.

If you are spending only 6 days, however, perhaps you plan to merge those two sections for a 20.5 mile day, which also overcomes the problem. Are you walking south to north?

Also, do visit the Friends of Settle to Carlisle ( - it's an excellent society whose campaign saved the line. Maybe even consider joining? It's not expensive and is Britain's largest rail user group.

Title: Re: Speyside Way - October 2014 - Any takers?
Post by: Buggiba on September 23, 2014, 09:48:29 am
Hi Jacquetta,

Yes I am walking south to north, driving from home to Settle on the morning of October 4th 2014, before walking the 15 miles to Ribblehead. There is a folk festival on this weekend so no accommodation >:(. Problem solved by catching train back to Settle and bringing the car back to Ribblehead complete with tent and sleeping bag :). Can also sleep in the car if weather too inclement for camping. Day 2 is a 24-mile tramp from Ribblehead to Kirkby Stephen. Booked in to a bunkhouse here. Day 3 is a little 13-miler to Appleby, where B&B is booked,  before catching the train back to Ribblehead and bringing the car up again. Day 4 is a stroll to Skygarth Farm. Another B&B. Day 5 is another 15 miles to a bunkhouse at Kirkoswald, before returning by train to Appleby to fetch the car. Last day is 21 miles to Carlisle, finishing at the Citadel Station in time to catch the 1814 hrs train back to Lazonby, collect the car and drive home.
This really is an ideal walk, having the facility to leapfrog by train and car and removing the necessity for a bag-carrying service. Should you wish to place a walkers forum on the Settle to Carlisle Rucksack Reader site I would be happy to furnish you with a full account upon my return. Not forgetting to include a Good Beer Guide to the route ;D.