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The Speyside Way

Perfect companion: 2nd edition of our popular waterproof guidebook, updated in 2010
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+  Rucksack Readers
|-+  Rucksack Readers
| |-+  Speyside Way, Buckie to Aviemore, Scotland
| | |-+  Speyside Way: accommodation and direction
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Author Topic: Speyside Way: accommodation and direction  (Read 39864 times)
Sterna
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« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2010, 12:21:35 AM »

We're just back from doing the walk from Kingussie downstream.  We stayed at:

Osprey Hotel in Kingussie
Ravenscraig GH in Aviemore
Boat Hotel in Boat of Garten
Kinross House in Grantown on Spey
Cragganmore House in Ballindalloch
Argyle House in Tomintoul
Green Hall in Craigellachie

All were just great.  Skipped the Craigellachie to Fochabers section and but did catch a bus to Kingston at the Spey mouth from Elgin to walk upstream to Fochabers.  Accommodation might be a challenge in Fochabers:  we met another couple who spent two nights in Buckie as they couldn't find a room in there.

Weather was fine enough throughout -- a small heat wave at the start made us curse carrying our heavy/warm clothes.  Another time I'd surely consider having our packs carried for us by car.  This is very well worked out along the way and doesn't really cost that much.  Something to consider.

Have a great hike!
Jeff (Seattle)
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Jacquetta
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« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2010, 06:57:32 AM »

Thanks for sharing your experience.  Did you have any route-finding problems by walking the Way downstream instead of the more usual upstream direction?

I too have stayed in the Green Hall and Cragganmore House and would recommend both to anybody.  Can't comment on the rest, except that my B&B in Fochabers was a rare instance of a seriously substandard offering Sad, but it was a few years ago so I won't "name and shame"!

Thanks for your comments, Jeff
Jacquetta
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Jacquetta Megarry, publisher of Rucksack Readers and forum moderator
jwparker1
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« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2010, 09:48:48 AM »

I have a week off in mid November and was considering doing this walk.  Is this winter walking route an absurd idea, has anybody done this route in winter?  I read that the direction (starting point) you take is a personal preference and note the points in this thread - any change due to the time of year?  Thanks
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bsmyth
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« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2010, 10:04:17 AM »

If we get a winter like last year when the snow came in Nov as I remember and stayed for a long time then maybe not a great idea. However what is the likelihood of 2 winters like that in a row? Other than that risk, there is no reason for not doing it in Nov. Arguably the views may be better as the leaves will be off the trees on the old railway line sections which I refer to in an earlier post. Obviously the daylight hours are less at that time of year. I have walked the Borders Abbey Way in Nov and got good walking weather. I know it is further south but the terrain and walking distances are not too dissimilar from the Speyside Way and probably the altitudes on the walks are similar. Direction - for me it's a personal choice. I walked south to north. I am sure it will be equally enjoyable whichever direction you choose. Don't know what  your planned transport arrangements are. We left our car at Aviemore and got a bus back from Buckie. It was a lovely journey. If my memory serves me correctly it only ran at certain times so it's worth checking that one out.
Good luck if you do it.
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Jacquetta
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« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2010, 10:29:36 AM »

Welcome to the forum, Jonathan

I agree with Brian: Speyside in November is far from absurd, but I'd emphasise the short daylight hours issue, to the extent that if you are planning to use B&Bs I would request early breakfast when booking.  On any long sections (e.g. Grantown to Aviemore) it's important to get going at first light so you aren't caught short by the early dusk (and carry a torch just in case).

Not sure that Brian is right to dismiss another extreme winter, though: the early arrival of the Bewick swans and pink-footed geese suggests otherwise!  But I don't think the time of year affects the direction issue: some like to follow the Spey valley downstream with prevailing wind at their back to finish at Buckie, others argue for building up from short, flattish coastal days to harder ones ending at Aviemore.  Transport logistics will pre-empt the decision for others.

I've just spotted an order for our guidebook from you: that's great, it means you'll have the route updates including the new start in Buckie.  Check this post for a checklist of what has changed recently.
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jwparker1
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« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2010, 11:44:00 AM »

Many thanks for the prompt replies. I notice there's already a wealth of information on the forum site, so shall hopefully answer my own questions as they arise in the days to come.  I'm planning on flying into Inverness and will be travelling via public transport - I'll investigate this shortly along with monitoring the weather... My thanks again.
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