Book data

Moray Coast Trail
Sandra Bardwell  
25 September 2023
UK price £14.99
72pp, 130 x 220mm, 160g

Moray Coast Trail

with Dava Way and Moray Way


Sandra Bardwell

In stock

"This superb guidebook makes the perfect companion" - Cameron McNeish

This guidebook covers two contrasting routes in north-east Scotland: the Moray Coast Trail from Forres to Cullen, and the Dava Way, an inland route from Grantown to Forres, both in detail. The Moray Coast Trail consists of 44 miles/71 km of beach walking, on coastal paths, quiet roads and old railways. Its views are across coves, beaches and skerries to the vastness of the Moray Firth and the North Sea. The Dava Way extends for 23 miles/38 km inland with vistas of mountain, moorland and farmland. We also summarise the Moray Way, a route that combines most of the above two routes with part of the Speyside Way to form a 96-mile circuit of considerable beauty and historical interest.

The second edition features improved large-scale mapping (scale 1:40,000), several significant route updates and many fresh photos. It is in our lighter, more pocket-friendly format, with perfect binding instead of concealed wiro, now stitched as well as glued for robust handling.

We sold out of this title in August 2023 but are reprinting and expect fresh stock by the first week of October.


This guidebook contains all you need to plan and enjoy your holiday on and near the Moray Firth:

  • detailed description of the Moray Coast Trail from west to east, and Dava Way from south to north
  • summaries of distance, terrain and refreshments for each section
  • details of visitor attractions and side-trips
  • richly illustrated habitats and wildlife
  • planning information for travel by car, bus and plane
  • contacts for accommodation
  • maps showing both routes at 1:40,000
  • in full colour, with 80 photographs
  • rucksack-friendly and on rainproof paper.
Look inside

Click on the thumbnails below to view sample pages from the book "Moray Coast Trail" in standard PDF format.
To reduce loading time, resolution is limited in these extracts, but all photographs are printed at top quality in our books. All text and images are copyrighted ©Rucksack Readers and licensors: please respect our intellectual property.

From Part 1 (pp4-9)
Habitats and wildlife (pp21-25)
Dava to Dunphail (pp32-36)
Lossiemouth to Buckie (pp52-61)

From an online review on Undiscovered Scotland (2nd ed)

The second edition of “Moray Coast Trail with Dava and Moray Ways” by Sandra Bardwell is an excellent guide to two (or perhaps three) contrasting and less well-known long distance walks. In her introduction the author says: “This book describes two strikingly different routes in north-east Scotland, the Dava Way (DW), an inland route from Grantown-on-Spey to Forres and the Moray Coast Trail (MCT) from Forres to Cullen. The DW crosses a relatively high plateau and makes use of an old railway trackbed, whereas the MCT never rises above 50 m and is rarely out of sight of the coast.”  …

The book begins with an introductory section that helps those wanting to walk either or both paths to plan their expedition, setting out everything from facilities in different locations to bus routes. There are also nicely illustrated features about topics of relevance, such as beach walking and tides; geology and landscape; history and habitat and wildlife. The heart of the book comprises sections of route description and accompanying mapping at a scale large enough (1:40,000) to allow you to follow the paths in detail. This is a great guide for anyone looking to follow the route less travelled and explore an amazing part of Scotland that is all too easy to overlook.

Read the full revies here.

Ken Lussey on Undiscovered Scotland

Excellent guide to waymarked ways in north-east Scotland

This walking guide is a delight for any rambler or walker. … A varied compilation of attractive photographs give the reader a sense of what the two main trails offer. Moreover, clear and detailed maps at difference scales give an overview … as well as detailed information on each section of the trail.

From Donal Finn's review in Irish Mountain Log no 98, Summer 2011 page 52

From a review in TGO magazine

The Moray Coast Trail is one of Scotland’s best-kept secrets … the new guide also describes the Dava Way and the Moray Way, so it’s a real bargain at £10.99. As well as all the directional advice you’ll need … there is plenty of information on accommodation and transport, 1:80,000 maps and dozens of glorious photographs.

Cameron McNeish, tgo March page 66

From a review in Outdoor Focus

Everything about this publication proclaims its usefulness. Its size … allows it to slip easily into a cagoule pocket. The spiral binding permits it to be left open at an appropriate page. It is printed on waterproof material and so can survive hostile weather. The layout of its contents is both attractive and well thought out. … The book is illustrated by excellent, full-colour photographs throughout.

Anthony Toole in OF Winter 2010/2011, p2

Reviewed in the LDWA magazine Strider

The coast is generally unspoilt with fine beach and cliff scenery … A welcome companion to walking in a very attractive but unfrequented area of Scotland.

Ken Falconer in Strider December 2010

Ramblers mention "another gem from Rucksack Readers"

A spiral-bound map guide to the 70km/44-mile walking trail around the Moray coast from Forres to Cullen … Clear, colourful and another gem from Rucksack Readers.

Walk magazine, winter 2010, page 89

The Press and Journal, 14 September 2010

The Moray Coast Trail is a breathtaking and beautiful walk, and now there is the perfect guidebook to help you get the most out of every step. … [the Trail] follows the fulmar along the finest coastal scenery in Scotland … The author lives near Inverness and is a veteran guidebook writer for Rucksack Readers, Lonely Planet and Sunflower Books.

P&J Your Home page 24

Cameron McNeish writes

With its 44 miles of marvellous landscapes, from rugged cliffs, caves and sheltered coves to fishertown harbours and sweeping stretches of sand, this trail is one of Scotland’s best kept secrets. Combined with the inland Dava Way, you have a week’s walking as good as anywhere in Scotland. This superb guidebook makes the perfect companion to north-east Scotland’s finest long walks.

Bonus content

GPX route file
Route updates

There have been some changes in recent years:

  1. The Lossiemouth footbridge was replaced in 2022 by a new bridge at mile 21.4, so you can ignore the detour instructions on page 52 and cross directly to the east beach. Many thanks to Anna Lang for confirming this update.
  2. The Kineil Coaches 312 service (page 9) no longer operates but Moray Council’s “On demand” bus service works really well: phone 0300 123 4565 at least 24 hours in advance; you don’t need to be a Moray resident to use this service
  3. The closure of the level crossing near Benromach Distillery means that our preferred route out of Forres follows a shorter route passing Grant Park and Sueno’s Stone.
  4. The MOD has given up the Binn Hill firing range, but the site may be leased to another user. Should red flags be seen to fly on occasion, it means live ammunition is in use: do not proceed and detour inland. Check back here for any updates.

More info to help with your planning

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