Book data

Speyside Way
Jacquetta Megarry   Sandra Bardwell  
28 July 2021
UK price £13.99
80pp, 130 x 220mm, 188g

Speyside Way

(3rd ed)


Jacquetta Megarry Sandra Bardwell

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"Innovative, entertaining and practical" - Cameron McNeish

The Speyside Way is one of Scotland’s Great Trails. Its main spine runs for 85 miles (136 km) from the fishing port of Buckie to Newtonmore in the Cairngorms National Park, with an optional 16-mile spur to Tomintoul via Glenlivet. Following the lovely valley of the River Spey, you walk through countryside rich in malt whisky and wildlife, along riverside paths, railway trackbed and forest and moorland tracks.

This third edition, based on fieldwork in 2021, has been fully revised to celebrate the long-awaited extension to Newtonmore. It has custom large-scale mapping on 17 of its pages. Over half of its 100 colour photos are new, and despite having 16 pages more than the previous edition, it’s lighter and more rainproof than ever.

This book is in our pocket-friendly format, with perfect binding (stitched and glued).


This guidebook contains all you need to plan and enjoy the Speyside Way:

  • the Way step-by-step, with summaries of distance, terrain and refreshments
  • detailed mapping of the entire Way including Tomintoul spur (1:42,500)
  • plans of villages and towns that the Way passes through
  • habitats and wildlife, including dolphins, ospreys and wildcats
  • detailed coverage of whisky-making and distilleries
  • planning information for travel by car, train, bus or plane
  • concise directions for walking the reverse direction
  • in full colour, with 103 photographs
  • rucksack-friendly and on rainproof paper.
Look inside

Click on the thumbnails below to view sample pages from the book "Speyside Way" 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 planning (pp4-10)
2.1 The River Spey (pp16-17)
3.7 Aviemore to Newtonmore

From an online review on Undiscovered Scotland (3rd ed)

Rucksack Readers has long represented the gold standard for long distance walking guides. Their guides have always been bright, attractive, light, waterproof and comprehensive, containing between their covers pretty much everything you really need to tackle the walk in question: from excellent mapping to route descriptions to background features to sources of additional information.

The third edition of “Speyside Way” by Jacquetta Megarry and Sandra Bardwell is fully revised based on fieldwork in 2021 and provides an amazing guide to a route that has changed and/or been extended more than once over the years.

Read the full review here.

Ken Lussey on Undiscovered Scotland

Excerpt from review in the Badenoch and Strathspey Herald:

“This new Rucksack Readers guide to the Speyside Way is innovative, entertaining and practical, and makes a strong case for picking up your pack and taking to the Strathspey byways for a few days.

The guide contains a strip map of the whole route at a scale of 1:100,000 – a reasonable scale for a way-marked route, but I’d personally carry a 1:50,000 scale map as well; sections which break the route down in terms of distance: details of terrain, wildlife habitats and planning information and special notes for novices and checklists of equipment.”

Cameron McNeish

Excerpt from an online review

Anyone planning a trip to Speyside will enjoy an excellent and informative read and find it a great starting point for any holiday. Dedicated walkers will find it compact yet comprehensive – a route planner and almanac combined … I rate it a great buy!

Ron Lander

Excerpt from review by The Great Outdoors magazine (September 2000)

“The Speyside Way… is a spiral-bound water-resistant book and map which comes together in one single package and which is small enough to slip into the map pocket of an anorak. The new format was devised to overcome the difficulties of using and handling guidebooks and maps when walking long-distance routes in the Scottish climate. … a practical and easy to use guide full of relevant information and advice.”

Editor, TGO

Excerpt from “The Rambler” review

The inaugural guidebook comes in an attractive spiral-bound notebook-style format, with colourful photos, plentiful background notes and a clearly printed fold-down map…

from the official magazine of the Ramblers’ Assocation, no 8 Summer 2001, page 42

Excerpt from online review at Blether

“For anyone who has experience of juggling with both a guide-book and an OS map on a windswept, rain-soaked hillside, the Rucksack Reader series will come as a welcome innovation. The handy little volume for the Speyside Way combines background information, walking notes and route map in one publication…

The Reader contains bags of information for the walker who is truly interested in the terrain being traversed, breezily but authoritatively imparted – and the Spey Valley, perhaps the most beautiful and varied river valley in the country, has plenty to catch the curiosity and imagination.

The stage-by-stage section of the guide has all the vital information needed to help you plan and pace your walk and, together with the route-map attached and the way-marking of the route itself, you will have to try very hard indeed to get lost. Key distances, grade of terrain, supply points are all there, together with detailed directions.”

Chris Thirkettle

Bonus content

GPX route file
Route updates

A comment on our facilities table (page 7): it’s hard to know if there should be a tick for Newtonmore under hostels in that Newtonmore Hostel(which still accepts short-term bookings) is on the market and depending on who buys it, may or may not continue as a hostel.

The Ruthven Bridge across the River Spey at Kingussie was closed to all traffic, including cyclists and walkers, on several days in May 2023, but then reopened.

Repairs on the Macdowall Bridge (mile 22.6) were completed in July 2021.

More info to help with your planning

Support services

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Recommended maps

For those who want a larger scale map

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Route links

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