The Moray Way
The Moray Way
The Moray Way concept links existing walking routes to form a circuit of 95 miles (153km) that can be walked comfortably in six to nine days. The route encompases a wide variety of Scotland's scenery and wildlife condensed into one area ie Moray. The walker experiences expansive beaches, rugged clifftops, wide Straths, fertile farmlands, forests, open moorland and mountains. The route links numerous towns and villages where there is a variety of accommodation and shops.
The Moray Way combines the whole of The Dava Way, two thirds of The Moray Coast Trail and about half of The Speyside Way.These three routes form part of a network of paths across Scotland known collectively as Scotland's Great Trails. The concept is the brainchild of The Moray Way Association, formed in 2009 to promote the Way. Parts of the route are suitable for mountain biking and horse riding. Canoes or kayaks could be used down the River Spey providing an adventurous variation.
To get more information on each of the 3 path sections, how to obtain maps and guidebooks etc refer to the Other Information boxes at the foot of this page.
THE ROUTE AND FEATURES OF INTEREST:
The route which is circular can be started at a variety of points. In terms of ease of access and public transport the best starting points would be Forres, Grantown and Fochabers. There is no preferred direction of travel.
There is lots to interest the user along the route in terms of history, nature, geology and landscape.
The echoes of history abound in old fishing communities along the coast, the medieval burgh of Forres and the planned towns of Grantown and Aberlour. Early settlements go back to pictish times such as at Burghead. The original railway link connecting the Highlands to the south now forms the Dava Way path.
You may be lucky and see some interesting wildlife including Moray Firth dolphins, seals, fulmars, red throated divers, capercaillie, ospreys, buzzards, wildcats, pine martens, red and roe deer. The River Spey and the Moray Coast are internationally renowned for their outstanding natural heritage.
The coastal sandstone which can be clearly viewed is a remnant of a former desert landscape of around 250 million years ago. Stone quarried near Hopeman was used in the Westminster parliament and the Scottish parliament buildings. Hopeman sandstone is also famous for the dinosaur footprints found there.
The landscape to be found along the route is largely sweeping and expansive so affords many oportunities for great views.
HEIGHT CLIMBED AND DEGREE OF SLOPE:
A total climb of approx. 2900 feet (850 metres) is involved in traversing the route. The Moray Coast Trail section is mostly flat with a rougher section between Burghead and Lossiemouth. The Dava Way involves gentle ascent and decent following the old railway line. The Speyside Way is mostly flat where it follows minor roads, tracks and an old railway, but has steep sections at Ben Aigen and near Cromdale.
Long sections of the route are free from barriers which would impede access. There are some stiles, gates and short flights of steps along the route. Steps are mostly to be found between Burghead and Lossiemouth and at varying points on the Speyside Way. There are no gates or stiles on the Moray Coast Trail but there are several on the Speyside Way and the Dava Way.
There are a wide variety of surface types that make up the route ranging from sandy dunes to minor metalled roads. The expected surface types are shown clearly on the Moray Way detailed route map.
The route is primarily promoted for walking.
Almost all of the Dava Way and sections of the Speyside Way make use of old railway lines. These surfaces, whilst rough and muddy in places, are suitable for mountain bikes. The beach sections of the Way are ideal for horse riding but be aware of high tides. A specific horse riding route is promoted for horse riding along the Dava Way corridor. Sections of the Speyside Way along the old railway are suitable for horse riding. Cycling and horse riding on other sections of the way is not recommended due to physical condition and consideration for other users.
You now have a 'right of access' to all the paths featured. You are required to act responsibly in accordance with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code (SOAC). Know the code before you go! To acknowledge landowner's and farmer's co-operation in making these walks possible, leave the area as you find it, respect property, and take care to stay away from farming and timber operations. Please keep dogs under close control at all times and on a lead near livestock. Note: Please do not pick wild flowers.
Hard copies of this map can be purchased online from amazon.uk or by sending a £4 cheque to N. Thomson, 12 Adam Drive, Forres, Moray. IV36 2JN.
Guidebooks can be purchased which feature the Moray Way and give plenty of details to follow route sections.
The publications are:
Rucksack Readers-Moray Coast Trail with Dava Way and the Moray Way.
Rucksack Readers-The Speyside Way.
Cicerone Press - The Speyside Way with the Dava Way and the Moray Coast Trail
OTHER INFORMATION: Useful Links