The Dava Way
The Dava Way
The Dava Way is a 23 mile trail across the ancient Celtic province of Morayshire between the historic towns of Forres and Grantown-on-Spey. The route links Strathspey and the Cairngorms National Park with the Moray Coast in North East Scotland. Almost all of the route follows the old Hisghland Railway line and is off road and safe from traffic. It passes through a pleasing mix of farmland, woodland and moorland as you climb from the Spey Valley to cross Dava Moor before decending to the Moray Firth. As you cross the moor on a clear day you are rewarded with views to the south over the shire counties of Nairn, Inverness, Moray, Ross & Cromarty, and Sutherland, whilst to the south the Cromdale Hills and Cairngorm Mountains dominate the skyline.
The route was opened as a long distance path in 2005 by the Dava Way Association- a voluntary organisation set up to develop the route. It continues to be developed and maintained by this group’s dedicated members.For more information on other Scotland's Great Trails, go to the 'Other Information:Useful Links' section below.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: 2014 DIVERSION
The Dava Way in early August 2014 was subject to a major washout of an embankment 4 miles south of Forres; the route has been diverted onto an alternative route. The diversion (see accompanying map) takes path users onto forestry tracks from the Scurrypool Bridge to Clashdhu on the Halfdavoch road, where it rejoins the Dava Way. The 2.25km diversion is well way marked and adds about 400m to the Dava Way route. See further information see http://www.morayways.org.uk/dava-way.asp
THE ROUTE AND FEATURES OF INTEREST:
This is a pleasant and easy route with a variety of landscape, flora and fauna, along with natural and railway heritage.
For detail maps of the route click on the following:
Forres to Dunphail
Dunphail to Dava
Dava to Grantown on-Spey
Starting your journey from Forres; the Dava Way begins at Mannachie Avenue approximately a mile from the town centre. A network of sign posted paths through the woodlands surrounding Forres, from Grant Park and Sanqhuar Pond lead to the old railway and the start of the Dava Way. (Refer to 'Forres Town Centre Map' in the Useful Downloads section at the bottom of this page, for route directions through the town.)
Starting from Granton-on-Spey town centre, take the road leading towards the camping and caravan park.
The route can also be joined at various points along its length, including Dunphail and at Dava although there is only limited parking.
The route passes through a number of sporting estates. The shooting season runs almost throughout the year. You can minimise disturbance by being alert to the possibility of shooting taking place and taking account of advice on alternative routes. Avoid crossing land where a shoot is taking place until it is safe to do so.
The Dava Way is generally a wild environment. As a result take the appropriate clothing and footwear before setting out, and prepare for changing weather on the upland sections. A midge repellent is recommended in summer months. Wild and domestic animals may also be encountered, so please keep your dog under control or on a short lead.
Although the path is never far from the Grantown-on Spey to Forres road, there is no public transport and no places for refreshment throughout the length of the route. You are advised to take food and water if you plan to walk or cycle long sections or all of the route.
The path is directed away from the railway at four locations. Three diversions are to avoid private property, and the other is to avoid a flooded section. These are clearly signposted.
ESTIMATED WALKING TIME:
00 Day(s) 12 Hour(s) 00 Minute(s)
HEIGHT CLIMBED AND DEGREE OF SLOPE:
The route has a very gradual gradient which rises on the Dava Moor to 320m (1050ft)above sea level at its highest point.
The are a number of opening gates as you approach Grantown.
There are low steps ath the track end at Grantown with a steeper flight at Squirrel Neuk Bridge.
The surface of the path is generally compacted track-bed material, rough and rutted in places, and is good for walking and 'off road’ cycling. Depending on weather, stretches may be very wet.
The surface is varied, mostly firm and good, but it can be wet and rough in places. All of it is fine for walking. Fit walkers can complete the route in a day but most will want to break it into 2 or 3 stages (refer to the Dava Way website for detailed route descriptions)
There are opportunities for circular walks but none have been waymarked as yet.
The Dava Way can be used as an ‘off road’ cycling route, as most of it is over a firm but rough surface.
You now have a 'right of access' to all the paths featured. You are required to act responsibly in accordance with the new Scottish Outdoor Access Code (SOAC). Know the code before you go! To acknowledge landowners and farmers 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 control at all times and on a lead near livestock. Note: Please do not pick wild flowers, this is a criminal offence.
The Dava Way Association:
OTHER INFORMATION: Useful Links