From the foothills of the Cairngorms to Moray’s award-winning coastline you can enjoy long summer days discovering Moray’s natural, historical and cultural landscape.
The three main waymarked routes are the Speyside Way, the Moray Coast Trail and the Dava Way which combine together to form a 100-mile circular route called The Moray Way, but there are also numerous signposted walks around many of the towns and villages across Moray.
Moray has a drier and sunnier climate than expected from its position so far north and Mid-summer in Moray is also a time of near-continuous daylight. Thus it is no surprise that the lower-lying coastal region is a key farming and food production area and much of the rural local industry is based on quality food and drink and home to global food brands such as Walker Shortbread and Baxters.
The southern tip of Moray surrounds the Loch Avon basin, one of the most impressive settings in the Cairngorm mountains. The Cairngorm plateau is the largest expanse of land over 900m in the UK and home to rare Arctic flora. Most of this plateau drains into Loch Avon (742m) and Loch Etchachan (927m) which are the highest bodies of water of their size in the UK. Surrounded on three sides by precipitous mountains and crags this is a dramatic place. Surprisingly, few people realise that this view lies entirely within Moray, with the boundary passing over the top of some of the highest hills in Scotland; Ben Macdui 1309m (no. 2), Cairngorm 1245m (no. 6), Beinn a’Bhuird 1196m (no. 11), Ben Avon 1171m (no. 17). Beinn Mheadhoin at 1182m is the only high mountain that lies solely within Moray.
The Moray Firth coast is a mere forty miles away and has been named in the top twelve of the world’s most beautiful and unspoiled coastlines by the prestigious National Geographic Society. This spectacular coast is a delightful mix of long sweeping bays, fishing villages, World War II coastal defences, Scotland’s longest storm beach at Spey Bay, sea cliffs, stacks and caves. Across the Firth, the view of the hills of the Northern Highlands adds significantly to the ambience.
Flowing into this Firth are two very well know rivers. One of Scotlands longest Rivers, the River Findhorn, dark peaty waters run through dramatic deep gorges creating one of the best classic white water kayaking rivers in the world and to the east of the region, the famous River Spey completes its a journey to the sea by slicing through Moray. The Spey, along with the rivers Findhorn, Avon and LIvet are popular with anglers. These are all attractive rivers, but in terms of spectacular beauty, it is the River Findhorn that is regarded by many as the most spectacular river in the UK.
Sprinkled throughout this largely rural area are the distinctive pagoda roofs of the malt whisky distilleries which are the backbone of the local economy. Famous whisky distilleries are spread across the whole of Moray, but there is a particular concentration along and nearby the Spey.
The presence of numerous large estates and the Forestry Commission means that Moray has extensive areas of woodland. Tracks through these woodlands are justly popular with walkers and cyclists, with both Forestry Commission Scotland and The Crown Estate providing many recreational opportunities.
The diversity of the landscape across Moray is reflected in the huge range of wildlife. Red deer, ptarmigan, capercaillie and wild cats are found in the mountains and forests while whales, dolphins, seals, ospreys, gannets, waterfowl and numerous seabirds regularly cruise the Moray Firth. The area is a delight for any wildlife enthusiast.
Tourism is important to the area and there are a number of exciting events throughout the year. Many villages host their Highland Games from May to September and Festivals are a prominent addition during the year including the internationally acclaimed Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival held in early May, the Findhorn Bay Festival every other September, the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy in June and Speyfest at the end of July.
The midsummer Moray Walking & Outdoor Festival is now a regular addition to the local calendar and allows Moray to showcase its fantastic scenery and outdoor opportunities. There’s so much to see and do we are confident we will be welcoming you back again and again.