A circular walk via Craigellachie and Aberlour for the more enthusiastic walker looking for some adventure. Initially follow Balvenie Street to the Railway Station. Walk along the platform to the left and cross the road into the car park to join the “Spur” to the Speyside Way.
Accessibility: Suitable for a wide range of users
A route for the more energetic walker and cyclist.
Terrain: Varied surfaces
Mostly surfaced access tracks particularly in lowland section with some grassy paths through fields. Rough in places
Gradient: Slopes throughout
Considerable gradients to the summit of the Gownie Path at a height of around 1000ft.
Barriers: Some barriers
There are some stiles and gates to be negotiated.
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Dufftown to Aberlour return is 9 miles with the full circular route via Craigellachie being 12 miles long
Time: Dufftown to Aberlour return around 4 1/2 hours Full circular route – 6 to 8 hours
The going is easy although take care where slippage has occurred. The track follows the River Fiddich on its way to join the Spey at Craigellachie, home to the hotel of that name which has become world renowned for hosting sensitive international summit talks. But the name had been whispered (well shouted anyway) in the United States Senate long before this. When General Ulysses Grant, U.S. President 1868 – 1876 held office it was wagered that no-one could trick his poker face to show emotion but, during a debate in the senate a fellow clansman called out “Stand Fast Craigellachie” and the President’s face was completely transformed by smiles. “Stand Fast Craigellachie” is the slogan (battle cry), of the Clan Grant… an easily won wager for someone who knew his kinship!
From Craigellachie, the Speyside Way continues to Aberlour. Leave it by The Square, just before the playpark, cross the road into Queen’s Road and turn left into Allachie Drive. The route over the Gownie Path is quite a stiff climb; (you could cheat and get a lift as far as the metalled road end). The views across Strathspey from the summit are spectacular.
The path is waymarked as a right of way passing through different terrain from conifer wood to moorland and pasture on the Dufftown side. As you descend from the path summit the views over Dufftown are extensive and the town’s hills and stills can be clearly seen. Wildlife abounds, but you need to proceed quietly to glimpse it. Either turn left for the Robbie Dhu Well and Glenfiddich Distillery or go straight on to join Hill Street connecting with Balvenie Street, or climb Steepie Brae reaching Conval Street to get back to the Clocktower.