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Speyside Blog

December 11, 2016 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

This clockwise circular walk began and ended at the Craigellachie hotel for the long walkers but the short walk began further round at the car park near the Balvenie distillery warehouses , the end of the Glen Fiddich section, close to Dufftown railway station.

The day was fair and mild with only a small shower at the end of the day. The path was good all the way with perhaps 200m elevation, allowing the fast long walkers to be barely 10 minutes behind the short walkers at the end. The first section of the walk enters Glen Fiddich, along a spur of the Speyside way. The Fiddich is always close by and the path soon becomes the old railway track to Dufftown, a line which had served the distilleries in the area from 1862 until 1971. The path continues through a twisting tree filled gorge with steep sides, subject to occasional landslides (which closed it in 2004 and subsequently reduced (official) access to walkers only). It crosses the river via a narrow bridge which affords some respite along the tunnel like path (which some members enjoyed with the bare trees now allowing less restricted views than the reconnoitre in July!). This section finishes at the entrance of the Balvenie warehouses, where the A941 is negotiated for a few hundred yards before the way turns up a marked pathway by farm buildings, off the road. The walk turns into a pleasant uphill stroll past a small waterworks and alongside deciduous woods. A bench here afforded the short walkers with a good photo opportunity, and a nearby plastic construction was examined in detail, with no conclusions as to its purpose. Before the watershed at Hill of Gownie the wood becomes coniferous, and the short walkers took their coffee break in the shelter of the trees. Not long after the descent begins the path becomes a tarred road and it is plain sailing into Aberlour.  Here the short walkers enjoyed a leisurely lunch on the banks of the Spey watching the busy river with herons checking their favourite spots on the other side, with dogs and folk of all sizes and shapes taking in the mild Sunday weather. Realising the long fast walkers may soon be baying at their heels the walkers headed off to the Craigellachie Hotel along the track of the old railway line to Elgin, alongside the Spey, eventually reaching the end of the walk in plenty of time for a relaxing libation. It should be mentioned that the Craigellachie Hotel staff were excellent, reserving a section of the bar for our exclusive use, and providing free tea coffee and biscuits.


December 11, 2016
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
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