The Moray Way, first conceived in 2009, is a happy amalgam of three of Scotland's Great Trails, namely the Dava Way, Moray Coast Trail and Speyside Way and one of the very few circular walking routes. Sections of these trails taken together define a circular long-distance walking route of 95 miles known as the Moray Way, embodying vivid contrasts between the wildness of Dava Moor, the grandeur of the southern Moray Firth Coast, and the serenity of the beautiful Spey Valley.
Compared with other Scottish long distance linear footpaths such as the West Highland Way and the Southern Uplands Way, the Moray Way, being circular, creates no start-point/return problem for those undertaking the challenge of the whole route. However for those who prefer the gentler option of walking or cycling sections at a time, the possibilities for making cross-connections within the loop, or for using existing bus services are considerable. Not only is its circularity an attraction, but the Moray Way also possesses a diversity of scenery unrivalled elsewhere in the United Kingdom.
Three key towns on the route are Grantown-on-Spey from which both the Dava Way and the Speyside Way head northwards, Forres, at which the Dava Way meets the Moray Coast Trail, in the middle of which is Lossiemouth with its magnificent sand dune beaches and views north across the Moray Firth.
West of Lossiemouth are Covesea Lighthouse and sandstone cliffs which stretch from there to Cummingston while eastwards beyond the beach lies the largest shingle bank in the UK. This is also remarkable on account of one of the largest and most evocative lines of second world war defences, built in 1941 to keep out Hitler's armies, but mercifully never put to the test.
From the village of Kingston-on-Spey at the end of the defences the Trail follows the old Elgin to Buckie railway line, crossing the Spey by the arched metal Garmouth viaduct with fine views both north and south. Shortly after this, the Speyside Way takes over, close to the Whale and Dolphin Research and Visitor Centre, where there are good possibilities of seeing these mammals, as well as birds such as ospreys in the summer and divers in the winter.
Recent volunteer efforts have made the Moray Way among the best of its kind in terms of exemplary consistency of documentation, mapping and signposting, and its relative distance from main urban centres guarantees true feelings of freedom and remoteness without excessive effort.
An attractive Walkers Map of the Moray Way at a scale of 1:80,000 is currently on sale for the modest sum of £3.50 (or £4.50 inclusive of postage and packaging - please contact the Moray Way Association through the Contact us page of this website providing your full details). This guide is full of practical and up-to-date information such as track surfaces, distances, town inset maps, OS grid references, bus routes and useful telephone numbers, and is available at tourist offices and other centres in Moray. Revenue generated by the map is ploughed back to fund maintenance and route development. The map was produced with the financial support of Walkers Shortbread of Aberlour.
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