WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre, Spey Bay, Along with a chance of seeing dolphins and lots of other wildlife there are walks, you can enjoy a tour of the Tugnet Ice house, see the small dolphin exhibition and visit the cafe featured in Place to eat Moray. See Website for more details and opening times.
Distance: 2 ¾ miles Time – 1 ½ hrs Time: 1.5-2 hours Level: Easy with a little elevation Terrain: Well walked forestry paths can be a little wet under foot in places. Access: Arrive by car. To reach the start of the walk from Turriff take the A947 towards Banff.
Approx 1 mile along the road there is a sign post for Delgatie Castle to the left take this road for approx 1 ½ miles.The Castle is well sign-posted and can be seen from the road on the right. You will turn into the entrance to where the Castle is sign posted and there is ample parking and a forestry information board. Delgatie Castle and Woods is a stunning walk that takes in not only a walk in the woods, you also go past Delgatie trout fishing pond where you can see ducks and swans, then round the grounds of the stunning Castle that dates back to 1030. What is visible today is from around 1570 with later wings added in 1743.
Route: From the car park you will see some steps at the left, head up the steps following the red way markers. Just after the steps there is a path to the right that is worth a detour where you will find the hidden ice house which would have been used to store perishable foods in bygone years. Back on the main path there is another detour to the right, a great opportunity to get your camera out as there is a great view of the Castle. On the main path again continue straight uphill and into the woods. The path will take a right then a left, keep following the main route with the marker posts.
The path will curve to the right again and you will come to a junction, you take a left here following the blue marker post. Keep your eyes peeled for red squirrels, along with plenty of other wildlife, while you are walking throughout the woods. I was lucky to see a large bird, possibly a buzzard as I left in the car. The path carries on through the woods until it will take a right and it will carry on close to the edge of the woods. To your left there will be great views of Bennachie, there is a small detour path where you can take great photos of not only Bennachie but if you look to your right, Ben Rinnes is also visible. The path eventually reaches a car park to the left, continue downhill until you reach a track, you take a left here on to the road. You will pass by the Fishing pond and keep a look out for ducks and swans on the water. Shortly after you pass the pond you will return to the carpark.
At the carpark you have now an opportunity to walk round the Castle grounds, please be aware no dogs are allowed around this area. If you choose to go round the grounds take a left in the carpark past the Cottage and Dovecot. Head up the stairs, the road takes a loop right round the Castle grounds before you will come over the cattle grid then return back to the carpark.
You can extend your visit and take a tour round the Castle and treat yourself to tea and cakes in the Castle’s very own tea room the Laird’s Kitchen. Open 10am – 4pm daily.
This is a beautiful walk in the woods of Anagach in the Speyside town of Grantown on Spey combined with a walk along the banks of river Spey! There is plenty of wildlife along the way with fantastic paths! Some of the Speyside Way is included in the route.
Distance: 4 1/2 miles Time: 2hrs Terrain: Mix of woodland trails/paths and tarred road. Level: Easy Access: Arrive by car parking at the parking area at PH26 3JL. The only bus I can find is from Aviemore.
Route: At the car park take the road on the right hand side. Follow the track going through the gate and keep going straight ahead till you are almost at the Spey. You will come to a carpark take a left here. A little bit further along there is opening to take you on to the tarred road.
Once on the tarred take a left continue till you you see a opening on the right hand-side to take you down to the water side. From here continue left going over the stile till you get to the Old Spey Bridge.
The 3 span bridge was built in 1754 after the rebellion of 1745 by General Wade’s successor, Major William Caulfield, as part of the military road that ran from Coupar Angus to Fort George. It was damaged in the great flood 1829. It was descheduled in 1992.
You will pass under the smallest arch of the bridge and shortly after go through the gate here there may be livestock (sheep when I was there) so please keep dogs on leads. Keep going along the road till you come to the next gate.
Carry on till you come to the wooden cabin on the left. Here you will see a narrow path slightly to the left. Take this path it is a little rough and some tree roots so watch your footing.
You will come back on the road again soon and a junction. Take your right here and then at the fork take a left. Head straight on till you come to the junction with the sighs for the Speyside way.
From here turn left and follow the Speyside way back to Grantown. Once back in Grantown once you pass the curling link keep going till you return to the carpark where you began.
This is a lovely short walk round the Lake at Gordon Castle. The green door leads you to the castle grounds where you will find the lake with paddling ducks! Great walk for all the family and short enough for little legs!
Distance: 1 1/2 miles Time: 45 minsTerrain: Mix of grass path and tarred road Access: Arrive by car parking available in Fochabers Square, Moray IV32 7DF. There is also regular no 35 and no 10 Stagecoach buses that drop off and pick up the in square.
Route: From the square head for Duke Street that is to the right of A J Jamieson Butchers and you will see Gordon Chapel straight ahead.
At the chapel you will see the dark green door on the left. Go through the door then take the path to to the left. Keep going till you come to the castle opening. Take a right here over the bridge.
Once over the bridge follow the road ahead till you come to a fork take the road on the right. Then take the next right that is sign posted for the Lakeside cottages.
You will soon come to the lake. Here you can follow the path all the way round watching the paddling ducks and enjoy!
Once you have walked round you could head along to the Gordon Castle gardens, cafe and shop which is just a little further on the right hand side. To return to the square just retrace your steps back to the bridge and then to the green door.
The discovery trail is a fantastic nature trail on Inverharroch Farm that the Cabrach trust purchased in 2013. The beautiful trail opened in 2022 and sits on the edge of the Deveron and Blackwater Rivers.
Distance: 2kmTime: 45mins Level: Easy Terrain: Well kept path Access: Parking is available at the Acorn Centre. It is easy to find coming from Dufftown or Rhynie at Lower Cabrach, Cabrach AB54 4EU
Leaving the carpark go past the information board and head towards the the small renovated building and turn left here you will join the discovery trail.
It is an amazing path that is buggy friendly that will take you along to the pond first that you can walk all the way round. Before heading along to the bird hide. That just sits on the edge of the river.
Remember to look up and down as we spotted a stoat, buzzards and hares. Keep along the path and you will find a lovely picnic area before you come to the Blackwater bridge.
From the Blackwater bridge we turned right and went through the gate on the right to head up to the bunker on the hill. You also get a great view of the distillery there too!
To return you just retrace your steps and back to the carpark.
This is a great walk exploring round the sights of Portsoy! Nothing too taxing just a stroll round seeing some of the sights!
Distance: 2 1/4 miles Time: 1hr Terrain: Mix of grass path, pavement and tarred road Access: Arrive by car and head for the The Sail Loft, AB45 2RQ there is parking spaces between the Sail loft and the beach area. There are regular no 35 Stagecoach buses that drop off in the Main Street.
Route: Leaving the car park head towards the bridge and take the road on the left towards the graveyard. At the graveyard you will see a path that skirts round the edge of the graveyard to the side of the burn. Walk along the grass path till you reach the bridge. Head to the right here and keep going.
At the next fork take the path to the right and you will come to a great view of the Sail loft, beach and the opening of St Combs well. Keep going till you get to the silver gate where you can go and check out the well!
St Combs well is said to be first built in the 7th Century. The well 2ft diameter, and still flowing, is now covered by a stone cupola with an arched entrance. It was restored in 1893.
Back on the path head down the steps and back towards the caravan park. Follow the road along past the front of the caravan park. Keep going past the Salmon bothy till you reach the new harbour. Take a left at the harbour along to the old harbour and the dolphin sculpture.
Once you have explored the harbour area walk up North High Street till you get to the square and then along South High Street till you get to Main Street. From here cross over and head for the sign post for Loch of Soy.
Once through the carpark take the path round the Loch keeping your eyes pealed for paddling ducks and swans. Don’t forget to check out the wooden building beside the Loch that used to be the old railway station building now used as the Scout Hut.
Once round the Loch go back out the carpark and take a wander along the Main Street checking out some of the lovely shops or have some Portsoy Ice-cream. You will come to the signs for the Caravan park follow the signs and return to the start.
We came down to the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston. I thought I would take the opportunity to catch a few hours in Edinburgh to see some of the city sites! I walked along to the airport where I purchased a tram ticket for £9 return which will take me all the way to St Andrew’s square.
Once I arrive at St Andrew’s Square and got my bearings I headed for Calton Hill. It was still quite early so not to busy yet. Up Calton hill you will get excellent view across the city and beyond. Up there you will find several national monuments.
As you head up the steps in front of you is Nelson’s monument shaped like an up-telescope. Completed in 1816 the monument commemorates the death of Admiral Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
Dominating the hill is the large columned structure known as the National Monument commemorating the lives and deaths of Scottish soldiers in the Napoleonic wars of the eighteenth century.
There are several other monuments as well as the City Observatory. If you feel that Arthur’s seat too taxing for you Calton Hill is definitely worth a look.
Next on my list was Princes Street gardens to find Wojtek the Polish army bear. We watched a tv programme a while back a the fascinating story Wojtek the bear who had been adopted by the Polish army in WW2. He actually ended up becoming a solider and went in to active combat. When the war ended his company ended up in Scotland and he finished his life in Edinburgh Zoo. His statue was unveiled in 2015 in the gardens!
A little bit further on you will find the beautiful Ross Fountain. The Ross Fountain was produced at the iron foundry of Antoine Durenne in France. It was purchased by gunmaker Daniel Ross in 1862 for £2,000 and gifted to the city. The fountain went through a massive restoration in a few years ago and given the beautiful colour it is now!
From here my next stop was the Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile. I didn’t go in to the castle but you can just look over the views of the city. I headed down the Royal Mile from the Castle it was still pretty quiet when I was there but there are plenty shop and cafes to choose from along the way!
A trip to Edinburgh would not be complete without going to see Greyfriars Bobby the well loved skye terrior that came known for spending 14 years guarding the grave of his owner until he died on 14 January 1872. You can find his statue on Candlemakers row just beside Greyfriars Kirkyard.
Greyfriars Kirkyard dates back to the 1500 it is said to be the most haunted in the world. It also inspired Jk Rowling while writing her Harry Potter novels. Within the kirkyard you will find the Flodden Walk which was erected in 1560 to protect the city from the English invasion that never came! You can get tours of the kirkyard which I think would be 100 % worth it!
My last stop was a walk down the Old Town along past the beautiful painted shops I stopped in past L.J Mellis and got some lovely cheese and the best pork pie I have ever tasted!
Just like it was getting busy and I was ready to head back. I am really not a fan of busy and on my own. So I headed back to Princes street and catch my tram back! Apart from my tram and my cheese shop visit everything else I did was free! There is so much more to do including museums, dungeons etc but it was a beautiful day so I made the most of it! I used google maps to find my way around and that worked well!
Distance: 2 miles Time: 1 hr Level: Easy Terrain: Good path, pavement and road Access: Arrive by car there is plenty of parking at the Speybay dolphin centre IV32 7PJ (donations for parking)
This is a fab short circuit walk from Speybay via the Spey viaduct. The walk is all on the flat with a good path so family and buggy friendly!
Route: From the car park head for the information board and you will see the path to the left that runs along the side of the river. Head along the path over the wooded footbridge and keep going!
You will follow this path all the way along till you come a 4 way junction. Take the road to the right just before the sign to take you along to the banks of the river and to get a great view of the viaduct.
To return back to Speybay. Go back to the junction and take the track that takes you to the main road. When you get to the main road cross the road on the the pavement and take a left back towards Speybay.
Once you are back to Speybay take a left at the Bay golf club and head back to the carpark.
This is a beautiful trail that not only takes you along a section of the River Spey it gives you a chance to see the remains of a very interesting hydro scheme that was way ahead of its time dating back to the early 20th century, the initiative came from the Duke of Richmond and Gordon who for some years envisaged his Castle being lit by electricity.
Distance: 2 ¾ miles Time: 1hr Level: Easy low-level walk Terrain: Well walked woodland paths with some tarred and pavement walking. Access: Arrive by car, parking is available at the Speyside Way car park opposite the opening of Gordon Castle at IV32 7EH. There are also good bus links from Stagecoach with a stop near the start of the walk.
Route: At the car park take a left and head towards the memorial gardens where you get an amazing, framed view of the River Spey. To the left you will see some steps, go down them and follow the path along. There is a small opening if you want to get a good view of the fish ladder. Back on the path go over the footbridge at the fish ladder you will see the signpost to the Intake.
Once over the footbridge you will pass some big houses, then there is a fork in the road, take the right fork towards the wooded area. Once on the wood track you will see a wayward marker post, just after you pass it take the opening to the right on the narrower path. This is where you will first see the derelict canal. The path can be quite uneven here and wet but well worth walking and getting dubby boots for.
Keep on this path, it will eventually come to the edge of the river where you will get some great views of Ben Aigan in the distance. Follow the path right along the river and you will come to some steps and a bench. This is a great place to stop for a picnic and do some bird spotting on the river.
Just beyond the bench you will see a wee opening and a little overgrown path where you will find an information board and the intake where the water came in to power the scheme. You still see the grid that was put there to keep fish and debris out. The water ran along the lade (known as the ‘Canal’) to the power station to drive the turbines to produce the electricity.
Head back to the bench there is a path at the right that will take you along beside the edge of the canal. Keep your eyes peeled along here as there are several scrap cars buried in the undergrowth in the canal which were dumped many years ago. Keep on the same path it will take you back to the wayward marker post where you turned off.
Once back on to the tarred road, at the fork keep right, when you get to the shed at the end of the road turn right on to West St. Halfway along you will see a waterfall on the Burn of Fochabers and a wooden foot bridge running over it. Go over the bridge then take the next left on to George St. This will take you to Fochabers Square. On the other side of the road opposite the fountain you will see a large streetlamp that commemorates the opening of the scheme. Which is a great way to finish the walk.
From the square you can just go along the High St past the traffic lights and bowling green and you will return to the carpark. There are a few cafes on the High St and a lovely ice-cream shop if you fancy some refreshments after your adventure.
The route takes you through the Den woods, the Falls of Tarnash then on to Dunnyduff woods with a great viewpoint of Keith.
Distance: 3.5 miles Time: 1.5-2 hours Level: Easy with some elevation Terrain: Some pavement walking at start and finish and well-trodden wood paths. Be careful, as round the falls can be slippery when wet. Access: Arrive by car or public transport. Good train and bus links between Aberdeen and Inverness.Parking available at Reidhaven Square, Keith AB55 5AB
Route: The walk starts in Reidhaven Square where you head down toward the building in the middle (what used to be the public toilets/bus shelter)then take a right when you get on to Moss Street.Walk along to the end and at the last house carefully cross the road – it can be busy.
Walk round the right of Dusty’s customs shop and you will see Old Den Road to the right lined with trees. Start walking along there till you pass the last house (Innesfree) and up to the left you will see the path on the left to take you in to the Den woods.
Follow this path right through the woods for about ¾ mile. Please note if you have a dog and they are off the lead there is a section that is close to the road.
You will come to a signpost to the right for Falls of Tarnash and Dunnyduff woods. Take this path going over the wee steen bridge and keep going and you will soon come to the Falls. Make sure you explore a bit round here and take plenty of photos on a nice day as it’s a lovely spot for a picnic and even a paddle.
Get back on to the path and there is a sign post up to the left to Dunnyduff woods. There is a wee bit of elevation here but nothing too taxing.
Follow the path which does zig zag a little and keep in the path where you will come to a wee bridge with a handrail. Go straight on here and there is another wee bridge with a handrail: just keep going over the wee bridge following the well-made path. You will come to a bit of clearing where there is a great viewpoint of Keith and Newmill to the left.
The path continues and you will eventually come to steps to descend till you reach a forestry track take a left here. You will come through the carpark and on to the minor road.
Here you can take a left and follow the minor road back or just across the road from the carpark there is an opening and a path that runs alongside the Burn of Drum. This path can be very overgrown in the summer but it’s a great place to see wildlife such as red squirrel and birds as well as lots of wildflowers. I also spotted a buzzard along here too.
Whatever way you decide to go you will come to a bridge to go over and you head up the road till you come to a junction. Take a right here on to Edindiach Road heading back in to Keith. The road turns to the left on to Balloch Road and you will see the square ahead and the end of the walk.