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Stretch your legs and walk The Malt Whisky Trail

Posted on 1st September 2022

The sunshine has been dancing across The Malt Whisky Trail and what better way to explore the natural landscape of Moray Speyside than embarking on one of the region’s many walking routes. 

According to Hidden Scotland, 90% of people enjoy walking or cycling whilst on holiday, and with coastal trails, woodland walks, and treks up Speyside’s highest peaks on offer, The Malt Whisky Trail has ample walking choices suited to all abilities, group sizes and length of stay. 

Kicking-off with one of only four official long-distance walking routes in Scotland, The Speyside Way stretches the length of The Malt Whisky Trail and beyond with the River Spey at its heart. To walk the full length of The Speyside Way will require several days, however, if visiting Glen Grant distillery in Rothes or The Speyside Cooperage, consider stopping off in Craigellachie where you’ll access the River Spey on foot. You could always stop off at the Craigellachie Hotel, Scotland’s oldest whisky hotel, for some refreshments whilst you’re in the area. 

For those looking to combine walking with whisky, Glenlivet Hill Trek specialise in whisky themed day trips through Speyside, guiding visitors throughout the heather-topped hills of Glenlivet Estate from the comfort of their fleet of Argocats. Their selection of award-winning tours are described as being moulded from their history, heritage, scenery and folklore, encompassing the essence of Speyside and Glenlivet. And of course, whilst in the area make sure to visit The Glenlivet Distillery.

Recently reopened to the public, Lossiemouth East Beach, located north of The Trail, boasts a 6.5km circular walking route including a host of impressive sand dunes that provide the perfect look-out to get a glimpse of the famous resident bottlenose dolphins. After a stroll along the golden sands head to Windswept Brewery’s Tap Room for a well deserved craft beer, cocktail or, of course, a dram. 

Moving away from the coast and into Speyside’s largest town, The Elgin Explorer offers a short 4km mile self-guided tour around the heart of Elgin, through the High Street and a visit to The Elgin Cathedral, making it the ideal route for history buffs. Just a short distance from Glen Moray Distillery, Elgin’s town centre hosts independent shops, restaurants, cafés, and beer-gardens, not to mention renowned whisky emporium, Gordon & MacPhail

Scotland is well-known for its scenic hikes and climbs and Speyside is no exception. Ben Rinnes sits 8km south-west of Dufftown, has an elevation of 841m and can be easily accessed via a car park. Its broad ridges offer fine walking on high moorland and its abundant granite is reminiscent of its nearby relatives, the Cairngorms. Upon reaching the summit you will be met with panoramic views of the Speyside landscape and much of the north-east. The peak is the perfect spot for alfresco lunching. 

Suitable to explore on foot or bike, Culbin Forest’s Hill 99 Trail combines a woodland walk with all-encompassing views of sand dunes and The Moray Firth. If visiting nearby distillery Benromach, consider stopping off at Culbin Forest and setting off on its 6km trail which finishes at the summit in a look-out tower situated on their highest hill.  Here you’ll be above the trees, and guaranteed one of the best views in Speyside.

Whichever route you choose, you’re sure to experience the beauty and wonder of Moray Speyside and The Malt Whisky Trail.