River Spey Descent: Detailed Itinerary
|Depart Day 1||Newtonmore 8am|
|Arrive Day 5||Spey Bay 3pm|
|Day 1||Kingussie to Aviemore
As we begin our journey we will take a little time to look at basic paddle strokes and provide some coaching if required. The upper section of the Spey meanders its way through The Insh marshes nature reserve and here you may spot red shanks, curlews and lapwings. We will also pass by Ruthven Barracks, an old military post used by English troops to suppress the Jacobite rebellion. Further down we reach Loch Insh where we may get a chance to put our the sails up. The River from here to Aviemore provides lots of easy and entertaining rapids, perfect for developing your river paddling skills.
|Day 2||Aviemore to Grantown on Spey
Along this section the river eases and meanders under the magnificent Cairngorm Mountains with fabulous views of distant Ben Macdui – Scotland’s second highest mountain. Also along this stretch we often catch sightings of various wildlife such as ospreys and otters and we may even see the old steam train that runs beside the river for a few miles.
|Day 3||Grantown on Spey to Ballindalloch
From here the pace of the river increases considerably and provides many enjoyable class II rapids. We journey ever seaward through native forests and woodlands, passing the old church at Cromdale through some fine salmon fishing beats onto our next overnight stop at Ballindalloch with its nearby castle and a number of distilleries.
|Day 4||Ballindalloch to Craigellachie
For lovers of white water this could be the highlight of your trip with many fun grade II rapids. This is also the heart of malt whisky country. We will pass famous names such as Knockando and Tamdhu and later we come to Aberlour – another fine whisky – and also home to the famous Walkers Shortbread Company. A few miles further and we reach camp at Craigellachie just above where Glen Fiddich meets the Spey. As a reward for all your efforts why not treat yourself to a tasty bar meal and a glass of this famous malt at the Highlander Inn.
|Day 5||Craigellachie to Spey Bay
After passing the village of Rothes the river takes us on to Fochabers, where the Baxter family business sits above the road bridge, heralding our approach to the coast. From here on you can smell the sea air and perhaps witness otters at play as we thread our way through the delta. Finally we paddle towards the rolling waves of Spey Bay where we are often greeted by sightings of dolphins. What better to cap it all off than a wee dram of Speyside Malt.
Note – By their very nature journeys in remote or mountainous country can be affected by weather and other environmental factors. Your guide/s may have to alter the itinerary to ensure group safety.