Spey Bay.

Start. Tugnet.

Route. Tugnet - Spey Bay - Norrie Scalp - Tannachy Sands - Portgordon - Spey Side Way - Spey Bay - Tugnett.

Notes. Spey Bay stands at the mouth of the River Spey where it spills into the Moray Firth, a long narrow village stretched out between the Spey Bay Golf Links and the Tugnet Salmon Fishery Station. Salmon have probably been landed at the mouth of the River Spey since prehistoric times, the fishing station was built in 1768, to prove how prolific the fishery was, three ice houses, the largest in the country were built, with only a third of the structure above ground. Alas the last Salmon was landed from the mouth of the river in 1991, since 1997 the station has served as the Moray Firth Wildlife Centre, part of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society.

On another blistering hot day it was the car park in front of the ice houses that marked the starting point of this level walk along the edge of Spey Bay. We walked Eastwards back through the village, when the road swung sharp right we entered a new development of holiday chalets, our little guide book promised a track along the back of the shingle bank, on a day like today far better to enjoy a wander over the beach. After crossing the shingle bank we continued east hard sand and shingle under foot.

Portgordon was the next coastal village en route, here we turned inland to join a disused railway line now the route of the Speyside Way and the Moray Coast Trail. Out of the wind it was hot, ridiculously hot, according to the weather forecast the hottest day for twenty five years, and didn't we know it. The next mile was a nightmare, one of those dreams where your running somewhere but it's always out of reach. A forest of Scots Pines lay three fields away, a cool tunnel clearly visible disappearing under the tree canopy. We trudged towards it, you can never reach the end of a rainbow, let me tell you, I thought we would never reach the cool of the forest, we did eventually but a mile of oven like temperatures had took it's toll, we both slouched on the floor eagerly downing the last of the water, coffee and sweets we had with us.

Once refreshed Sue lead the way, almost at a trot, forest paths guided us back to Spey Bay, we emerged back into the heat at a disused water tank, the short road walk that followed was equally as hot but the end was in sight.

view route map.


The ice houses at Tugnet, the largest in the country with only a third above ground.

The River Spey spills into the Moray Firth.

Wandering along the tide line of the whispering sea, looking to the small community of Portgorden.

Buckie seen over Spey Bay with what I think is the Bin of Cullen rising behind.

Magical views to Buckie from near Portgordon.

The Corr Burn spills into the sea at Tannachy Sands.

A change of scenery and temperature, this is the route of The Spey Side Way and Moray Coastal Trail, those trees in the distance were sanctuary from the stifling heat, but were a long time coming.

It's easy to forget you're walking through a working landscape, somebody's office.

Crop fields on the fertile coastal plane.

Disused water tower on the edge of Spey Bay.

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