The Aberlour-Fochabers section of the Speyside Way was my choice for a Christmas walk. I left my car in Fochabers and was transported by a friend of mine to Aberlour; then I had no choice but to walk back.
I started at the car park by the Victoria Suspension Bridge, following the old railway along the river Spey towards Craigallachie, then bypassing the village and going to the Fiddich Park – long time ago a local train station. There the Speyside Way leaves the railway track, crosses the river Fiddich and climbs uphill along a narrow tarmac road, then follows that for some time. Because of the frosty weather the night before there were streaks and sheets of frozen water – extremely slippery – running across the surface here and there. A few miles later the route turned right and uphill onto a wide forest track, going across the slopes of Ben Aigan and Knockmore (the latter topped with a massive relay mast). About 2.5 miles later I left the forest track going down the slope on the muddy path running along the ridge of a deep gorge. Soon the path levelled and went through the woodland and along the edge of the fenced fields, at times extremely wet and boggy. Eventually I left Ben Aigan woods going down towards the river Spey in Boat o’ Brig, where I crossed the B9103 and the railway under the bridge. From there I had to climb a surprisingly steep narrow tarmac road. Thankfully it levelled soon and provided a pretty comfortable though long walk along. About 1.5 miles before Fochabers the road went steeply down towards the bottom of a narrow gorge to cross a burn at the bottom and then climb steeply up. Extremely slippery streaks and sheets of ice covering the surface and the darkness falling down made a dangerous mixture. Fortunately after that the home stretch was pretty straightforward, and very soon I was back in my car going home.