Travellers' Tales: The Moray Loop

A woman sits amongst heather next to a pitched tent, her bicycle laying behind her
Camping near Findhorn
Last summer Saartje Drijver and her friend Fiona spent three days bikepacking through northern Scotland

While most of the UK was experiencing a heatwave in the middle of July, the weather in the north of Scotland provided excellent conditions for a summer cycling trip. My good friend Fiona and I had both read about the Moray Way and fancied a mini adventure.

We planned the trip at short notice and were happy to wild camp for the two nights. Norman Thomson’s guidebook was our bible to tell us about historical features en route. After a drive, and lunch in Granton-on-Spey, we followed the delightful Dava Way to Kinloss and on to Findhorn. Here we enjoyed a beer and found a quiet camping spot in the dunes.

A woman is crouching down working on her bicycle

The following day we had a swim in the Moray Forth and meandered along the Moray Coastal Trail past Burghead and Hopeman to Lossiemouth. We joined families enjoying the sunshine on the beach at Lossiemouth, then were guided by two local mountain bikers through the woods to get us on our way to Spey Bay. We think we saw dolphins but they could equally have been big birds.

From there we turned south along the Speyside Way. The route took us away from the river and up into the hills for a few miles. This is where we found our second camping spot. A snapped chain link took some time to mend the following morning. We had the right tools but no idea how to use them. Luckily we had internet connection and were able to follow the instructions on a YouTube video.

The rest of the route followed the River Spey, railway routes along the Speyside distilleries, and finally through the woods back to Granton-on-Spey. All in all, this is a great 100-mile trip which is comfortably done over three days if you want to appreciate the countryside and towns along the way.