‘The Walk’ returns to its Tartan roots on Speyside

A POPULAR ANNUAL walk whose future was cast in doubt when ‘The Kiltwalk’ Speyside event was cancelled following a period of financial turbulence is back – with new routes.

Two years ago organisers of the Kiltwalk cancelled their Speyside and Dundee events – that hit hard at two Moray charities in particular, Logan’s Fund and the Aila Coull Foundation, who were both charity partners for the Speyside walk.

Old friends are reunited this year, however, as the two charities have joined forces with the Tartan Army Children’s Charity in organising ‘The Walk’ – a three-tier sponsored event to be held on Sunday, October 1.

The event will consist of an 18-mile walk starting out in Keith that will cover the Isla Way through Drummuir to Dufftown, where it meets the Speyside Way and continues on to Aberlour via Craigellachie.

A mid-range 12-mile walk will set out from Aberlour and loops around stunning Speyside scenery to Dufftown and back through Craigellachie back to Aberlour. Finally the ‘Family Walk’ is a 2.5-mile event from Craigellachie to Aberlour along the Spey and the Speyside Way path.

A spokesman for Logan’s Fund said: “We decided to ‘freshen up’ the route this time – mainly for the benefit of those who have done the traditional Speyside route before and also to give ourselves a new challenge.

“It will perhaps introduce some new walkers into the experience by bringing the route through different towns and villages.

“The new route now takes in landmarks such as Drummuir Castle, Botriphnie Church, Loch Park Adventure Centre – places that you could live in Moray for years and not discover.

“The other advantage the new route hold is it takes us right onto the doorsteps of some of Speyside’s fine malt whisky distilleries. So much so that the main walk will start from the beautiful Strathisla Distillery in Keith while the half walk will start at its sister distillery in Aberlour.

“We are delighted that Chivas Brothers have come onboard with the event and allowed us to start at these unique locations. The ‘half’ Walk will also pass the world famous Glenfiddich and Balvenie Distilleries in Dufftown – it will also take in the classic ‘Whisky Line’ when it passes the Dufftown station that is part of the Keith and Dufftown heritage railway.

“The Family Walk in 2015 attracted around 200 young and old to walk the short 2.5miles from Craigellachie to Aberlour. This walk will head off once again from the iconic Thomas Telford bridge in the village with a pipe band leading the way.

“Craigellachie Village Council will host a family gathering in the play park to get the atmosphere lifted to the max. Walkers on the Family Walk are not expected to fundraise unless they really want to, the shorter walk is really to bring the whole community into the event and be part of it. Starting times are 10am, 11am and 2pm respectively.”

Participants can choose their own nominated children’s charity or community cause to walk on behalf of, with 50% of the proceeds going to the nominated cause and 50% split between the organising charities. Entry cost for each walk is set at £10, £5 and £1.

The spokesman added: “We’ve kept the admission costs as low as possible to cover the essential outlays for the event but again we are relying on the famous goodwill and generous nature of the Moray business community to enable us to do this.”

Registration is quick and easy via https://www.tartanarmychildrenscharity.org.uk/shop/160-event-tickets.