Published: 01/06/2014 13:00 - Updated: 30/05/2014 15:43

Walk this way around Moray

MORAY’S five-day Midsummer Walking Festival will this year include more than 40 guided rambles.

The festival offers great opportunities to explore Moray.
The festival offers great opportunities to explore Moray.

The routes are of varying difficulty and cross the district, from the foothills of the Cairngorms, through Speyside to the stunning coastline.

Those with time to spare can take on the Moray Way 5-Day Challenge – a 95-mile walk which takes in the Dava Way, Moray Coastal Trail and Speyside Way.

For people with just a day, or even a few hours, there are a number of guided walks, talks and experiences on offer.

2014 marks the festival’s third outing, with the 2012 and 2013 events attracting visitors from Europe and as far off as the USA.

Experiences include a day-long hike learning navigational skills in the Cromdale hills, to an evening walk with photographer Ian Cameron, learning how to capture the perfect sunset shot.

Shorter evening walks have also been arranged to explore areas of local heritage, including ‘The Murdered Abbot: Kinloss Abbey’s Forgotten Past’, Elgin’s ‘Castle to Cathedral to Cashmere’, and a ‘WWII History Walk’ in the Lossie Forest.

There is a Dufftown Distilleries Walk, a Wild Food Wander, A Dolphin Spotting walk, The Viking Trail, and the chance to walk and canoe to discover the ‘Secrets of Spynie’.

The Glen Moray Bike Ride takes place over the festival weekend in aid of North East Sensory, with routes suitable for ­families as well as more arduous lengths for serious riders.

Other hikes will see participants walk in the footsteps of the whisky smugglers, ­explore Scotland’s largest glacial melt­water channel, retrace the steps of the Hano­verian forces to the Battle of Cromdale, ­enjoy a musical walk along the Deveron, and learn more about St Aethan and Burghead.

Talks taking place as part of the festival will feature TV personality and hillwalking expert Cameron McNeish, who will deliver ‘Trails, Climbs and Television’.

An RAF survival expert will also ­deliver a speech on ‘Walkers Safety and Survival’, while Clifton Bain will talk about ‘The Ancient Pinewoods of Scotland: A ­traveller’s guide’.

The festival runs from June 19-23, and information on all the events and how to buy tickets is available at www.moraywalkingfestival.co.uk

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