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All roads lead to Speyside for big charity walk

By Lorna Thompson

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TREKKERS were out in force around Speyside at the weekend as a trio of Moray-based children's cancer charities hosted The Walk.

Logan’s Fund and the Aila Coull Foundation welcomed on board Abbie’s Sparkle Foundation as the third charity partner for their sponsored walks on Sunday, September 8, which included a new route this year.

Walkers had a choice of three distances – with each route carefully mapped out to make the most of Speyside's splendour. The sun also showed up on the day.

More than 100 people signed up for the 16-mile main walk, which started and finished in Aberlour, taking in back roads around Dufftown.

The middle route, which attracted more than 70 walkers, was a straightforward six-mile trek from Dufftown to Aberlour along the Speyside Way.

And around 50 people joined the two-mile Family Walk. They were piped on their way as they set off from the Thomas Telford Craigellachie Bridge and followed the scenic route along the River Spey to Aberlour.

Manuela Hassle, of the Keith and Dufftown Railway, signals the start of the Dufftown to Aberlour walk. Picture: Eric Cormack. Image No.044690.
Manuela Hassle, of the Keith and Dufftown Railway, signals the start of the Dufftown to Aberlour walk. Picture: Eric Cormack. Image No.044690.

Logan's Fund chairman Cameron Mackintosh said: "It was a great day, a fantastic atmosphere, and people stayed around all afternoon at the finish to watch others finish, which was brilliant.

"We were really lucky to be able to start each walk in completely different locations. The main walk started from the grounds of Aberlour Distillery, with Aberlour Community and District Pipe Band leading off. The middle walk was whistled and flagged off by a stationmaster on the platform of Dufftown Railway Station, while the family walk left from the iconic Craigellachie Bridge.

"We got some amazing feedback from walkers about the route that started and finished in Aberlour and took in some amazing Speyside countryside around Dufftown and Craigellachie. The route took in some really special views and encountered some great landmarks, passing by an abundance of distilleries, Balvenie Castle, views of Ben Rinnes, the River Spey and River Fiddich.

"It definitely helped that the area was bathed in warm September sunshine. We were so lucky with the weather as it's been so wet leading up to the weekend of the event and ever since as well.

"The three organising charities are very grateful for the support we received."

Local favourites Sons o the Soil performed at the traditional after-party at the Mash Tun, in Aberlour.

The total funds raised for the charities will be announced soon.

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