The Caledonian Sleeper leaving Newtonmore
In terms of time, you need about two weeks. In the middle is the great south-to-north transport artery formed by the rivers Tay and Spey, which facilitates getting there; specifically, the Caledonian Sleeper stops at the main Spey valley settlements. Hence one year I could walk to the Spey valley, and the other away from it.
Rather perversely, I decided to do the latter first, in 2017. After all, it was all but new country to me – my south-to-north walk had not touched it, and I can barely remember one solitary walking-and-motorcycling holiday back in the 1970s (though there might be some black-and-white photographs still to be dug out of the attic).
Back a year later, I stepped off the morning train at Strathcarron on a beautiful sunny day. Would the weather gods shine again? Yes they would! Not that there weren’t challenges along the way, but I left with my confidence boosted and a firm intention of using these two years’ experience to good use on The Great Outdoors Challenge of 2019.
I’ve split the walk into four pages.