River Spey: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the River Spey.

  • The River Spey is 170 km long and flows from Loch Spey into the Moray Firth. It is the fastest flowing river in Scotland, and the 9th longest in the UK.
  • The Moray Firth is the largest in Scotland, with 800 km of coastline. Part of it is a protected wildlife area, and it is one of the best places in the UK to see whales and dolphins.

  • A long distance footpath, the Speyside Way, follows the River Spey through much of the county of Moray. It is one of Scotland’s four Great Trails, and can be walked or cycled.
  • The river’s speed increases as it gets closer to the sea.
  • It has broken through its banks on several occasions, once damaging parts of the 15th century Gordon Castle.

River Spey

  • Trout fishing is popular on the Spey and is some of the best in the UK. A unique double handed fly rod cast was introduced here and is known as the Spey cast.
  • The River Spey flows through the Highland ski resort of Aviemore. The town is also known for its ancient stone circle and for the UK’s only free grazing reindeer herd.
  • Newtonmore on the banks of the Spey is close to the exact geographical centre of Scotland. The popular television series Monarch of the Glen was filmed in the area.

The River Spey

  • The River Spey descends almost 380 metres over its length, making it popular for canoeing. Heavy rain or snow can often make the river deeper and faster flowing.
  • Insh Marches occupy 10 square km on the banks of the River Spey and are an important wetlands area. In 2014 a rare type of moth was found here.
  • More whisky is produced along the banks of the Spey than anywhere else in Scotland. The world’s best-selling single malt whisky, Glenfiddich, is distilled here.

What next? Discover more river facts by visiting our Rivers resources page.