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Ben Macdui is the highest summit in Moray, this being on the boundary between Moray and Aberdeenshire. Most of Moray offers gentler scenery as it gradually descends from the Grampian Mountains to the shores of the Moray Firth. Ben Rinnes and Carn Daimh have good paths and fine views to the Grampian Mountains to the south, and over the Moray Firth to Caithness in the north. The Cromdale Hills offer ridge walking along Strath Spey but the going can be rough with fewer well defined paths.
Moray has some of the finest orienteering terrain in the United Kingdom. The World Orienteering Championships took place here and nearby in 1999 and 2015. In July/August 2013 the Scottish 6 day orietneering event was based in Moray, attracting 3,500+ competitors to experience 6 different competition areas shared between Moray and Nairnshire. This event was also based here in 2003. The local club, Moravian Orienteers, is very active with members of all ages and experience and welcomes runners and walkers keen to improve their navigation skills.
The rivers Spey and Findhorn and justly popular with paddlers, and the Moray Coast offers delights for those wishing to explore or surf. The local club is The Moray Canoe and Kayak Club based at lossiemouth West Beach.
There is good surfing to be had when the tides and wind are right. Lossiemouth is a favoured location, along with Sandend Bay to the east. Not as good as Thurso, but good fun if you're in the area. Check conditions including a seven day forecast.
There are innumerable opportunities for all types of sailing and wind surfing along the Moray coast. Lossiemouth is a prominant headland at the mouth of the River Lossie with a 90 berth marina and extensive sands to either side. Findhorn Marina in Findhorn Bay offers a wide range of facilities and training courses. Picturesque Findhorn Bay is a local nature reserve drawing thousands of visitors every year. Those who venture out into the Firth are rewarded with wonderful coastal scenery and our own school of bottlenose dolphins.
Moray extends from the Moray Firth into the Cairngorm National Park, and the variety of walking available reflects this range. There are over 30 suggested walks listed on the Walk Highlands website. If you enjoy sandy beaches, cliffs, secluded bays, small harbours, sea stacks, caves, etc then the Moray Coast Trail is for you. The sections at Covesea and at Cullen are highlighted on the map. Inland you must explore the Sluie walks by the River Findhorn, the Speyside Way and of course our very own Dava Way. The broad Strathspey contrasts with the steep gorges that confine sections of the Findhorn, with both providing unrivalled views. There are countless forest trails with Moray being one of the most wooded areas in Scotland.
There are four small but worthwhile rock climbing outcrops in the area; sea cliffs at Covesea, Cummingston and Logie Head, and inland at Huntly's Cave. The local Moray Montaineering Club is a hill walking club with a small group of rock climbing enthusiasts who meet on a Wednesday evening, usually at Cummingston sea cliffs. Cummingston is a magic wee place, pop on down, chances are you'll meet like minded souls.
There are lots of off road cycling options in Moray. We have selected Culbin Forest and Roseisle Forest as offering something special in this area but you could cycle for days on the tracks of the numerous Forest Enterprise plantations scattered around Moray. Try the Moray Coast Ride, and of course we must recommend the Dava Way and sections of the Speyside Way. That is a busy weeks holiday planned out for you already!.
Local volunteers working with Forest Enterprise have created some fantastic mountain bike challenges through the forested hills on the east of the River Spey. The Moray Monster Trails provide 30km of riding at three linked locations, Whiteash, Ordiequish and Ben Aigan. Local buses take bicyles at no charge, what are you waiting for!
Horse riding is a popular activity in the Moray area. Riders are welcome to explore the forests around Moray, with the forests of Culbin, Roseisle and Lossiemouth particularly recommended. The Moray Equestrian Access Group website is run by local enthusiasts and has 14 leaflets with maps describing a range of rides which can be downloaded.
Addition information to help you explore the outdoors in Moray
The Moray Ways website is full of useful information about paths (all levels of difficulty), cycle routes and horse riding routes in Moray.
Outfit Moray are based in Lossiemouth, 6 miles north of Elgin. They offer courses in rock climbing, canoeing, mountain biking, surfing, hill walking and more for young people, families and adults.
Craggan Outdoors, based 1 mile outside Grantown offer courses in archery, high ropes, mountain biking, abseiling, etc.
Aquaplay Scotland are based in Rothes by the River Spey. They offer wide range of specialist activities including inflatable kayaking on the local rivers, hydro- speeds, gorge walking, coasteering, stand up paddle boarding and trail cycle leading.