It is one of the greatest railway bridges in Scotland and you can walk or cycle across it. The Spey viaduct was completed in 1886 as part of the Moray Coast Railway. It crosses the third longest river in Scotland, the Spey. The bridge is around 290m long and riding across it is one of the top cycling experiences in the country.
The bridge is part of National Cycle Route One and around 4 miles from Portgordon and 10 miles from Elgin. The approach to the bridge is through a forested section. The trees hide everything and make the sudden appearance of bridge and river even more special.
Once on the bridge everything feels massive. The length of the bridge. The width of the river. The iron work on the bridge. It made me think of American railroads crossing legendary rivers, like the Mississippi.
The most impressive feature of the bridge is the central section where you enter this world of beautiful iron lattice and engineering genius. It is a special place to pause and take it all in. Being on a bike or walking allows you to really admire this, more so than if you were siting on a train. You can't do that anyway as the line closed in 1968.
Crossing this bridge was so special that I turned around and did it again! I have crossed quite a few bridges in Scotland and this one is easily the best.
What about the Glenfinnan Viaduct, I hear you ask? Yes, it is spectacular, but you cannot walk or cycle across it and that slower pace and freedom to stop makes it easier to appreciate the beauty of the Spey Viaduct.
Glenfinnan is also a very busy place in the height of the tourist season. The Spey Viaduct is less famous and I managed to get it all to myself when I cycled across it.
The West Highland Railway that crosses Glenfinnan is renowned for its scenic beauty. I am sure the Moray Coast Railway would receive similar plaudits if it was still open today. Not only does it have this viaduct, but there are magnificent viaducts in Cullen and superb coastal scenery.
It is sad to see these structures no longer carrying trains that would bring visitors to the area, but I am grateful that they survive and can be enjoyed on foot or on two wheels.
Near to the viaduct is Spey Bay station. It is now a private home, but I was lucky enough to be invited inside.
This was a complete chance encounter and one that I am incredibly grateful for. It was a privilege to be invited into a private home that happened to be a disused railway station.
Spey Bay is one of the few remaining stations from the closed Moray Coast Railway. National Cycle Route One travels over much of the old line. When I spotted this beautiful building I was astounded that it had survived when so much of this railway has long since vanished.
The station is now a private home, so the last thing I expected was to be invited inside. It happened when I had stopped to take a photo of some of the surrounding countryside. A woman appeared and asked "would you like to see the station? I saw you looking at it. My husband's over there doing the gardening."
She walked me over to the station and told me that their racing pigeons were starting to arrive home from Alnwick. "Took them three hours," she said, "faster than driving."
I was so taken aback that I was being invited to see this wonderful building that I forgot to ask their names! The husband explained that they lived in the stationmaster's house and that he had converted the station building into a garage, workshop and billiards room.
He told me that the billiard room was originally two rooms-one was the private waiting room for the Duke of Gordon. "He got the fireplace." That fireplace is still in use today.
"We had the stationmaster come to visit. He was in his 90s. He was in charge of several stations in the area and they gave him a scooter to travel between them."
There are some great artifacts from the original station like the benches and signage. However, he showed me some old photos that had a footbridge."They took that away and the beautiful signal box."
Another photo, from the Second World War, showed the platform busy with servicemen. There had been a Royal Air Force base here and it explains the name of the adjacent road- 'Beaufighter Road.' "Ideal weather for flying up here", he said, "no fog."
After my look around the station we shook hands. I felt very lucky to have been invited to see this. It is these kind of encounters that make travel special and rewarding.
Spey Bay station is in Moray, around 5 miles from Buckie. The station opened in 1886 and closed in 1968.
Spey Bay station is near to the Spey viaduct, one of the most spectacular bridges in Scotland. You can cross it by bike or foot.
Cycling as a sport is a tradition that has been there for ages. People cycle for different reasons. Some people do it out of a need to exercise, some cycle for charity. Others cycle for fun and to catch up with fiends whom you may not have enough time to interact with, and therefore create time to catch up while undertaking a favorite or common activity.
Families are often seen cycling. This is because in the current fast paced life, it is continuously becoming challenging for families to be able to stay together to bond and relate. Often children are away in education institutions as their parent’s report to different locations for work. Do you take into considerations the weather outside before you go and enjoy cycling? The answer could be a yes or a no, depending on your love for cycling. It’s forever beautiful to have online cycling games; you have a variety to choose from. Is it cycling genres from racing to stunts? Or from rugged mountaintops to the innermost streets within the city? Whichever way or direction you choose to go, it is always fun and fun.
This is a game where cycling enthusiasts participate in a planned event, during which the designated members are allowed to use any mode of transport. This may include motorcycles, bicycle, or vehicles.
Each participant is expected to report to the five to eight designed stations called checkpoints and play card. It however does not mean that the more cards are planed cards is the winner.
Cycling for charity
Many are the times that cyclists have come together to create a group that is enthusiastic about supporting a particular type of people with need. The group’s common interest is cycling but they are out to satisfy a particular need in the community. Such are forums that have a cause to run.
Previous similar events have evoked both positive and negative reactions owing to a variety of opinion from people. While cycling is a good way to engage in physical activity, especially so with individuals who are rarely on the run, some people in the public view this as a non straight forward way of raising funds for charity. Some would rather just contribute to give.
Funds and grants offered for the needy groups have been a notable positive outcome of such runs alongside meeting specific targets.
Benefits of cycling;
· Remain fit and keep illnesses at bay
One of the proven ways that you can use to effectively remain fit is by maintaining a regular program of cycling. To do this, you do not need a physical attendance in your indoor gym. Gyms can be expensive and require a great deal of effort to ensure that you report to the gym as often as one would like.
This is attributed to the fact that you will need to maintain a particular regime, which over time, may become too monotonous.
Besides, cycling out in the natural is more interesting and engaging in comparison to cycling within four walls in a non moving machine.
This is one way individuals can use to reconnect with nature and with yourself. Many are the times that life activities swallow up its participants coupled with a fair share of a stressful life. Cycling can be used as a way to alleviate this negative energy and unwanted stress.
You may end up making more friends from that group of fellow cyclists.
· Weight loss regime through intense cardio involvement
Cycling is one of the high energy activities recommended for those interested for cardio kind of activities.
· Clear the mind.
There is a lot you can see on a simple road trip while cycling.
By staying close to cyclists, you will be able to learn more about the cycling sport and its direct benefits.
Bet365 bonus code no deposit is a platform that just like its name, allows you to get more insight on how how you can incorporate this sport into a fruitful mission of serving the community.
Cycling has been incorporated into the online casino arenas where lovers of the sport can engage in the virtual version of cycling. This also means that you can gain money or cryptocurrency upon winning. The sub-varieties to these cycling games are many and inexhaustible with much software being discovered daily. Indeed, this is one of the ways of keeping yourself busy while at the same earning some money.
Statistics about online cycling games
The cycling industry was not prepared for any changes especially surrounding the emergence of the pandemic. According to the Guardian, a former professional cyclist reported an increase of 300% year-on-year growth in daily activity. He also put forth claims to have 2.8 million accounts registered across 190 countries.
This 9 mile section of National Cycle Route One is on the Moray coast. It may not be as spectacular as the Cullen to Findochty leg, but it has plenty of interest. In particular, the remnants of the Moray Coast Railway and fishing heritage in Buckie.
Findochty to Buckie
Leaving Findochty the route heads slightly inland and then joins a disused railway path. I always have mixed feelings about the closure of railway lines. On the one hand it means the brilliant traffic-free cycle path that we can enjoy today, but it also means the loss of an important transportation link.
The bridge and platform at Portessie are reminders of what used to be. The last time that someone would have stood on this platform to wait for a train was in 1968, the year the line was closed.
3.5 miles from Findochty is Buckie, which means place of the male deer in Gaelic.
Buckie is one of the largest towns in Moray and it is somewhat of a shock to be thrown into a busier world. The approach into Buckie is through residential streets with large roundabouts. The harbour area is functional, with buildings associated with fish processing. The queues at the 'Eat Mair Fish' shop are testament to the popularity of locally caught seafood.
Buckie feels like a place to pass through rather than stop in, but it is worth taking a look at Cluny Square where there is a fine ensemble of Victorian buildings. Pause at the war memorial where the faces of the soldiers are detailed and beautiful.
Fishing heritage in Buckie
Take a wander down the streets with rows of granite and sandstone cottages. These had been built with money from the boom years of the herring industry in the 1800s. They had an upstairs that was used for storing and repairing fishing nets. This was reached by a ladder on the outside of the house, so that the ground floor living area was kept free of muck.
There's more to learn about this legacy in the Buckie and District Fishing Heritage Centre. Although small, it is full of interesting things. The boat models are incredibly detailed. Look through a window on the lifeboat and you will see a cup of tea resting on a sink.
After a few minutes of cycling you will reach another reminder of the railway era, a gorgeous iron footbridge at Buckpool.
Further on and there is a double arched bridge.
Two miles from Buckie there is a sweep of sand and coast that leads you into Portgordon.
Portgordon was founded by the 4th Duke of Gordon. It was once a busy fishing village, but the harbour is now mainly used for pleasure vessels.
The village was once nicknamed 'Paraffin City.' The street lighting was powered with paraffin and it was one of the last settlements in the area to get electric lights.
Portgordon had an important role in the Second World War when three German spies turned up at the train station. The spies had been dropped off by an aircraft and made their way by dinghy to the mainland. The stationmaster was suspicious and contacted the police who made an arrest.
Like the other coastal villages on this section of Moray's coast it is surprisingly low key in its offerings for visitors. It has a perfect location that seems ripe for things like seafood restaurants and gift shops, but the lack of such offerings is what makes these villages special. You get to enjoy them as they are without distractions and the crowds that would come for the distractions.
4 more miles on National Cycle Route One will take you to the Spey viaduct, one of the most magnificent bridges in Scotland.
My name is Colin Baird and I want to see all of Scotland by bicycle.