Spey Bay

Spey Bay is the largest shingle beach in Scotland. Constant erosion and deposition by the river creates a range of habitats from bare shingle to reed beds, freshwater marsh and brackish saltmarsh. Breeding birds, a rich flora and diverse invertebrate communities all make their home here.

Bullfinch © Darin Smith

Why visit?

  • Large numbers of wildfowl offshore
  • Wildflowers & butterflies
  • Breeding terns at river mouth
  • Whale & Dolphin Society Visitor Centre

Best time to visit?

  • Spring to summer for plants
  • Winter for ducks and divers
  • Spring to summer for butterflies
  • Anytime for dolphins

Visit for:

  • Archaeology
  • Mammals
  • Scenery
  • Geology
  • Coasts
  • Wildflowers
  • Grasslands
  • Woodlands
  • Birdwatching


Spey Bay lies eight miles north-east of Elgin, at the end of the B9015 (Kingston) or the B9014 (Tugnet).

Getting onto the reserve

Access can be gained from the car-parks at Tugnet or Kingston. There is a small circular footpath near the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society Visitor Centre at Tugnet.

Getting round this reserve

The Speyside Way and the National Cycle Network pass close to the reserve.


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