The north-east boasts an array of stunning cycle routes with endless options for keen cyclists.
From legendary tracks across Royal Deeside and tough climbs through the Cairngorms National Park, to leisurely rides through ancient forests, coastal villages, rolling farmland and wide sandy expanses, there are plenty to choose from.
As part of VisitAberdeenshire’s Rediscover Your Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire campaign, we’ve rounded up a selection of stunning cycling routes to try out during your next outing, as well as nearby food and drink suggestions. But be sure to check for the opening hours of the business ahead of your visit.
The campaign – involving the Evening Express, The Press and Journal, Society and Original 106 – also has its own dedicated section on the VisitAberdeenshire website, where people can explore blogs with ideas for things to do.
Among the beautiful cycling routes involves travelling from the Granite City deep in the heart of the countryside, where Royal Deeside meets the Cairngorms National Park. You’ll be stirred by the mountainous and river views along the 41mile-long Deeside Way.
Most of this route is off road with slight gradients, which is ideal for a comfortable family ride.
Food and drink suggestions in the local area include: The Lodge on the Loch, Aboyne Loch Golf Centre, Aboyne; Buchanan Bistro, Woodend Barn, Burn O’Bennie Road, Banchory; Finzean Estate Tearoom, Balnaboth Steading, Finzean, Banchory.
While leisurely cycling is enjoyable in a number of ways, mountain biking is perfect for thrill seekers.
Venture off the beaten track in Aberdeenshire as you take in endless views of rugged coasts and mountainous landscapes. And there’s even the opportunity to follow in the tracks of the racers as you take on the ‘enduro’ trails at Hill of Fare, Pitfichie and Drumtochty.
For refreshments, try Tor-Na-Coille Hotel, Inchmarlo Road, Banchory; Banchory Lodge Hotel, Dee Street, Banchory; Roaring Stag Coffee Roasters, Ballater Business Park, Craigview Road, Ballater.
Crathes Castle is also close by, which makes for a fantastic day out for all with its stunning gardens, cultural history and array of wildlife.
And if you’re looking for a family friendly cycling experience with options from beginner to expert level, try out the purpose built mini bike park in Tarland which provides 3km of routes suitable for all ages.
After working up an appetite, visitors could head to Douneside House, Tarland, Aboyne; The Commercial Hotel, The Square, Tarland, Aboyne; The Fife Arms, Mar Road, Braemar, Ballater.
Heading towards Stonehaven, you can try out the iconic Cairn O’ Mount pass, where gradients of up to 18% will challenge even the fittest legs. The area is also known for holding cycling events across the year including the popular two day Ride the North and the Mid-Summer Beer Happening.
Its own sandy seafront and picture perfect harbour home some of the region’s top eateries including the award-winning The Bay Fish and Chips, Beach Road, Stonehaven; The Stack Restaurant and Bar, Dunnyfell Road, Muchalls, Stonehaven.
In a similar fashion, Banffshire boasts scenic coastal routes which are perfect for keen cyclists. Be sure to visit one of the area’s stunning golden beaches, where you can admire picturesque views and spot local wildlife.
There are a number of bustling restaurants and cafes along the way. Pay a visit to the Coffee Apothecary, The Square, Ellon; Fife Lodge Hotel, Sandyhill Road, Banff; The Old Kirk Café/Bistro, Church Street, Fordyce, Banff; Annie’s Cakery, Station Brae, Macduff; The Knowes Hotel, Market Street, Macduff.
For more information on the walks listed, visit yourabdn.com
Social Media Campaign
VisitAberdeenshire, The Press and Journal, Evening Express, Society and Original 106 are encouraging people to share an image of their favourite part of the north-east throughout the #RediscoverABDN campaign. To take part, simply follow the steps below:
- Take a picture of your favourite north-east attraction, venue, product or landmark
- Upload the image to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter including the hashtag #RediscoverABDN and tag @visitabdn
Social Distancing Guidelines
When visiting these locations, it’s important to adhere to the social distancing guidelines currently in place across Scotland – with regards to outdoor activities. These guidelines are below.
- People can meet in groups of up to 15 people outdoors, from up to five different households, including your own household. However, children aged 0-11 should not meet in groups larger than 15 people in total at a time.
- Keep two metres apart from anyone you meet from outside your household, and don’t share food or utensils.
- You should not meet with more than four different households per day, whether indoors or outdoors.
- Follow physical distancing guidance and hygiene rules.
- There is now no restriction on travel within Scotland as long as individuals are acting in line with all other guidance that supports the route map.
All guidelines can be viewed at www.gov.scot