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Bikepacking moorland, forest and coast — Adventures Around Aberdeenshire

Doubletrackfanatic

Bikepacking moorland, forest and coast — Adventures Around Aberdeenshire

Mountain Biking Collection by Doubletrackfanatic

6-12

days

3-6 h

/ day

349 mi

23,275 ft

23,400 ft

A fascinating and diverse off-road cycling tour of Aberdeenshire, the Adventures Around Aberdeenshire route takes in many of the highlights and points of historical and cultural interest this county has to offer. Linking these there are different types of trail on offer, from moorland tracks, ancient drovers' trails and modern forest roads, to cycle paths on disused railway line beds, and numerous small roads and quiet lanes.

From the coast to the mountains, through farmland and forest, sand dunes and wind farms, past castles and sleepy fishing ports, ancient monuments and modern cities, there's something for everyone is this tour. There are plenty of accommodation options along the way, and many cafés and restaurants, distilleries and ice-cream parlours to visit too.

Perhaps a night in a bothy appeals to you? Then the route goes past Charr bothy in Glen Dye. If you fancy a rugged and exhilarating ride to the top of Mount Keen and back, then just keep high up on Glen Tanar and ride the loop around the most easterly of all the Monroes. At the upper end of the Dee Valley you'll go through the Balmoral Estate where the Queen has her Scottish residence. In the Dee Valley there is the potential to visit several whiskey distilleries. The Linn of Dee where the river is forced through a narrow gorge shouldn't be missed.

Stone circles and an Iron Age fort mark your journey to Pressendye, before traversing the edge of the Cairngorms towards the coast at Portsoy, with a diversion past ancient quarries near Huntly and another distillery in Glen Dronach. Ride along the coastline of the Moray Firth, passing through through Banff and McDuff, before riding back up into the hills through moor and farmland before joining part of the Formantine and Buchanan Way for a few miles from Strichen. It's not long before you turn off towards the coastal sand dunes.

A tranquil few miles are spent riding around the Loch of Strathbeg with its fascinating history and ruined castle, coast guard houses and the pretty Rattray Head lighthouse. You head back inland once again to rejoin the Formantine and Buchanan way, a disused railway line now converted to a cycle route, but first a quick tour of the Forest of Deer.

The Adventures Around Aberdeen route concludes on the traffic-free cycle route almost all the way back into Aberdeen, before turning off the route and following bits of the River Don back into the granite city.

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Adventures Around Aberdeenshire

348 mi

23,275 ft

23,300 ft

Last updated: November 19, 2021

Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Stage 1: Aberdeen to Charr Bothy — Adventures Around Aberdeenshire

    Difficult
    05:41
    53.7 mi
    9.5 mph
    3,725 ft
    2,950 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Starting in the city of Aberdeen you'll go from paved roads to cycle paths of tarmac and then compacted gravel until you leave the Deeside Way.

    

    Ride up into the hills and onto some gravel forest roads, some grassy drovers tracks and a few rough sections.

    

    Pass through Stonehaven and Dunnattor castle on

    by Doubletrackfanatic

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  • Difficult
    04:27
    39.9 mi
    9.0 mph
    3,425 ft
    3,600 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From forest roads to cycle paths, quiet lanes and traffic free routes, it's through forests, moorland and farmland today.

    

    A huge variety of tracks and trails, with plenty of accommodation options and places to pick up supplies or stop for food.

    by Doubletrackfanatic

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  • Difficult
    05:23
    48.2 mi
    9.0 mph
    3,475 ft
    2,150 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    Riding up to White Bridge and the edge of the Cairngorms, the tracks are sometimes rough but those parts are short lived, and it's mostly relatively smooth going on this stage. A few steep climbs are encountered but the views you'll get are worth the effort.

    by Doubletrackfanatic

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  • Difficult
    05:19
    46.1 mi
    8.7 mph
    4,525 ft
    5,200 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    Through of the Cairngorms on some great quality estate tracks with more steep hills to conquer, and some rough trails, but there's more great views on offer and plenty to keep you interested in this section.

    

    From the Invercauld Estate you'll ride through a few stands of majestic Scots pines, cross a high

    by Doubletrackfanatic

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  • Difficult
    05:15
    51.4 mi
    9.8 mph
    4,100 ft
    5,125 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Up and down numerous hills, across farmland tracks and forest roads, there is a huge variety of terrain on this stage. Sometimes the tracks are overgrown but mostly they're well used.

    

    The forest roads are mostly through plantations, so they're often in great condition, whereas some of the farmland tracks

    by Doubletrackfanatic

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  • Difficult
    05:17
    55.4 mi
    10.5 mph
    2,300 ft
    2,650 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Ride to the coast at Portsoy with some vaguely busy roads at times, but also some very pleasant traffic free routes through Banff and McDuff, then it's back into the hills on more ancient drovers roads, across moorland and farmland and eventually farm tracks and sand dunes near Rattray Head.

    

    The moorland

    by Doubletrackfanatic

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  • Difficult
    05:20
    54.6 mi
    10.2 mph
    1,725 ft
    1,725 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    From the sandy tracks near Rattray Head, you ride inland for this final stage, once again on quiet lanes. Do a loop around a forest on double and single track, then join a disused railway line now converted to a cycle route that'll take you most of the way back to Aberdeen.

    by Doubletrackfanatic

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    349 mi
  • Duration
    36:41 h
  • Elevation
    23,275 ft23,400 ft

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