Day 4: Carn a’Chnuic to Braemar - Cairngorms Loop
Mountain Biking Highlight
Mountain Biking Highlight (Segment)
Bike Touring Highlight
Katherine Moore planned a mountain bike ride.
December 18, 2019
The penultimate stage of 36 miles (58km) takes you from the North of the outer loop down the East, from the Abernethy National Nature Reserve to the village of Braemar in Aberdeenshire. Start the day with a gentle off road climb to warm you up and crossing the Dorback Burn. Take extra carehere, especially in the wetter months where the river flow is stronger and deeper. Head upstream to find a safer place to cross if necessary.
Join the road for a short stint before rejoining gravel roads heading East to reach Tomintoul where you’ll find pubs and tearooms - a blessing in these remote areas. You’re now in Glenlivet territory, a well known Speyside Whiskey!
After refuelling in the village, head South past Tom na Bat on doubletrack estate roads following the way of the River Avon. You’ll be riding against the river flow as you gently climb, siding the Bulig Burn on one of the most beautiful remote valleys to Loch Bulig. From mile 26 (42km) it gets steeper, climbing to the highest point of the day at 2380 feet (735 meters), nearing the summit of Culardoch.
All that climbing will be well worth it as you now enjoy the doubletrack descent down to the road near Braemar on the River Dee, sailing down through moor and woodland. From here you just need to follow the road to cross the river and head into the village, another oasis of facilities from pubs to shops and the brilliant Braemar Youth Hostel which will offer you a comfortable night’s stay after your previous night camping.
December 23, 2019