The Deeside Way, Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire
The Deeside Way from "My Dear Paradise" by RSFilms
The Deeside Way is a 66-kilometre rail trail that follows, in part, the bed of the former Royal Deeside Railway. The trail leads along the north bank of the River Dee from Aberdeen to Ballater.
With its ever-changing landscape it offers the opportunity to explore this beautiful area either on foot or by bike, as the path is suitable for walkers and cyclists with many sections suitable for horses as well.
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The Deeside Way route follows the line of the Old Royal Deeside Railway from Aberdeen to Banchory, through woodland and farmland to Kincardine O’Neil and then re-joins the old line from Aboyne to Ballater, total distance 41 miles.
Most of the route is off road with gradual gradients making for easy going particularly suitable for family cycling although there are some short steeper sections giving more of a challenge. Since closure of the line in the mid 1960’s a few of the original railway bridges have been removed and some of the track bed destroyed. However ramps have been constructed at many former bridge locations to allow safe easy access to and from the Way. Quiet lanes adjacent to the line are used where the former track bed has been destroyed.
Along the way there are many opportunities to see remains of the old railway infrastructure as well as stunning views over the River Dee with the Cairngorm Mountains as a backdrop.
Scotland is internationally recognised as one of the world’s best countries for cycling and mountain biking facilities. Here in Royal Deeside and surrounding areas we are blessed to have some fantastic trails and scenery for you to explore. From gentle cycling along flat and quiet country lanes or cycle paths, to arduous trails across high mountains and through dense forests, something to satisfy every level of cyclist from the absolute novice to the committed enthusiast.
To give you just a flavour of what’s on offer you could consider the following:
- Circular routes Ballater typically lasting between 1 and 4 hours.
- The Old Deeside Railway Cycle Route, 45 miles along the disused line from Aberdeen to Ballater, especially suitable for families with riverside views.
- Glen Muick to Glen Girnock Route, great adventure for the more energetic.
XC Bike Trails
- Lochnagar and Morven “Killer Loops” for panoramic views and huge descents.
- The Cairn Leuchan ridge one crazy single track to the base of Mount Keen.
- Glen Tanar contains the well-known Fungle route.
- Cambus O’May, Loch Kinord, the infamous “Rollercoaster” and the classic Green Mile are popular single-track areas.
Mountain Bike Trail
- Cambus O’May Forest Trails (multi-use)
- Loch Kinord Circular Trails (multi-use)
- Aboyne Bike Park
- Scolty Hill
- Pitfichie Forest
- Tarland Trails
Downhill Mountain Bikers
- The Pitfichie cycle trails between Alford and Monymusk. Difficult to extreme trial for expert downhill, mountain bikes only.
- Chairlift accessed downhill trails are available at The Lecht Ski Centre and at Glenshee Bike Track.
For information or help on these or other cycle routes and adventures throughout Royal Deeside, do call into one of our friendly cycle outlets such at “Cycle Highlands” in Ballater and they will be happy to assist.
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