Route for cyclists, Cycling the North East 250

CYCLING THE NORTHEAST 250

The North East 250 is an excellent route for cyclists with long winding roads and stunning views of the mountains and the coast. Here are a few ideas to give you inspiration.

Aberdeen to Spey Bay

This route can be found at the Plotaroute website

The route starts in Aberdeen on the cycle path just north of the road bridge over the River Don on Ellon Road.

Route map for NE250 Coastal Route by Colin Allanach on plotaroute.com

The route out of Aberdeen, heading north, is along the A90 Ellon Road. There is a cycle path on the left hand side of the road which should be used. Take this path until it ends on the outskirts of the Bridge of Don and joins with the B999.

Route for cyclists, Cycling the North East 250

Cycle the B999 until you reach Potterton and take the right hand unclassified road through Potterton and out towards Belhelvie joining the B977. This road takes you through Belhelvie and onward to the coastal town of Balmedie. A cycle path takes you under the main dual carriageway and onto the old Aberdeen A90 road. This road is quiet now since the AWPR route has been completed. Continue north along this road. The road passes the famous Trump golf course on the right-hand side and continues to join the A975. Turn right here and follow the road towards Newburgh.

As you cycle along the A975 you will pass through the coastal village of Newburgh. A cycle off to the left and down to the beach offers the chance to see a large 400-strong colony of seals. Visitors should keep well clear of the colony and avoide disturb them.

Riders can then continue along the A975 until they reach the crossroads for the B9003. Take the right towards the village of Collieston. There is a charming small harbour here with some stunning cliff faces. Stop and have a wee ice cream at the wee harbour shop.

Retracing your route slightly from Collieston, turn right up past the church and follow the unclassified road towards Winnyfold. Enjoy the stunning cliff views over towards Cruden Bay. The road once again joins on to the A975 and you can swoop down into Cruden Bay village itself. There are a few hotels for a spot of lunch here. Continue out of Cruden Bay on the A975. On the right hand side you can see the ruins of Slain Castle.. This imposing castle, perched at the cliff edge, was reported to be the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s castle in his Gothic Horror novel, ‘Dracula’. The track to the castle is a bit rough but an easy walk with a bike and you can get right into the castle.

Continue along the A95 until it eventually joins onto the main A90. A short section of the route is on this busy main road before a cycle path appears on the left hand side. The path continues towards Peterhead. It is certainly worth dropping in at Peterhead Prison Museum: this Victorian prison was home to some very interesting characters. For ‘interesting’ read ‘dodgy’, of course.

Peterhead has a peripheral cycle path following the A90 before joining the road once again at the northern end of the bypass. Here, the A90 road follows the coast line and passes part of the North East’s oil history as you sweep by the striking industrial site of St. Fergus Oil terminal on the right.

Follow the A90 until you reach the turn off for St. Combs on the right and follow the B9033 to the village.

Following the B9033 takes you into the Fishing town of Fraserburgh. Fraserburgh is very much a working harbour and it is worth stopping off at the harbour to watch the boats and crew in action.

From Fraserburgh follow the B0931 out along the coast through the villages of Sandhaven, Pitullie and Rosehearty to New Aberdour. From New Aberdour follow the lumpy coastal road until you reach the Pennan crossroads. Drop down the steep road into the village of Pennan where the famous phone box from the film ‘Local Hero’ is; this is probably the most famous phone box in Britain. Have a refreshing cup of tea or a spot of lunch in the village: you will need replenishing in anticipation of your ascent out of the village!

Route for cyclists, Cycling the North East 250

Brace yourself for a steep climb as you retrace your route, out of Pennan and turn right along the B9031. This meandering road will lead you onto the A98 and a short ride into the town of MacDuff.

Check out the open-air swimming pool at Tarlair at the edge of MacDuff. The old art deco pool, filled with seawater, was a major attraction in the 1930s. Although now closed to swimmers, and in a state of disrepair, it’s an excellent spot for a sandwich and to reflect on the fun folk in the area would have had at this facility.

Stop off for a visit to the MacDuff Marine Aquarium to see sharks and all sorts of seal life creatures.

Following a rest at MacDuff, continue westwards through Banff and along the beautiful Moray coastline. Look out for pods of dolphins and, if you’re lucky, the occasional Orca. Take in the lovely harbour villages all the way up the coast to the small but bustling shipwrights at Buckie.

From Buckie, it’s a short cycle to Spey Bay where the Scottish Dolphin centre is. Take this opportunity to learn about these beautiful creatures and other Moray wildlife with a chance to see them swimming in the bay. You might even catch sight of a whale.

Part 2 coming soon.

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