A spectacular week in Aberdeenshire, Moray and the Cairngorms

Ride level Regular cyclist
Distance 302 mi / 486 km
Type of bicycle Any
Traffic free
Circular route
Spectacular scenery in the Cairngorms

Gary Cummins is the Vice Chair of Cycling UK Scotland and leads tours for CTC Cycling Holidays and Tours. Gary re-discovered cycling as a London commuter in his late 20s, going on to serve as a borough co-ordinator for the London Cycling Campaign. He went on his first CTC tour in 1998 and met his future wife Aileen on a tour to Nova Scotia in 2001.

This is a tour I led for CTC Cycling Holidays and Tours earlier this year. From Dundee, the city of explorer Captain Scott's ship Discovery, out into the Cairngorms and back to Dundee. It’s a perfect week of British cycle touring! The route covers the often-overlooked northeast of Scotland including Dundee, Angus, Moray and Aberdeenshire. It’s suitable for fit cyclists who are willing to keep going at a steady pace and don’t mind climbing, descending and possibly challenging weather including headwinds. The route takes in a mixture of roads, but most of the busier roads are on the first and last sections of the trip.

The first half of the tour follows the Aberdeenshire and Moray coast and enjoys seascapes, fishing villages, tea and cake shops and countryside. We took our overnight stops at Stonehaven, Huntly and Findhorn. You may want to rest on the fourth day, as we did, and visit the Findhorn Ecovillage. One the fifth day you head south, crossing into the Cairngorms National Park and an overnight stop at Grantown-on-Spey. The penultimate day sees you climbing through the Cairngorm mountains and into the ski areas, staying at Braemar before heading back to Dundee.

Good cafes and food stops:

  • On day one try Flora’s café, Castle Fraser NTS café or Kemnay village where there are several shops and cafes.
  • At the Garmouth Hotel there is a lovely coffee shop with an industrial coffee machine on site - amazing smells
  • On your last day, The Glenshee Pottery does lovely food and drink in the middle of nowhere