The route from Aberdeen to Stonehaven heads west, south and east, simply to avoid you cycling on the main A90 arterial road! The route is 15.6 miles in length with 955 feet of climbing and a high point of 492 feet above sea-level. There is a significant climb early on, which is followed by rolling roads and a lovely decent into Stonehaven, so the difficulty rating is 5.
You will start in the Duthie Park in central Aberdeen, and if you have time it is worth having visiting the Winter Gardens and cactus house (obviously!) You will then head along the River Dee before having to negotiate the very busy Bridge of Dee roundabout – please take care. Now on the south side of the river, you will turn left half a mile after the roundabout (near Banchory-Devenick) and immediately hit the toughest climb of the route which lasts for 1.7 miles, ascending 400 feet in the process. You will be able to hear traffic on the A90, but you’ll be cycling on quite roads through gorgeous farming and woodland – it is a lovely contrast. Continuing on rolling roads, you will twice cross the Aberdeen ring-road at miles 6.4 and 7.2 miles, before joining the Netherley Road at mile 9.3 and heading back towards the coast. This road (the B979) is quite busy and has some very hard corners, so caution is advised.
The high point arrives at 10.7 miles and then it’s downhill all the way, cycling through lovely agricultural and woodland surroundings. As you get closer to Stonehaven you get marvellous 360 degree views, including the Mearns to the south and the foothills of the Cairngorms to the south and west. Perhaps the loveliest view of all is towards Stonehaven itself, with the picturesque harbour and town framed by the North Sea.
The finishing point is the Market Square in Stonehaven, and you could perhaps reward yourself with some of the best fish ‘n chips in the country (and that is not just our opinion!) Fishing was the chief commerce of the town into the early 20th century, and now marine services and tourism are the dominant industries. The most notable building in the town is the Tolbooth Museum, which was historically used as both a courthouse and a jail. Two miles to the south are the medieval ruins of Dunnotter Castle. The castle, which is open to the public, has a bloody history and played a prominent role in a number of important historical events, including the Jacobite uprisings of 1715 and 1745. Stonehaven is renowned for its Hogmanay fireball ceremony, and you can find an RSPB reserve (and 130,000 breeding birds) just to the south.
By clicking on the ‘play’ symbol on the graphic below you can see route map. The elevation profile of the ride can be seen via the Hills tab with files for use with a GPS a device also available for download. If you take any photos of the route that you’d like to share, please submit to email@example.com
Onward rides from Stonehaven can be found here