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The route from Aberchirder to Banff is 11.6 miles long and entirely in Aberdeenshire, with total climbing of 630 feet and a maximum elevation of 577 feet. It is an easy, rolling route and merits a difficulty rating of 3. The finishing point of Banff sits on the north Aberdeenshire coast. A Banff resident moved to Canada in the 1880s and founded a town of the same name. But the similarities end there, since the Canadian version is landlocked and has an average elevation of about 5,000 feet!
Aberchirder is a small village that was founded in 1764. It was a planned community and is built in a grid pattern, with houses having large, long gardens that were initially to allow residents to supplement their food supply. Heading roughly north out of the village, the road climbs very gently to the high point at mile 3. You are in pretty country predominantly used for agriculture, so you may encounter some less-than-perfect road surfaces. You will then start heading east as well as north, and will very slowly descend for the next 8.6 miles to sea level in Banff. There are some minor lumps on the road, so it won’t all be freewheeling.
Banff is an ancient town, and its first castle was built to repel the Vikings. It was mentioned in a royal charter in 1163 and was considered a trading town for many centuries – despite its location, the harbour was only built in 1775. The estuary of the River Deveron is in the town and can be crossed via a magnificent seven arched bridge dating to 1779. The river separates Banff from neighbouring Macduff. Whilst the two towns are barely distinguishable to the average tourist, there is a fierce (but mainly friendly) rivalry between the two. Banff has a beautifully preserved townscape with many historic buildings, including a museum that was gifted by Andrew Carnegie. There are some lovely beach and cliff walks both east and west of the town, and lots of places to enjoy some sustenance – an ice-cream (or fish ‘n chips) overlooking the Deveron and Banff Bay would be a grand way to finish your day.
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 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 Banff can be found here