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The route from Aberchirder to Huntly heads mainly south and is entirely in Aberdeenshire. The route is 14.3 miles long with total ascending of 906 feet and a maximum elevation of 502 feet above sea-level. The route is continuously undulating and has some nasty wee kicks. However, due to the relatively short distance, this has been given a difficulty rating of 5. You might disagree!
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. You head south-west out of the village, starting with a nice descent. When you arrive in Marnoch at mile 3 you will join the Deveron, one of the great rivers of the north-east. You are in stone-circle country, and can find some excellent examples in Marnoch and around Milltown of Rothiemay (miles 7 and 8.4).
From Marnoch you head straight into the longest climb of the route which lasts for 3.1 miles. But you will find some solace in the beautiful surroundings – great views, rolling farmland and the Deveron sparkling in the sunlight. You start descending at mile 6.1 before hitting an uphill slog that lasts for 2.5 miles, taking you to the high point of the route in the Bin Forest. You then descent into Huntly from the south, crossing the Deveron and finishing in the town centre. Huntly has a railway station with good links to Aberdeen and west towards Moray and Inverness.
The town of Huntly has had settlements dating back to the Neolithic period. There is an excavated Iron-Age fort on the edge of town, as well as numerous Pictish remains and stones. The town is the historic home of the Gordon Highlanders Regiment, and the ruined castle is worth a visit. If you are looking for some sustenance after your efforts, the shortbread maker Deans has its HQ (and a café!) in the town.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Onward rides from Huntly can be found here