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The historic town of Banff is location on the north coast of Aberdeenshire (also known as the Banffshire Coast) and is on route 1 of the National Cycle Network. It is the gateway to the Moray Coast to the west while to te east it’s within easy reach of some of the most picuresque coastal villages in Scotland – particularly Crovie, Pennan and Gardenstown. To the south the Deveron valley is much less known and less visited than either Deeside or Donside, but as a destination for cycling it holds up well and certainly one of the area’s hidden gems.
Banff is separated from the neighbouring village of Macduff by a pretty seven-arch bridge over the River Deveron and features fine examples of Georgian architecture which has attracted visitors for centuries – the town is considered to have one of best-preserved townscapes in Scotland. Banff is home to the former royal Banff Castle, a pre-Reformation market cross, a fine Biggar Fountain and several townhouses, along with a museum donated by Andrew Carnegie. The castle boasts a distinctive yellow façade which can be easily spotted as you enter the town from the east, and is said to be one of the finest townhouses in Scotland.
Nearby is the magnificent Duff House. One of Scotland’s finest classical houses designed in 1740 by William Adam as a seat for the Earls of Fife, this Georgian stately home houses a range of art treasures and superbly furnished rooms with extensive grounds offering pleasant parkland walks.
Historically, the town is known for being primarily dependant on fishing, but was once a trade centre for weavers, soapmakers and some of the most talented silvermakers in the country. Head to the community-run Banff Museum on the High Street to see some of the oldest surviving silver teapots in Scotland, as well as browsing examples of local work on display too. You can also uncover the story of the notorious Scottish outlaw, James MacPherson, and how he met his demise through replicas, objects and displays.
The town has parking at the coast just beyond the harbour or in the grounds of the magnificent Duff House. There are shops, cafes and hotels in Banff and it’s near neighbour Macduff.