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The route from Ellon to Peterhead is 18.9 miles long and has total climbing of 1,119 feet. Like most of Aberdeenshire, the roads are constantly rolling and so this route has been given a difficulty rating of 6.
Ellon sits on the River Ythan and you should visit the ruins of Ellon Castle as well as the Auld Brig which dates back to 1793. Ellon is also home to the headquarters of Brewdog, which started from a garage in 2007 and has now become a global business with turnover in the hundreds of millions. You can tour the brewery, and enjoy a beer at the tap-room on site.
You head north from the centre of Ellon and have to negotiate 1.1 miles in the town before crossing the busy A948 and hitting the countryside. The first 5.3 miles are all uphill and brings to you the high point of the route at 479 feet. This section is easily the toughest of the route, and from then you pretty much go downhill all the way to the coast at Peterhead. But (naturally!) there are still a number of small hills to negotiate so you won’t be freewheeling. If the wind is favourable, this will be a fun, fast cycle on quiet roads.
There are not any real tourist attractions on route, but it will be a pleasant cycle in farm and woodland. You will arrive at the edge of Peterhead at mile 17.4, and then have to negotiate a half mile stretch of the A90 – this is a very busy road so please take care, especially when joining it. You then turn left and north and finish on the south side of town overlooking Peterhead Bay. You are only a mile from the centre of town where you can get some sustenance.
Peterhead is the most eastern point of mainland Scotland and is known as the Blue Toon. It was officially founded in 1593 and was immediately recognised for its natural harbour. The town has a dark history in relation to whaling, but from the early 19th century herring became the major catch. With the discovery of oil in the North Sea in the 1970s, Peterhead became a major services centre, but fishing is still the predominant industry – it is the largest port for fish landing in the UK, and the largest white-fish port in Europe. There is some wonderful architecture in Peterhead, mainly fanning out from the harbour. The grade A listed Buchan Ness lighthouse sits just south of the town, and the notorious Peterhead Prison has been converted into a museum. Slains Castle (supposedly the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula) is nearby, and to the north of the town is the RSPB reserve of Loch of Strathbeg.
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 Peterhead can be found here