The route from Fyvie to Strichen is 18.2 miles in length with climbing of 1,352 feet. Travelling mainly north-east, this cycle is very lumpy, with a number of tougher climbs, and has been given a difficulty rating of 6 (which is maybe slightly cruel!)
Fyvie is in the Formartine area of Aberdeenshire. It is worth seeking out St Peter’s Church which has Pictish symbols and crosses built in to the east gable. A mile from the village is Fyvie Castle which dates from the early 13th century, though most of the building is newer. The gardens were beautifully landscaped during the 19th century, and the whole estate was passed to the National Trust for Scotland in 1984. The castle is said to be haunted, though this cannot be confirmed or denied by Ride the North.
Starting on the south side of Fyvie, you go straight in to a difficult climb that lasts for about 1.5 miles. You cycle through the town and pass the entrance to Fyvie Castle after 1 mile. After a section of rolling terrain you hit one of the two hardest climbs of the day from mile 2.9 to 5.7, where you reach the high point of 535 feet. You do get some respite for after the high point, but at mile 7.7 you hit the second of the two hardest climbs some after, lasting 1.9 miles.
You arrive in New Deer at mile 11, and this is a good place for a break. The village was founded by monks who built a chapel at Auchreddie, with the south side of town still known by this name. There are three churches in New Deer, though only one is in use for worship. Heading uphill out of the village, you should stop at mile 11.6 to admire the Culsh Monument, which was erected in the 1877 to commemorate William Dingwall Fordyce, an Aberdeenshire MP. The road is never flat, with nasty lumps all the way to mile 16 before a downhill section into Strichen. You join the Formartine and Buchan Way at mile 16 (opened in the early 1990s, it is classed as one of Scotland’s Great Trails and runs for 53 miles along a former railway) and cross the River Ugie from the south west before finishing in the centre of town.
Strichen in an interesting place and there is considerable evidence of ancient settlements nearby, including the Strichen Stone Circle and the Catto Long Barrow south of the town. The most significant building is the Town House, a superb example of early 19th century architecture. Nearby Mormond Hill is fascinating for its historical mix. The hill is littered with disused satellites and masts which are the remnants of US communications posts from the Cold War, and you can also see the Strichen White Horse and the Strichen White Stag. Strichen is not a big place, so it might be wise to carry some extra provisions.
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 Strichen can be found here