The route from Huntly to Fyvie is 17.9 miles long and has 1,119 feet of climbing. There are a couple of harder climbs and as such this has been given a difficulty rating of 6.
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 before your efforts, the shortbread maker Deans has its HQ (and a café) in the town. There is a train station in Huntly with good links south to Aberdeen and north west in to Moray and Inverness.
Starting in the lovely Market Square, you head due east through Huntly before having to cycle a few hundred meters on the A90. You then turn left onto A97 before turning right onto quieter roads at mile 2. Please take care on this early section. Once off the main road you are in farm and woodland, but also with some higher hills around you. There are various points on the route where you feel quite isolated and it’s a lovely area to cycle in. But it is also quite exposed, so hope that you benefit from the prevailing wind rather than a beast from the east! At mile 2.7 you hit a nasty but short climb, and your next challenge will start at mile 4.9 – this hill lasts for 2.4 miles and takes you to the high point of 804 feet above sea level. It’s then mainly downhill all the way to Fyvie, with a couple of fairly easy climbs at miles 13 and 15.3.
The high point at mile 7.3 is between Broom Hill and Kirk Hill, and you should get some panoramic views over the whole of Aberdeenshire. You will pass the Wells of Ythan after 8.4 miles before cycling through Meadowhead Wood and passing the remains of a Roman camp at Glenmellan. You will pass an old castle after 16.6 miles at the wonderfully named Rothiebrisbane, which may or may not have given its name to the city in Australia! You then cycle past the Den of Rothie before crossing the River Ythan and finishing at a picnic site immediately south of Fyvie.
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. You should be able to refuel at the castle, but you might want to take some extra provisions just in case.
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 Fyvie can be found here