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The route from Inverurie to Ellon runs east then north and is 15.4 miles long with 787 feet of climbing. This is a relatively short and easy cycle and has been given a difficulty rating of 5.
Inverurie is the largest town in Aberdeenshire with a population of around 14,000, and is known locally as the Centre of the Garioch (pronounced Geery). The town was founded in 1308, though its first mention in royal charters isn’t until 1558. If outdoor history is your thing, then the Easter Aquhorthies stone circle dating back to the 3rd century BC is worth a visit, as is the Pictish symbol known as the Brandsbutt Stone. There is an excellent range of shops and eateries in the town, as well as a regular farmers’ market. The largest livestock market in Scotland can be found just south of the town at Thainstone.
Heading east from Inverurie town centre, you will immediately start the only significant climb of the day, which lasts for 3.6 miles and finishes at the high point of 548 feet. After only 0.8 miles you will pass the entrance to Keith Hall which incorporates the original Caskieben Castle, built in the 13th century. A wander around the park, woodlands, walled garden and formal garden is well worth it. From mile 3.6 you will basically be descending all the way to Ellon. This will be a fast cycle, especially if the west wind is blowing. You will mainly be on small roads in the Formartine area of Aberdeenshire, surrounded by pretty farms and woodland. However this is a well populated part of the north east so the roads might be busier than you imagine.
You will pass the ruins of a stone circle at mile 4 (Sheldon) and the ruins of St Mary’s Chapel at mile 5.4. Udny Green is just over halfway through your route and is a pretty village and a good place for a pitstop. You will then continue to head east before turning north at mile 12.7 for the final stretch in to Ellon. You will cross the Rover Ythan before finishing in the town centre.
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. Ellon is a good sized town so you will have lots of refuelling options.
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 Ellon can be found here