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The route from Peterhead to Fraserburgh is 21.4 miles long and has climbing of 804 feet. The route is consistently lumpy with numerous short but steep spikes, so has been given a difficulty rating of 6. Due to your proximity to the sea, wind will often be a factor.
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.
Starting on the south side overlooking Peterhead Bay, you head in to town and then go west and north, hitting the countryside after 3 miles. The River Ugie will be on your left for the next 2.6 miles, and you pass the remains of Ravenscraig Castle. The route is very lumpy for the first 5.9 miles, and you will then hit the only consistently uphill section which takes you to the high point of 289 feet at 10.2 miles. The route will then head steadily downhill to Fraserburgh, but you will keep encountering short, leg-sapping lumps in the road all the way to the finish.
This is mainly farming country. You will pass the aptly named Gallows Hill at mile 6.5 and a stone circle at mile 13. Just after, you will cross the busy A90 road – please take care. You are now very close to the RSPB reserve of Strathbeg, as well as the stunning beach and dunes of Back Bar. At mile 14 you pass by Crimonmogate House and Gardens, Now privately owned, the original house dates back to the 14th century, though the main property is far newer and was designed by the renowned Aberdonian architect Archibald Simpson. You hit the coast at mile 19, by Fraserburgh Golf Club and the gorgeous dune system . You also join the Formartine and Buchan Way at this point. You enter Fraserburgh on the east side of town and so it is an easy navigation to the finishing point at the main harbour.
Known locally as The Broch (an Iron Age, drystone structure and the old Scots word for fort), Fraserburgh is a major fishing port specialising in shellfish, white fish and pelagic. The town was founded in the early 16th century by the Fraser family, and the first harbour was built in 1590. If you have time, you could visit Kinnaird Head Lighthouse or the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses. The town is also famous for its array of impressive 19th century churches. There are various café, restaurant and supermarket options if you wish to refuel.
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 Fraserburgh can be found here