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The route from Strichen to Fyvie is 18.2 miles in length with climbing of 1,312 feet. Travelling mainly south west, 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, especially if you are cycling in to the wind).
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.
Starting in the centre of Strichen, you immediately go uphill for 2.3 miles, mainly cycling alongside the Formartine and Buchan Way. Opened in the early 1990s, it is classed as one of Scotland’s Great Trails and runs for 53 miles along a former railway. You are then on rolling roads (an overly nice way of describing them) before a difficult few miles, including a short but nasty climb at mile 6.1. At mile 6.7 you pass the Culsh Monument, which was erected in the 1877 to commemorate William Dingwall Fordyce, an Aberdeenshire MP. You then enter the village of New Deer which 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.
After leaving the village, the road continue to roll before you hit the hardest climb of the day at mile 10.6, which takes you to the high point of 535 feet at mile 12.6. It is then mainly downhill to Fyvie, other than a nasty but short spike at mile 16.3. You pass Fyvie Castle on your right at mile 17.5 before finishing on the south side of the village at a picnic area on the River Ythan.
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.
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