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The route from Strichen to Peterhead is 15.9 miles long. The roads are consistently lumpy, but with climbing of 571 feet this has been given a difficulty rating of 5.
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 head southeast and immediately hit the hardest section of the route, with three short sharp hills in the first 2.7 miles. You reach the high point of 266 feet at mile 1.7. There is a shallow ascent at mile 3.9 where you will have to cycle for a few hundred yards on the A952 – this road is busy and fast so please take care. There is then a long, easy descent all the way to mile 10, and this will be a fast section, especially if the wind is at your back. From there the roads are constantly rolling all the way to Peterhead. You enter the town at mile 13.9 and then cycle through residential areas, finishing on the south side overlooking Peterhead Bay.
Truthfully, there is not much to see on route. You join the Formartine and Buchan way twice (just after leaving Strichen, and when you are coming in to Peterhead). 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 will pass the motte at Castle Hill at mile 12, and the remains of Inverugie Castle at mile 12.4.
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. There are plenty of café and supermarket options to allow you 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 email@example.com
Onward rides from Peterhead can be found here