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The route from Archiestown to Grantown is 18.9 miles in length and has climbing of 1,293 feet. It has been given a difficulty rating of 6.
Archiestown is a small village that was built in 1760 and is named after Sir Archibald Grant of Monymusk. It is a planned village with a grid-street system and a village square. Originally intended as a weaving centre, whisky came to dominate the town from the early 19th century when its production was legalised under the Excise Act of 1823.
You head southwest from the centre of Archiestown and straight in to a downhill section that lasts to mile 3.7, with a small rise at mile 1.1. You join the River Spey at mile 3.6 and follow it all the way to the finish – in fact, this stage is about as “Speyside” as it gets!. The next 4.6 miles are rolling before you head uphill at mile 8.3. Following the subsequent descent, the road continues to roll to mile 11.1 and you then tackle the hardest climb of the day that reaches the high point of 843 feet at mile 13.4. From there you descent to mile 14.8 before the final climb which lasts for 1.4 miles. The last section is mainly flat and you enter Grantown from the northeast and finish in the centre of the town.
This is a beautiful route that starts in Moray and finishes in the Cairngorm National Park. You will enjoy classic countryside of farm and woodland, surrounded by hills and dominated by the River Spey. At mile 3.6 you cycle through at Knockando and there are three distilleries close by, being Tamdhu, Cardhu and Knockando itself. You pass through Craggenmore at mile 7.6 where you can visit the distillery of the same name, and just across the river is Ballindalloch Castle, a stunning Scottish Baronial building that was completed in 1546 and is the home to the Macpherson-Grant family. If you are lucky you will get a peak of Tormore distillery on the east side of the Spey at mile 9 – it is, in the opinion of Ride the North, the most beautiful distillery in Scotland. You enter the Cairngorm National Park after 12.4 miles, and pass standing stones at mile 17.2.
As the name suggests, Grantown is situated on the mighty River Spey in Moray, though it has distinctive Highlands feel. It was founded as a planned village in 1765 and is a popular tourist destination, especially for fishing, walking, cycling and nature-watching. The town has an excellent heritage museum and the nearby Strathspey Steam Railway is a great way to enjoy the surrounding countryside. Grantown has carved out an engine-based niche, hosting annual classic-car and truck shows. It also supports the Thunder in the Glen, when thousands of Harley Davidsons descend on the area – it has impacted one edition of Ride the North, and is truly a sight to behold! There are plenty of café and restaurant options to help you refuel. Maybe a dram is on the cards!
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