The route from Cullen to Aberchirder heads broadly south and east and is 16.4 miles in length. With climbing of 1,280 feet, this has been given a difficulty of 5.
Cullen is an ancient village, first mentioned in Scots history in 952 and receiving royal burgh status in 1153. The organs of the wife of Robert the Bruce are said to be buried in the Auld Kirk, which is well worth a visit. It is a fishing community which overlooks a natural harbour and a wonderful, clean beach, with brightly coloured residences. It also sits on the Moray Coast Trail, and used to be a stop on the Great North Scotland Railway – now, the spectacular 8-arch viaduct is a cycle path and walkway, and a favourite photograph for the numerous tourists who visit the town. It is the home of Cullen Skink, a haddock based soup. There are a number of café options in town, so try the authentic experience!
The road heads south out of Cullen, and you cross from Moray to Aberdeenshire at mile 1.7. There is a small rise coming out of Cullen, and another t mile 2.7, and the longest hill of the day starts at mile 4.2 and lasts for 2.7 miles. This is followed by a rolling section with a downward trend before you start climbing again at mile 10.9, reaching the high point of the day of 633 feet at mile 12.7. You will then enjoy a downhill for 2.2 miles, before going slightly uphill and entering Aberchirder from the north.
This route is more about scenery than tourist sights, and it is very pretty, made more so by the coastal views. You pass through Fordyce at mile 4.1 with its Baronial style castle in the centre., and make sure you take a backward peak towards the coast on the climb around mile 6 – the views are fantastic. You cycle near Knock Hill at mile 10, a stark moorland hill that stands alone and dominates the landscape.
Aberchirder is a small village that was founded in 1764. It was a planned community and is built in a grid pattern, with houses having large, long gardens that were initially to allow residents to supplement their food supply. The village is known as Foggieloan or simply Foggie by the residents. It is thought there was a small farm town called Foggieloan to the north of the existing site, and when the Laird of Auchintoul built the village the residents refused to call it Aberchirder. This tradition has been maintained for over 250 years. It is a small place so you might want to pack extra provisions.
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