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The route from Dufftown to Archiestown is 12.9 miles in length. It might be short, but there is climbing of 1,312 feet and has therefore been given a difficulty rating of 6 (which isn’t very charitable of us!)
Dufftown is part of the ancient parish of Mortlach, and you can visit the historic Mortlach Church on the south side of town. The remains of Balvenie Castle is open to the public – the original building was completed in the 12th century. The Dufftown Clock Tower is lovely and used to be the prison. The town calls itself the Malt Whisky Capital of the World. The industry is hugely important to the area, from farming and general employment to tourism. There are also some world renowned whiskies made near Dufftown including the Balvenie, Glenfiddich, Mortlach and Dufftown itself. You should try to make a distillery tour (and perhaps a dram!) part of your day.
You head west out of Dufftown into the heart of whisky country, before turning southwest. You are gently climbing from the start but you have to negotiate a steeper hill at mile 3.8 which takes you to the high point of 1,079 feet at mile 4.5. You then enjoy a long descent, with some flat sections and the inevitable lumps and bumps. You start ascending again at mile 10.2 and continue uphill all the way to the finish, entering Archiestown from the south and finishing in the centre of the village.
This might be a short stage, but it packs a punch in terms of climbing, scenery and tourist attractions. This is classic Speyside, with farm and woodland as well as higher hills in a sometimes stark setting.
You cycle through the beautiful Glen Rinnes from mile 2, with Ben Rinnes (the highest hill in Moray) dominating the landscape from mile 4. You briefly join the busy A95 at mile 8.5 (please take care) before crossing the River Spey over the Bridge of Carron, built in 1863, at mile 10.2. You can visit the new Dalmunach Distillery (the previous one closed in 1998) in Carron at mile 10.4.
Archiestown is a small village that was built in 1760 and 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. Archiestown is a small place so you should 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 firstname.lastname@example.org