Grantown to Archiestown (19 miles)

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The route from Grantown to Archiestown is 18.9 miles in length and has climbing of 1,296 feet. It has been given a difficulty rating of 6.

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!

You head northeast from the centre of Grantown and broadly follow the River Spey to mile 15.3 – in fact, this stage is about as “Speyside” as it gets! The road rolls to mile 2.7 before a short descent and the first climb of the day, which starts at mile 4.2 and reaches the high point of 843 feet at mile 5.5. You then have a lumpy descent before tacking another short hill after 9.2 miles. The road is then mainly rolling downhill before you climb again from mile 15.2 to mile 17.3. There is a short descent before the you head uphill into Archiestown, entering the town from the west and finishing in the centre.

This is a beautiful route that starts in the Cairngorm National Park. It is classic Moray countryside of farm and woodland, surrounded by hills and dominated by the River Spey. You pass standing stones at mile 1.7 before leaving the Cairngorms behind at mile 6.6. 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. At mile 11 you cycle through Craggenmore 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. You leave the River behind at Knockando (mile 15.2) and there are three distilleries close by, being Tamdhu, Cardhu and Knockando itself.

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. Archiestown is a small place so you should carry 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 neil@velodays.com

Route map for Grantown To Archiestown by Neil Innes on plotaroute.com