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The route from Braemar to Glenshee is 9 miles in length and has climbing of 1,142 feet. It has been given a difficulty rating of 8.
The village of Braemar technically sits on Clunie Water rather than the Dee. There have been settlements here since the 11th century, though the area is known to have been used as a trackway by both Picts and Romans. The Jacobite Rebellion of 1715 was launched by the Earl of Mar in Braemar and there is an annual Highland Games, often frequented by members of the Royal Family. If you have the time (and money!) you should go to the Flying Stag which has one of the most amazing public bars imaginable.
The cycle from Braemar to Glenshee is all uphill and all on the A93, with the summit being the highest “A” road in Britain. The road is remote but is still well used and fast, so please take care. You might ask how this cycle can only be given a rating of 8, but the gradients are not actually too difficult (the route from the south to Glenshee is steeper, as is the climb over the Lecht). This is Aberdeenshire, but it feels like the Highlands. The route is entirely in the Cairngorm National Park and you are surrounded by Munros. It is a spectacular, stark mountain environment and you need to be physically prepared, properly fuelled and appropriately dressed as it can be very cold and very windy.
You head due south from Braemar following Clunie Water upstream. Whilst the overall gradients are not too severe, the last 3 miles are the steepest, though luckily there are no super-hard ramps (the Devil’s Elbow is not on your itinerary!) The views are amazing – Lochnagar to the east; the Cairngorm massif and Ben Macdui (Scotland’s second highest hill) to the northwest; and Ben Avon to the north. You finish at the ski-station at Glenshee, which is the border of Aberdeenshire, Perth and Kinross and Angus. Depending on the time of year you cannot guarantee that the café will be open, so please 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 firstname.lastname@example.org