Inverbervie to Fettercairn (14 miles)

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The route from Inverbervie to Fettercairn is 14.2 miles long and has climbing of 1,089 feet. It has been given a difficulty rating of 5.

Inverbervie is an ancient town and was mentioned in literature relating to Arbroath Abbey in the 12th century. Initially a fishing town, this industry slowly stopped being of importance, despite improvements made to the harbour by the engineer Thomas Telford in 1819. Hallgreen Castle to the south is worth a visit (originally built in 1376, it is now a hotel), and the walk south along the cliffs to Gourdon is wonderful.

This is the most southerly route in the RTN153. Starting at the seawall overlooking Bervie Bay, you head west out of town, reaching open countryside at mile 0.6. You are heading uphill from the start point to 1.5 miles, and after a flat section to mile 5.1 you hit the Hill of Garvoch which climbs for 2.7 miles, reaching the high point of 778 feet at mile 7.7. This whole section is quite exposed and will feel tougher if a west wind is blowing. You then have a fast descent to Laurencekirk, but you have to cross the A90 at mile 9 – please use extreme care. Once you leave Laurencekirk at mile 10, the roads are flat all the way to the finish line at the Mercat Cross in Fettercairn.

This is not a route with many tourist attractions. The cycle takes place entirely in The Mearns, one of the bread-baskets of Scotland and made famous by Lewis Grassic Gibbon in his classic novel Sunset Song. You can visit the Grassic Gibbon centre at Arbuthnott, three miles northwest of Inverbervie, which celebrates the life, work and times of the author. Laurencekirk has a train stations with connections north to Aberdeen and south to Dundee. The town is technically in Kincardineshire and known colloquially as the Lang Toun, and is the largest habitation in The Mearns.

Fettercairn, from the Scottish Gaelic meaning “slope by a thicket”, is a small village in the Mearns area of Aberdeenshire. It is an ancient place that was granted free burgh status in 1504. The Church of St Martin’s is worth a visit, and you could take in a tour of Fettercairn Distillery. There are limited options for food and drink in the village so you may 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

Route map for Inverbervie To Fettercairn by Neil Innes on