The route from Westhill to Inverurie is 11.7 miles in length and has climbing of 591 feet. It has been given a difficulty rating of 4.
Westhill is a fairly new town, having been “founded” in 1963. It has grown considerably since then and has a population of around 13,000. Before Covid, the population would swell considerably during the day due to the number of oil and gas and sub-sea companies that call Westhill home. The town actually falls within the City of Aberdeen – a decision to move the town beyond the city boundaries in the 1980s was loudly (and successfully) campaigned against by the residents. Just east of Westhill is the new Aberdeen Football Club training facilities, and a new stadium for the club is also earmarked for this site.
Starting in the centre of Westhill, you head north out the town. You have an easy uphill from the start, and actually reach the high point of the day at 548 feet after just 0.8 miles. The next 2.9 miles are all downhill, and you then negotiate the only real climb from miles 3.8 to 4.9. You then have a descent of 2.1 miles and the remainder of the route is on flat rolling roads. This is not the most picturesque of routes (sorry), and the roads you can take are fairly limited. You cross the A96 via a bridge at mile 4.4, just west of Blackburn. You join the River Don at mile 6.6 and then cycle through the east side of Kintore, where you join a cycle path alongside the A96. You veer off the path at mile 10.3 and enter Inverurie from the south, crossing the River Ury and finishing in the centre of town.
The area is littered with Neolithic and Pictish remains. You pass a standing stone at Achinleach at mile 1.5, with two further examples at mile 5. Somewhat incongruously, there is a stretch of land beside the A96 just before entering Inverurie which has the remains of more standing stones, a stone circle and a henge.
Inverurie is the largest town in Aberdeenshire with a population of around 14,000, and is known as the Centre of the Garioch (pronounced “Geery”). The town was founded in 1308, though its first mention in royal charters isn’t until 1558. If outdoor history is your thing, then the Easter Aquhorthies stone circle dating back to the 3rd century BC is worth a visit, as is the Pictish stone symbol known as the Brandsbutt Stone. The largest livestock market in Scotland can be found just south of the town at Thainstone, and there is a train station with good links south to Aberdeen and northwest to Moray and Inverness. There are plenty of different option for food and drink so refuelling won’t be a problem.
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