Deeside Way Cycle Route Overall Rating: ⭐⭐
The Deeside Way runs for 45 miles, mostly traffic-free, from Aberdeen to Ballater, on the edge of the Cairngorm mountains. The route gets its name from the river Dee, and is loosely follows the course of the river for most of the way. It forms part of the much longer Caledonia Way.
There are some on-road sections, but the roads in question normally have extremely light traffic.
As I often do, I started the route shown in the map below at the nearest train station, Aberdeen in this case. This does mean crossing some busy roads, but most people will have the option of walking their bikes for that short section
Surface on the Deeside Way Cycle Route
The surface varies enormously. Between Aberdeen and Peterculter it’s mainly smooth tar. Further along it’s gravel, and muddy in places, with some sections along forest track.
Any bike can be used up to about Peterculter, 8 miles along. Beyond that point you will need a standard bike, ideally a gravel bike, or even a mountain bike, though most hybrids will cope.
Toilets are available at Aberdeen train station, at Newton Dee Café (slightly off the trail), in Banchory at the Ride Coffee House (slightly off-trail), at Potarch, in Kincardine O’neil, in Aboyne, at the Riverside Cottage café, and in Ballater.
Points of Interest
The route will take you to the edge of the Cairngorms National Park. Nearish to Aberdeen there are also the iconic ruins of Dunnottar Castle. Part of the route will take you through what used to be the hunting estate of Robert the Bruce.
Routes in North Eastern Scotland
There are some barriers along the route, and trikes will struggle after Peterculter.
Refreshment stops: ⭐
Forecast for the Deeside Way
Because of the length of the route, there are two forecasts.
What the Deeside Way looks like
This video below is by Nicklas, and shows a short segment near Ballater.
It’s simple to get to the start by train. Aberdeen is a mainline train station. Before taking your bike on the train, do read my Bike On Trains guide first, as it will probably make your life easier.
DayCycle routes are routes can can easily be cycled by most people in a day, or part of a day. Do have a look at all the other DayCycle routes available on WillCycle. Many contain detailed route guides, as well as embedded maps (like the one below) from which you can download the GPX file for the route.