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NE Scotland - Offroad cycle routes

ducksonduckson Posts: 961
I am going on holiday to Turriff and have seen the Formatine and Buchan Way which sounds ideal :- ... n_way/#map

Sounds right for what i want, as i'd only be doing say 10-15km can you suggest the best starting point as i can start anywhere really....mainly wondeirng about places to leave the car? Wasnt sure if there was somewhere like Stricken which would have space to leave a car (narrow B roads, highly likely no car parks etc).

Or can anyone suggest any other good offroad (as i have a 5yr old and 2 younger kids in cycle seats) cycle routes in NE Scotland? (Aberdeenshire).

TIA all.
Cheers, Stu


  • Eskimo427Eskimo427 Posts: 288
    I use the Formatine and buchan way for my commute to work in the morning from Ellon to Dyce. The track is very good and used by lots of walkers, cyclist and people walking their dog.

    With regards of were to park the car or start really depends on how far you wish to drive and cycle.

    The nearest place to leave the car from Turriff would be Maud, Mintlaw or New Deer. Each of these places has parking available and it's off the road, having said that. The quality of the track is better either from Peterhead or Dyce depending on how far you wish to cycle as the track from Maud to Ellon isn't the best and can be quite wet, ok if your on your own but not if you've got the family attached to the bike.

    The track I believe from Peterhead starts by a school, I'm assuming the parking there would be easy and the track from there to Mintlaw is very good. I was dropped off when I cycled it on the Peterhead bypass.

    If you start from Dyce the track starts from the Dyce railway station car park which I think is pay and display and the again the quality of the track is good all the way to Ellon. There is a gradient going up to Newmachar but the rest of it is down in Ellon.

    You could always park at Ellon on Station Road/Modley Ave as the railway line crosses there. Google does have street views for this and most of the roads which cross over the line.

    I can’t think of anything else at the moment – if you have any questions let me know.
  • ducksonduckson Posts: 961
    Thanks for the reply, much appreciated. :)

    So from Ellon to Dyce is good path wise? I could try that or maybe Mintlaw to Peterhead. We wont be going that far as my 5yr old will get to tired on his BMX, probably 5-6km in one direction then turn around.
    Might be nice if there was a car park with a playground then when we've done the cycling the kids can have a while on the playground...any suggstions?

    Any ideas if this Kirkhill Loop (sticking to the main track) is suitable for a 5yr old?
    Cheers, Stu
  • Eskimo427Eskimo427 Posts: 288
    Ellon to Dyce does have a good surface, but is a uphill gradient to Newmachar then its very much downhill.

    What may suite you better is drive to the garden centre in Mintlaw - The Happy Plant. The railway line travels right next to it (use google street map), it also has a restaurant and somewhere for you to park the car.

    Kirkhill forest is one of my training spots and is great for everyone. There is a fun park too which is suitable for all ages and somewhere to park the car.
  • ducksonduckson Posts: 961
    Is the red post i see right at the start the entrance to the main Kirkhill loop?

    And its definately ok for very young kids and me and the wife each with a young un on the back in a seat?
    Cheers, Stu
  • Eskimo427Eskimo427 Posts: 288
    ah - I didn't realise both yourself and your wife would have children on the back.

    In that case I think it may be best to stick with the railway line. Having said that the trail surface is very smooth in places and all of it wide enough for big forest vehicles (think of a road without tarmac) so its suitable for riding with children, either on the back or on their own. However some of the hills are quite steep and would require a granny gear for getting up. Whether or not that is something you'd be happy to negotiate I don't know.

    The red post on the vid is the start of the fun park only which can be got at from the car park or through a single track which is sign posted off the main loop.

    To the left of where I entered the car in the video is where the loop starts, I appreciate the video doesn't show much as the quality is rubbish but it's obvious once in the car park itself. Also the end of the fun park has changed and your not able to jump down into it like I did.

    As I don’t have children or have ever been riding with any it’s difficult for me to know what is and isn’t do-able. However saying that I have seen large groups of children being brought to Kirkhill for the fun park.
  • ducksonduckson Posts: 961
    Hmm might stick to the Garden centre idea, as long as they dont mind me leaving the car there even though i'm not using the place, you can see the cycle path as well....the wonder of google maps :) :- ... 162.2,,0,5
    Cheers, Stu
  • Eskimo427Eskimo427 Posts: 288
    I hope the weather is good for you and you have a nice holiday.

  • ducksonduckson Posts: 961
    Cheers Richard and thanks for the help. :)
    Cheers, Stu
  • Agree with Eskimo, there's nothing difficult @ Kirkhill but the start is a bit steep for kids. However the fun park is situated next to the car park but you'd need to bolt something else on to make a day of it.
    The Deeside way is probably the best options with younger kids. If you venture further along Deeside (not quite Turriff I know) but by starting at Dinnet you can cycle along to Ballater past the Cambus o' May bridge & return back (roughly a 10 mile run). All flat off-roadish with only one road to cross.
    Might be worth checking out the Moray trails to see if any of those are kid friendly?
    If the weather is seasonal (ie censored ) & your kid likes his BMX then head to Transistion extreme @ Aberdeen beach.
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